104 Photos - Dec 19, 2011
Photo: After few hours of paper work: Happy reunion. The staff at Bangkok Cargo Terminal was very friendly and helpful.Photo: This friendly customs officer helped me getting gasoline.Photo: After picking up some more equipment at Hanjo's place (Pattaya, Thailand), this is the start of my road trip through Southeast Asia.Photo: Sleeping place for the first night.Photo: I've already got my first dose of riding off-road in Thailand. YEAH!Photo: Temple under construction somewhere in Thailand's back-country.Photo: Bay at Prachuap Khiri Khan, Thailand. On the top of the hill: Wat Thammikaram.Photo: View from Wat Thammikaram over Prachuap Khiri Khan, Thailand.Photo: Spotted on the way...Photo: ...no idea yet what its name is.Photo: Left or right? I think it's quite abovious which road I took ;-)Photo: GPS said so. Besides, it makes a lot of problems and doesn't work properly. Shame on you, Garmin!Photo: Chedis at Wat Phra Mahathat Woromaha Vihan (Nakhon Sri Thammarat, Thailand).Photo: Dinner at a gas station, South Thailand.Photo: Leaving Thailand: easy going with these kind officers. Entering Malaysia wasn't an issue either.Photo: Unfortunately, my 2days1night tour through Taman Negara was cancelled at the last minute. Next to me: Haris, owner of the tourist info at Kuala Tahan, Malaysia.Photo: This time, an interesting Hindu tempel on the way...Photo: ...which incorporates a tree (somewhere between Kuala Tahan and Pekan, Malaysia).Photo: Old (colonial) shophouses in Pekan, Malaysia.Photo: Sultan Abdullah Mosque at Pekan, Malaysia; not in use anymore.Photo: In my opinion, Malacca (as it's known in the West) is definitely worth a visit. By the way, I arrived in George Town today, the other city that is mentioned, today (Fri, 9th Dec).Photo: Usually, I don't visit many museums. Luckily, I went to this "Baba-Nyonya Heritage Museum" where the living situation of a Straits Chinese (Peranakan) merchant family is displayed. Very interesting and authentic cause the guide is a member of the family who lived there.Photo: There are many Chinese shrines and temples. The Chinese influence dates back to the early 15th century when relations were established by Cheng Ho/Zheng He and Yongle, respectively.Photo: The influence of different European colonial powers can't be overseen either.Photo: Unfortunately, this building isn't open to public.Photo: Modern Melaka has also something to offer: graffti are on many houses along the river.Photo: Art in progress...Photo: Nice to see that sentence (in the middle of the picture) at a school in Asia.Photo: View from Bukit Fraser/Fraser's Hill, Malaysia.Photo: This time my camping site wasn't that nice (somewhere in Malaysia)...Photo: Masjid (=mosque) Ubudiah at Kuala Kangsar, Malaysia.Photo: Another colonial magnificent building (Taiping, Malaysia).Photo: Taman Tasik Taiping (Taiping Lake Gardens).Photo: View over George Town from Air Itam Dam.Photo: Giant (30m) Kuan Yin/Guanyin statue at Kek Lok Si Temple on Pulau Pinang, Malaysia.Photo: Gathering of the Super Car Club Penang (SCCP).Photo: "Marshals", who were all riding KTMs, and police for escorting the SCCP convoy.Photo: City Hall at George Town, Malaysia.Photo: Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion which is an UNESCO World Heritage Site (George Town, Malaysia).Photo: I didn't plan to stop at Alor Setar, Malaysia, but it seemed to be an interesting place so I took a few pictures.Photo: It was a great pleasure to meet Mark & Sanne in Krabi, Thailand. They are doing a round the world trip on Suzuki DR-Z 400 and have been travelling for about 8 months already (www.handfulofthrottle.blogspot.com).Photo: Moonrise at the beach near Chumphon, Thailand. Perfect setting for...Photo: ...camping.Photo: I saw several of them in Thailand (for non-Europeans: the blue stripe with the “D” looks similar to German EU-license plates) and was wandering if the car owners use it signaling they’re German immigrants. Once at a gas station, I tried to talk to the driver and passengers of the car with this license plate. Well, they were all Thai and couldn’t speak German or English.Photo: Chedi of Wat Phu Khao Thong at Ayutthaya, Thailand.Photo: At the site of Wat Chai Watthanaram the aftermath of the flood was still visible: everything was muddy and it wasn’t officially re-opened yet.Photo: The Bridge over the River Kwai at Kanchanburi, Thailand.Photo: Wat Sa Si at Sukhothai Historical Park, Thailand.Photo: Wat Mahathat at Sukhothai Historical Park, Thailand.Photo: Beautiful scenery ont the way from Sukhothai to Mae Sariat, Thailand.Photo: I borrowed a 14mm wrench from these guys to adjust the chain tension of my motorbike.Photo: I was too lazy to set up my tent so I chose this hut beside the road giving me shelter for the night. I slept very well.Photo: Breakfast: tuna & crackers.Photo: Fantastic tour from Mae Sariat to Chiang Mai, Thailand, due to the hilly landscape.Photo: Quick lunch: tuna & crackers.Photo: Early in the morning on the way to Chiang Mai. Luckily, the fog was down in the valleys so that I could fully enjoy this curvy route.Photo: In the afternoon of the same day, I slipped in a curve with 50+ km/h – my hardest crash ever.Photo: Inspecting the reason for this accident, I found these scratches on the tarmac. Apparently, I wasn't the first one who crashed in this slippery curve.Photo: Thanks to all my protective gear, I was fine besides a scratch/bruise on my hip bone (next morning). It looks worse than it actually felt.Photo: Unfortunately, my motorbike had some more