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Log of a Journey through South and South-East Asia PDF Printable Version E-mail

 

LOG OF A JOURNEY THROUGH SOUTH AND EAST ASIA

NOVEMBER 2004 – MARCH 2005

Barry and Margaret Williamson

This section contains the log of our journey through south and south-east Asia between 8 November 2004 and 31 March 2005. We travelled by self-drive car for the most part and travelled in India, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Burma (Myanmar), Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore before flying on to Australia.

At this stage, and for the most part, the log contains only the places we stayed, the hotel name and cost and the distance covered. As time goes by, we will fill in the details of the journey, day by day. Problem is - we travel too much to have sufficient time to write in enough detail to adequately describe the experience!

The distances shown are those driven by self-drive hire car. In addition, journeys were made by train, aeroplane, bus and long-distance taxi. For example, the rail journey from Delhi to Madras is about 1,400 km.

The hotel prices given were almost always for a double room with air-conditioning, (maybe a fridge and TV) and 'en-suite' bathroom. In Thailand and Malaysia, a buffet breakfast was generally included; in India, breakfast was extra. Rooms in Malaysia often provided a kettle, cups, tea and coffee!

Exchange rates (= one pound sterling): India-80 rupees Thailand-70 baht Hong Kong-14 $ HK Malaysia-7 ringgit Singapore-3 $S

7 November 2004     VIRGIN ATLANTIC VS-0300     LONDON-DELHI

From Milton Farm to Heathrow, up and away

Most journeys begin with pointing our motorhome at the road but this one began with reversing it into Richard Light's barn at Milton-on-Stour, near Gillingham in Dorset. Securely wedged alongside an old green double-decker bus, we hope it will enjoy resting for the next 12 months.

Gillingham & Mere Cars sent their talkative driver, Roly Cave, to take us and our baggage to Heathrow Airport, passing Stonehenge, barely visible in the mist and rain. We arrived 6 hrs early for the 10 pm Virgin Atlantic Airbus flight to Delhi: plenty of time for coffee and sandwiches and a farewell phone call to Margaret's Mum.

The plane was almost full and we had a smooth 8.25 hour flight, with a good dinner served after midnight, then breakfast 5 hours later just before landing. Little sleep, but seat-back screens for navigation and movies.

Our 'Global Explorer' round-the-world one-year air ticket was booked through STA Travel's office in Preston (or visit www.statravel.co.uk). They also arranged an airport transfer and hotel for the first couple of nights in both Delhi and Bangkok.

Travel insurance for the year was done by Endsleigh Insurance, with a good discount for arranging it on the internet rather than by phone or at one of their offices. See www.endsleigh.co.uk.

NORTH INDIA

8/9 November 2004       DELHI    Rahul Palace Hotel      £20 68 

Arranging Car Hire and Seeing the Sites in Delhi

Landed at Delhi International Airport around noon, local time (5.5 hrs ahead of GMT). We had got our tourist visas back in Birmingham, valid for 6 months from date of issue and good for multiple entries for 3 months from date of entry – see www.hcilondon.net/visa). Indian currency was available at an ATM or change booths; our Vodafone mobile phone got a good signal and would be useful for texting.

The STA-booked van transferred 5 of us to a hotel in New Delhi's Karol Bagh area, which claims to be Asia's largest market. Visit www.hotelrahulpalace.com for a medium-priced hotel, with 3 floors of rooms, a simple roof-top restaurant and free email on a machine in the basement, when it was working.

Jet-lagged, we ordered a jug of tea then slept for a couple of hours. Rang Hertz Rentals to try for a self-drive car but they were keen to rent us an Ambassador car + driver. A Mr Ahmed would come round and talk to us about it this evening or first thing tomorrow. Enjoyed the sounds and smells of India over club sandwiches, chips, cold beer and hot chocolate on the roof, as dusk fell and the street markets came to life. The daytime temperature of 75 F didn't cool down.

The standard Indian breakfast was served on the roof – orange juice, cornflakes, buttered toast, omelette and tea/coffee (with plenty of hot milk). All good except for the ubiquitous red 'jam' tasting only of chemicals.

No-one turned up from Hertz. We phoned again and the Manager, Mr Rashid, knew nothing about Mr Ahmed and quoted prices well above those given on their website -www.hertz.com. The hotel receptionist (overhearing the phone call, as they do) offered us a better deal from 'a friend' and we were soon taking sweet milky tea (or chai) and fixing a deal with Muzaffer in his office round the corner! We would leave tomorrow on a 3-week tour of the North, with a Ford Ikon car, the price to include insurance.

