Day 1: Solaris – Bangkok
We made our move from Bestari restaurant in Solaris as early as 6.45am making our way to our first pitstop at Tapah r&r to refuel before continuing our journey. Despite a confirmed participation of 12 cars, we ended up with only 8 cars, 3 Skyline R35s, 1 Porsche GT3RS, 1 Porsche 997 Carrera, 1 Ferrari F430, Veilside Toyota Supra and a Mitsubishi Triton as a support car.
It was a smooth ride despite the drizzle that started from Rawang all the way to the border. Near Bukit Merah, a monkey ran across the highway and despite the close convoy procedure, managed to end up mangled as it hits hard Adil’s front bumper. Nevertheless, it was at the border we faced our first difficulty. Five cars had to get back to the Malaysian side of the border to get authorization from the authorities due to the recent attempt to smuggle in two supercars into Thailand.
Since all of them had to catch a flight in Hatyai, it was quite a sticky situation for us all, as we’re already behind schedule. We arrived at the Hatyai Airport at 3pm and the rain was getting heavier. Loading the cars onto the trucks, we’re drenched wet and again was faced with difficulty as the rams were slippery.
Loading Adil’s Supra turned to be a horrific situation as it spun losing traction, ended up with the left rear tyre off the ram as the weight of the car sat on its undercarriage while the right tyre was inches away from missing the ram as well. Luckily the damages were only cosmetics adding battle scars to the furious 600++ hp Supra. The drivers and their passengers arrived in Bangkok by 8pm as they had to catch a later flight while the support crews from SCRS took 26hours to arrive in Bangkok.
Day 2: Bangkok – Tak
Jart, Pali and I had a heavy breakfast with the truckers at Chumporn as we still have a long way to go. From Chumporn, we still have another 450km to go before arriving at the depot in Bangkok to unload the truck and make our way to Chiangmai.
The day before the 997 Carrera lost power due to a faulty exhaust system. SInce we’re already behind schedule, the three of us did the repair on the 997 and the Supra on the truck. As for the Supra, it suffered from a leak causing it to overheat. We managed to fix the 997 Carrera but the Supra was still leaking as we didn’t get to identify the leak at the radiator.
We arrived in Bangkok behind schedule and once we’ve unloaded the cars, the drivers arrived from Marriot Serviced Apartment and we make our way to Tak instead of Chiangmai. By 8.00pm, we left the depot. The drizzle kept the Supra running without overheating for two hours before we had to top up the water in the feeder and radiator.
Arriving at Tak in the wee morning at 3.00am, we made the decision to again take a look at the problem of the Supra. There was a leak at the radiator caused by the drop during loading. We took it out in order to get it fixed once the workshop in Tak opens.
Day 3: Tak – Mae Hong Son – Pai
Pali took the initiative of skipping sleep and by 7am made his way to weld the leak at the radiator. By 10.30am we make our way to Pai via Mae Hong Son to get a feel maneuvering the infamous 1864 corners. As for the scenery, the lush greenery of the forest took us by surprise. It was beautiful.
It was exhilarating and everyone had lots of fun, at least for the first 4hours though. Turned out, the gear changes exhausted the petrol faster than anticipated and we had to refill twice as many. By 3.00pm, the 997 Carrera was out of petrol in the middle of nowhere and we’re stuck there for two hours as the nearest town is 70 clicks away.
It was obvious that we can’t make it to the Chamber of Commerce to get our certificates but then what matters most is the experience and not that piece of paper of recognition. I’d say the winding road was the ultimate route for any touge-lovers. We managed to push to our limits at an average speed of 80 – 100km/h.
We made a short stop or dinner at the town before continuing our journey to Pai for a two-day rest. It might be only another 180km but by now most of the drivers were dead-tired and can’t wait to get to the comfort of the bed and pillows. With that thought, we went a bit faster and arrived in the serenity of Pai by 10pm.
Day 4: Pai
It was a free and easy day for us all. Most of us rented a bike and went sight-seeing in Pai. To me, Pai seems like a hippie town. We went through the day sloth-like and it was quite a change after three days of adrenaline boost that might burst a few veins in the process. The drivers stayed at Pai Island Resort while we had our very own privacy at the Yoma Resort. Staying here was so relaxing we’d love to stay here at least another two days.
Ahmad’s R35 was grazed by the fender when he parked the car in town for lunch. He went and made a report at the police station and turned out the driver of the pick-up was a wee bit drunk as he was oblivious of the incident.
