Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Malaysian-Thai border

It as been quite a while since I last went on a road trip. With the week long Hari Raya + Merdeka break, I decided to hit the road and head towards our northern neighbour - Thailand. I have never truly visited Thailand except for crossing the border at Bukit Kayu Hitam to the Thai side for lunch (without passport! ) when I was working on a project at the Duty Free Center there may years ago, so I figure it is a good opportunity to bring my family for a experience a different culture. Our destination is Betong, the border town in the center of the northern Malaysian border. Many Malaysian were surprised to learn that the state of Perak actually has border with Thailand, so much for our geographical knowledge of our own country!

I broke up the drive into 2 days, so our first stop is at Lenggong, as place we visited last year. The thing I like about Lenggong is the beautiful Lake Raban and cool weather there.

This picture is taken by my daugther late in the afternoon. The water quality her is very good as there are no big city around here.


I parked at the Lake Raban resort, with permission from the management. It is quiet and safe, with good view of the mountains and the lake.







There was even a shelter designed for tour buses, but we were the only occupant of the car park. Sometimes all you need to do is ask!
We had a fantastic night a Lake Raban, far away from the light pollution of big cities, the night sky was a riot of stars and heavenly bodies. Unfortunately the night scene was beyond the capability of my modest Canon A400 Powershot to capture, unless there are way to hack the firmware to allow me to take direct control of the shutter. Anyway, the night morning we broke camp and headed towards Betong. I have planned to take my camper into Thailand, but I neglected to check the requirement for the entry of Malaysian vehicle there. I have assumed that it would be as simple as driving into Singapore. No! Said the police at the custom checkpoint, I must have the registration card with me and make copy with the latest road tax record and get it endorsed at Police station. Without this crucial piece of document, I was unable to take my camper into Thailand. In the end I have to settle for parking my camper at the Malaysian side and take a taxi to go into Thailand.



The Betong city landmark, the clock tower. We checked into the Modern Thai Hotel along this street. The Hotel lived up to its name and was clean and reasonably priced


The must visit place. The entrance of Piyamit Tunnel built by the Malaysian Communist Party guerrillas.

Our first visiting destination of Betong is the Piyamit Tunnel, located around 20Km outside Betong town. the place is also known as Friendship Village. It was a secret base used by the communist guerrillas in the past, after the armistice, the place was opened and developed into a tourist attraction.

I will write more about this place in my next installment.

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