Tuesday, January 29, 2008

NEPAL -- start point of 2nd wave of our RTW.

we left bkk on friday, 25 jan. took the cheapest flight, ended up flight delay. not so bad. according to my gps, bkk airport is about 6m above sea level. the plane took off using 350km/hr speed, get into 50m above sea level for awhile and end up cruzing in the height of 1500m above sea level towards kathmadu (nepal).

nearing to destination, the plane landed only at 1300m above sealevel. meaning to say this Capital of nepal is soooo high! the plane juz desend 200m and landed! reached kathmadu (ktm) at local time 430pm. next day sat is a public holiday for them. since Hope Too has landed 2 days before us, i could clear the bike from the custom when i land. due to the delay of flight, and reached ktm juz 30mins before their knock off time, we got to wait for 2 days, which is a sunday, then we can process. so we checked into the guest house.

KTM was a madness! the city road is only 4meters width and the pedestrains are walking on the road. motorcycles, cars, trucks, taxis, trishaw, bullcart, bicycle, cow, goats, children, man and women are using the road. in every traffic junctions there are no traffic lights. every vehicle owners uses their horn like their lungs breathing! it's more crowded than singapore's chinatown during chinese new year.

today, we are at pohkara (phkr), a more peaceful place to rest our mind.

my wife isn't feeling good. last night vomited 3-4times. suspected food poisoning. today she still garang and insist on starting the road ride from KTM to phkr. she puke once at the petrol station. the journey here on map, using straight ruler measurement method is only 100km distance. using the law of North south highway, 120km we should reach yong peng in 1 hr or less from Gelang Patah. BUT we start at 930am from KTM, took me 30minutes to struggle out of the town, reached phkr at 330pm. its a long and winding road. the road are rough on Hope Too. it's her 1st trip with 100% load. Hope Too was afraid that the brackets made by SengKwang Metal couldn't take the terrain. i see the actual distance covered. it's 200km!

the road here was sooooooooo nice. beautiful lakes and great mountain. we are riding so near to the world's tallest mountain!

internet access here is not so advance as at home. i got to go back to room to think of a way to send more pic and update you folks what's happening in this world.

good night! (GMT +545hrs)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


dear friends, some infomation from fellow world biker travellers, the budget for RTW bike trip quote from the website : http://www.ultimatejourney.com/prep.html

in us dollars 3 to 4yrs ago, not forgetting fuel price went up 10 times!

Our day-to-day total was $96,141, or $62.47/day. This includes over $20,000 for the first 6 months in Europe, or most expensive continent! Take out Europe, and we're at under $57/day
The above does not include med and/or moto insurance, airfare, motorcycle shipping, and other major purchases. Add another $23,339 and the total jumps to $119,480, or $77.63/day.

due to my funding, i hope fellow Singaporeans can support us by buying stickers or the local product from us to help our funding. i may cost a bit more than buying off the rack but the aim is to help us in funding, instead of donating cash to us.

time to time, i would post funding blog, please support. i will arrange postage to you as i will post the product back to my friend back in Singapore and you can contact them. my friend will send the $ to my bank account. they are my best bike ridding buddies back at home.
DTAC: the thai local mobile network. can't find this in Singapore. going at SGD$20.00. lenght of stickers is about 6 to 7 inches.

the royal sticker. must have while travelling in thailand. this badge is worn by the king. now if you notice alot of the thai celebrate the king's 80th birthday, they are wearing a yellow polo t shirt with this logo printed on the chest pocket. stick it on your bike's windscreen and get better respect from the local and the police which meant that you love the thai king also!

SGD$25.00 height of sticker is 6 - 7 inches.

buy both at a rate of SGD$40.00 instead of SDG$45.00.

leave me a message or email me. as soon as i got any wifi network i will reply asap.


goh and sam

Train ride back to Bangkok

22 January 2008am (GMT +7hr)

Woke up on bed, was shaking in all directions. I hear knocking of heavy metal and squiching of two tight plastics parts. Randomly there is amplification of echo from near object. We are on our very first 14 hours train ride from Chiang Mai to Bangkok.

Getting on a train gets me 2 kind of seats, facing the front or facing the rear.

Facing the front gets me to see and view things ahead of me. It gave me a strong urge of waiting for something to come and want to see more. Occastionly, I will turn my neck to face the rear to see something intresting that has passed me which I want to appreciate for a longer period of time and let it pass.

Facing the rear sees the landscape that has passed me. Looking further at this seat is all the things that had passed me. For me, seating at this seat makes me want to turn my head to look forward, not because it makes me drowsy.

At different time of our life, which seats do you what to chose?

