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.
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…
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.
After a good night’s rest we rolled out early because we need to cover almost 580kms ride from Penang to Koh Samui.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
L-R Pak Yunus, Mdm Rini, Mdm Banon, Myself and Doc Tedjo.
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!)
R-L. Doc Tedjo, Mdm Rini, Ombotogomo, Pak Yunus, Mdm Banon, Pak Datoek, Doc G and Horacio
Horacio wanted to have a dip in at every beach in Koh Samui so we stopped at Silver Beach before heading back to Chaweng
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.
These 2 guys look like Bruce Lee distant cousins with that cool shades, funky shirts and waay too cool hairstyles!
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.
Pak Yunus missed all the drama because he overshot our RV point just before Surattani but made it to Aonang nonetheless.
Just in front of the McDonald in Aonang there’s a row of streetfood vendors. I found this one ran by a Pattani family.
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.
We took the usual Aonang-Krabi-Sikao-Trang route so that we can play at the twisties from Sikao to Trang.
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.
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…
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!
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)
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
Hatyai-Songkhla 22 km
Songkhla-Nakhon Sittamarat 176 km
Nakhon Sittamarat – Donsak 127 km
Donsak – Aonang 318 km