Muzaffer threw in a 'free' tour of Delhi for the afternoon, so an Ambassador car and driver took us round a number of ancient sites. First stop, LAKSHMI NARAYAN MANDIR (a large Hindu temple west of Connaught Place), drawing us back into the mysteries of one of the world's oldest religions. Leaving our shoes at the entrance, we saw the main shrine, dedicated to Lakshmi (goddess of wealth), with others to Hanuman (the monkey-god) and Ganesh (the elephant-god). The walls carried quotations from the Bhagavad Gita (some in English). We avoided the shop selling miniature statues but bought a calendar from the street kids outside.

Next, the calm of INDIA GATE war memorial with the wide tree-lined royal mall, the RAJ PATH, leading to Parliament and the President's residence, the RASHTRAPATI BHAVAN. This centre of New Delhi was planned by Edwin Lutyens and constructed from 1921-29, after King George V moved the capital from Calcutta in 1911. The peaceful gardens stand in marked contrast to the chaos of modern Delhi.

A long drive followed (a mystery tour, since the driver spoke no English!) to the LOTUS TEMPLE, a huge modern building built like a lotus flower (the symbol of India). We dutifully walked round the marble interior of this Bahai House of Worship, very plain and bare compared with the mystical jumble in Hindu temples.

Returning to the city centre, the car stopped at the QUTB MINAR complex, the earliest monument of Muslim India – a fluted red minaret dating from 1199 and standing 72.5 m high, next to the ruins of India's first mosque. Objecting to the US$5 entrance fee for foreigners, we just bought a cold drink there.

The last item on the itinerary (as expected) was a proposed visit to an Arts & Crafts Emporium. We had to resist strongly but compensated the driver for his lost commission with a suitable tip. Back at Muzaffer's office, we were given more chai and promised our car at 11 am tomorrow.

On foot, we explored the crazy chaos of the Karol Bagh area. We found a Bank of India ATM (complete with guard armed with a double-barrelled shotgun), a McDonalds, Pizza Hut and good bakery – obviously an upmarket market. McDonalds was a little unusual – no beef (Hindu) or pork (Muslim) products, of course, and the Chicken Maharajah Burger was on the hot side of spicy! We welcomed ice cream to cool the palate. (Indian restaurant food in Britain is adapted to the taste of meat-eaters, the fire tempered by the addition of yogurt, cream or fruit.) In India, hotels and restaurants are generally called 'Veg' or 'Non-veg' - a non-veg will not even serve eggs. Less spicy food (if available) will be listed under 'Continental Meals' on the menu (not sure which continent?)

10 November 2004          AMRITSAR  Ritz Hotel    £32.50 inc bkfst     512 km

A long drive into the Punjab

Packed up, booked the Delhi-Madras train for 1 December (first class a/c sleeper) and went shopping – a small electric kettle for use in hotel rooms, picnic food from the bakery, bottled water, more cash (Muzaffer charged 5% extra for credit card payments, as did the hotel). Best buy was the fascinating 'Times of India' newspaper at 1.5 rupees (about one penny!) For a flavour of the subcontinent, see www.timesofindia.com.

Our car arrived (late), took us round to settle the bill and discuss the route over more chai, and finally we set off at noon to drive over 500 km to Amritsar! Beyond the alarming traffic of Delhi, the long busy road led north to AMBALA, the Haryana-Punjab border, then north-west to AMRITSAR. Just one stop along the way, at a Tourist Complex where we got chai to go with our picnic. Arriving at our destination after dark, we found the Hotel Ritz on Mall Road was full. We finally squeezed into a single room and ordered room-service chicken sandwiches and chips, which came at 10 pm. To compensate, the hotel gave us free tickets for the hot and cold buffet breakfast, our best Indian meal yet.

11 November 2004        JAMMU     Asia Hotel         £35.68          240 km

The Sikh Golden Temple at Amritsar and on to Kashmir

After the excellent buffet breakfast, drove through the mayhem of the old quarter to the Golden Temple of Amritsar (meaning 'Pool of Nectar' after the supposedly healing waters). We had to buy the requisite headscarves (nice souvenirs at 10 rupees each), leave our shoes with the shoe-minder, wash our hands and wade through the ritual footbath.

