… And So To Malaysia.
Up early. Out into bright sunny weather. Along the coast road that, unlike further north, does have sea views. And then before Pattani, a right turn to head south into Yala province and its capital Yala.
This was new territory for me. There’s not too much information available, so I didn’t know what I’d find. It’s prettier than I’d expected. Hilly, green, rural. In the town, the tourist info that is available would have you believe the main attraction is a roundabout!…
Okay, it’s more attractive than most roundabouts or traffic circles, with the city shrine in the middle, but the town has far more to offer.
Actually, before reaching the town I stopped at the tongue-twisting Wat Khuhapimuk, also known by the easier name of Wat Tham Yala. It needed a short detour on highway 409 to the west of the town.
To reach the tham (cave) I was supposed to walk up umpteen steps and disappear into the darkness. In the middle of a long road trip I decided against. Next time.
The views at street level were plenty nice enough…
Meanwhile, once in the town, I headed around the famous roundabout and found Suan (garden) Khwan Muang. It’s way more than a garden. Rather a complex of lakes and gardens which, according to Google Maps are about 800 by 300 meters. I always have snack food in the car, so it was time for another picnic, if you can call banana muffins and Pepsi a picnic…
Rather nice, I thought. I have a feeling Yala is hiding more attractions. I shall have to investigate further.
After that it was a quick dash to the border, onto the ferry, across the combined Golok and Bang Nara rivers, and into Malaysia.
The various border formalities were informal as usual, but I had to have a little chuckle when I drove into the Malaysia Customs area. I was stopped by two nice Customs ladies who asked if I spoke Malay. So, in Malay, I told them I spoke a little, and I think from that they must have assumed I live in Malaysia. This caused them to decide to make a mini-search of Bert.
Nosing around in the back they suddenly asked “What’s this?” “A drone” I replied. “Oh, a drone” they said. “It’s a drone” they confirmed to each other and then again with me. “Did you buy it in Thailand?” they asked. “Yes” I replied. And then in that gotcha voice reserved for Customs officers they said “Well, we’ll have to charge you duty.”