Friday, April 25, 2014

ToST III - Part 8

Leaving Hat Yai...

We had half the day free.
Some of the guys had decided to sleep in while a few of us headed to the city area in search of late breakfast.
The hotel offered food at its restaurant and pub.
This is just an average fare and since we've had so much to drink the night before, it was just right to load up on coffee and some light snacks.
Sin suggested the porridge shop near the old Lee Garden hotel on Niphat Uthit 3. 
The place is very near to the Emperor Hotel where we stayed on ToST 1.
It took us less than 15-minutes to get there and we got down to business by ordering some porridge and steamed chicken.

A view from the hotel's window...
Late breakfast
Prepping for the long haul back to Kuala Lumpur..

I've put a broadcast on what time to meet before departure.
From the breakfast place downtown, we rode back to the hotel, parked the bikes outside the lobby and went back to our room to pack.
While chilling out, I managed to re-pack some of my stuff including a couple of food and toiletry items.
I like the travel-sized shampoo and body shower gels that are sold in Thailand. And at one particular wholesale mart, I found them cheap.
While we were resting in our rooms, Pat broadcasted a distress call over the Facebook messenger. He had a flat tire again.
The bike shop fellas really screwed up his Surly Long Haul Trucker.
And by 12:30pm sharp, all the guys were gathered around the lobby. 
We rigged up the bikes and rode out towards the Tune Hotel in Hat Yai where we had our lunch at the Koay Teow Lueah (Boat koay teow) shop. 
For the third time, this became our regular makan place.. 

The tasty and spice Kuay Teow Lueah 

The owner of the shop preparing his noodle dish...

Riding to the train station.. 
A successful tour with the 2008 Dahon Speed P8

Roger, keeping an eye on the bikes...
Inside the sleeping berth on coach L8, Express Langkawi
We unloaded our panniers and started working on bagging the bikes.
This time round, I decided to carry my trunk bag and panniers. The Speed P8 was much lighter on the carry-on cover.
At the train station, I collected 100 baht from everyone to pack dinner. This, with some light snacks and drinks was purchased from the Robinson's department store nearby.
Michelle and I worked on this while the guys waited at the train station..

Waiting at the LRT station in KL Sentral 

Job well done! 

Setting up the bikes for the ride to Michelle's parent's home.. 
Enduring the 14-hour train ride..

Given the choice, I would prefer the bus service. They don't take that long to get to Kuala Lumpur from Hat Yai. Its also pretty comfortable and the travel time is much shorter.
On the train, we need to lug our bikes and luggage to a platform where two coaches and an engine awaits.
It departs at 4pm Thai time and arrives the next day in KL Sentral at 06:30am.
The good thing about this trip was the return tickets that we bought in advance. 
This means, no fart face and stares from passengers whose seats we had taken up.
But the fact remained that people actually smoke in-between the coach and when you take up the front row (So that we can keep an eye on the bikes and luggage), you have to put up with people coming and going through the door.
We are immune to this and endured the long ride to KL.
Strange as it seems, the air-conditioning was not cold on the ageing coach.
As the train approaches the Kuala Lumpur railway station, we parted ways with Pat and Sin.
The remaining ones alighted at KL Sentral.
I waved goodbye to Andrew Ng and Roger excused himself to visit the toilet.
Michelle and I lugged our bikes to the LRT station and boarded the ride towards the Paramount station.
We parted ways with Roger and wished him good luck on this trip to Cambodia in the following week.
When we got off at Paramount, we set up our bikes and rode to Michelle's parent's home in SS3, packed up again and drove back to Subang Jaya.
Upon arrival, our dogs were happy to see us with their tails wagging.
The ToST III has been an interesting trip.
We've enjoyed Thale Noi the most and the stay in Ranot and Sathing Phra was an eye-opener.
Towards the third-quarter of this year, we will be planning a fourth tour of Southern Thailand and are looking forward to realizing it...
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