Usually I will go for rides during the middle or end of the year, but this year I took my first january ride to Bangkok. The weather has been good there in December and I was praying that the weather stays in January, and it did. It would average about 18 to 20°Cin the early morning and go up to 24 to 27°C in the afternoon. Much better compared to the 29 to 32°C I get in Singapore.
Now a little history of my rides. I rode up to Thailand for the first time in 2006 for Songkran and I used a Honda Super 4 VTEC (Spec 3). Later I changed to a FJR 1300 and rode up to Thailand again, both destinations were Phuket. In 2011 I bought another FJR and I rode up to Thailand alone, 2 times, one destination was to Bangkok and the other was to Chiang Mai. After the FJR and I went swimming in a flood and me destroying the clutch to get out of it, I changed to a Kawasaki GTR 1400 Concours. I went up to Mae Hong Son with it and this time round to Bangkok.
On a normal trip, I would leave Singapore at midnight, arrive at the border around 8am and stop at Hat Yai at about 9 to 10am. But its time to do something more logical. For this trip, my friend and I left at 8am, rode at an average speed of 140km/hr, arrived at the border at 6pm and checked in at Sadao instead of riding a further 1hr into Hat Yai. This resulted in a much more enjoyable ride, more things to look at, less tiring on the body and we could stop and rest during normal hours. No more 200% concentration on the dark road that is only lighted up by my headlights!
Our stops along the North South Highway are :
- Gelang Patah / Machap (Top it up to full for a start)
- Sungei Perak
- Bt Kayu Hitam
For those riding to Thailand for the first time, here’s a list of stuff you should know :
- The Thai border operating hours is 5.30am to 11pm (Thai time). Which is 6.30am to midnight (Malaysia and Singapore Time)
- You just need your passport and vehicle log card.
- Stamp your passport (Pay 2 ringgit) then proceed to clear your vehicle at the other counter.
- You can buy insurance at Sadao. 9 days will set you back 150thb.
- Unlike air immigration, the visa given for land immigration is just 14 days. DON’T OVER STAY.
- If you are leaving from another border (let’s say you are riding to Cambodia), let them know.
My friend and I decided to cruise at an average comfortable speed of about 140 to 160km/hr. He rides a Harley Davidson Street Glide so he can’t go really fast anyway. And we are feeling kinda old so anything about 180 isn’t that thrilling anymore. The only time i do go over 200 is when some car comes up behind me too close. I just open the throttle, overtake everyone else then move to the left and let the fella pass.
Moving of on a weekday is a good idea because the roads are less crowded and you avoid the tourist clusterfuck at the Thai border.