After almost a month of waiting for the bike to arrive in Kuala Lumpur I was finally able to open up the shipping crate and be reunited with my baby …. Yah!!!! Although my stay in Kuala Lumpur was quite a bit longer than I had intended once again I was fortunate to have met some very generous people during my visit that made the stay a great experience. My friend Larry loaned me a Harley Davidson Fat boy while I was waiting for my bike to arrive and invited me along for a ride to Malacca with a group of local riders, Larry along with his friend Sunny were a huge help organising my bike and were a wealth of helpful information. I was also fortunate to get to hang out with my friend Ellyne who inspired me with her volunteer work throughout Asia and her all round selfless attitude to everyone around her. What started off as a forced stay while I waited for my bike turned out to be a wonderful month of meeting new people and enjoying KL, my bike had arrived however and it was time to move on once again.
I had originally planned to spend some time touring around Malaysia but I had organised to meet my brother who lives in Germany for a short holliday in Phuket and the shipping delay meant that I was on a tight time schedule to get to Thailand. I usually avoid major highways and stick to smaller roads if I can but after 5 months riding on Indonesian roads the highway to the Thai border was an absolute dream, cruising along at 160 km or more for most of the 500km trip wasn’t a problem. I was told that the border was open until 11pm but I was quite keen to cross before it got dark, I arrived just as the sun was setting. I had to buy Thai 3rd party insurance for 50 Ringit at the border town of Changlun, it took me a little while to find a shop that sold it but it was quite a simple process, from there I rode the 10 km to the border and hoped all would go smoothly. To my surprise I was across the border and riding on Thai roads within half an hour.
It was dark and I was cruising along the highway of a country where I had just arrived with no idea where I was going to stay. I figured I would keep riding and eventually a hotel would pop up soon enough, 80 km later I arrived in Hat Yai and thankfully found quite a nice little guest house with secure parking. By now it was a getting late and I was quite hungry so with not many options for food available I’m quite embarrassed to say that my first meal in Thailand was at MacDonalds. It was another 400km from Hat Yai to Phuket, with the road taking me past some stunning, forested Thai landscape. It wasn’t long before I was riding over the bridge to the island tourist mecca of Phuket where I planned to join the throngs of resort dwellers sitting by the pool sunbaking with an exotic cocktail in hand.