November 12, 2001 GMT
Thailand - 2

Bangkok (04-10-2001) till Nong Khai (12-11-2001)

Exhausted we arrived in Bangkok and relaxed here a couple of days first. The most important thing to do here was to get our temporary import permit for the bike extended as it was expiring within 3 days. At the Customs Head office we had to wait for 3 hours and when we got back our permit the only thing they did was adding 2 lines manually with the new expiring date. But no complaints from us as we had what we came for.

Route through Thailand; 04-10-2001 / 12-11-2001
Click for larger image

Route through Thailand; 04-10-2001 / 12-11-2001


We took the night bus back to Krabi and this wasn't easy with our two daypacks, two luggage rolls and two tyres. (Two luggage rolls? Yes, Jeannette managed to fill up only one roll, but with all our motor clothes, boots and helmets we needed another one.) But I knew where to go now and seeing my own bike back was a special moment. Also when we were (only) 5 weeks separated. But the bike was joined now by 2 other bikes as Leon & Jolanda left their bikes there as well, to return to Holland for a while as well.

In Ao Nang we did some further relaxing and repairing the bike and service it completely. The only problem we had was a flat battery but a push-start solved this problem. Most of the work I did myself in Ao Nang but the bearings of the rear wheel I changed in Krabi, at Banks Big Bike Shop, a really relaxed and friendly place to work. There I discovered that BMW used a 7 mm. Allen-key which was nowhere to find but an 8 mm Allen key can be reduced to a 7 mm one! Another feature I installed on the bike was an intercom-system so we were able to talk while driving and this turned out to be a really good thing to buy.


Tjop, taking a rest
Click for larger image

Tjop, taking a rest


Furthermore we found out that my aluminum-boxes were not watertight and everything inside had gone damp. But we had to reorganise everything now anyhow, but needless to say that it was a big mess in our bamboo bungalow for a couple of days. We also drove through the scenic area of Ao Nang (to test the intercom) and did a snorkelling trip.


Sunset at Ao Nang
Click for larger image

Sunset at Ao Nang


We left Ao Nang heading towards Phuket and spent a few days there and I was showing Jeannette the nice places there. We also met Gion, our Swiss friend and biker, and had a good night in Patong together. We drove back to Bangkok following the Burmese border and enjoyed the scenic the drive. Opened the throttle once we were on the highway heading north and arrived in Bangkok the next day.

In Bangkok we had to apply for our Laos- and Vietnamese visa. This took us 5 days (Vietnam!, Laos in 1 day) and a lot of money!! In the meantime we relaxed some more and did some sightseeing Bangkok. We also met other overlanders on bikes and had a great time together.

Together with Marko and Ali we left Bangkok to discover the east of Thailand. We were driving through really nice Thai scenery, full with rice paddies and shelters. These shelters were great places to spend the night although we were not really equipped for this 'rough-camping'. We had only one sleeping bag and no mattresses. So we slept on our clothes and had a great time. Visited some beautiful Khmer temple sites as well. The best place was at a waterfall along the Cambodian border. A great place to swim, relax, have a shower and wash our clothes.


Take a rest on a nice temple site
Click for larger image

Take a rest on a nice temple site


Along the Cambodian border we drove until we reached the Mekong River and followed it along the Laos border. In That Phanom we spent our last night together in a guesthouse. We left the next day, following the Mekong River, as Marko and Ali decided to stay longer. We made a small detour to visit a major temple built on a hill. It's divided into 7 stories. The best ones are the 5th and 6th story as here you can walk all around the mountain and have splendid views. Partly they made a wooden passage along the plain steep rocks and of course the platforms didn't look too solid anymore, but we passed it without any problem.

The last part along the Mekong river to Nong Khai were quite boring as it's a highway without any views at the river itself. In Nong Khai we had our last Thai lunch and headed for the border.

At the Thai side everything went smooth and leaving was no problem. Without asking they even made me a copy of my bike permit and stamped the copy as well so I had my prove that my bike left the country. That's a nice service! Then we went to the Friendship-bridge, which crossed the Mekong River into Laos. This bridge is officially closed for bikes to prevent 'local day tripping' across the border. We heard many stories of overlanders who had to put their bike on a pickup and cross the bridge. Now they allow you to cross the bridge driving yourself. This a good thing and another good thing is that the bridge is a toll-bridge but because motorbikes are not allowed there is no fee set for motorbikes, so they can cross for free!

Posted by Martin Rooiman at 03:06 AM GMT
 


HU DVD Summer Special!

Now that summer is here, get On the Road! Take 30% off the Achievable Dream - On the Road! 2-DVD set until August 31 only. Get On the Road! Learn the tips to staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure!

Our veteran travellers share their tips (and great stories) for staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure.

"A fantastic, informative and inspirational DVD."

"It's brilliant - thank you very much!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'ONTHEROAD' on your order when you checkout.


Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!


What turns you on to motorcycle travel?


Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!


New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.


Books & DVDs

amazon

All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.


Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!

Story and photos copyright ©

Sorry, you need a Javascript enabled browser to get the email address and dates. You can contact Horizons Unlimited at the link below. Please be sure to tell us WHICH blog writer you wish to contact.

All Rights Reserved.

Contact the author:

Editors note: We accept no responsibility for any of the above information in any way whatsoever. You are reminded to do your own research. Any commentary is strictly a personal opinion of the person supplying the information and is not to be construed as an endorsement of any kind.

Hosted by: Horizons Unlimited, the motorcycle travellers' website!
You can have your story here too - click for details!