Looking out the window during the day time, I see road being blocked and motorcycles, cars and trucks were waiting behind the bar to give way to our train. The gate marshal would wave the flag left and right, doing his job with pride.

I had been driving my truck back to my nursery at Lim Chu Kang while at work in Singapore. I hate the traffic jam caused by the train crossing at Sungei Gadut Road. Every time I stop before the red and white bar, I would curse at the train, causing delay to my work. I can’t stand the gate marshal, often dark skinned, doing his job proudly because he thinks that he has the power to stop everybody on this road, as if he owes the road and every user of that road needs to beg him. I hate it! Only after I took on this train, I realized how important the job of a gate marshall was. Here, only I got the chance to view things that happen differently because I used to be the one waiting at the gate giving way to the train, now I see the folks giving way to me.

I got to see buildings from the train, it reminds me of my child hood days when I was at Ghim Moh, my grand ma’s place which was near a railway track. Whenever I hear the train, I would run to the window and wait patiently for the train to pass by. I like to see the different type of cabin the train would carry. After RJC was built, the view was never the same again.

We were very fortunate this time, the moment we drop out of the taxi, we met Dr Greg and his partner! They are on the same train, loading their bikes on the train to Hatyai. They are planning to ride in Malaysia. i recommand him to try Hayai famous Oliver massage's PING PONG service, AKA the fuel injection. Dr Greg managed to drop by our seats for a chat. I didn’t realized how ‘sharing’ he was, unlike our first meeting. I felt that he is proud of what he was born in, an American Indian! He educates the society that what others think of the American Indians are not correct. Hearing the story of such motorcycle hero letting a 63 years old woman with late stage of Parkinson disease, to ride on his back of his motorcycle AROUND THE WORLD! Amazing story, I tell myself! He humours: somebody wants to make my story into a Hollywood movie but I told him unless Mel Gibson is willing to play my role.
kawa walking thro the railway station!good food on the trainafter dinner everyone turned their seat into bed and go into zzzzzz.....at 9pm.too early for me, i decided to read my lonely planet on Rajastan... till 11pm, i was tired and walked 3 cabin away to the canteen, which was quiet and everyone was asleep in the earthquake condition.
i walked and squeezed through the luaggage walkway...
everyone was asleep, like a dead train...
all i can hear was train knocks.
and i arrived at the canteen:

I just sat quietly at one corner, drinking sengsom with the crew. the party animals are grabbing everyone on the cabin or anyone passes by to dance! i try not to make eye contact with them....

i showed them my wedding ring.

Monday, January 21, 2008

good food in Chiang mai

sick of tourist polluted places in chiang mai? tired of the man coming up to you when you just standing outside the shop reading the menu? want to find reasonable priced (local priced) and clean food? menu in English available!!

this restaurant is run by a thai chinese madam. it used to be at the night bazaar, because of the high rental increase, she could either raise up the price of the food or move to a better location and stick on her price. situated at Chiangmai Land, restaurant name is HOITOD SHAWLAE. they are famous for the omelette oysters and omelette stuff.
we decided to have a proper meal, not knowing about their famous dish. we ordered the usual frying cabbage(chinese style) and the Steam Seabass in thai style, spicy and sour! fresh!! proper dinner... rice and fish! the fish in the plate was boiling. the garlic and lime with chili padi was sweating our foreheads! it was even better than the same dish in our wedding dinner, prepared by Tong Lok (famous singapore restaurant). this is how the fish looks like:

and the hot plate

sorry guys. i thought it was just a normal restraruant but ended up... we finished everything! i seldom smear the fish head because of it's smell and sometimes slimey but for this, i dug out every piece of edible spare parts i can find in this fish and put into my mouth! this is how nice and fresh the fish is!

most important, my wife says: ALOY!!! with thumbs up!
just for 190B (less then S$8), 3 rice, 1 fish, one vege and a bottle of mineral water fills our day!!! they will not 'ketop' or treat u like Miss Carrot nor Mr Robert because they are out of the tourist area and nice owner!!

err.... how to get there?

from the pantip plaza at night bazaar, hit south towards chiangmai land area, 5mins taxi/tuktuk ride, or refer to the name card given to us attached below!

GPS co-ord:

N 18deg 47.020'

E 098deg 59.515'

Sunday, January 20, 2008

chiang mai tour

Doi Suthep:
Chiang mai in the dark sky, bright lights!

at last we can taste the 'beer dam' guiness stout!!! fresh. last tasted was at clementi!!

bikers from??????

wierd plates, from japan?