What a wonderful sight to behold and explore for the next 2 hours – not just the gleaming golden temple reflected in its water-tank, but the amazing array of pilgrims. Many had walked for days to arrive. Some splendidly bearded and extremely dignified Sikh gentlemen, dressed in their saffron and blue hill-tribe costume with huge turbans, carried long curved swords. The crowds certainly surpassed their description in our 'Rough Guide to India'. The enormous kitchen continuously dispensed up to 10,000 meals a day to pilgrims, who could stay up to 3 nights in the sleeping quarters, all free of charge. The priests chanted the 400-year-old Sikh holy book, the Guru Granth Sahib, in shifts round the clock. The whole was unforgettably peaceful and fascinating.

A few minutes' walk from the Temple, through a congested warren of streets teeming with every kind of traffic on 2 or 4 wheels or legs, is the site of the 1919 Jallianwalla Bagh Massacre. After weeks of murder and mayhem, and under provocation, troops under British command had opened fire on an unruly crowd: an event marked by a scruffy park and memorial, its eternal flame sponsored by the Indian Oil Corporation.

A long afternoon drive NE for 130 km to PATHANKOT, then NW on Highway 1A to cross the border of Punjab and Jammu-Kashmir. This involved lengthy paperwork and toll payments, after which we bought chai and photographed the convoys of colourfully painted trucks.

Reaching the busy city of JAMMU, we checked into a comfortable hotel, then visited a Hindu temple, this being the Eve of Diwali, the winter festival of lights and gifts. The priest garlanded us with marigolds, dotted our foreheads with red powder and presented us with bananas, in exchange for a donation (he said he collected foreign currency!) We dined in the hotel's Yangtse Restaurant ('the only authentic Chinese in Kashmir') – plenty of good food, if over-spiced. Date pancakes with ice cream, and hot baths to finish.

12 November 2004      SRINAGAR    Zaffer Houseboat     £22.50 inc meals     300 km

Diwali - The Tortuous Climb up the Beacon Highway to Srinagar and Lake Dal

An early start (7 am) for the long ascent to Srinagar, which had to be completed before dark. It was an amazing drive, past colonies of monkeys and through dusty Moslem villages, as poor as we'd ever seen, immediately distinguished by the complete lack of any women or colour on the streets. There were signs of rudimentary farming (donkeys and small haystacks) and industry: a couple of small brick kilns with piles of red-mud bricks cut by hand; small wood-yards making and selling cricket bats.

The Beacon Highway (1A), climbing from Jammu (at 1,000 ft) to Srinagar, exhorted drivers to take more care, with frequent roadside signs:

No race, no rally, just enjoy the beautiful valley. Live and let die.  Better late than never.  Speed thrills but kills. Bad overtaker means undertaker.  Be Mister Late, not the late mister.  Beacon Highway – not runway.  3 enemies of the road – liquor, speed, overload.

And so it went on, with no visible effect! The money would have been better spent on a barrier along the unguarded edge, with its sheer drop to the ravines below.

After about 110 km we reached the top of the first pass, PATNITOP, at 6,600 ft (site of another hotel in Jammu's 'Asia' group). The road then dropped to about 2,000 ft before climbing again to 7,250 ft. Soldiers and army checkpoints were posted at regular intervals, especially before the 3 km long Jawahar Tunnel (avoiding a 9,000 ft pass), 200 km from Jammu.

Descending to the high Kashmir Valley at 5,200 ft, we continued to SRINAGAR, a heaving, noisy, dirty city, located by Lake Dal at over 5,000 ft. It was packed with people buying food for the Muslim Festival of Eid (marking the end of the fast of Ramadan). The butchers' stalls had long queues for lamb, goat and offal, and the gutters ran with the blood of chickens being slaughtered along the pavements. We had passed trucks loaded with live hens and their eggs on our way up.

Ornate wooden houseboats from the days of the Raj were moored along Lake Dal near the city centre, but the one we had unwittingly booked for 3 nights (it looked good in the brochure, back in Delhi!) was several miles further on, on the remote side of the lake. The proud owner of Zaffer Houseboats met our car on the bank at dusk and led us onto a damp, musty, 3-bedroomed boat whose glory had long since faded. Temperatures were near freezing at this height. Unimpressed, we reluctantly agreed to try it for one night if we were given chai, a hot meal, a wood-burning stove and hot water bottles.

