Sunday, September 23, 2012

Kuala Lumpur - Ayutthaya (1,660 km in 13 hours)


This is a normal route every time I travel up north.. I always do Kuala Lumpur to Ayutthaya within one day... Ayutthaya is a short name of Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya.. It always takes me 13 hours to reach Ayutthaya town, or Ayutthaya Hotel to be more exact..

The total distance is nearly 1,660 km.. that’s right.. 1,660 km in 13 hours.. that is more than iron butt, metal butt or whatever you call it.. I have been doing this ride for almost 4 times on my GS Adventure, 1 time with my Pajero Sport GS and 1 time on my KLR 650 (but that time, i rode to Kanchanaburi).. And i can only achieve doing the KL - Ayutthaya (13 hours ride) by doing it Solo!!

For those who have been following my blog, ya'll already know that I never use GPS for the entire of my life..
I only use Road Maps when riding..

Why do i always choose Ayutthaya? Well, Ayutthaya is located in Central of Thailand, nearly 85 km North of Bangkok.. Because the geographical location of Ayutthaya makes it easy for me to decide where i wanna ride on the next day.. From Ayutthaya, i can ride:
  • North to Mae Hong Son, Chiang Rai, Mae Sai Golden Triangle, Chiang Khong, Huay Xai (Laos)
  • North East to Nakhon Ratchasima, Nongkai, Vientiane (Laos)
  • East to Aranya Prathet, Poi Pet Cambodia, Siam Reap, Phnom Penh (Cambodia)
  • South East to Chonburi, Pattaya, Trat, Khlong Yai, Sihanoukville (Cambodia)
  • West to Kanchanaburi

I usually leave my Kuala Lumpur home at 3.00 o’clock in the morning, with the GS Adventure's fuel tank already filled a day before. I reach Bukit Kayu Hitam Caltex petrol station for refueling another full tank before I head to Malaysia - Thailand border. From Kuala Lumpur to Bukit Kayu Hitam, my average speed on the GS Adventure is about 150 km/h.. I will make sure I’ll be one of the first people at the Immigration-Customs counter at 7 o’clock in the morning by beating the passengers, travelling on buses at the Thailand’s Immigration.

Approaching Hatyai town from Dannok, there is hardly to see any road users, as it is 6 o’clock in the morning in Thailand. There are many traffic lights from Dannok to Hatyai.. I tend to jump the red traffic lights and this saves lots of my time..

I will ride along Phetkasem highway of Route 41 passing Patthalung, Thung Song, Wiang Sa, Surat Thani and stop for second refueling near Chaiya town in between of Surat Thani and Chumphon province.. that's almost 480 km covered from Bukit Kayu Hitam, the first refueling stop for my GS Adventure..

I normally have khaeng kiao wan gai (green curry chicken) with khao suai  for lunch at a petrol station in Chaiya... along with Gaa Fae Yen and a bottle of Krating Daeng or Red Bull as known globally..

Then i continue my ride to along the Phetkasem highway passing Sawi in Chumphon province and Thap Sakae, Kui Buri and Pran Buri in Prachuap Khiri Khan province...

Riding in Chumphon and Prachuap Khiri Khan provinces takes lots of nerves and it consumes lots of energy along these two provinces.. the distance from Chaiya in Surat Thani to the end of Pran Buri of Prachuap Khiri Khan is about 400 km and it takes nearly 2 hours and half.. the ride is boring and makes me feel tired in the hot afternoon..

As i'm entering Petchaburi Province along the Phetkasem (Highway 4), the traffic starts to build up.. Petchaburi province is next to Bangkok city and most of Bangkok residents would travel to Hua Hin and Cha-am for weekend beach break.. Once i have passed Hua Hin, i am almost near to Samut Songkhram interchange (Route 4 and Route 35) which is approximately 150 km from Hua Hin..

Right after the Cha-am / Hua Hin and Phet Kasem interchange, there are many Premium Outlet stores, restaurants, etc...

Then i make my 3rd refueling stop along the Phet Kasem highway in Bang Khem, Petchaburi.. there are many petrol stations along the Bang Khem area but there are more along Highway 35 in Samut Songkhram..

..Riding Through Bangkok..

There is a huge advertisement signboard on the left of the Phet Kasem route, which is the beginning of Samut Songkhram of Route 35..

If i keep on riding on the Phet Kasem (Route 4), i will enter Ratchaburi province and as i am getting closer to Nong Pho district, there is a junction which goes to either:
  • Nakhon Pathom and Bangkok (Route 4)
  • Ban Pong and Kanchanaburi (Route 323)
Back to Samut Songkhram's Route 35, it leads to Samut Sangkhon and Bangkok City via Bangkok's outer ring road, Kanchana Phisek of Route 9.. The traffic gets heavier and heavier as i am riding along the Route 35.. Luckily, i am riding at 3.00 pm so the traffic is not be as bad as peak hours (4.00 pm - 7.00 pm) but the traffic is building..

As i am approaching Bangkok city, i have to exit the Route 35, near Thanon Rama II.. There is a big blue Motor Highway lights and toll booths at the end of Route 35.. before the toll booths, there is an exit junction of Route 35, which connects to Kanchana Phisek's Route 9 and take that exit.. The distance from Samut Songkhram / Phet Kasem interchange to Thanon Rama II is merely 75 km..
Along the Kanchana Phisek Route 9, this is where i have to be aware of all the road / route signs.. it's a bit tricky as there are many interchange junctions and i must be aware of the building traffic.. sometimes the route signs could be blocked by huge lorries and busses on the slow lane.. therefore i just need to be alert of the signboards while riding in between cars through Bangkok traffic..

Riding in Bangkok is nerve wrecking but apart of me is happy because 12 hours ago i was riding in Kuala Lumpur and now, I am already in Bangkok!

I only need to ride along the Western Outer Ring road, Kanchana Phisek of Route 9 and only focus on the signage of Route AH1, Route 32 and Route 1.. these routes will lead me to Ayutthaya.. The routes which i need to ignore are:
  • Thanon Phet Kasem
  • Thanon Ratthanathibet
  • Bang Bua Thong - Suphan Buri
  • Rangsit - Pathum Thani
  • Udon Ratthaya Expressway
Finally, after 82 km riding along Kanchana Phisek of Route 9, i have reached the AH1-Route 32-Route 1 huge interchange also known as Pratunam Phra-In interchange.. Then i proceed to ride on AH1-Route 32 highway and Ayutthaya town interchange is not very far.. only 23 km from the Kanchana Phisek interchange..

I arrived at Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya town nearly 5.00 pm.. I checked-in at Ayotthaya Hotel, took shower and changed to a pair of shorts and flip-flops.. The Ayotthaya Hotel is located along the night market.. i went around the historical town, snapped photos, the night market and had dinner of Phad Ka Pow Gai and Khai Tiao with Kao Suai..


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