PHUKET to PENANG

Leaving Phuket for Malaysia, it was now “Terrorists” not “Tourists” that we had to avoid. Thanks to the good people at the Australian Consulate in Bangkok, we had learned of the recent trouble in Southern Thailand and had hatched a cunning plan to avoid it – take a ferry from Satun (Thailand) to Langkawi, then another onto mainland Malaysia. It may sound simple, even pleasurable, but we were taking no chances and began our preparations immediately.

Krabi, with its picture perfect beaches, blue water and majestic cliffs would be perfect. For nine intensive days, we swam, read books, threw frisbees, visited islands, watched sunsets and dined our way to readiness. Finally, for that critical “eye of the tiger” we would need to survive, our choice of accommodation had been perfect – right next door to the local kick boxing stadium! “Muay Thai, Muay Thai – Tonight, Tonight”. We were fired up and ready – it was now or never.

Leaving Krabi, we carefully pedaled though the rubber plantations, passed brilliantly decorated Mosques and quiet fishing villages to reach Satun – the end of the road, for us in Thailand. It was hot and sweaty, but apart from that uneventful – could it really be this easy??

For little more than a few dollars, a modern “stealth” ferry whisked us and our bikes onto Langkawi. The only moment of “fear” we experienced, was almost losing our bikes overboard as we unloaded them onto the jetty.

We had done it – we had avoided the terrorists! Of course, this was no piece of cake, but nothing two fearless adventure cyclists couldn’t manage (smile). If you’re travelling overland from Thailand to Malaysia – we would definitely recommend it.

From there, we caught another ferry to the mainland (Kuala Kedah), then a quick pedal down to Penang, where we have met Jess’s parents for a week off to recuperate!

Australia is close now – we have only 1,000 kms to go before Singapore. While Darwin is still a long way from our finish in Melbourne, the idea, has a certain good feeling about it. We can’t wait!

Jules & Jess

The road through Phangnga National Park to Krabi

The road through Phangnga National Park to Krabi

 

Krabi - the perfect place to prepare and get that "eye of the tiger"

Krabi - the perfect place to get that "eye of the tiger" and prepare for the Terrorists

 

It would be our toughest challenge yet

It would be our toughest challenge yet

 

Could we do it?

Could we do it?

 

Intensive training begins - sunset watching

Intensive training begins - sunset watching

 

Keeping up our strength at a roadside lunch stall

Keeping up our strength at a roadside lunch stall

 

Learning new skills - boat handling

Learning new skills - boat handling

 

Observational skills will be critical

Observation training

 

To the untrained it may look easy...

To the untrained it may look easy...

 

The beautiful Maya Bay, Phi Phi Islands (from "The Beach" movie!)

The beautiful Maya Bay, Phi Phi Islands (from "The Beach" movie!)

 

Colourful local long boats

Colourful local long boats

 

The final preparation - a mean looking haircut !

The final preparation - a mean looking haircut !

 

Saying goodbye to King and Country in Satun

Saying goodbye to King and Country in Satun (gotta love the Nikon!)

 

The stealth ferry to Langkawi

Our modern "stealth" ferry to Langkawi

 

We had done it - we had avoided the terrorists!  Now a week in Penang with Jess's parents to recuperate!

We had done it! Now a week off in Penang with Jess's parents to recuperate!