travel, thailand, yala, wat, temple, gardens

Kota Bharu Road Trip #2 Day 2…

… 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!…

travel, thailand, yala, wat, temple, gardens

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.

travel, thailand, yala, wat, temple, gardens

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.

travel, thailand, yala, wat, temple, gardens

The views at street level were plenty nice enough…

travel, thailand, yala, wat, temple, gardens

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…

travel, thailand, yala, wat, temple, gardens

travel, thailand, yala, wat, temple, gardens

travel, thailand, yala, wat, temple, gardens

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.”

wwiBut I had a gotcha moment of my own up my sleeve when I said “But I’m only here for two days, I live in Thailand.” Looking thoroughly deflated they said “You can go.” 🙂


...has been travelling the world for more than sixty years; having lived and worked in five countries and travelled to many many more.

He likes to write about his travels - present and past - along with his other main interests of Drones, Information Technology and Motorsport, and he adds a few general twitterings along the way.

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