Monday, February 28, 2011

Tips on Driving to Thailand - Part 2

Read Tips on Driving to Thailand - Part 1

So, you are thinking about it, huh?  Its OK to think about it.

Here are some tips on preparations before embarking on your Adventurous Journey of a Lifetime to Thailand!

When Do You Want To Go?

You might want to check out the public holidays and seasons before deciding the timing of your trip.  What are the monsoon seasons and rainy seasons.  Or maybe winter.

Do Your Research

  • Do some homework by researching on the internet. Decide a route. Be flexible though.

  • With a rough guide on destination, then research the tourist attraction places.  You can collate a few places of interest.  Accumulate the information first and finalise it later. 

  • Look up a few hotels/chalets.  If you do not want to book them, just get their numbers and address down, just in case you might need it when you get there.  

  • There are 2 options on route from Malaysia into Thailand.  One of them is from Alor Setar and the other from Kota Bahru.  I have gone on both. 
  • If you have a long holiday, then, you can go further up, towards Bangkok. But we didn't because we wanted to relax more rather than spending too much time on the road. Daily, a maximum of 3-4 hours of driving. And by 3pm, you should already be looking or have confirmed accommodation. If you don't already have bookings made. If its your first time driving to Thailand, you don't want to be over stressed thinking about where to stay.


  • There are various accommodations ranging from THB1,000 (RM110) to THB10,000 (RM1,100) per night.  Depending on high season or low season... or normal chalets or luxurious self pampering 5 star resort and spa.  

  • We try to stay a few days on normal accommodations and then pamper ourselves silly on a few nights in a nicer place.  But for your sanity, try to stay in a non luxurious place first and then upgrade to a nicer hotel and not the other way round.  If not, you might have some whiny and complaining kids. Or you might even feel the difference....

  • My personal experience on accommodation... so far, I have not slept in the car.  No matter how busy - even on the 1st of Jan, I have always managed to get a place to stay.  But, it might not be the ideal location or luxury but it was good enough.  On both 1st of Jan in 2009 and 2010, we were in Hatyai en route home.  It was the probably the busiest time of the year but we still managed to get a room in the middle of town.
My 2010 trip was from Selangor - Kota Baharu - Sadao - Hatyai  (1 night) - Phattalung (1 night) - Nakhon Si Thammarat (1 night) - Khanom Beach (3 nights) - Nakhon Si Thammarat (1 night) - Hatyai (1 night) - Home

  • Ensure you serviced your car.  All your spare tires, tools and general condition of the car is good.
  • Must bring along your Car Registration card and documentations regards to the car.  Ensure you are the owner of the car.  I am not sure if its OK to bring a borough car into Thailand.

More coming up....

    Thursday, February 24, 2011

    Tips on Driving to Thailand - Part 1

    Amazingly delicious Thai salad.  Fried anchovies, dried shrimp, cashew nuts, lemon grass, roasted squid, lemon and wrapped with that green leaf.  Mouth drooling....

    Driving holidays to Thailand can be fun to those who are adventurous and enjoy the flexibility.

    Its not just a holiday. Its life experiences.

    Venturing to small little towns, restaurants, shops and chalets. Even discovering 'treasures' which money cannot buy. How do we put a price tag on life experiences that enriches our soul and makes us feel, "been there, done that" sense of achievement.

    My family and I have driven to Thailand from Selangor, Malaysia twice for 2 consecutive years - 2009 and 2010. It has been an enjoyable experience. To say the least.

    When I tell people about the driving holidays to Thailand, they will usually give a bewildered look. Something along the lines ....

    "Are you crazy?"


    "Who do you usually hang out with? Well, whoever it is, you gotta stop!"

    or maybe

    "Its been some years now that the aeroplane has been invented. You know?"

    and occassionally

    "How awesome is that?! Not."

    I would have reacted the same way if I had not experienced 3 years of numerous inter-state holidays in our faithful Mazda Tribute SUV... From Bangkok to Phuket. Even to Chiang Rai.


    Driving from Malaysia was a whole different experience.

    I will try to compile some information which I think will be useful.

    Till the next post.....

    Tuesday, February 22, 2011

    New Blog.... Journey of My Gardening

    I have started a new blog and hope to share my gardening experiences.

    Please visit it at Journey of My Gardening.

    I will continue to keep this current blog, Journey of My Life on normal stuffs about my life and the other will be about Gardening.

