Thursday, March 12, 2015

Narathiwat : South Thailand Unrest

Its always been a fly and ride for me. Far away exotic places are always greener than home. While my neighbours, like a backyard , familiarty and within reach doesn’t excite me as much.
Maybe it’s time I should give it a second look.
Shamefully the furtherest I’ve taken my TEX to is Cameron Highland.
I will need to take it out for a real ride before it’s first birthday.

Phuket and Hatyai are too touristy, not my cup of mocca.
Narathiwat province it will be, a region plague by violence from separatist insurgency. 6000 have been killed and 10,000 have been injured since 2004.
Is the situation really that bad ?
(Last incident was on the day I left, 9th March, with 9 casualities and previously in Feb with 13 casualities injured by a car-bomb)
I’ve learned to read news with only a pinch of wasabi.
The only way to find out, is to go in and see it for myself.
The two objectives - to overcome my fear of riding solo and to enter the ‘troubled' South Thailand - an unknown to me (well I did enter once with my first bike back in 2011, shamelessly only for an hour, guided by a motorcycle taxi, all because we need to assure my riding partner’s wife’s girlfriend that ‘what are the two man going into Thailand for ?’
That’s just one of the frustrating reason that make me decide to go solo.
Not a big deal for those seasoned riders, so save your ‘so what?’
The only person I need to challenge is the me of yesterday.

This trip was hastily planned. With the next destination decided only on the day of arrival. Due to the uncertainties of the local situations, I could not stay for too long at any spot. Hence I am left with only few photos and mostly lame bikefie.

This region was the former Sultanate of Pattani, until it was conquered by the Siamese in 1785, present Kelantan were spared. Patani Malay are spoken here, which makes me feel so ‘at home’ with my limited Indonesian, since I can’t speak Thai to stop an oil leak.

Comparating with neighbouring Malaysia state of Kelantan. Narathiwat are obviously underdeveloped, however it is calm (among the storm). No doubt one will suspect the intended neglection from the central Thai government.
except for the numerous checkpoint manned by young soldiers and police.

A stranded ship along Narathat beach.
I have no idea where am I going.. just pick one and go!

Go with your Curiosity instead and overide your GPS!
One of the joy of not riding the expressway or highway .. you get to stop as you please!
You know you have to stop when you see this.
Go with your Curiosity instead and overide your GPS!

Found this Rocky Hill .. hmmm..
One of the perks of riding solo, in a deserted and isolated place. You get to ride your bike along the shore and with no one to judge you.
You can misbehave! Oh wait.. the word 'mis-' and 'behave' itself is judgemental.
Let's just say be myself - 'self' of that moment captured in time, as 'self' itself is not indefinite.

End Note: Aparently I am not alone. Shortly after this photo was taken. I was caught for trespassing. The owner, Encik Amin, was an opportunitist. He offered me to sell me this Rocky hill and the surrounding land. There must be a divine reason i end up in this isolated land and meet this guy while acting like a monkey.
Contact exchanged... I'll be back!

Kilometers of beautiful, quiet and deserted beach. with only a few fisherman dryng their catch at interval.

Riding within the village that is off the main road was a scary challenge.
Reports of people being shot within this village road still ring in my head.
I don’t know what to expect, but I am not turning back with the same stories that I was told to read.

Tips to self : Retract your helmet sun visor or remove your sunglass.
so even when you smile in your full face helmet, the recipient can still see your smiling cheek and eyes.

All fears subside the moment you give a waving Hi and the Makcik (Aunty in Malay) return you will the widest smile in the Land of Smiles. They welcome my presence more that brighten up their uneventful, dull and hot lazy afternoon.

Surely there are some who look hostile to your presence.
Likewise I will never fell obliged to entertain any damn tourist like a caged animal.

I am just a guest here.

"I believe I can fly
I believe I can touch the sky
I think about it every night and day
Spread my wings and fly away
I believe I can soar
I see me running through that open door
I believe I can fly"

Mother Nature is taking over this under utilised roads. We need to sent more bikes here!

Sure enough, the road is gone!
Swallow up by the Gods of the sea.
Are you serious ?
Not one but 2 roads from my GPS are missing!
Either my GPS are not updated or the Thai government are seriously neglected this part of the country!
Surely kilometers of beach and roads can't disappear ovenight!
Then again!.. I should never doubt the power of Mother Naure.
Bukit Fraser, Pahang, Malaysia - Spend a night here on my way back. Included here because it is worth a mention.
I like this place very much, as compare to Cameron Highland.
Quiet and peacful (maybe it's weekday when I'm there).
This is my place!
Most importantly the bends and roads are so narrow that can only fit 1 1/2 car width. a major no-no for the Valentino Rossi or Initial D wannabes!
Bukit Fraser, Pahang, Malaysia
Bukit Fraser, Pahang, Malaysia
Bukit Fraser, Pahang, Malaysia