Songkran 2011. Ride to Koh Samui

Posted: July 26, 2011 in Songkran at Koh Samui

Juru Toll. On the way to Penang before continuing our ride to Koh Samui, Thailand.

It’s that time of year again- Songkran. No great hardcore adventure as this is a holiday ride with our buddies from abroad. But this time we’re not going to Phuket as what we traditionally did for the last 4 years. 2011 was different because we rode to the island of Koh Samui for Songkran. With us are our buddies from Indonesia, Spain and Switzerland.

We set off at 1.30 noon from Ride Adventure in Batu Caves.

On the way to Penang

As usual had to bring up the rear especially this year because those fellas were on ultra ballistic bikes – GTRs, FJRs, Blackbirds and BMW RTs. They were waaay too fast…

With us on the ride - Dato' Rahman, John Crett, Sham, Ombotogomo, Bang Aziz, Doc G, Rudy Triatmono, Pak Yunus, Eddy, Doc Tedjo, Yanuar, Alex Veronac and Horacio. The usual ride adventure crew - Mig, Jac, Myself & Wife, Aboy and Amir

Nasi Kandar dinner at Penang Street

This time round we stopped over in Penang instead of riding up to Hatyai. Our initial plan to have an island ride did not materialise as we were hampered by rain on NSE highway from Kuala Kangsar to Batu Kawan. We arrived on Penang Island late in the afternoon so everybody decided to take a rest.

Our Ride Adventure team gave the bikes a routine check to make sure everything in tip top condition while some of us took a short tour of Penang Road and its surroundings.

Early morning roll out at 6.00am

After a good night’s rest we rolled out early because we need to cover almost 580kms ride from Penang to Koh Samui.

Our group posing with the back-up car at Changloon Caltex Station.

We had to wait for awhile at Changloon because Yanuar’s bike had ran out of petrol just before Alor Setar exit. Mig had to ride the 60km + return journey to top up the empty tanks of Yanuar’s MT01.

Nakhon Sittamarat petrol stop

After clearing immigration and some refreshments we left Dannok for Koh Samui via Songkhla-Nakhon Sittamarat – Dongsak Ferry Pier and to Koh Samui.

As usual I got left behind on the way to Hatyai but I decided to take a shorter route via Hatyai-Songkhla ouer ring road. Less traffic lights and less dense traffic means I can save a lot of time getting to the destination.

I managed to head-off the main group just 10km before the town of Nakhon Sittamarat and arrived at the RV point PTT petrol Station just before the other half of the group arrived.

Dongsak Ferry Pier

It was a rather mundane ride from Nakon Sittamarat to Dongsak. Our hungry bellies urged us to ride faster but I can only go as fast as my ‘black camel’ would allow.

Waiting for the ferry

There were 2 ferries to choose from – Raja Ferry or Seatrans Ferry.

We decided to board the Seatrans Ferry as it will take us to to the port of Nathon, Koh Samui – the nearest port to Chaweng Beach, our destination in Koh Samui.

Our group loading up the bikes onboard the Seatrans Ferry.

Inside the passenger compartment. Pak Yunus, Mdm Banon, Mdm Rini, Doc Tedjo. Su and Anthony.

Sunset cruise on the Seatrans Ferry to Nathon, Koh Samui

The ferry ride to almost 1.5 hours and to while away the hours we had snacks, talk shop and generally merry making. There’s even a foot massage outlet on board. That’s what I called convenience. These Thais thought of everything!

Shopping for weapons for the Songkran water fight the next day

We reached Naton at 6.30 pm Thai time and it was getting dark.  We rode off 24kms north to The Rooms Hotel at Chaweng Beach. After a head count we realised that Triatmono was missing and set out to look for him. In the confusion just after disembarking the ferry Triatmono had been left behind by the group. He was soon located and we settled him back at the hotel. Me & my Maam, Mig & Jac hired scooters and went off to dinner.

The last time I visited Koh Samui was 2 years before but the familiar places that I used to visit was still as it were. Not much confusion here as we cruise Chaweng Beach town.

Anthony had a mishap...

We were crusing the Reggae Pub area in Chaweng when we got a call from Aboy that Anthony and Sue had ‘ran over a dog’ in Chaweng while cruising on their rented scooters. They were evacuated to the Bangkok Hospital near Chaweng. Anthony had broken his clavicle while Sue escaped with slight bruises.

Doc G and Doc Tedjo was on hand to assist and oversee the medical response team and made sure Anthony and Sue got the best medical care possible.

Songkran day

Woke up early that morning and the Songkran was already at full swing. We set up our fort in front of the hotel and ambushed anything that moved.

Waiting to ambush. No gun I'll use the water hose!

Taking a break at midday after all that soaking.

Wet and hungry at Lamai Beach

We got on our scooters and moved the war zone to Lamai Beach. The Songkran water fight was in full swing when we negotiated the maize-like lanes and alleys of Lamai. No one was spared in the Lamai war zone and were thoroughly soaked when we reached the Grandma & Grandpa rock area.

At the 'rock'

L-R Pak Yunus, Mdm Rini, Mdm Banon, Myself and Doc Tedjo.

Lunch at Lamai

After all that water fight, lunch was simple sea food fried rice and ommelette. L-R Triatmono, Yanuar, Eddy, Myself and Amir (gone native and trying to look like the local beachboy!)

