2017 Drive from Singapore to Thailand – Concluding Thoughts

Today we completed the final leg of our 2017 road trip to Thailand. The whole trip- 3133km covered over 18 days, burning 191 litres of diesel at an economy of 16.4km/l with an average speed of 67km/h. It has been an utterly memorable and enjoyable time, although there were certainly some minor hiccups along the way. Here are some of my concluding thoughts about our journey:

(1) Time as a Family – Even though this was our 3rd road trip, this was the first time we embarked on this trip without a helper accompanying us. Throughout the 18 days (except for our time in Krabi where we had our brother-in-law’s family with us), it was just the 5 of us in the car, and we had to manage everything on our own. Although, this was more tiring on our part, it made for a more meaningful trip. Credit also goes to our daughter for stepping up her game to help take care of her two younger siblings.  She also helped with some of the housework at Cameron Highlands where we did not have housekeeping service.

(2) Official Theme Song – this year, the most requested and repeated song in our collection was 小宝贝, or “Little Precious One”. My wife and I first heard this song when we visited China’s Yunnan province last December, and all the shops were using this song as their in-house entertainment. The song is simple and catchy, even though it is in a minor modality. The kids kept asking for this song to be played when we were on our long drives, and we had to constantly put it on repeat mode! Click below to hear the song:

(3) Conflicting Feelings – Whenever we approach these long drives, I always ask myself if I’m crazy… Why in the world am I doing this? Why don’t we just book flights? But once we embark on our long road trip, I’m always like… this is amazing, I need to do this again next year!! It is a wonderful love-hate struggle. For me, I realise that the journey is more important than the destination. I love to see the sights and scenes along the way. I love that the drive gives me time to think, to reflect about my life.

(4) Bring Everything You Need – One of the best things about doing a road trip is that you can bring whatever you want without having to be restricted by baggage limits and aeroplane rules. Ok, almost anything. We are blessed that we have an MPV with the luxury of a big boot, and for this trip we really took advantage of it by throwing everything behind… diapers, inflated swimming floats, shopping, everything!

(5) Plans for Next Year’s Drive – After doing Phuket for the past three years, we have decided to aim for Bangkok next June. It should take only one extra day of driving. Anyone wants to join us??

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Click here to read from the beginning of my 2017 SG-TH blog series.

Click this link to read my three part blog post from 2016 where I detail everthing you need to know about preparing for a Singapore – Thailand road trip.

My wife and I enjoy having guests over at our place for fellowship and a nice home-cooked meal. So if you would like to drop by to try some of my wife’s wonderful cooking and to talk more about travel and life, do drop me a mail at lenniechua@gmail.com to arrange a dinner date! Everyone welcome!

2017 Drive from Singapore to Thailand – Day 11 – Crossing back into Malaysia

Alas, how time flies. It is time to pack our bags and make our return trip back into Malaysia. 
Time for one final group photo for memories sake, and we set off on our 400km journey from Krabi back to the Thai Malaysia border. 

Thank God for good weather and a smooth drive, except for having to emergency break and swerve to avoid hitting a dog who decided to have a sudden dash across the highway.  

The border crossing was also straightforward. Just drive your vehicle directly to the immigration booths:

Slip in a one ringgit “tip” into every passport. After getting your passports stamped, proceed to the next booth to sign and return your vehicle import form. 

After clearing the Thai side, drive up to the Malaysia immigration where each adult might be required to place two index fingers on the biometric scanner for identification. There is also the payment of RM3.60 via the Touch N Go card. Thankfully, no RM20 entry fee required here.

After successfully clearing the customs, we said goodbye to my brother-in-law’s family- They will be headed back to Singapore while we will extend our stay for a few more nights at Cameron Highlands and Melaka.

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Click here to read the next installment of my 2017 SG-TH blog series where I share about my leaking tyre experience halfway on the drive up Cameron Highlands. 

Click here to read from the beginning of my 2017 SG-TH blog series.

Click this link to read my three part blog post from 2016 where I detail everthing you need to know about preparing for a Singapore – Thailand road trip.

My wife and I enjoy having guests over at our place for fellowship and a nice home-cooked meal. So if you would like to drop by to try some of my wife’s wonderful cooking and to talk more about travel and life, do drop me a mail at lenniechua@gmail.com to arrange a dinner date! Everyone welcome!

2017 Drive from Singapore to Thailand – Day 10 – Extended Family Fellowship

Going on a road trip is fun, but having your extended family around to share the experience with you is double the fun!

Our previous two Thailand road trips were on our own, but this year, we managed to get my brother-in-law’s family to join in. Although they couldn’t be with us all the way, we arranged to meet them in Krabi for our three days here. 

We had a great time together! 

My brother-in-law was the person who inducted us into the joys of these long distance road trips. We have so many fond memories of our first road trip together 12 years ago when we tailed his car as we drove together as a convoy to Melaka. At that time, the 200km journey was an adventure to us. Fast forward 12 years, we have ventured on our own further and further north to satisfy our wanderlust, to KL, then Ipoh, then Cameron Highlands, then Penang and then to Phuket. 

This year, we finally did it together again as an extended family, and what a pleasure it has been! Two family units with a kindred spirit, both with a love for the sense of freedom that goes with the pleasure of the long drive. 

Yesterday, I went for a refreshing morning jog with my brother-in-law along the beach. It was great to spend that time with him against such a pretty backdrop of the ocean, the beach, the cliffs, and the islands. 