After a dinner of soup, chicken and veg, raisin bread and coffee by the stove (carried into our bedroom), we stopped shivering but once the embers burnt down at around midnight, a dead chill set in.

13/14 November 2004      SRINAGAR    Hotel Akbar   £31.25 inc meals

Eid in Srinagar

Next morning, after a simple breakfast, we negotiated a price for the one night plus meals and (after a long discussion about Islam and the USA) Mr Zaffer directed us to a warm hotel in the town (run by his father, of course!) Though the hotel was almost full for the festival, we had a good room and were welcomed with chai and biscuits and promised 'hot rubber bags' for the bed! Again, the price included breakfast and an evening meal.

We walked from our hotel by the Dal Gate into the downtown and markets. Srinagar is the capital of Kashmir, grindingly poor after years of conflict, tourists driven away by its war zone status. Our edition of the 'Rough Guide' did not even include a section on the State, dismissing it as too dangerous. There were no cafes or chai stalls and we found little to buy: some out-of-date chocolate and a basket of dates, nuts and dried apricots, on sale for Eid.

We had more luck with communications. The government has equipped all towns, even this remote place, with metered phone booths (look for the 'STD-IDD' sign – Subscriber Trunk Dialling and International Direct Dialling). The cost is subsidised and much cheaper than hotel phones, especially for overseas calls. We also found an internet place up some dark stairs, with individual booths and ancient computers for 40 rupees (or 25 pence) an hour. Islamic signs warned of the dire consequences of looking at pornographic sites but they allowed us to check and reply to emails

Back at the hotel, the chef had prepared a specially cooked 'English' meal for us, at 7.30 prompt, before feeding the other guests with a buffet dinner. Very spicy soup was followed by excellent chicken, vegetables and chappatis, with a thermos of coffee to take to our room.

The city's electricity supply is of a very low voltage with regular blackouts. Everyone was out to spot the new moon so that Eid celebrations could begin at dawn, ending the 28 days of fasting. The calculation of its exact date was beyond explanation.

Next morning, Eid was heralded in with calls to prayer, the chanting in the mosques which is unique to Kashmir and a few firecrackers and sparklers in the streets. We took the rowing boat ferry across the river to the car park (an alternative to walking round by bridge). A tour of the area started with the Shalimar Mughal (Mogul) Gardens, followed by the larger Cheshmashahi Mughal Gardens. These involved a small entrance fee and pleasant walks in gardens which would have been lovely in the summer, and if the fountains had been maintained and the café had been open.

Crackers and cheese triangles for lunch (always carried as a standby), then the highlight of the day – the Jai Shiv Shankar Hindu Temple, founded on a hilltop at 6,000 ft in about 500 BC. We drove through a heavily armed security checkpost before climbing a narrow forest road to a car park. Here, we were frisked by more soldiers and had to leave digital camera and GPS locked in the car. We climbed a breathtakingly long steep flight of steps, stood in line to give the priest some holy rice crispies, on sale below, and received his blessing by the ancient lingam of Shiva. The view over Srinagar was splendid, the hilltop also housing the army satellite post, visible from our hotel balcony at night.

Resisting the (very slight) temptation of a boat trip on the chilly lake, we returned to the warm hotel to read – Mark Tully's 'India in Slow Motion' has an excellent chapter on the houseboats of Lake Dal. Dinner – rogan josh (lamb or goat curry), rice and vegetables including lotus-stalks, followed by a Kashmiri pudding, like warm semolina with nuts and raisins – was surprisingly good. The chef, head waiter and kitchen boy all came out to receive our compliments and tips. The hotel owner then waylaid us and revealed his own emporium of arts and crafts, carpets, blankets and papier mache ornaments. We managed to extricate ourselves from the hard sell by diverting him into a political-religious debate – a successful tactic!

15 November 2004      JAMMU      Asia Hotel      £35.68          295 km

Return to Jammu, down the Beacon Highway

After 'bed-tea' (a great Indian institution, served in a thermos) and an early breakfast, we left at 8 am for the hair-pining (and hair-raising) return drive to Jammu. Winter was setting in, with the first snowfall of the season soon to come (up to 3 ft on the mountains surrounding Lake Dal on 1 December). If it were not for the Jawarhar Tunnel, about 95 km below the town, Srinagar would be cut off for months. We understood the need for the army checkpoints and searches at each end of the tunnel.

