Ride Overland With Kanchan & Nick

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May 2, 2012

The Andaman Coast & Getting to Malyasia

It didn’t take us too long to get to Krabi, but when we did, we were so happy!  We found a decent place with air con, showered and got settled in.  Felt good to not be sandy and sweaty (at least for a little bit!).  After taking all the coastal roads and spending the night on the beach, the sea wind exfoliated our faces and burned as we washed them! All fresh and clean, we stepped out of the hotel and to our excitement, 5 big Beemer bikes came rolling into our hotel parking lot.  Later we got to talking to them and found that they were from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.  It was a great feeling to see other Asian bikers touring around!

On a tangent…why is it so great to see other Asian bikers?  As we’ve been touring around we’ve met a lot of European bikers…German, Austrian, Italian,Swiss, French etc.  They are real nice, and we’ve enjoyed meeting them and they have become our friends we can rely on.  But the fact is that an experience you have as an Asian person touring versus that of a European is completely different.  I think locals are more keen on showing ‘foreigners’ around, opening up their homes, and generally giving the special treatment to those that don’t look like them…aka people who are white.  So with us it’s a toss up…sometimes you get treated really nice because people feel you already understand their culture or that we’re their long-lost Indian cousins, other times we get the same treatment as the locals meaning we get kicked around since we’re the same skin color.  Why would locals rather line up to take celebrity pics with a brown person and their very awesome bike while they can take a picture with a white person with the same bike? Or why would a local who speaks shit English rather talk to the white person (first language NOT English) than us (we live in the US of A)?  I don’t care about attention, but it’s really the principle…Stop the colonial brain-washed madness people!  On the flip-side, there are people who are proud to see other Asians succeeding and out there traveling.  And it’s really great to hang out with them because you don’t feel like you have to explain yourself, your life, your culture, and your religion.  You can say a few words and you connect.  It’ll be interesting to see how it goes when we start heading into Pakistan and Iran etc…US citizens of Indian origin, we wonder if we’ll get the same amazing hospitality that every single traveler has raved about.  We need Asian bikers to get out there!  And I’m talking all of Asia…South, Southeast etc etc!  Anywho…back to Thailand…

We got kinda late to go to Koh Phi Phi etc, so we had to stay an extra day in Krabi, but didn’t mind it so much.  We walked around the shops, sat at the beach for a while and we were also able to catch dinner with Alex, Allyson, David, Raymond, Johnnie and the rest of the Beemer gang.  And man can Malaysians eat!!!  We had an awesome spread in front of us of great Thai food.  We had a great time talking with them, sharing traveling info and appreciated all their tips on traveling around Malaysia.   After meeting them once, we knew that they were great friends.  The next day the Beemer group was going to head back to KL and we were going to head to Koh Lanta so we decided to ride out together.  We separated out about 40 minutes into the ride as our turn towards Koh Lanta was coming up.  To get to Koh Lanta we had to take a ferry to get onto the island.  It was a pretty easy affair to roll the bike on the ferry.  It actually took us two ferrys to get to the northern part of the island.  Once we got to the north side where most of the affordable guest houses are, we found it too crowded with not much of a beach view or beauty but then we just kept on heading up south on the main road and we were pleasantly surprised.  On the southern most side we found an amazing place to stay!  I think it has to be the best place we’ve ever stayed…!  We had a basic bamboo hut very close to the water.  Along the beach there were hammocks, and small huts where you could lounge around and the ocean breeze was consistently cool and refreshing.  It was also an amazing place to watch the sunset as the waves crashed on the dark rocks and the mist hung in the air.  It was also fun to explore the crevices between the rocks for beautiful smooth pebbles, shells, and tiny crabs.  This had to be one of our favorite places ever!

The next day we took one of those longboat snorkeling tours of Koh Phi Phi.  We started early and headed to some beautiful turquoise waters to do some snorkeling.  The first and last time I did anything like that, I was with my Dad and brother in Maui.  I already have this phobia of open water and fish…don’t ask.  I explained to Nick that if this snorkeling thing was going to happen, we’d need some patience and some hand-holding.  As a sweet husband should (sarcasm), I got a push into the water off the side of the boat when I wouldn’t get out first.  It was Nick’s first time to go snorkeling so his first look into the water was priceless.  He popped his head out and hurriedly took off his snorkel, his eyes popping, he exclaimed, “This is the most awesome thing EVERRRR!!!!!”  He was full of child-like amazement which was really cute and sweet to see.  His excitement was infectious and I decided it’s now or never.  Nick held my hand and I put my head underwater, trying not to freak out.  Nick held my hand and reached out for a school of yellow and blue fish, motioning for me to do the same.  It became fun after getting over the fear that I wouldn’t be able to breathe underwater.  After snorkeling the boat guy took us to a couple of islands to chill and have lunch.  It was a fun day and around 5/6pm we got back.  Nick was so in love with his snorkeling experience he expressed his desire to learn to dive.  I told him that he’s more than welcome but as lame as it may sound, I would need a few snorkeling sessions to get that comfy.  Who knows….we still have lots of islands left!!!

The next day we left for Malaysia and got to a lesser used border around 3/4pm.  It was a pretty easy process and we got through without any issue.  We decided to head to Alor Setar since we wanted to take the ferry to Langkawai.   Everyone was raving about it so we decided to see what it was all about.  Alor Setar is a medium-sized city and doesn’t have much to really write about.  We found an expensive place that was pretty damn crappy and did not give much value at all.  Hope this wasn’t a sign of things to come!  On the upside we found a stall that made chapatis, daal (for free), and chicken curry.  The chapatis tasted oh so good and filled us with yummy Punjabi goodness.  Looks like we’ll be gaining some weight back!

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