Jessie also had an accident when she took a corner hard on the bike and went lovey-dovey and smooched the tarmac as the road was laden with sand. She ended up with a bruised knee and palm.
Day 5: Pai – Chiangmai
We’re supposed to head to Chiangmai at 10.00am but were delayed by the insurance adjuster. Since Erwin anticipated a longer delay, we went for an early lunch instead. After lunch, the adjuster was yet to arrive and so we left the hotel by 12.00pm. Ahmad will join us in Chiangmai with two of his Iranian friends. It was quite a route we had to endure. Most of the corners were extremely sharp and all of us had to take extra precaution. To make it worst, a number of the sectors were laden with potholes and we’ve encountered landslides as well.
By 4.00pm, we arrived at a waterfall to enjoy the lush greenery and the fresh cold waters. It was refreshing indeed and the fact that we have another 100clicks to go before arriving in Chiangmai was quite a relieve. Average speed was between 60 – 80km/h due to the windy road.
By 6.00pm, we entered Chiangmai. It was a huge city bustling with activities. It was also congested unlike the calm environment in Pai. A totally different scenario at all. Once we checked in at Shangri-La Hotel. We freshened up before enjoying a sumptuous dinner by the riverside.
It was free and easy for all after bloating up with food. Some went shopping while others went for cultural exchange in Chiangmai. Most of us, hit the bed early as it will be a long drive tomorrow.
Day 6: Chiangmai – Bangkok – Patong Beach
It was another day in Thailand and we headed off to Bangkok to catch our flight to Patong Beach, Phuket except for Jart, Pali and I. Since it was via the highway, we sped off at 9.00am to arrive in Bangkok on time for the flight. Lady luck abandoned us again and so we’re again delayed as Slim’s R35 lost pressure of the left rear tyre.
Once we hit the highways, the rest of the cars sped off leaving us in the slow-poke Triton panting to catch up due to the dead weight of equipments, tools and baggages. After a short stop, we sped off only to take a wrong turn, of which made the rest of the convoy to be ahead us. As they arrived, we’re stuck in the infamous congestion of Bangkok. We completed the 736km drive in 11 hours.
Due to that, Hazwan, who was with us had to endure another 12-hour drive to Phuket instead of the comfy feeling of the flight. The drivers arrived in Phuket by 11.00pm while we had our very own eerie adventure driving towards Phuket. I drove half the journey and Jart took over after we past Champorn. Jart saw a huge boar in the middle of the road and he drove on while the boar disintegrated into thin air.
Then the GPS went haywire as the road got darker. It was only for 20 minutes but for us all in the car, it felt like a lifetime. Nevertheless, we arrived at the Kee Resort at 7.30am for our much-needed rest in the comfort of pillows and mattress.
Day 7: Patong Beach, Phuket
It was another free and easy for all. Jeo, Hazwan and I decided to go for a walk in Patong Beach, checking out souvenirs to buy and enjoying the view and the environment of Patong Beach. At noon, we headed to Nicky’s Handlebar for lunch and we’re lucky to have Erwin to treat us lunch as we arrived there few minutes after he arrived.
By 4.00pm, the cars arrived at Huat’s row of shops. We unloaded the cars while waiting for the drivers and once they arrived, we’ve made our way back to the hotel to freshen up for dinner.
Dinner was at Nicky’s Handlebar and we had the privilege to have Nicky himself cooking us western cuisine and grilled seafood. It was a sumptuous meal for everyone. We have always enjoyed the company of Nicky and his brother, Kai and they did just that despite the enormous crowd there while at the same time preparing for a wedding reception to be held the very next day.
Day 8: Patong Beach – Kuala Lumpur
Erwin had decided to leave Patong Beach earlier but due to fatigue and excitement of arriving in Phuket, Jart forgot to get the documentation of the cars. Now, we’re faced with the situation of not getting out of Thailand with our cars. Luckily, the drivers had an extra copy of the documentation and off we go towards the immigration.
By noon, we stopped by the roadside to enjoy the local cuisine Som Tam. It’s a combination of grilled catfish, sticky rice, veggies, tom yam and fried chicken. It was delicious indeed.
We arrived at the immigration and cleared the checkpoint by 7.00pm. After refueling at the Shell Station, Daniel, and his uncle in the Porsche 997 Carrera made their way to Penang while the rest of us went for an early dinner at Yasmeen Nasi Kandar. We arrived in Kuala Lumpur by midnight, concluding the longest drive of the Blue Jackets Fraternitas, a staggering 5147km in total distance.
words: Hage’ pix: Hazwan Najims vids: Jeo