Monday, 27 July 2015

Day 34 #B.E. Kuala Lumpur Malaysia - Singapore : #BeyondEverest Journey Is Officially Completed

After close to 2 months being away from home, my Suzuki DR200 is finally back to where my journey to Everest Base Camp all began.

Got up early this morning and moved off from Kuala Lumpur, and headed straight back to Singapore over 350KM.

Upon seeing Woodlands Checkpoint, and me sitting on my bike, getting my passport stamped as I stepped back into my home ground just brought me straight back to the time when I first started #beyondeverest and got my passport stamped as I exited Singapore.

The past one month + has never been this crazy, this epic, this memorable for me and my Suzuki DR200. Looking back to all the roads we traveled.. we've come a long way.

And I'm just glad that we both made it back home safe and sound.

Thank you to all of you who have been following my journey and rooting for me all the way. Hope it'll inspire you to start your very own "Ride Of Your Life" too!

Life's short, and one of the most dangerous risk is spending your life not doing what you want or love on the bet that you can buy yourself the freedom to do it later.

So go on, go forth, turn your dreams into reality and live the life that you've always wanted.


Sunday, 26 July 2015

Day 33 #B.E. Hat Yai Thailand - Kuala Lumpur Malaysia : Losing My Rear Tyre With A Puncture

The sun was already shining through the cabins when I opened my eyes this morning, I was about to reach Hat Yai soon.

Got up and changed into my gears.

And then lie back down again to snooze for a few more minutes..

Until I hear the train announce our arrival at Hat Yai station, I hurriedly got up, took all my gears and got down the train.

When I got to the platform, I saw that my bike was already loaded down, ready for my retrieval.
There isn't a fix rate that is charged for porter fees when they help you load up/down your bike, but you'll have to tip them. A comfortable range is between 50 - 100 baht.

At Hat Yai Railway Station

Checked my bike and it was perfectly OK! The train station staff then gets me to sign a receipt to say that my bike has arrived into Hat Yai safely and I have retrieved it.

There were many Motorcycle Taxis around, and some of them approached me. I smiled at them and pointed towards my bike, and they laughed upon realizing momma's got her own ride here! ;p

So this sums up my 15 hour train ride from Bangkok to Hat Yai! Not that bad uh.

Now let's gear our asses for the long ride of about 540KM to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia!

But first, let me get some Thai Iced Milk Tea to cool off the heat and hydrate.

 Gulped down the milk tea in minutes and all that was left was a big bag of ice.

Looking at the blistering heat, and not wanting to waste the bag of ice, I decided to keep myself cool by stuffing it into my jacket as I ride. Hahaha it workssss!

Off to Sadao Border!

Traffic was pretty smooth with a moderate crowd. Saw many Malaysian bikers with their big bikes heading home too.

And! I've entered into Malaysia! One step closer to home :)

From here, I've got about 500KM today to reach Kuala Lumpur for a night's stop. With my cam shaft in a poor condition, I can only cruise between 70-80 km/h.

I think that's slower than what the road shoulder allows. LOL.

Decided not to think too much on the speed and rode on. Close to 200KM into my journey, nearing the exit of Butterworth, I suddenly start to feel my rear wheel wobbling really badly and a few drivers who passed me by pointed towards my rear.

Almost instantly, I knew.. MY FIRST TYRE PUNCTURE! 

Luckily I was already traveling on the road shoulder, and I took the exit right in front of me where there was Petronas petrol kiosk. Checked my air pressure and yup! My rear is punctured.

Searched my tyre for nails but couldn't find any. Tried pumping air into the tyre but the air would escape immediately and I couldn't locate where it was from.

I've got my tools and spare inner tyre tube with me, but ideally I wanted a mechanic who could watch and make sure I was changing my tyre the right way.

