Sunday, June 1, 2008

Bangkok to Dongha

On the second day , 19-05-08, which is our rest day in Bangkok. When one of our contact in Bangkok, mr Soonket, led us to central Bangkok, we found that the city is really big. It took us more then 45mins to enter the city. The infrastructure in Bangkok is quite modernised. But, the conjestion is not the one Penang should followed in the next 15years.
But, certain Mass Media Transportatation system is good example for Penang.That is the pedestrian above the main road serve by escalators.
In fact, walking in the central city just like walking the concrete jungles.
After parking the car, we had to walked for 15 mins to reach our tourist spot in the city ...the Original Four Faces Budha in Thailand. It was located just right the middle of the city.
The local said that you must visit this place otherwise you had not been in Bangkok.
On 20-05-08, early in the morning at 6am, we had to get out and get out of the city of Bangkok to avoid traffic.We moved all theway to norteast of Thailand for the border town of Thailand , MUKDAHAN.

Mukdahan was about 800km away from Bangkok.It took us four days to cycle there.
We were rushing at the speed of 25-30km per day for a distance of 180-230km per day.
Along the 800km journey we had passed through few majors towns like Sarburi, Nakhon Rachasima, Yasothon , Mukdahan.
Saraburi and Nakhon Rachasima are light and heavy industrial areas. Tourism and agricultural products are the major economy of Yasothon and Mukdahan.
During these four days we were also rushing very hard to avoid the moonson rain, but sometime we were cycling on the heavy down fall of rain but very cooling as compare to hot sunny day. I prefer raining day.
Sometime, we have to travel till 9pm. The most dangerous and scaring to travel at night is to be chased by the "kampong dogs".
One thing not to forget to share with you is that water and food are the most important energy for us at this kind of journey. We need a lot of water to prevent dehydration, we need food for cycling energy.
Sometimes, the local food is not suitable for us, we will take biscuit, hot noodle soup (local style) and fresh fruits like bananas, manggis, rambutan,etc.
Mukdahan is the newly promoted town by the Thai government. It ia because the Japanese and the Laos government had constructed the Route 9 highway to link the central Vietnam to north-east Thailand to bust up the economy activities among these Asean countries.
This Route 9 connecting Mukdahan of Thailand to Savanaket of Laos across the southrn Laos's plain land to the border town ,Lao Bao, of cnetral Vietnam.Along the 285km long of Route 9, there are over hundreds of villages and small towns.They are maiinly farmers and aborigins.They uses motors and small trucks as their main transportation.Mechanics, small gas pump stations are common.

The sceneries along this stretch of route 9 are very natural and beautiful.Some are still untouched origin jungles.

Modern machine had been used for ploughing, whereby the buffalos are only their pets.
It took us two nights to cross the Route 9. During thses three days along this route we faced several problems, mainly tyres punctured. Chai Khim was the unlucky guy who had four punctures and had to push the bivyvle for some distances to get the tires mended.

On 26-05-08, we managed to cross the Laos/Vietnam border and entered into Lao Bao of Vietnam.The terrain at this central Vietnam is beutiful and natural.Lao Bao will leads us to Dongha,one of capital of the provinces in central Vietnam about 88km. apart
It was very excited to report that we had up to Dongha travelled a total distance of about 2475km from Penang.This is about 50% of our projected journey.I hope the donation to this project in our hometown also can reach 50% of the RM500,000. But , I doubt.
Moving on forward, persistancy and consistancy is our motto to promote "GREEN, HEALTH AND LOVE" for Penangites.
"Le Tour De Love"....Teh /written in Dongha (26-05-08 at 11.15pm)

Hatyai to Bangkok

At last four of us had safely arrived BKK on 18/05/08.I reached BKK at local time about 9.00pm. I am proud to announced that i had make my own record to have cycling for 1365 km in 8 days.This is the first thousand of the five thousand as we targetted. It is only 20% of the total. But, I felt upset when I referred to that the to-date as at 19-05-08 total sum of donation collected was only about RM13,500.00 or only 2.7% of the target RM500,000.00.