Today, we brought both our families to Tesco Lotus to shop and eat, and we came back for a nice swim and massage. We ended the day with a dinner in our hotel room, playing Uno, chatting and watching TV! Brings back memories of group chalet stays in our younger days. 🙂

This is truly an amazing way of bringing family and friends together, to give the time amd the platform for the young cousins to bond. Isn’t this what life should be all about? 

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Click here to read the next installment of my 2017 SG-TH blog series where I share about the journey from Krabi back to Malaysia.

Click here to read from the beginning of my 2017 SG-TH blog series.

Click this link to read my three part blog post from 2016 where I detail everthing you need to know about preparing for a Singapore – Thailand road trip.

My wife and I enjoy having guests over at our place for fellowship and a nice home-cooked meal. So if you would like to drop by to try some of my wife’s wonderful cooking and to talk more about travel and life, do drop me a mail at lenniechua@gmail.com to arrange a dinner date! Everyone welcome!

2017 Drive from Singapore to Thailand – Day 9 – Tiger Cave Temple, Krabi

Today, we set off to the famous Tiger Cave Temple in Krabi to climb the 1237 steps to the summit of the hill where the golden Buddha sits. This hill is unique in that the steps, with railings on both sides, make the climb accessible and doable for all people young and old. However, the steps are steep at certain points, and there are just SO MANY of them, that you underestimate the difficulty of this ascent at your own peril. This climb is tough even for the fittest!

The advice is to bring loads of water, and believe me, you will need it as you will be sweating bucketloads because of the physical exertion and the 35 degrees Celsius heat. 

I’m proud to say my 7 year old girl conquered the whole flight of steps on her own steam without having to be carried. She was bouncing around, talking non-stop with her cousins and uncle, full of energy and optimism, proud of her own achievement, and rightly so!

My 5 year old boy on the other hand, made it to the 900 step mark by himself and then started to exhibit signs of emotional distress. He complained and started to cry,  grousing about how he didn’t like the climb and that “this was the worst day of his life”. Yes, slightly over the top I know, but he is a 5 year old boy after all. I had to then play the role of a counselor, coach and cheerleader, telling him how life isn’t always a cakewalk and that we needed to learn to overcome our own emotions and fears to grow in character and strength. 

I also asked him to pray to God for strength in his weakness. Amazingly, he did exactly that, saying a prayer out loud in the midst of his tears, and even more amazingly, the prayer seemed to work! He slowly but surely transitioned from negativity to positivity and from being mired in despair to being filled with hope and confidence. He even insisted on taking the last 30 steps on his own without my assistance! God truly has a soft spot for these little ones and rewards their little mustard seed of faith!

The view from the top of the hill is absolutely incredible, with a 360 degree panoramic view for miles and miles in all directions. The effort we put in was truly worth it. Video of Panoramic View on Hilltop

The route down, while physically less tiring, was a lot more heavy on the knees. The frontal view of the steep descent of steps can also be very daunting and scary, especially for those who are fearful of heights.

Despite all the physical challenges and exertion, I would highly recommend the climb as the views you get are well worth it! What I also love is the cameraderie between all the fellow climbers as you pass them. There is always that friendly tired smile, the encouragement that it is only a short climb left etc. Challenges like these really bring people, even strangers, together as you work towards a common goal. 

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Click here to read the next installment of my 2017 SG-TH blog series where I share about the joys of having family with you on a long road trip.

Click here to read from the beginning of my 2017 SG-TH blog series.

Click this link to read my three part blog post from 2016 where I detail everthing you need to know about preparing for a Singapore – Thailand road trip.

My wife and I enjoy having guests over at our place for fellowship and a nice home-cooked meal. So if you would like to drop by to try some of my wife’s wonderful cooking and to talk more about travel and life, do drop me a mail at lenniechua@gmail.com to arrange a dinner date! Everyone welcome!

2017 Drive from Singapore to Thailand – Day 8 – Phuket to Krabi

Today’s drive was a comfortable 150km journey from Phuket Mai Khao Beach to Krabi Ao Nang. This felt so leisurely compared to our other legs and we were able to thoroughly enjoy the wonderful scenery around us. Take a look at the video we took of part of our journey : Video Footage of Drive from Phuket to Krabi

We stopped for lunch at KFC at a petrol kiosk in Phang Nga, and after that it was an hour long drive to Krabi.

The rocky hills in this area come in such weird and wacky shapes and sizes and very different to what we see elsewhere.

The route is also much improved from last year. Although some portions were still under construction, all the devastating potholes were gone and we had a comfortable smooth ride the whole way through, mostly on dual carriageways.

Upon arriving at the outskirts of Krabi, we dropped by the Tesco Lotus outlet for some shopping. I bought myself some disposable contact lenses to replace the spectacles I lost yesterday because of my waltz with the waves at the beach. We also replenished our supplies of groceries.

We then arrived at our hotel the Ibis Styles Krabi Ao Nang at around 3.30pm.

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Click here for the next installment of my 2017 SG-TH Blog Series where I share about our adventures at the famous Tiger Cave Temple.

Click here to read from the beginning of my 2017 SG-TH blog series.

Click this link to read my three part blog post from 2016 where I detail everthing you need to know about preparing for a Singapore – Thailand road trip.

My wife and I enjoy having guests over at our place for fellowship and a nice home-cooked meal. So if you would like to drop by to try some of my wife’s wonderful cooking and to talk more about travel and life, do drop me a mail at lenniechua@gmail.com to arrange a dinner date! Everyone welcome!