Venue: Betong, Thailand
Hare: Opera Cheong/Choo Nai Kwong
Scribe: Paul Martin
It takes 4.5 to 5 hours to drive from KL to the Thai border. Basically, drive north along the North-South Plus Highway, passing Ipoh, and exiting at the Kuala Kangsar Interchange. Continue to head northwards, passing Lenggong, Grik, and at Pengkalan Hulu, look for signs towards Betong. Upon clearing both the Malaysian and Thai immigrations, it takes only 7-8 minutes to get to Happy Garden, the main event venue. Garden House, the other hotel, is located just 100m before Happy Garden. Hash signs will be posted on the 2 turnings to the left leading to them. Location will also be shared via whatsapp with participants who require it.
Clearing Immigration & Customs
As we are entering another country, passport is a must; most nationals could obtain visas-on-arrival.
To drive into Thailand, you will need a copy of the vehicle registration card, and after clearing the Thai immigration, proceed to the Customs counter with the registration card/copy to declare 'importing' your vehicle into the country. Safe-keep the declaration form, as you will need to return it upon your departure from Thailand, failing which you will be heavily fined when you next enter the country using the same vehicle.
NOTE if you are driving a vehicle not registered in your name, you have to bring an authorization letter from the owner plus a photocopy of their identity card or passport. Failing which you cannot bring the vehicle into Thailand. The vehicle ownership card must also be original.
Friday, February 10, 2017: Pub Crawl starts 3.30pm local time from Happy Garden Cafe & Homestay. Cost: RM20/adult, non-beer drinking kids F.O.C. Includes softies and beers, but excludes food.
Saturday, February 11,2017: Run starts at 3.30pm local time from Chulaporn Village, approximately 30km northeast of Happy Garden. Includes all drinks and On On. Cost: F.O.C. for Petaling H3 members, guests RM80. Congregate at 2.15pm local time in the vicinity of Happy Garden to convoy to the run site.
Note that pub crawl & run guest fees will be collected in MYR.
As Betong is a border town, most places will accept both the Thai Bath and Malaysian Ringgit. As a rule of thumb, RM100 will get you only TB800.
There are a few places of interest in and around Betong. The Saturday run site is one, being a village set up post-peace agreement made between the Malaysian government, the Thai government, and the Communist Party Of Malaya. To the west of town, is the Piyamit communist tunnel, with the Floral Garden about 10km nearby. En route to these places, there is the hot springs with pools to dip and soak into.
For those who enjoy a rub or two, there are many massage centers in town. Additionally, you could ask the receptionist to arrange for room service.
Betong is essentially a Thai-Chinese town, and most eateries serves Chinese food. Famous food around town include steamed chickens, braised pork legs, porridge, and fish maw soup. There is a popular Thai restaurant located across the main road coming out of our hotels.
Apart from Thai, various Chinese dialects are widely spoken. Local muslim Thais speaks good Malay. If all else fails, use sign language!
Betong is experiencing the north-east monsoon, so it could be rainy during our trip there. The temperature is a few degrees lower than in the Klang Valley. It is advisable to bring along an umbrella/rain coat, a jacket/pullover especially on Saturday at the run site cum On On venue, which is on a valley in the mountains.Posted by onsec at February 11, 2017 04:29 PM