Wednesday, July 17, 2013

ToST - Part 2

Hat Yai - Songkhla

We arrived at the Hat Yai junction train station around noon.
Our priority, was to get a return ticket back to KL Sentral. Roger found out that all the sleeping berths were taken.
We were left with seats on the Second-Class coach and purchased four tickets at 1,800 baht.

A pre-departure shot in Hat Yai junction

Buying the return tickets
Cheapest lunch!

Our stomachs were already rumbling and after setting up the bike, we rode to a makan place where Roger is familiar with.
This is by far, the cheapest food joint around.
We had three dishes: fried chicken slices, bittergourd with eggs and seafood Tom Yam. The bill came up to 162 baht. 
After a good fill we headed down Thanon Phetkasem and turned to Route 407.
Hat Yai, as it seems, is a large city which is pretty spread out.
We decided to take Route 407 due to its proximity to Hat Yai.
This is roughly about 30km of cycling and basically, after a sleepless night, we were robbed of our energy for the ride.
Slowly, but surely, we gained the distance and just 10km before reaching Songkhla, Roger had a stomach upset.
Lucky for him, Route 407 is pretty much civilized.
Rather than taking route 414 which is on a Highway without any rest stops, I thought it was best to cycle on the 407.
I've traveled down this road before and knew that there are shops and petrol stations along the way.
Roger, who wanted to take the highway, preferred 414 due to less traffic.
He finally found a place to ease himself before we pushed on..

The cosy setting at our makan place in Hat Yai

Simple and good
An easy day

We took about two and a-half hours to get to Songkhla.
When we entered town, one of Andrew's panniers had literally fell off its rack.
I took about 10 minutes to fix the fastening loop and we proceeded into town.
Our destination was Queen's Hotel which is located near an old fort ruin in town.
The rooms rates are 380 baht and we wasted no time to check-in.

The junction leading to Route 407 and 414

Riding along the route to Songkhla

Despite the language barrier, there are enough billingual signages for the tourist

Fear and loathing in Songkhla

 After unloading our panniers, we rode out to Samila Beach.
There, we took photos at the famous Little Mermaid statue
This place has changed a lot since my last visit in 1998.
We spent some time at the beach before moving on to town and decided to have tea at the market area.

Dinner time! 
Later, we rode out again in search of dinner.
Unfortunately, the place where I once knew to serve some good seafood was closed.
We found another makan place in town and decided to eat there.
The food was decent and to cap it off, we went back to the hotel and had some beers and split the expenses among ourselves.
The next day would be challenging as we are expected to cover about 80km or more on the route from Songkhla to Ranot.
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