Safely back at our hotel in JAMMU, we enjoyed the room service 'continental' menu (a choice of burgers, pizzas, banana split, chocolate mousse or fresh fruit), the hot baths and the constant electric lighting. It was much warmer down at 1,000 ft. How sad we felt for the poor inhabitants of Srinagar.

16 November 2004    McLEOD GANJ/DHARMSALA  Hotel Bhagsu £11.56    200 km

A long slow drive to the hill-station home of the Dalai Lama, with Monks and Monkeys

After 80 km we reached the border of Jammu-Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh states – more paperwork, tolls and chai. Leaving Highway 1A at PATHANKOT, we turned east on a very slow mountain road to climb to the upper hill station of McLEOD GANJ, 1000 ft above DHARMSALA on a wooded ridge.

Now home to the Tibetan government-in-exile, the Dalai Lama himself and hundreds of Tibetan refugees and Buddhist pilgrims, the British hill station was named after David McLeod, the Governor of the Punjab in 1848. Our hotel is run by the Himachal Pradesh Tourist Development Corporation (the HPTDC – Indians love acronyms). It is comfortable, shabby and an easy walk to both town and temples. Large white monkeys swung from the trees outside our window (sadly, they sometimes get electrocuted, hanging from overhead wires).

In the late afternoon, we visited the Namgyal Monastery and its temple, by the Dalai Lama's modest walled residence. Monks with dark crimson habits and shaved heads smiled serenely or prostrated themselves silently before the images of Buddha. We turned the prayer wheels and remembered television interviews of Brian Blessed or Michael Palin, privileged to meet the Lama here, in his mountain home.

In the busy little town we bought Kodak Gold film for 100 rupees each (including 2 free AA batteries) The Dalai Lama beamed down at us from a dozen portraits in the shop. We ate at the McLlo Restaurant (the best of a poor selection), finishing with cakes from the bakery opposite. From the many souvenir and book stalls, we chose a few postcards.

17/18 November 2004   MANALI,    Hotel Chandermukhi  £20.00    240 km

From hill station to hill station, in the foothills of the Himalaya

We descended through Dharmsala for another slow day on narrow winding back-roads. We paused to visit a modern Buddhist monastery and an ancient Hindu temple further along – a great contrast in styles of worship. Climbing again, tea bushes grew green and glossy on the hillsides.

It was dark by the time we reached the hill station of MANALI, and most of its many hotels were full. Surprised, we discovered that it was a popular honeymoon resort and this was the start of the Marriage Season! Eventually we found a room (not resembling a honeymoon suite!) in a modest hotel, with room service snacks.

Next day we drove up to the nearby Tibetan refugee village of VASHISTA. In the internet café there, we met the elegant Mr Lavkumar Khachar, a retired aristocrat from Rajkot with a splendid interest in the World Wildlife Fund. He walked us through the village, greeting the Tibetans milking their animals, to his second home on a hillside above a wooded stream. While his 'man' made refreshing lime tea for us all, Lavkumar told of the summer camps he ran there, for poor urban kids from Gujerat.

Returning to Manali, we visited a popular Hindu temple in the forest, where local women offered yak rides or opportunities to cuddle an angora rabbit (bred for their wool).

 

19 November 2004           SHIMLA Hotel Combermere,  £22.13          240 km

20 November 2004           DELHI Rahul Palace Hotel,  £20          345 km

21 November 2004           JAIPUR Hotel Saket,  £22          260 km

22 November 2004           AGRA Hotel Deedar-E-Taj,  £27.56          230 km

23 November 2004           KANPUR Hotel Landmark,  £59.06          290 km

24 November 2004           ALLAHABAD Hotel Kanha Shyam,  £28.53          193 km

25/26 November 2004           VARANASI Hotel Surya,  £9.62          121 km

27/28 November 2004           LUCKNOW Hotel Arif Castles,  £22.31          286 km

29 November 2004           GAJRAULA Hotel Swagat,  £9.37         

30 November 2004           DELHI Rahul Palace Hotel,  £20          530 km

1 December 2004          DELHI Rahul Palace Hotel,  £13.50         

2 December 2004          TAMIL NADU EXPRESS,  £0

For details of the amazing Indian railway network, see www.indianrail.gov.in.

