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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Thailand Road Trip Day01

December 24, 2012 | 9:00pm
V.L. HATYAI HOTEL, HatYai, Songkhla, THAILAND


Greetings friends.
It has been a while. :P lazy lazy lazy editor...

It was my dream to drive all the way to from south MALAYSIA crossing THAILAND border... maybe hang around at HAT YAI... or visit KRABI again. Or maybe extend the road-trip towards PHUKET or BANGKOK... or even maybe towards CHIANG MAI... there's a lots of possibilities when you have the power of transportation. There's NO time limit... racing towards bus station to catch bus to the next destination. Bringing your own transportation really gives you the freedom to explore.. giving the extra time that you need to be in places.

One thing about crossing THAILAND border that intimidates me is the hassle of getting the CAR insurances and CARNET of free tax import/export for your CAR. However, I'm NOT going to know how far is the hassle if I'm NOT going to experience it myself right? so, finding the answer really intrigues me.

Next thing you know... I'm at HATYAI, writing this to you guys while my lovely wife happily snoozing. :P awesome!

We start our journey as early as 7am... while KLANG VALLEY inhabitants starting to pack the roads for morning rush. Slowly having our breakfast... relax and entering DUKE towards IPOH. It was a bliss to experience that road cramping are NOT even started yet. :P

The eye opener... :P
Approaching SG PERAK
Taking turns drive along the northern PLUS highway... passing slightly congested SEBERANG PRAI around 1130am.. having our LUNCH at GURUN an hour later. It stated that BUKIT KAYU HITAM is another 70 clicks plus..

We realize after JITRA TOLL booths... the highway became a little bit different. Still manages by PLUS but it looks like a urban main road. The more you go further towards CHANGLUN... the sights changes from small city towards rubber plantation. Along the way you'll find quite a few rest area... with lots of buses towards HatYai. As the THE CAR GUYS explained "and industrial like building with restaurant, money changer and CAR insurance service".. we too stop at CTC. Get, our CAR insurance RM17 (they filled up our embarkation card... ).. and change BATHs.

Look for this on your left.
I never experience anything like this before. I've cross many borders... and drive towards SINGAPORE countless times. But, drive towards THAILAND... is something else.
Insurance Office/Money Changer on the left.

After getting the CAR insurance... we drove towards MALAYSIA immigration. The concept is similar to MALAYSIA immigration towards WOODLANDS or TUAS in SINGAPORE... but it's far more smaller than that... a little bit congested... however we got our passport scan not more than 30 minutes.

Then... the THAILAND border.
Based on recommendations and suggestions from friends and fellow bloggers... we park our car before entering the main gate. Walk towards the immigration... get our passport stamp (they asked for RM1... bizarre :P). Then, proceed to custom booth No. 9... bringing our car registration paper (GRANT) with latest road tax update with the recently purchase THAI car insurance. The owner of the car need to present this with his/her passport... then they will release the CARNET. Get the CARNET cop & sign at the same booth (different window).. then off you go!
note: you can use photocopy of your GRANT... not necessarily the ORIGINAL.

Approaching MALAYSIA immigration/custom
We park our car before the immigration/custom office
We walk back towards our car... and drive it towards the customs. I think the whole process doesn't take more than 30 minutes. It looks difficult... but, it WAS not that bad. Then... slowly try to adapt the THAILAND road habits and carefully drove towards SADAO... it was 90 clicks towards Hat Yai from Thailand immigration office.

Sadao
CYCLIST!... I've touring southern THAILAND back in 2008. Thailand roads have quite amount of road shoulder reserve for cycling enthusiast... it still really does. So, if you felt like doing it... GO FOR IT!..

We arrived in HAT YAI around 4pm... I don't have any GPS. :P hehehe.. but more likely preferred to use a MAP.. try to figure out the location. Finding landmarks... an hour later we stop at V.L. HATYAI HOTEL... 980bath/night. With CAR park...

We walk around shops nearby in the evening.. having dinner.. absorbing the customs.. and night life. They're lots of MALAYSIAN cars passing through... we just another MALAYSIAN tourist in HATYAI enjoying their daily life. :)

HatYai
Tomorrow... AO NANG MUEANG.





1 comment:

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