The rest of the crew

R-L. Doc Tedjo, Mdm Rini, Ombotogomo, Pak Yunus, Mdm Banon, Pak Datoek, Doc G and Horacio

A group photo at Silver Beach, just before Lamai

Horacio wanted to have a dip in at every beach in Koh Samui so we stopped at Silver Beach before heading back to Chaweng

The warm waters of Silver Beach

Doc G and Mig fooling around at the look-out point

Another group photo minus the injured Anthony, Sue and the 'missing in action' Alex

Mr. Alex Veronac finally stumbled back minus one sandal.

A group photo again in front of our hotel - The Rooms at Chaweng Beach

Anthony and Sue (back row – centre) were allowed to be discharged by the hospital and joined us back at the hotel to the relief of everyone.

Bike wash attendants washing our bikes at the Rooms Hotel courtyard

Badrul aka Ombotogomo and Mig selecting sea food for dinner

Our customary Ride Dinner at Chaweng

Makan. makan, makan...

Go. Going. Gone. Alex had something to do with this!

Aboy and Amir loading up

Breakfast at Nathon Pier. Chaiyen and Ghou Phad Gung

Sham, John Crett, Jac & Mig waiting for their charon and kaferon

Bye-bye Koh Samui. We're going to Aonang, Krabi

In the belly of the steely beast

You'll always meet some interesting character when you travel.

These 2 guys look like Bruce Lee distant cousins with that cool shades, funky shirts and waay too cool hairstyles!

Triatmono down but not out.

The ferry ride back to the main land felt especially short. After regrouping we set off to Aonang, Krabi via Surattani – Highway 4009 and to Aonang. Just 10km out of Krabi, Triatmono managed to outbrake himself and skidded merrily on the road. He was probably spooked by the local Songkran ambush squads that lined the roads. I was bringing up the rear and arrived at the scene with Triatmono already resting himself on a bench in front of a shop and the incident was already brought under control by our team.

After a quick examination by Doc Tedjo, Triatmono was pronounced well with no major damage and was whisked away on a villager’s truck to Aonang.

Triatmono's fallen bike being transported to Aonang by friendly villagers. The Versys was not so lucky - a broken foot rest assembly rendered the bike unrideable.

At the Goodwill Hotel, Aonang Beach, Krabi

Pak Yunus missed all the drama because he overshot our RV point just before Surattani but made it to Aonang nonetheless.

Towels folded cunningly into cute little elephant at the Goodwill Hotel Aonang

I'm used to streetfood in Thailand. This one was as good as they come!

Just in front of the McDonald in Aonang there’s a row of streetfood vendors. I found this one ran by a Pattani family.

Yummy! Phad Ka Pau and Phad Phrik Gung. Aroi mak mak!

Don't know what bike laaaa...

Exploring Aonang. Awas. The shopping has begun...

The Goodwill Hotel, Aonang, Krabi. 200m down the road is the Aonang beach.

Due to staff shortage, breakfast was prepared by Badrul that morning

Doc G was called into service to be the replacement chef

Loading up the fallen yello Versys

The fallen yello Versys together will the walking wounded – Anthony, Sue and Triatmono was loaded onto our recovery car. No one was left behind on this mission.

We left Aonang slightly after 10 am for Trang-Hatyai-Dannok and KL.

Regrouping at Trang

We took the usual Aonang-Krabi-Sikao-Trang route so that we can play at the twisties from Sikao to Trang.

Lunch at Trang. This small restaurant is located just behind the market by the railway tracks

Try the green noodle beef soup.

After lunch the group pushed ahead to Hatyai and eventually KL.

Badrul was left an hour behind at Sikao after having his bike died on him. Aboy was despatched to help and they were soon be on their way to catch up with the main group which by that time had already reached Dannok. They eventually left Dannok at 8pm and reached KL safely at 12.30 midnite.

Hatyai Regency

The group had pushed on to Kuala Lumpur on the same day but I opted to spend another day in Hatyai as I’ve got a bit of time left. My wife wanted to do some shopping (what else is new…).

I entered Hatyai and  I saw Pak Datoek, John Crett and Sham already deviated from the main group to fulfill their own agenda in Hatyai. That was the last time I saw them that day…

The 'black camel' fully loaded and ready to take us home to KL

I spend the rest of the day trawling the Hatyai shopping district and later I found out that Aboy & Amir had stayed behind at Dannok to repair the ‘sick’ bikes while Badrul took over the wheels of the recovery car. Those 2 boys eventually left Thailand a day after I left! Sneaky fellas!

Lunch at Kak Jah Restaurant in Dannok just before we left for KL.

The famous Ikan Lubang. Pronounced - ikea lubea in South Thai dialect.

Bye bye Thailand for now...I'll be back...

After checking out of Thai immigration I rode back at a relaxed pace of 130kmh average all the way back to Batu Caves with stops in Bukit Merah, Tapah and Ulu Bernam.

It was a good ride despite some minor hiccups along the way. Till the next Songkran…

Our Route to Koh Samui (I think this way …NO GPS)
Hatyai
Songkhla                                                                    Hwy 408
Hua Sai                                                                      left to Hwy 4150
Nakhon Sittamarat-Tha Sala                                Hwy 401
Nakahon Sittamarat – Ban Tha Noi-Donsak      right to Hwy 4142

Koh Samui-Aonang, Krabi

Nakhon Sittamarat – Surattani                            Hwy 44 – left Hwy 4 Southbound
Aonang                                                                     Hwy 4033 – 4202

Estimated Distance
Hatyai-Songkhla                                    22 km
Songkhla-Nakhon Sittamarat             176 km
Nakhon Sittamarat – Donsak              127 km
Donsak – Aonang                                  318 km

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