April 09, 2002 GMT
Thailand - 4

Poipet (30-03-2002) till Bangkok (09-04-2002)

Immigration was no problem. Customs was more difficult as they want to stamp my carnet. But I insisted on getting their white paper so I could send my old carnet back home. This caused some problems in the beginning but then it was not too much hassle as long as I filled out the paper my self. This was no problem as long as I knew which questions were being asked but another white paper was used as an example.

Route through Thailand; 30-03-2002 / 09-04-2002
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Route through Thailand; 30-03-2002 / 09-04-2002

From the border we didn't drive directly to Bangkok but spend a night in Phanom Sarakham. The next morning I discovered a nail in my rear tyre and it was about 5 cm long. I fixed the tyre first before we headed to Pataya. We heard mixed reports about this place so decided now it was time to look for ourselves. We drove over the boulevard and our unanimous decision was: Get out of here! But then we discovered a Starbucks coffee place and we had some coffees first. Bangkok was an easy drive over the highways and finding back our guesthouse was no problem at all on a Sunday.

The next morning we went to the airport trying to get Jeannettes bike our of the arms of Customs. We knew that this was going to get a long day but having it done twice before things went much smoother and just before lunch break we were standing next to the box but they had to remove some boxes in front of it first.

Opening the box was no problem as people were eager to help. Putting the bike back together wasn't a problem either. Jeannette was checking all the bags and found lots of goodies hidden everywhere. Starting the bike was a problem as it didn't do anything anymore. But a pickup was driven up next to the bike and with cables the bike started and ran perfectly, but as soon the cables were disconnected the bike stopped. Battery problem! I didn't want to look for the exact problem here so we asked them to arrange a pickup for us to bring the bike to our guesthouse. For 500 Baht (USD 11) we were driven back which was only double the taxi fare. With the battery I went to Yuts place and he discovered that the acid level was far too low. So over 5 months stored in the bike without disconnecting wasn't too good for the battery. Yut replaced the acid and charged the battery and the next day Jeannettes bikes was running as never before.

Jeannette is driving her own bike from now on
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Jeannette is driving her own bike from now on

A couple of days later Marie Louise, Jeannettes daughter, came to visit us for three weeks. It was an emotional seeing as mother and daughter hadn't seen each other for 7½ months. So the first couple of days we didn't do too much and we only visited some 'must do' sites in Bangkok.

Marie Louise didn't like Bangkok too much either so we were thinking about where to go to, when Jeannette thought about the Philippines. She wanted to go there for a long time already and as it was out of our route we wouldn't visit it by motorbike. Also is Bangkok a good place to buy cheap tickets so the decision was quickly made. At the travel agency it was not so easy as most flights were fully booked. But with Cathay Pacific we were able to get seats but then we had to fly via Hong Kong. This was not a problem as I had been there many times for my work and I was happy to show Marie Louise and Jeannette around there.

Martin with Marie Louise on the motorbike
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Martin with Marie Louise on the motorbike

Posted by Martin Rooiman at April 09, 2002 03:06 AM GMT

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