Autumn Break Blues: Motorbike Road Trip to Phuket

And now that midterm exams are behind, there is one more week of classes before a two week break. The SW has started dialogue with a few parties about driving down to Phuket on the bike again. The SW was planning to go see his son there anyhow when he recieved an inquiry from an Isarn (NE Thailand) based American teacher who wanted to drive his 125cc bike from Isarn to Bangkok to Phuket during the nationwide October school break.Considering October promises much rains and some flooding, it probably isn’t the best time of year to go cross country on a motorbike, though with a small group, it sounded like the adventure not to pass up since the Siamerican didn’t get to make the trip last June on the bike.

The important thing is not to rush it and set aside atleast four to five days for possible delays, stopping along the way at a few worthy spots.

A few other interested parties from Uni also expressed interest about the trip, so it’s looking like the south-bound gang might be 4 to 5 guys, though logistics will have to be designed further before any sure commitments and plans are set. Stay tuned for more details soon.


Autumn Break Blues: Motorbike Road Trip to Phuket — 5 Comments

  1. And looks like we’re off. Monday night, estimated departure, 8pm…me, another American, Steve, and a Swede, Martin…Should be in Phetchaburi by midnight…and take it from there

  2. …what started as a multi-lad adventure has ended up as a solo-venture for the Siamerican Wanderer…

    At the last moment, our story’s Swede was unable to deliver full commitment and delayed departure.

    Meanwhile Steve and the Siamerican agreed on an early Tuesday morning departure after no sleep the prior 24 hours by either fellow–though Steve had been on his second full day of insomnia at that point.

    Approaching Phetchaburi, the Siamerican Wanderer, sleep deprived began experiencing delirium and blurring consciousness, prompting a decision to rest at a friend’s house in Phetchaburi city.

    Unable to relax, Steve preferred to seize the day with alcoholic supplements, stirring disagreement between the duo about how the stopover was best to be utilized.

    By 3pm, napping back at his friend’s home, the Wanderer recieved a call from Steve notifying that he had decided to continue on the road to Phuket alone and would meet up there in a few days.

    Solo or not, the SW’s prime agenda is to safely arrive and visit his son, and as disappointing as the integrity of friends and acquaintances have consistently proved, life goes on.

    The plan now is to depart Phetchaburi first thing in the morning and continue as long and far as conditions and circumstance will allow. From last March’s solo adventure, a 7 am departure from Phetchaburi saw a Phuket city arrival by 11pm.

    On this turn, the SW will continue all the way down and cross the grand Isthmus of Kra at Surathani rather than Ranong, saving him several hours, and hopefully with the favorable weather and road conditions, a safe arrival will ensue by 10pm, Wednesday.

    …stay tuned…

  3. By 6am, the SW was on the southbound road again, belongings secured and stomach full of rice congee and fried chicken. Weather and roads were clear for the entire morning, reaching Chumporn by noon. Just south of Chumporn, a storm blew through and the SW had to take his first rain delay break under a roadside shelter. At this point, the SW learned that he was only tailing the other guy, Steve by 40 minutes or so, and the two agreed to meet up along the road somewhere.

    The new planned route was to take highway 4006 from Lung Suang district in Chumporn province, crossing over the Isthmus of Kra to Pa Toe district, some 70 km to the west in Ranong province.

    Despite a local’s advice that 4006 conditions were very bad, the segment turned out to be quite rewarding with rarely any cars and road conditions much better than expected.

    Just on the other side of the Isthmus, back on southbound highway four some 30 km south of Ranong city, the SW finally caught up with Steve.

    Now 3.30 pm, timing was looking good now…that is until Steve’s clutch cable snapped some 50 feet away from a local mechanic shack who was able to rig a temporary fix, eating about 45 minutes. A few minutes after hitting the road again, the first of the rains swept over and the two initially decided to stop and try and wait for it to pass.

    After it was clear that the storm wasn’t likely going to pass, the two geared up for the rain and hit the storm head on, nightfall threatening to ensue. The first wave of the storm passed and the two were semi dry for a dinner stop in Kuraburi district in northern Phanga province. After dinner, the sun had completely set and the rest of the trip would be in darkness, fog, and rain.

    Somewhere in the haze and cold, Steve trailed behind far while the SW, steady and focused pushed on through. It was later learned that Steve had stopped over for a few beers at Kao Lak beach resort area.

    Alas, the arrival to Phuket was just after 10pm…

    stay tuned…

  4. Phuket escapades lasted 9 days–the SW spending most of the days with son in Phuket town, aside from a few visits to Rawai and Kata beach where Steve planted himself with booze and friends.

    The departing of Phuket was finally agreed early Friday, the 24th of October. Though once the sleep deprivation hit Steve and the SW early Friday, the departing was delayed slightly.

    A noonish farewell was greeted with a glorious monsoon storm extending the delay even further at Phuket’s immigration checkpoint on the northern tip of the island. There the duo were surrounded millions baht worth of steel and grease–a southern Thailand baased Harley Davidson gang was journeying to Surathani that day.

    As daylight was burning away, the two bikers pushed through the storm, racing against time, covering some 350 kilometers by 8.30 pm settling in a 450 baht air con double bed hotel room in downtown Lung Suan district, Chumporn province.

    Drinking and socializing with locals into the night saw sleep arrive just before dawn, again delaying an early morning departure till late morning.

    On the second day, rain was lighter but far from erased in the horizons. 450 kilometers later, along Asia highway 41, the two settled at a guesthouse in Phetchaburi city by 9pm after scarfing down a few plates of the region’s famous pad-thai–Thai style noodles.

    There was no fiddling around that night and through all the traveling, this would be the longest sleep filled night of a mere 5 hours.

    Sunday was the last day. The SW and Steve continued on to Bangkok, where the two would split, Steve continuing on up to Roi Et some 650-700 kilometers northeast of the Thai capital, where the SW could have his come down and relaxation by noon.

    As of this update, Steve phoned from the road, still 120 km from Roi Et, planning to arrive before midnight, giving him several hours of sleep opportunity before his teaching obligations Monday morning.

    As for the SW…the immediate horizons are still cloudy…stay tuned…

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