Saturday, 10 October 2009

Thailand and Malaysia

After visiting Cope I was keen to get to Singapore as quickly as possible. I have to be back at work in London on 14th October which doesn't leave much time in Australia. So Thailand and Malaysia passed by quickly. I didn't want to waste time lost in Bangkok traffic so I took the ringroad, stopping for the night at Damoen Saduak.

The rooms in the guest house were dusty, dirty, had more cobwebs than the Addams family house and the bed sheet was a giant towel which was bizarre. The place had a kitsch wild west theme but was in a beautiful setting built over the canal and of course, near another gorgeous temple!

Damoen Saduak is famous for it's floating market on the canal. The guide book says it's not as "touristy" as the floating market in Bangkok. Of course the danger of guide books saying things like that is that it attracts tourists and the locals will cater to the tourists. Hence an abundance of tiger balm sales men and stalls selling tourist souvenirs. I have to confess to buying a few souvenirs and some of the beautiful silk scarfs.

A lot of tourists were hiring boats to "tour" the market which seemed like a bit of a con to me as you can walk round it all by the shore.
I bought some fruit from the boat ladies, just one condition, first I wanted to take a picture!

Just south of Damoen Saduak something rather special happened.....Pedro went round the clock!!!
00000 miles! Now if I want to sell him I can advertise him as "low mileage, careful lady owner, never raced or rallied" ;-)
At Hat Yai, a Thai town close to the Malay border, I faced a moral dilemma. These birds were for sale. I desperately wanted to buy one, set the bird free and then take the beautiful cage home for decoration, I thought they would look lovely with a trailing plant inside. Ultimately I talked myself out of it, figuring although I would have the satisfaction of seeing one bird go free, I would be encouraging the trade.

One of the more amusing juices available in Malaysian service stations!

Driving on to Penang Island I spotted a Volkswagon garage, Pedro wasn't sounding too great so we stopped in for a quick tune up and a carb cleaning.

White teddy enjoyed the surfing and I relaxed on the beach with a few Mojito's before a long, stressful drive to Singapore the next day leaving trails and puddles of oil behind us! The oil seal was replaced twice but didn't last long.

Due to the problems in China there is not enough time for me to drive around Australia, looks like I'll have to come back and do that as a seperate trip :-)
Pedro is now in a shipping container heading back to the UK. He wasn't allowed on the roll on/roll off ship because of his massive oil leak. I pointed out that technically he wasn't leaking oil anymore as it was all on the road, not in the engine. Unfortunately the shipping company like to be able to drive the cars on and off of the ship which would have neccesitated putting more oil in the engine....bringing us back to problem A. There's just no pleasing some people. I mean, the poor old car has just driven over 20,000 miles on some of the worst roads in the world!
Actually the shipping agents were wonderful; they made all the arrangements for Pedro to be shipped and got my flights booked so I was on my way to Oz next morning!

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