And I'm sooo thankful to find a bike workshop barely 3 minutes away from where I was!!
Can't believe it. #tooblessedtobestressed

Ok let's do this
The mechanic was surprised I was all alone and offered to help change my tyre, but I told him to let me try on my own. He smiled as he nodded his head, and stood beside to make sure I was doing it right.

Got my tyre out, and next, I've got to pry open it to remove the punctured inner tube.

Man, I'm sweating buckets. Like, really.
Changing my tyres under the sweltering heat in my full gears was.. ouhhhhh. I feel like I'm burning 1,000 calories just doing this. Hahaha.

Looking at me, the mechanic laughed and took over the job hahaha. I was just too tired man! Ah, and he found the culprit that caused the puncture. A really tiny sharp pin.

Exchanged a few conversations with the mechanic and before I know it, my tyre was fixed. Upon learning about my #beyondeverest journey and that I was traveling alone, he didn't even charge me for the work and was just happy to be of help.

#BeyondEverest is just so blessed with all these amazingly kind people I've encountered, really.

Continued on my way towards Kuala Lumpur and got caught back in action while on the highway ;)

I tried not to look at the time, and I didn't look at my speed. I could only go that fast on my Suzuki DR200 anyway and I just hope to reach Kuala Lumpur before nightfall.

It started to pour pretty heavily, and it rained for over 3 hours as I continued to ride on until the
sun began to set. With my RS Taichi drymaster gears I was kept dry throughout.

By the time I arrived into Kuala Lumpur and checked into the hotel, it was past 8:30PM. Grabbed a light bite nearby before turning in to bed.

Tomorrow, my bike and I will finally be back home in Singapore, TOGETHER!

[Mileage Clocked: 8,594KM]
[Weather/Temperature: Sunny/34°C/Rain/23°C]
[Terrain: Tarmac]

Next: Home, Singapore

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Day 32 #B.E. Bangkok - Hat Yai : Up Goes My Bike and I For The 15 Hour Train Ride

Gooood afternoon folks! Today, I depart Bangkok and head for Hat Yai! Are you ready to hop on this purple choo-choo train and travel 15 hours of train ride with me?

Byebye Bangkok City!

Rok straps are honestly one of the best shitzz ever! Got all my bags firmly and neatly strapped up with it as I checked outta Bangkok and headed to Hua Lampong Railway Station!

Got to the station 1 hour before my train's departure time (15:00hrs) on this hot hot afternoon to purchase the train ticket for my bike. I couldn't find a proper entrance for vehicles to enter the railway station so.. I just rode my bike in together with everyone else walking.

After which I turned off my engine, got down and pushed my bike across the station to the ticket counter.

The ticket counter for Cargo such as bikes or other big bulky stuffs is located in front of Platform 11, different from the Passenger ticket counter.

Showed the ticket officer my Passenger train ticket and he arranged for my bike to be on the same one. There are cases where your bike and you goes up two different trains if the cargo/passenger section is full, but always try to insist for the same train if possible.

Presented my passport and vehicle registration documents (log card) for the purchase of my ticket. These documents are required for verification purposes.

Prices of tickets for bikes varies according to the engine capacity (125CC/200CC/400CC/800CC etc.) My Suzuki DR is 200CC and my ticket cost 1,400 baht (S$56).

Once I got my ticket, a young porter boy sticks a note on my bike that states "Hat Yai" as it's destination then he helps me by pushing my bike to the respective train's cargo section for loading.


We reached the cargo section, and I look at the train's platform. It's so high! How are they gonna get my bike up??

I unloaded all my bags and watched nervously by the side, telling the staffs to be careful and they just kept laughing at how anxious I looked -_-

Check out how easy the whole process is!

So all we needed is 3 strong guys who manually carried my bike up, into the train. It seemed as easy as 1,2,3! Up it goes and with their tie-downs, they firmly secured my bike with it standing upright.

So up my bike went and so am I!

Gosh, the train ride haven't started and I'm already drenched in sweat. What a delight to know that there isn't any showering facilities onboard!