Hope Too is at the cargo airport now. 18 jan, Asha guest house didnt gave us a good security of a place to stay. we decide to check out and take a bus to chiang mai. 19 jan there is a HU mini meeting, where alot of bikers from all corner of the world gather and exchange info.

so what is HU? http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/ check out on the net, i got a lot of infomation about RTW on this website. many travellers update their log on this page thus it helps on my trip.
where is the driver???

we spent 5 hrs at the mochit bus station by reading books. the bus station was very well organized. we took a 520B ticket, 10hrs. when we reached chiangmai, it was 6am and we checked into Top North guest house.

Next day we rented a 120B/day honda dream, the original scooter from honda. good enough for the both of us to turn around in this town. 6pm, 19 jan, we attended the mini meeting hosted by bob. we get to know bikers from germany, canada, australia, usa..... we were welcomed to stay at their place! most of them are very senior. it was really a good dinner and a good meet up! it was such an eye opener for me, as a HDB kid.

sunday, 20 jan, went up to doi suthep. the honda dream serve us well.
some donations from Singaporeans
this frangipani,- in my experience of trading this tree, it must be more than 200 years!
from Doi Suthep:
we got good news from thanit that Hope Too is gonna fly on coming wednesday. thus we shall fly to nepal on friday, by the cheapest airline avalible.

tomorrow we are taking a train back to bangkok, first time in our life taking a train, not our mass rapid transit back in singapore but a railway train that is going to take us 14hours!

chiang mai, not very cool at this time. lots of big bike shop and good travel info to gather!

thanks Bob, for organizing the mini HU meeting, has been very enriching. he is one that did not left us alone!! great host!

my honour to meet Dr Gregory W. Frazier, the only motorcyclist known to have made four solo motorcycle rides around the world. check out www.horizonsunlimited.com/gregfrazier

Thursday, January 17, 2008

first class hygiene food in bangkok? $$$ not for us.

other than the usual tom yum soup, omelette, vegi and rice, we are fond of the local : som tum and the chicken rice. its so competitive for these 2 vari of food here, but we found best: best service and best taste and value for $$$ (don't compare $ by compared to the exchange rate to singapore dollar. im referring to the local standard of living $).

if you are looking for aircon restruant, nice set up place to eat, DON'T READ FURTHER!

yes! somtum: the papaya salad, the tradition dish from northeast thailand, where we dip in with the sticky rice(kow niao). a few flavor to chose from. we like som tum to be done with poo pla(tiny crabs). the green papaya were prepared and sliced on the spot. it gives the most crunchy taste when done in this way. the flavoring that they use, i couldnt catch. this stall has been awarded with some branding, like the spore's makan sutra with rating. tho it's a push cart stall, the owner is very polite and would speak to you in the most gentle way. the couple are in early thirties. you gotta wait awhile if you are ordering during lunch time. most customer will take away the food to their office to enjoy.

to side dish, we can chose some instant bbq meat to go along. i trust this stall's hygiene standard. else you can eat by the stall where table is available.

this is the best som tum i ever tasted since the Old Sakura hotel push cart at Hatyai.
along the same area, 3 steps away there's a good chicken rice stall. the chicken they prepared is not oily, unlike singapore style. clean cut chicken. not much oily skin. the rice is the best chicken rice's rice. i meant the rice, yes the rice. can stuff in 2 bowl of rice without the chicken. the chilli is specially made. with ginger, chilli and don't know what else to make it so nice! and the cucumber is so fresh and crunchy. you can just order one plate of slice cucumber to eat raw! the soup is made from winter melon. no much of pepper taste but smoothing and fills your tongue. the stall is filled with lots of photos with celebraties. very classic 60's to 70's singapore coffee shop style set up.
i have tasted this kind of chicken rice at some other places in Bangkok (Patunum) where there is alot of tourist and busy street. that Patunum stall got very nice atmosphere. the staff there do not serve you until you lay flat on the floor facing the ceiling. they do not even look at you and their nose is facing the clouds, because their business is good. they have an attitude of : wait here, wait till im free then i will serve you, don't come and bother me else you can go to other place to eat! their chicken rice is second to Singapore food court standard! forget it mannn...
yes! the favorite som tum and chicken rice (can tell it's good by Samantha's face) :
so where is it? don't tell you ley......
take BTS to Saphan Kwai (last second stop to Mo Chit---weekend market) , get down the stairs towards Big C (supermarket) direction. directly walk along the street, walk 4 big steps and on the left you can see the cinema :
the som tum stall is the one with umbrella

on the right of som tum stall, is the chicken rice stall.
still don't know where is the cinema? print out the below, show to the bts operator at Saphan kwai and they can show you.