THE THAI - MALAYSIAN BORDER
After fueling up in PINANG, 95 octane, does't that make your engine purr! I t was off the island via the bridge, definitely not the ferry, I decided to make my way to the border by the expressway, no more bloody trucks on the artery roads. Alittle over 2 hours and 140k's of uneventful riding I approach the Malay border, full of apprehension at what problems I will encounter, I entered the customs and police check points, with a big smile of course!
Suprisingly I was through in just over half an hour, at no cost, then it was across no mans land to the Thai border, a pretty female officer was suitable impressed with my 90 day visa, (obtained in Brisbane) that she stamped everything, including my Carnet, and off I went into Thailand. Two borders in less than an hour, at no cost, bloody great, just smile, it works!
HATYAI was only 64k away, so I headed up the Thai Highway to my next destination, What a difference in roads. The Thai side is just a secondary road, much the same as the secondary Malaysian roads, winding through village after village with their accompanied smells and road hazzards.
Approaching HATYAI, it gives the typical impression of a hectic bussling Asian town,not as hectic as PINANG, but still with kaotic traffic, THAI style. Just add the ubiquous motorbikes,with Thai taxis, which are converted small utes, that litterly go anywhere, even on the wrong side of the road.
I t was bloody hot by 2.00pm, so I found a nice enough hotel "THE NEW WORLD", unfortunately it was behind me up a one way street, so a did a u turn and played chicken with the approaching multitude of bikes, cars, buses, dogs and everything else that seemed to move. Anyway I survived and DORIS even got underground parking with her personal 24hr guard. The rooms were the usual standard, for $20A AC Cable TV etc. good value compared with PINANG.
The nightlife in HATYAI is a little seady, it caters for the Malay, Chinese and Thai tourist with dingy Karaoke bars and "traditional Thai massage parlours" everywhere. Not as sophisticated as BANGKOK or PATTAYA. I will spend 2 nights here,catch up with my laundry, give DORIS a check over and leave monday morning early.
Posted by Tom Forde at July 04, 2004 06:05 AM GMT