The distance breakdown read as follow: Penang -Hatyai (228km); Hatyai-Pattallung (108km); Pattalung-Thung Song (97km) ; Thung Song-Surat Tahi (150km) ; Surat Tani-Chumphon (178km) ; Chumphon-Prachuap Kiri Khan (197km) ; Prachuap Kiri Khan-Pechaburi (182km) ; Pechaburi-Bangkok (120km) total 1365km.
In fact , we learned a lot of things and faced many problems during these 8 days.For one to travel in this kind of expedition , he needs to be well-prepared before the journey started, both physically and mentally.Physically he should start the traing at least one year before the journey. He must of course mentally fit and have a strong mid set to complete the journey. He must also be disciplined when travel in a team.
during the first few days, we were rushing for destinations and make us did not properly control our speed . The rush had exhausted us out , make us muscle pain and clam. The rush also make us neglected the consistancy of drinking enough water had make some of us dehydration.The rush will make one nervous hence loose contact with others causing the missing.
I was unlucky enough on the 4th day when travelling from Surat Tani to Chumphon. we left Chumphon at 8.00am.After travelling for halfday at late evening, suddenly my bags dropped from my bicycle(jpeg7251), but luckily nothing happened to me. After repacked my bags and travelled for another one hour my tyre punctured. But , luckily we had reached a small village.But, most of the stores had closed.We had to replaced the tyre ourself.(jpeg7256)This was the second accident I faced. I told myself would there be a third accident occured to me.Really, the third accident had happend. After rushing in the dark night for Chumphon in the rain for about an hour, I knocked Chai Khim's back and fell down. But, I was lucky that there was no vehicles from the back.
During these 8 days we met the south-west monsoon rain (jpeg7232) , we got wet then dried and then wet again and dried all day long.We heard the flood in Burmah and felt sorry about it.We also were told about the earthquake in ChengDuo(China), we felt sad.I always thought that Penangites are the most luckiest.What we should do is to be more concerned of others and appreciate the environment we have and must really take care of it.
The land from Hatyai to Chumphon were undulating, that exhausted all of us with the uncontrol riding speed. Our speed may ranged from 15 - 30km per hour.Whereby, from Chumphon to Bangkok were straight and plain.
Basically, the economy for this southern Thailand are agriculture(rubber,palm oi,padi,l,fruits[coconut,durian,papaya,banana,and tropical fruits](jpeg7262), fishing/aquaculture,poultry,canned industries, salt and many others.The people along the stretch are basically friendly and helpful.
The Hatyai - Bangkok Asia Highway are also friendly. The highway basically passed through most of the villages, towns and cities.There is no toll for road users. By such design, the business opportunities of the people has increased by diverting the road users / tourists to patronage their business for a btter living.The highway also provide a special lane for motorists / cyclists(jpeg7203).But, one thing is bad is the safety of the people is expose to high risk of accidents.
I think in Penang , we must seriously consider making the special lane in Georgetown for friendly traffic and plant more trees in Penang to promote "GREEN". (jpeg7273)
Written in Bangkok / 19-05-08

Penang to Hatyai

At about 6.30am in the morning , when I reached St John Ambulance HQ, there were some 70-80 people standby there to get ready for the flag-off by the CM YAB Lim Guan Eng.I felt so touch . I knew I have done the right thing to honour my promise, that is to continue this expedition.I appreciated very much what Dato Dr Yee (St John Ambulance), Dr Oh (Hospice of Penang) , Mr Ong and Mdm Yeap (Family Planning Association) and their fellow members have assisted to make this flag-off a grand and meaningful one.I moved around to shoke hand with every one who attended this grand flagg-off.
Dr Yee have emphasised numerous times in our meeting that the amount collected to hit the target of RM500,000 for this charity fund was not of great important. He stressed that the successfully completion of this journey will carry the most meaningful of all.He said that the Penang site should look forward for healthy life ,to create more green for the next generation and assist those in needs.
At about 7.00am , a speech was addressed by CM before flag-off. The speech by CM to support this project was so touch. He agreed that we should try our best to contribute to the society as to create a harmony, healthy and peaceful society.
Before the flag-off, I hag my wife and said good bye to her and I will miss her during the journey.
The convoy arraged by Dato Dr Yee to escort us to the ferry was so great. It includes 2 ambulance cars, 2 ambulance motors and 6 ambulance bicycles, 20 supporting bicycles teams from my comrades , YB Koay Teang Hai , the YB of Pulau Tikus, 80 cyclists from the Classic Cycling Club and from Tanjong Bunga and Penang Chinese Swimming Club and others.
There were also two 4x4 escorted us to Hatyai. After crossing over to Butterworth by ferry, there were 20 cyclists accompanied us right up to Hatyai.
On the way to Hatyai, we passed through Kepala Batas, Sungai Petani, Alor Setar, Jitra, Changlung and Bukit Kayu Hitam. The weather was so clear until we were struck by rain from Alor Star.
We were cycling at the speed of 25-30km/hr, rushing toward Hatyai hopefully reaching Hatyai before 9.00pm. After crossing Bukit Kayu Hitam , we were struck by the rain all the way to Hatyai.
It was a great experience to cycle such a long distance of 229km from Penang to Hatyai, and we managed to reached Hatyai as scheduled.
It is possible for one achieve his goal if he dare to dream , dare to take actions to plan properly and take the first step to carry out his plan and with persistancy.
I am very happy that I have make the first step to get Penang to promote a "GREEN, HEALTH and LOVE" by planting more trees (one million trees), to promote cycling (building a special bicycle lane in Georgetown / Tanjong Bunga) and encourage a caring society (projecting more charity projects).