Saturday, November 10, 2012

Laos Solo Ride Day 6: Vientiane, Laos - Pak Chong, Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand


Heyya..

It was on Day 6… at 6 o’clock in the morning..
I had a heavy breakfast provided by the wonderful AV Hotel and checked-out the hotel.. Surprisingly I was the first and only coffee house guest that morning and the friendly staff were delighted to serve breakfast for me.. Hey, who wouldn’t wanna serve a Solo Rider and watch him departing that morning? Of course everyone would want!! Hahaaa..


I warmed up the 30 Years Anniversary GS Adventureit was covered with thick Laos dust and dirt.. That kinda state is how a GS should be.. and same goes to its rider..

The ride was from Vientiane, Laos to Pak Chong in Nakhon Ratchasima district, Thailand.. Pak Chong is located in North East of Thailand along Highway 2.. The distance would be at least 480 km and I did within 5 hours to reach Pak Chong.. The ride would be easy as Thailand highway condition is perfect, straight with good road signage and I could find plenty of gas stations along the highway…
A day earlier, I had found the short-cut route to the Friendship Bridge between Laos and Thailand.. I needed to go there as the Laos’ Immigration and Customs checkpoints are located.. As I reached the checkpoints, the traffic was building up with tourist shuttle vans and trucks, leaving Laos for Thailand..
The border control checkpoints on Laos side was pretty smooth.. The Laos Immigration were not fussy and there were few documentations needed to be signed on the Customs upon leaving Laos..
Both Immigration and Customs departments were very friendly towards me..
Previously, almost 3 years ago, there were a bunch of bikers (led by pilot) went to Laos and told me they had massive problems when entering Laos from Nong Khai to Vientiane and they got stranded at Vientiane border control for 3 hours as the Laos immigration officers didn’t allow them to enter Laos.. until they were helped with a translator and couple of US Dollars, they were finally allowed to enter Laos..
These bikers were full of Bullshit!! Please Cut the Fucking Crap!

As my passport and Customs declaration form had been stamped, I rode along a weird pathway which changed the road system from Left Hand Drive to Right Hand Drive system.. The road led to the Friendship Bridge between Laos and Thailand..



















It was 6.30 in the morning, there was no other vehicles using the bridge other than me.. Therefore I managed to stop in the middle of the bridge and witness the sunrise between Thailand and Laos, separated by Mekong River..

Absolutely Beautiful!!

I decided to ride to Pak Chong because I needed to make selections for my dairy cows at Chokchai Farm.. For your info, Chokchai Farm is one of Thailand’s leading dairy farm when it was established in 1957..

They do not sell their dairy cows to outsiders as they produce their own yogurt ice cream and milk products.. Anyhow, I got lucky as I managed to buy few pregnant dairy heifers from them.. But I needed to work at Chokchai Farm for at least 1 month.. They have set the regulations so I have to meet their dairy standards and maintain their good reputation of their dairy cows outside of Thailand..

At the Nong Khai Border Control, the procedure was very simple, just like at Sadao Border Control.. Just needed to stamp my passport and signed the customs declaration form.. the form will be handed back at Sadao..


As I was entering Nong Khai town, I was very delighted to see clear road signboards and petrol stations.. Unlike in Laos, the road signs were pretty bad.. they were not set-up high and most of the time were hidden by shop-signboards..
Along the Highway 2, I passed big towns of Udon Thani, Khon Kaen, Phon and Nakhon Ratchasima aka Korat.. Geographically, the land is pretty flat in the Issan (North East of Thailand).. There were many agricultural activities in Issan region..

The ride to Pak Chong was pretty interesting unlike riding along Phet Kassem (Highway 4) in the Southern Thailand region.. It was my first time to ride in Issan region..

Along the Highway 2, you can find lots of street stalls selling grilled meat / chicken and Thai sausages, to be eaten with sticky rice.. Sticky rice is very popular among the Issan people..

I reached Chokchai Farm in Pak Chong nearly at 12.00 noon.. the manager and his staff were waiting for me as they wanted to give me a tour around the dairy farm, lunch and dairy cows selection for my dairy farm..

I had a superb 1-month dry-aged T-Bone steak lunch at Chokchai's own steakhouse..

I spent a night at Khao Yai at Muthi Maya Resort..



HooRahh!!
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