2019 Drive to Thailand – Expectation Vs. Reality

So today was the most complicated leg of our entire journey this trip, involving a 557km drive from Taiping to Krabi with a Malayisa-Thailand border crossing that has never been the same way twice in any of the 5 years we have done this crossing. The plan was to wake up super early, eat a quick breakfast and make good progress to try to clear the border crossing by 10am, and proceed to drive for another 4 hours to reach Krabi. It is never a good idea to drive long distances in the darkness on Thailand roads, so we really wanted to reach Krabi in good time before nightfall.

Unfortunately, we failed. We woke up late.

Confession Time at the Sadao Border

After we woke up late, we took too long at the breakfast table. (always happens with kids around… πŸ˜› )

Then we got stuck in a long queue at the insurance booth at Changlun….

Believe me, there was a long queue at the insurance booth!

On the positive side, while waiting for my turn at the insurance booth, I met a new friend, and invited him to join our “Road Trips in Asia” FB Community! (Here’s a public shout out to Sek Kean, my new Malaysian friend who was on his first road trip up North to Hat Yai!)

After settling all the documentation at Changlun, we proceeded to the checkpoint. Man, the Malaysians are doing some big construction work at their side of the border. The Thais seem satisfied with their upgraded immigration complex, but they have changed the procedure again. All passengers in the cars are supposed to disembark and stamp their passports in the main immigration building. After negotiating with the officer directing traffic, we were grateful that he allowed us an exception because of my wife’s difficulty in walking due to Cerebral Palsy.

By the time we cleared the Thai checkpoint it was already 3:30pm Thai time. After our usual lunch stop at Tesco Lotus Sadao, it was 5pm. This meant that I had to pay the price of driving 2.5 hours in the darkness along the windy country roads between Phathetttalung and Krabi.

The sky darkens, both from sunset and the impending storm

To make matters worse, the heavens opened, spewing down moderately heavy rain, making the roads slippery and the visibility even poorer.

In reality, it was almost pitch dark. My phone did some magic brightening here…

Thankfully, most of the construction work on the roads that we experienced in previous years have been completed. Which means that for our entire journey, we enjoyed double lane roads, except for a small stretch skirting around Trang. The road conditions were so much better than before.

Just as we were turning into Ao Nang, Krabi, we were stopped by police again. (our 3rd time today).

Police blockade around Krabi

Thankfully, we faced no big issues, just had to show them our documentation and they let us through without a hitch.

By the time we reached the hotel, it was almost 10pm. Everybody just wanted to wash up and go to bed. I was glad that we had booked 3 nights in Krabi, and that we did not have to face another long drive early the next morning!

Part 6 – We are KRAZY over KRABI!!

Blog Menu

  1. 2019 Drive from Singapore to Thailand
  2. Crossing the Sadao Border
  3. Selamat Hari Raya
  4. Day of Rest
  5. Expectation Vs. Reality
  6. Krabi Krazy
  7. A Scenic Leisurely Drive
  8. Home Away From Home
  9. Sunsets, Beaches and Takeaways
  10. Off to Phuket Town
  11. Phuket Trickeye Museum
  12. Phuket Aquarium
  13. Naka Night Market Hit and Run
  14. Time to Head Home
  15. Hey Hat Yai!
  16. Last Stop Kuala Lumpur
  17. Brake Pads, Movie and Humpty Dumpty
  18. Flaming Lorries and Happy Memories
  19. Route Summary
  20. Concluding Thoughts

Blog Series

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