Sunday, October 7, 2012

Laos Solo Ride Day 1: Kuala Lumpur - Ayutthaya (1,660 km)


Heyya..

Day 1 of my Laos Solo Ride.. You may find a similar article i have written previously: Kuala Lumpur - Ayutthaya (1,660 km in 13hours)
It is similar because i always do KL - Ayutthaya whenever i travel to central of thailand.. it's a textbook for me..

I left Kuala Lumpur at 2.50 am and entered the North Bound PLUS Highway at 3.15 am at Sg Buloh entry point..
It was cold, raining early morning.. but I started to push the speed limit to 150km/h as I must reach at Malaysia-Thailand Border Checkpoint by 7.00 in the morning..
The bike had full tank of petrol so I would not stop for re-fueling until at Caltex in Changlun, 480 km from Kuala Lumpur..
To be honest, with the speed of 110 km/h, the GS Adventure can have the range of 650 km the most.. but when riding at the average speed of 150-155 km/h, the mileage range drops to 540 km..
Hence when reaching Changlun, the reserve fuel is already being used..
Reached Caltex at Changlun at 6.40 am.. Re-filled the bike fuel tank to its maximum.. and rode to the Border Control at 7.00 am.. just perfect.. no queues at Malaysian side and I was the 3rd person to pass through Thailand Immigration Checkpoint.. Managed to do the Thailand’s Customs Declaration and put my iPod and gears back.. Now I’m leaving Dannok town..
It was still at 7.30 am, the streets from Dannok to Hatyai were empty.. I managed to ride through red traffic lights as there was no vehicles and road users apart of me.. I reached Hatyai – Phet Kasem Interchange at 8.10 am..



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 roadKanchana 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..

I had a good sleep at Ayotthaya Hotel as i needed to wake up as early as 4.30 am on the next day to start riding to Boten, Laos - China Border..
HooRahh!!

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