damages: bent handlebar, bent gearshift lever, broken left hand guard and broken clutch lever. Luckily, I had a spare clutch lever with me so that I could drive on – and that’s the only thing I could fix so far. All other parts have to be shipped from Germany according to the BMW motorcycle dealer in Chaing Mai which would take more time than this trip will last.Photo: Exploring Chiang Mai walking street on Sunday evening...Photo: ...together with Qin Wen, a friend from Singapore.Photo: Tasting various (exotic) food, here Omelet with ant eggs.Photo: I met Peter from Australia at the border crossing Chiang Kong (Thailand) – Huay Xai (Laos) where we took the ferry across the Mekong.Photo: The next day, we rode together along the Mekong. That was the best off-road experience of all my journeys so far.Photo: I enjoyed this fantastic, newly built road from Na Tuey to Oudomxai, Laos, a lot – best on-road experience during this trip.Photo: I arrived just in time as they were almost done with the cleanup of a landslide (Laos).Photo: Meor (right), Ija (taking this picture) and her husband (left), fellow BMW riders from Malaysia, saw me having dinner while wearing all my motorbike gear - I arrived at Luang Prabang (Laos) late in the evening and thus, went straight for dinner. They had a vacant bed in one of their rooms and offered me to stay with them.Photo: I arrived just in time as they were almost done with the cleanup of a landslide on the way from Luang Prabang to Phong Savan, Laos.Photo: Wat Xieng Thong at Luang Prabang, Laos.Photo: View over Luang Prabang from the top of Phu Si.Photo: Countryside along road #7 somewhere between Phou Khoun and Phong Savan.Photo: Plain of Jars sight #1 near Phong Savan.Photo: Another chance encounter in Laos: Thomas and Andrea are on their round the world trip and rode all the way from Germany to Southeast Asia via Vladivostok without a Carnet. Even more remarkable: She is riding a Honda 300cc scooter.Photo: Husaini (middle) and Umar (right), both from Singapur, just arrived at Plain of Jars when I was about leaving. They were on the way from China back to Singapore. We spent the following two days together.Photo: The monument Patuxai in Vientiane. We spent only an afternoon in the capital of Laos.Photo: Encounter with a local motorcyclist: Kitty and his self-assembled, unregistered Buell x12s.Photo: Luckily, I’ve never had a problem (fine, bribe etc.) with the police in any country during this trip. These officers of the Thai highway police were just having their coffee break.Photo: The endless quest for a new rear tire together with Kitty...This is one of the shops, where they assemble motorbikes.Photo: What a different driving experience!Photo: Kitty invited me to his home and introduced me to his family…Photo: …and his friends. Thank you so much for your great hospitality, Kitty! It was one of the best experiences of my entire trip.Photo: He also provided me an interesting insight into Thai lust for life at “Pub Satang”; true to the motto: work hard, play hard.Photo: One of the many heavily loaded pickup trucks I saw on the roads of Thailand.Photo: The main roads in Cambodia were in surprisingly good condition, but a bit too straight and too flat for my taste.Photo: The capital of Cambodia, where I met up with friends from Singapore .Photo: As Pauline (right) grew up in Phnom Penh she knows hidden spots like “Lost & Found”, a comfy bar to chill out.Photo: Independence Monument at Phnom Penh.Photo: The quite informative National Museum of Cambodia.Photo: The Tuol Sleng Museum: a former school that was turned into the infamous Security Prison 21 (S-21) under the regime of the Khmer Rouge. I recommend taking a guided tour there for a better understanding, but be warned: the stories are shocking.Photo: After celebrating New Year’s Eve together at Sihanoukville, we spent a few more days there and joined a one-day boat trip that brought us to this lonely beach on an island.Photo: Gaëtan with his rented Honda XR250 on the way back from Sihanoukville to Phnom Penh. Gasoline out of bottles – I didn’t try that.Photo: Walking on the avenue towards Angkor Wat. The temples of Angkor near Siem Reap, Cambodia were the last touristic stop on my Southeast Asia road trip.Photo: As the temples of Angkor cover a huge area, I took my motorbike to go to the different sights – in contrast to the information I got from my guest house, it is allowed to do so. That’s why I explored the temples wearing all my motorbike gear. FAQ: “Isn’t it very hot?”, A: “Yes, it is.”Photo: The most interesting temple for me: Bayon.Photo: With all these faces everywhere it looks very different from all other temples I’ve seen.Photo: Temple Ta Phrom is very popular for two reasons: firstly, a part of the movie Tomb Raider was shot here…Photo: …secondly, the jungle occupies some parts of it.Photo: Information about the restoration of Ta Phrom.Photo: The way to the not so interesting Preah Neak Pean.Photo: Back in Thailand at BKK Motorcycle, Bangkok: Patima Kongpetch (aka. Banana), owner/manager of the BMW Enduro Park Thailand, and I.Photo: After more than 11500 km, it was time to service my BMW G 650 XChallenge that didn’t have any technical problem during the entire trip. This marks also the end of my marvelous journey through Southeast Asia.Photo: My friend Hanjo, who houses my motorbike, and his Maserati Ghibli II.Photo: Hanjo’s friends Kun Wan, who is feeding the fishes, and Kun Sophia introduced me to the Buddhist custom releasing – bought at the market – fishes while making a wish.