Hahaha no problem. As long as there's tap with running water, we're all good.


Carried all my bags, helmet, gears with me up the train and located my seat in the 2nd Class section as I settled in.

Ok let's see, the air con is strong, so that's good..

But wait, I purchased a "Sleepers Cabin" ticket because it's an overnight train ride. All I see is upright seats, how to sleep like that?

So I looked around and observed, I see catches and hooks, so I believe somehow these seats will transform into beds.. but how and when will it?

Guess I'll have to wait and see!

It's common for Thailand Railway trains to be delayed. After a slight 30 minutes delay, my train started to move off and we're on our way to Hat Yai :)


Ok let's check out the loo loo.

I think it's a very important facility and based on the outlook of the train, I managed my expectations.. ahhaha but to my pleasant surprise, the toilet had ALOT of toilet paper and it was CLEAN!!

No foul smell, dry, and there's a window for ventilation.

There is a flush system but all the waste doesn't go to a sewage pipe but instead, out it goes onto the train tracks! How convenient! Hurhur.


Non air conditioned, the decent sized cafeteria can seat about 30 people with huge train windows by every seat where you can look out to the view around.

Most people would just stick to the air conditioned cabins because it was pretty hot here.

Got my favourite Thai dish - Pork with basil minced meat and rice

Meals and drinks are served onboard pretty often with mobile hawkers coming up the train at each train station stop. They'd walk through the cabins offering freshly cooked local meals neatly packed in baskets and would leave when the train moves off.

Prices are about the same as street foods, 25-30 baht for a packed meal though portions are slightly smaller.

Alrightie! I'm back at my seat, chilling, and let's see.. shit, I still have 14 hours more to go.

The train is not WIFI-enabled but luckily I've got my Thai local SIM card so I have Internet access to surf the net, do some blogging on my MacBook that helped kill some time.

There are power sockets to charge appliances but it's not planted at every seat so it's best to fully charge your electronics prior to boarding.

I'm not someone who gets motion sickness easily but somehow I'm feeling a little bit from the slight bumps on the train. Closed my eyes and took a nap to ease it off.

When I woke up, it was sunset already.

Walked to the door and popped my head out to see which stop I'm now at already.
It's Chumphon! I remember that longgg road to Hua Hin from there. 

Got back to my seat and was wondering what's gonna happen next.

At about 7:30PM, I hear some sounds.
I turned around and see this train staff transforming the upright seats into bunk beds!

Yay! I can finally lie down

OH! So THIS is how it works! The upper deck bunk bed is kept during the day and when evening comes, there will be a train staff who will convert the bunk beds for the passengers.

Check out my comfy bed

I remember asking the ticket officer which is better, upper or lower bunk and she gave me lower bunk as it's more convenient to access my belongings or to the toilet.

Clean sheets, pillow and blankets are provided to make sleeping as comfortable as possible on Thailand's Railway. Oh, and because the lights will remain on through the night, there are curtains to block out the light and also give that bit of privacy.

Washed up here
Cleaned myself up with a wet towel and changed into some clean clothes.

With my GIVI bag placed on the rack beside, helmet hung on the ladder and valuables kept right next to me,  I happily climbed into my comfortable bed for the night. Doesn't it look quite comfyyyy?

The curtains are like jungle green
The train is pretty quiet now, with almost everyone retiring into their own beds. This is when the train staff will mop the train clean. Seems like Thailand Railway train standards is really quite decent.

Luckily my bed is situated right in the middle of the cabin, away from the train doors where the train track noise is much more noisier.

Time to sleep now. When I wake up tomorrow morning, I will reach Hat Yai and will be crossing the border from Thailand to Malaysia where once again, I'll face the monotonous North South Highway of Malaysia!

Goodnight people.

[Mileage Clocked: 8,227KM]
[Weather/Temperature: Sunny/36°C]
[Terrain: Tarmac]

Next: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia