SG 50 Ride 2015
SG 50 Ride 2015
This is a ride to commemorate the 50th Independence day of Singapore. Therefore inorder to celebrate the 50th Singapore National Day, a group of riding 'kakis' (friends) decided to do a short long weekend ride to the one of Thailand's border town of Betong. Betong is the closest border town from Singapore, mainly about 600km in distance. It is also one of the no hassle border crossing when entering Thailand. However Betong is know for its quiet and peaceful charm as the small town has practically very little to showcase other than a simple weekend of fun in Thailand. It is a town where Malaysians comes in to spend their money on shopping, eating or drinking. The quaint little town is no more than about 5km across and maybe 3km top to bottom. There are some "attraction" within the town itself however most of the places to visit is situated outside of town.
This is not my first trip into this town, in fact I will always spend some weekends throughout the year just chilling and sitting back in this town over long weekends...letting time pass by and enjoying the thai vibes around the town. There are also many different places that I visit for each of the individual trips over the years so what you see during this trip will be different when compared to other Betong trips highlighted. So do enjoy the places highlighted within this ride.
Chilling out in the town of Betong.
Betong is a town in southern Thailand, near the Malaysian border. It is the capital of Betong District, the southernmost district of Yala Province. As you chug along the Grik highway coming in from Perak, passing by the last town of Malaysia, Pengkalan Hulu, you will be greeted by a small boundary post. Over the hills lies Betong, a town in the southern province of Yala of Thailand. Passing through the immigration and border you will be greeted by a majestic sign on the hill indicating that you are now entering the Kingdom of Thailand. Getting past the immigration you will be welcome by a steep downslope curving through the hills and rolling into the small town of Betong.
After settling down at the hotel, we immediately went out for some sight seeing, visiting some of the highlights of the town of Betong.
A map of Betong's attraction
This tunnel winds through a mountain for approximately 1 kilometer and is nearly 20 meters wide at certain points, with multiple entrances. It was built in 1976, taking three months to complete. Though the area is presently part of a village belonging to the Thai National Development Front, it was once a stronghold of the Communist Party of Malaya. It was once used as an air raid shelter and food storage area.At present there is an exhibition about the history of Piyamitr Tunnel, including the way of life in the forest.
Piyamit tunnel - an old abandoned communist tunnel
Betong Hot Spring is situated at Ban Charo Parai Village, Tambon Tano Mae Ro, about five kilometres before reaching the Betong city centre, turn right from Highway 410 for another eight kilometres into the village. At the hottest spot, eggs are cooked in seven minutes. Hot spring shower is also available. It is believed that hot spring can cure muscle pain and minor skin irritation.
Betong Hotspring, a place to soak your worries away
The tallest mailbox in Thailand
The tallest mailbox in Thailand
Riding up in the morning mist up to the viewpoint. We rode up early morning, leaving the hotel at 4.00am to make a trip about 30km away in the darkness of the mountain only to reach the Aiyoweng viewpoint at the break of dawn.
AIYERWENG SEA OF FOG VIEWPOINT
We need a little hike up through the undergrowth to get to the viewpoint. This was back in 2015 when the viewpoint was only known within the local community and it was not developed. Fast forward to 2020, it is now one of the main highlights or attraction that the town of Betong offers, now they have built a permanent structure for visitors to come and view the sunrise. There are also better accessibility to get to the viewpoint with better roads and facilities at the viewpoint itself.
Betong is no stranger to insurgency fighting. In fact the town of Yala is notorious for all the bombings that occur as part of the insurgent fighting against the government. When we arrived the town had just had a bomb explosion targeted at the electrical power supply to the town just a week ago. Therefore the electrical supply to the town was still not stable hence on the second night we actually had to dine in the dark with many shops also closed due to the power outage. We had pack some food from the shop and eat it at the lobby of the hotel. Luckily the hotel had its own back up generator to supply some electricity to its premises.
On the thrid day we are leaving Betong for the town of Hatyai. This means that we will be taking the inner roads passing through the backbone of Yala, through the places where insurgencies occasionally occur, places where many would consider unsafe to travel if you are not familiar with the area. A simple breakfast at the small shop beside the hotel and off we go. Along the way we shall be stopping by some sights and learning more about the history of the places.
BANG LANG DAM
According to the Pattani River Basin Development Plan, the construction of Bang Lang Dam would be the first water resource development for the lower South. Bang Lang Dam was built across Pattani River at the area of Ban Bang Lang, Bang Lang Dam Sub-district, Ban Nang Sta District, Yala Province. The construction of Bang Lang Dam in Yala Province approved by the Cabinet on April 3, 1973 commenced in July 1976 and was completed in June 1981. During the construction, His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej visited the construction site three times. On 27 September 1981, His Majesty accompanied by Her Majesty Queen Sirikit and Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn performed the opening ceremony of Bang Lang Dam.
We stop by many roadside stalls to have some snacks and even took time to paly in the sand at the beach of Narathiwat.
Kru Sae Mosque
Arriving in Hatyai
Checked into the hotel and out we go and enjoy the food around the main central Hatyai.
Leaving back for Singapore on Day 4.
It will be a 800km ride back home. A simple coffee and cakes breakfast before we head out for a ride back home through the North SOuth Highway of Malaysia.
Thank You for joining us on this trip.
To More Adventures Ahead !!!!