    Wednesday, February 16, 2011

    Organic Garden: Progress of Plants

    A pumpkin (I think) sprouted near the Compost Bin, so, I built a trellis for it to grow.
    Will let you know later if its really pumpkin.

    French beans is well but seems to be drying out....

    I don't know the name for this vine plant but if direct translation from Chinese, it would be Emperor's Vegetable. (anyone who knows, can write at my comment box)

    I bought this rose plant from Ikea. It started flowering again with this
    small rose buds. How wonderful can this be!!!

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    Monday, February 14, 2011

    Bamboo Plant Snitched!

    The Bamboo plant is my second favorite plant after the water lilies.

    I was just staring at it today and saw it 'thinned-out'. Quite unusual. It used to be bushy-er.

    This is how it looked now

    This is how it looked previously

    Guess the shock on my face when I saw 4 small little bamboo plants, across the fence.

    Plant 1

    Plant 2

    Plant 3 and 4

    Its common sense, even ethical, that when you take something, you gotta ask first. Its polite. Especially if you know it belongs to someone. Even if its borrowing. What more 'taking' without permission. I feel so violated!

    Is this even allowed?

    Is there nothing sacred?

    Hmmmm.... Now, what would they think if I were to 'take' their bunch of bananas that is drooping over to this side of my fence?

    Then again, its going to dirty my face if I stoop that low, to their level.

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    Thursday, February 10, 2011

    The Garden: Completed

    The journey of the house renovation has almost come to a full circle.

    A process which started some time in March 2010, last year, is now completed. I think. There are things which I could still find to renovate but as of now, it will do.

    I had probably put my life on hold for almost one year, just to build a home for our small family. Trying to make sure every minute detail is according to dream and budget. I assure you, that is no easy feat :-). Because. Dream AND budget don't really mix. Both of them should be allocated a box on its own. Dream. Budget.


    To celebrate the completion of the renovation, we had a house warming cum Chinese New Year party. Had some good friends over. It was wonderful to be able to "mark the moment" with friends.

    Completed Privacy fence, Pergola and cute little things hanging down.
    There is a transparent roof to keep away the rain.

    The Privacy fence which was a family project, has blocked most of the mess from the backyard and dog house. It also created a woody look, which is what I really like. It enhances the Pergola. To make it look like one-of-a-kind, I got 30 sticks of bamboo from Sg. Buloh. Its about 8-9 feet long. Presently, its still green and needs to dry out a little before it turns yellow.

    The bamboo idea was not originally mine... I saw it in Thailand and just needed to have that look. Its a common look in the village due to the easy accessibility of bamboos.

    According to my brother, I could have chopped down some bamboos near Pulau Indah. But. I had to pay a hefty price for it, instead. Oh well. Have to get the economy going, right?

    Mini garden with a small pond, miniatures and plants.

    The idea to create the mini garden started with the small pond. It was actually a water fountain which was damaged. So, I converted it into a pond with water lilies. Surrounded it with plants and all the miniatures I collected over the years from Thailand.

    The stones makes the area easy to maintain (keeping away the weeds) and also gives it a clean look. Inspired by the gardens in Thailand.

    These days, I can just sit there and relax. Infact, I had an evening sitting under the Pergola with my Mum and Brother, sipping some wine, munching on peanuts and cracking a whole load of lame jokes. How a few pieces of wood and bamboos can bring family bonding together.

    Overview of the garden

    A masterpiece of colored stones and plants.

    It took me some time to figure out what I wanted to do at the small piece of empty land in front of the porch. I sketched it out in a piece of paper, researched in the internet... And I figure that some thing which is simple to maintain and yet brings joy.

    So, while shopping at Sg Buloh, I passed a large shop selling stones. I looked through every corner of that huge area and found some 'out-of-stock' stones. Left with 2 bags each, I took home the purple and orange stones. I have not seen it anywhere but its exactly what I am looking for.

    To bring bright white color into the masterpiece, I added the shells which I collected at the beach while holidaying in Thailand, last December. Yes, I am pleased.

    My next aim is to get my organic vegetables and fruits garden going. The french beans are great but the passion fruit and four edged beans are yet to produce. I saw some flowers on the chili plant. I might be able to enjoy some chili soon. I will try to get some photos and update on my organic gardening later.

    To view more photos of The Garden, go here.

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