Trips

Merdeka Ride

Back home in Kuala Lumpur now and what a great Merdeka Ride that I had in 14 days which I clocked 7366 Kilometers in total, riding from Malaysia to Thailand, Laos and Cambodia.

Since it was the month of Merdeka celebration, I’ve decided to start my ride from the iconic Sultan Abdul Samad building in Kuala Lumpur. 62 Years ago, the British Union Jack was lowered down for the last time here at midnight on 30th August 1957. When the clock started chiming, Malayan (Malaysia later) flag was hoisted for the first time on the 31st of August 1957 which marked the end of British rule in Malaya and officially declared as an independence day.

Merdeka Ride Chris exploring on two wheels
Sultan Abdul Samad Building

For me, Merdeka (Independent or free) means that I can be outside of my comfort zone and be independent on my own to travel freely. Often, I avoided big roads and rode into small routes which may look a little scary and lonely but it just makes me more confident to ride elsewhere in the world someday.

Khao-Plai-Dam
Khao Plai View Point

To sum up, I’ve been travelling on an average 500+ KMs daily and most of the time, I’ve been riding 10-12 hours daily for 14 days and being on the road as early as 0700, really tested me mentally and physically.

patuxai monument
Patuxai Monument, Laos

Along the way, I picked up injuries which make riding even harder especially when one of my left foot toe’s skin got peeled off. This happened when a worker who cleaned my bike tried to lift my bike off from the center stand and almost dropped my bike. My Instant reaction was to kick the side stand which managed to get the bike into stable position but wearing riding boots in the next few days was quite painful .

Chris toe injury
Toe Injury

It has been a wonderful journey for me especially seeing beautiful places. What I’ve experienced is worth priceless and some places are better off experiencing it yourself and even seeing it from the photos, it can’t match what my eyes have seen.

It was never about the CC or speed but it’s all about the journey that I went through. I did it my way, Exploring On Two Wheels.

Bayon Temple, Angkor
Bayon Temple in Angkor, Cambodia
Bayon Temple, Angkor
Bayon Temple in Angkor, Cambodia
Aircraft at Nakhon Pathom
Aircraft at Nakhon Pathom, Thailand
Aircraft at Nakhon Pathom
Aircraft at Nakhon Pathom, Thailand
Nam Xay View Point
Nam Xay View Point, Laos
Surat Thani Forest
Beautiful route in Surat Thani

If you had something on your mind, go for it, don’t let anything stop you but do proper planning, research, have some basic troubleshooting/repair skills and most importantly, enjoy every second of your ride. The world is an open highway, go and explore them. It will be your story which will last forever.

I know someday, I may have inspired many riders out there to not be afraid to explore the world out there even if you’re riding solo like me.

As my saying ……..

Some ride for mileage,
Some ride to explore,
Some ride for freedom, 
Some ride to express.

Regardless of what you riding for, just do it because one day, you may regret the little things that you’ve missed could have been the most priceless memories.

Lastly, I would like to thank everyone who has given me moral support which kept me motivated along the way. I would also like to thank Benelli Malaysia, My Friends, Family, Bosses, my wife who has been supporting me for my passion!

Nam Song River, Laos
Nam Song River, Laos

Below are all the details, photos, video of my trip which can be useful if you’re planning for a similar trip.

TRAVEL LOG SUMMARY;

  • Day 1: 1078 KM
    Route: KL – Gua Musang – Buketa – Narathiwat – Pattani – Phattalung – Nakhon Si Thammarat – Surat Thani
  • Day 2: 562 KM
    Route: Surat Thani – Ratchaprapha Dam – Ranong – Chumphon
  • Day 3: 575 KM
    Route: Chumphon – Nakhon Pathom – Kanchanaburi
  • Day 4: 584 KM
    Route: Kanchanaburi – Suphan Buri – Nakhon Sawan – Sukhothai
  • Day 5: 393 KM
    Route: Sukhothai – Si Satchanalai – Chiang Khan
  • Day 6: 227 KM
    Route: Chiang Khan – Nong Khai – Vientiane
  • Day 7: 221 KM
    Route: Vientiane – Vang Vieng
  • Day 8: 825 KM
    Route: Vang Vieng – Vientiane – Nong Khai – Mukdahan – Khong Chiam – Ubon Ratchathani
  • Day 9: 412 KM
    Route: Ubon Ratchathani – Osmach – Siem Reap (Cambodia)
  • Day 10: 61 KM
    Route: Around Siem Reap City
  • Day 11: 496 KM
    Route: Siem Reap (Cambodia) – Phsar Prum/Baanpugard – Pattaya
  • Day 12: 957 KM
    Route: Pattaya – Bangkok – Hua Hin – Krabi
  • Day 13: 465 KM
    Route: Krabi – Satun – Hatyai – Sadao
  • Day 14: 510 KM
    Route: Sadao (Thailand) – Kuala Lumpur

WHAT IS THE COST LIKE?

The biggest cost for me was for fuel (Petrol) as it was like RM 3.80 (Thailand), RM4.80 (Laos) & RM4.00 (Cambodia) per litre for RON 95 Grade. Total cost inclusive of everything is about RM4850.00 +/-. (Breakdown as per below)

  • Fuel cost is close to RM2000.00
  • Accommodation cost: RM 1400.00
  • Food cost: RM500.00
  • Border & entrance fees to parks: RM350.00
  • Travel, Compulsory & Voluntary Insurances: RM600.00

DO YOU BOOK ACCOMMODATION IN ADVANCE?

No, I didn’t. I keep my plans flexible and I usually end my day when I am running out of daylight. The most important thing that I look for in a place to stay is to ensure I have secure parking for my motorcycle.

Usually, when I reach a location that I want to end my ride for the day, I just open booking dot com app on my phone and look up for nearest hotel/resort which provides parking and breakfast. (Keeping my budget not over RM100.00 for a night)

HOW WAS THE BENELLI TRK 502 MOTORCYCLE PERFORMANCE?

My motorcycle (Benelli TRK 502) didn’t have any problems and it has been a fantastic machine. I rode it hard (I mean really HARD), on and off-road – Some days even more than 1000 KM. The only issue that I had was with the rear tire which I’ve fixed it during the trip.

It has been just over 2 years now that I’m using Benelli TRK 502. I’ve done quite a number of trips with it and honestly, for the money that I paid for, this bike is totally worth it! You can also check my review for this motorcycle here.

BORDER CROSSING INFORMATION

OTHER USEFUL ARTICLES

MERDEKA RIDE VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS

MERDEKA RIDE PHOTO GALLERY

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