Day 27 : 17th October 2019
Let me start with a clarification. Mentioned “Who won’t remember me post this journey” and allow me to clarify my statement. It was sort of “Joke for the near/dear ones” and tried to pull their leg. Got aggressive and unhappy and emotional response from many. Even if these “near and dear ones tries to forget a living being called Sundar, they won’t be able to forget the other side which would make them repent if they did.” Happy to receive responses and thanks for reading and following my journey and well-being. We decided to start late today and might have slept the longest duration during this trip (6:30 hours). This is another lesson learned and will get this attended properly during the future rides or journey. Came out and the resort didn’t have any breakfast placed at the dining area.
One cake and a ready to drink coffee powder was the only thing I could see and gulped both immediately. Not a long day in terms of distance (400+ kms) and we decided to see some places and reach the destination before sunset. The place selected by Khun Tom is called “Wat Muang” in Ang Thong. Not much travel and we started at 8:30 am and reached the place in less than 15 minutes. Saw a huge/Tall golden Moorthy of Bhagwan Buddha and it was very impressive even from a distance. Got my gopro cover it and not sure whether the video has come out good. Another thing which needs some sort of customization is gopro setting and placement.
I didn’t prepare myself for it and the videos were taken by just starting and ending gopro. Need to learn on how to zoom in or zoom out while riding and that’s going to be another homework. We (read as me) take many things lightly and important moments take suffering because of this. Need to tighten the screws before the next journey. Coming back to Wat Muang, Moorthy is 95 meters tall and it’s the highest or tallest in Thailand and Khun Tom told that its the tallest sitting Moorthy of Bhagwan Buddha in the entire world. Whether it is or not, the Moorthy is gigantic or enormous and we all look so tiny in front of it. The size, golden color, and the design make you look at the Moorthy for some time without blinking your eyelids.
I wanted to take the picture of the Moorthy having the blue sky as the background and laid my humongous body on the ground to take the picture. While trying to focus the mobile camera, I realized that the Moorthy is moving towards me. Startled for a second and realized the optical illusion. The Moorthy is not moving but the clouds are moving in the opposite direction and that created this illusion of Moorthy moving towards me. Called others to check out this fantastic illusion and everyone got busy with that and started admiring the discovery. Went behind the Moorthy and clouds created the opposite side movement of the Moorthy and tried to capture it as a video.
Not sure whether you are able to see what we witnessed. If you can’t, add this to your wish list, please. Apart from this huge Moorthy, the area has many other colorful and well-designed temples. Saw a silver and multi-colored one very close to the platform where the golden Buddha is placed. Apart from this, the complex has some area where you get to see Ramayana and some other local legends and setting of “Hell” depicted in life-size images. I clicked one scene where the person who drinks gets the punishment and there are many other such scenarios across the block. You also get to see images or statues of “Yama” and his assistants accounting for the good/bad deeds of a dead person and very interestingly designed.
This place gives you full of Indian temple feeling. Given the bad breakfast we got served at the resort, Khun Tom took us to a restaurant and got us a great breakfast. Like traditional Indian houses, Thailand consumes the same food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and there is no separate menu for each session. I ordered a fried rice plate and it was one of the best I have had so far in Thailand (nothing can beat fried rice from the red Indian Chinese restaurant we have it in Mumbai). Post finishing it, I realized the mistake of having rice that early in the morning and suffered during the entire ride and for the rest of the day.
Our day end destination is called Mae Sot and that’s another border between Thailand and Myanmar. We decided to cross the border if we reach early today or cross it tomorrow morning if we reach after 5 pm. It looks like we would be staying one more night in Thailand and Khun Darun sent us the hotel details for the night stay. Google maps on and we started riding the 390+ km and it was another great riding day through the straight and smooth roads of Thailand. In fact, I broke my own record of non-stop riding for 114 kms (previous best was 100 km on Day 21 from Chiang Mai to Sukhothai) and stopped few times for petrol refueling and stretching the legs.
Manish and Naren didn’t join us for the temple visit and they were ahead of us, Rohit went ahead when I and Khun Tom were attending an issue with my bike and last biker left for his Malaysia and Singapore adventure. While riding the bike, I got a feeling of being dragged to the left side and thought it was because of the cross winds. This had happened many times because of the wind and I continued the ride managing the dragging. On reaching a turn and straight road, the dragging continued and I felt something is not correct. Stopped Khun Tom and asked him to take a spin. My original worry was wheel alignment might have gone wrong but Khun Tom manage to ride with his hands not holding the handle bar.
If it had been wheel alignment problem, then finding a proper shop and getting it corrected might consume more than 4 hours. Given the handless ride of Khun Tom, that problem was removed from the potential list and the next could be tyre puncture. We tried filling the tyre/tube with air and it seems to be working well. Having an experienced rider like Khun Tom with you is an advantage. He asked me when was the last time I checked the Tyre pressure and it was on day 21 when we left Sukhothai for Bangkok. You don’t need to check everyday and we decided to do that now. Pressure checking is semi-automatic and you need to do it by yourself (unlike India where you have one person doing that for you).
I learnt that skill during this journey and tried 32 for the rear Tyre. Khun Tom was puzzled with 32 and asked me to inflate upto 35. Given the long ride in hot conditions with extra heavy luggage (75 litre saddle bag and 25 litre tank bag on top of a small elephant sitting on the bike), he asked me to keep it at 35 and I went by his word. Now the dragging stopped and I could ride easily without requiring to manage the dragging. You continue to learn new tricks or lessons everyday and I am happy about it. From knowing how to ride a bike, I am slowly gaining knowledge on bike mechanism as well. Going to be useful. Believe I would become an expert after doing 100 more rides like this. We stopped at a petrol station and Manish/Naren were waiting for us.
We spent some time appreciating the beauty of “Triumph Tiger” and that could be my next bike and the one which would take me to London by road. Google or search YouTube and see the vehicle and its better than watching my favorite heroine (not going to name ). Final 78 kms from the petrol station till our hotel is ghat section and my next 7 days would be living or riding through ghats. I have done my life’s share of ghat section experience but need to do it for another 7 days. Thailand Ghat sections are good to ride with 4-6 lane asphalt roads with proper dividers and marked lanes and still went cautiously. Sun was setting and hitting my eyes directly and made it more difficult.
Saw a sign board called “Magic hill” and was wondering what is the magic. Didn’t see anything different and googled for more details. Apparently a stretch of 130 meter does provide you with a magical feeling. Borrowing the text from web and thanks/ credit to the author. “Here any vehicle – car, minivan, pickup truck or 18-wheeler – that stops at the apparent bottom of the incline (marked by a distinctive yellow line across the road) with engine turned off and in neutral gear, will apparently defy gravity and roll uphill at a speed that gradually increases to about 10 kilometers an hour before reaching the top. Drivers in the other lane experience the even more bizarre sensation of rolling uphill backwards.”.
I didn’t experience anything different but you may take note and try this out during your road trip to Thailand or when you visit Thailand. We reached the hotel before sun set and weather in Mae Sot is much colder or pleasant than other Thailand cities. It’s in the middle of mountains and dense forest and that could be the reason. Leaving Thailand tomorrow morning and that’s a sad feeling. Entering Myanmar and maneuvering the ghats, turns and curves is going to be the agenda and hope it goes well.
Note : ° Those who are reading my travelogue using “Incredible India by Road – 2018 Facebook page”, please check out my Instagram account or Facebook personal profile for videos. ° Wi-Fi speed is not great (better than India and Myanmar) and I am not sending lots of videos and pictures. Will start a YouTube channel later and add the unseen ones to it.