Total Distance for North India:            4,300 km or 2,680 miles

SOUTH INDIA

3/5 December 2004          MADRAS Hotel New Victoria,  £17.58          200 km

 

6 December 2004          PONDICHERRY Anandha Inn,  £23.12          200 km

7 December 2004          THANJAVUR Hot Oriental Towers,  £19.68          200 km

8 December 2004          RAMESWARAM Hotel Shriram,  £13.75          250 km

9/13 December 2004          MADURAI Supreme Hotel,  £25.31          222 km

14/15 December 2004          KANYAKUMARI Hotel Sea View,  £25.62          307 km

16 December 2004          TRIVANDRUM Hotel Pankaj,  £24.43          140 km

An item in 'The Hindu' next day explained the state of our hotel's façade:

“Unidentified persons stoned an upmarket hotel opposite the Government Secretariat yesterday evening. Glass doors and windowpanes of the hotel were broken in the stoning. The police suspect that the attack is linked to labour problems at the hotel.”

It also explained the low price, the surly service at breakfast and the absence of other guests!

 

17 December 2004          KOLLAM Hotel Sudarsan,  £18.93          94 km

18/19 December 2004          ALLEPPEY Hotel Prince,  £17.97          100 km

20/21 December 2004          COCHIN Hotel Bharat,  £21.56          80 km

22/23 December 2004          KUMILY Hotel Woodlands,  £15          220 km

24/25 December 2004          KODAIKANAL JC Residency,  £27.20          200 km

26 December 2004          KODAIKANAL JC Residency,  £27.20          220 km

27 December 2004          MUNNAR Isaacs Residency,  £22          220 km

28 December 2004          MUNNAR Isaacs Residency,  £22          70 km

29/31 December 2004          OOTY Hotel Nahar,  £28.9          250 km

1 January 2005           CANNANORE Malabar Residency,  £15.81          260 km

2 January 2005           MYSORE Viceroy Hotel,  £27.41          210 km

3 January 2005           MYSORE Viceroy Hotel,  £27.41          50 km

4 January 2005           HASSAN Hotel Silver Star,  £18.68          170 km

5 January 2005           HASSAN Hotel Silver Star,  £18.68          120 km

6 January 2005           KOLAR Hotel Sri Shanthi,  £8.12          250 km

7/8 January 2005           MADRAS Hotel New Victoria,  £21.09          270 km

9/10 January 2005           TAMIL NADU EXPRESS,  £0          80 km

11 January 2005           DELHI Rahul Palace Hotel,  £20.00         

12 January 2005           SINGAPORE AIRLINE

          Total Distance for South India:            4,380 km or 2,740 miles

          Total Distance for India:            8,680 km or 5,425 miles

 

THAILAND

13/15 January 2005           BANGKOK Hotel Asia,  £20.00         

16/17 January 2005           PATTAYA Hotel Surfbeach,  £9.28          170 km

18 January 2005           PATTAYA Hotel Surfbeach,  £9.28          70 km

19 January 2005           CHANTHABURI Travelodge,  £11.42          215 km

20 January 2005           ARANYAPRATHET Hotel Indochina,  £10.71          240 km

21 January 2005           (CAMBODIA)                   

22 January 2005           (CAMBODIA)                   

23 January 2005           ARANYAPRATHET Hotel Indochina,  £10.71         

24/31 January 2005           SURIN Hotel Thong Tarin,  £11.57          255 km

1 February 2005           SURIN Hotel Thong Tarin,  £11.57         

2 February 2005           SURIN Hotel Thong Tarin,  £11.57          45 km

3/5 February 2005           KHON KAEN Hotel Khon Kaen,  £9.28          290 km

6 February 2005           NONG KHAI Hotel Riverside,  £11.42          200 km

7 February 2005           (LAOS)

8 February 2005           (LAOS)

9 February 2005           NONG KHAI Hotel Riverside,  £11.42         

10 February 2005           LOEI Hotel Palace,  £25.57          250 km

11 February 2005           PHITSANULOK Hotel Rajapruk,  £8.57          260  km

12 February 2005           LAMPANG Hotel Kim City,  £10.57          260 km

13 February 2005           THATON Hotel Thaton Chalet,  £17.14          305 km

14/15 February 2005           MAE SAI Hotel Wang Thong,  £14.28          135 km

16 February 2005           PHAYAO Hotel Gateway,  £14.28          310 km

17/18 February 2005           TAK Hotel Viang Tak 2,  £11.42          380 km

19 February 2005           NAKHON SAWAN Hotel Pimarn,  £11.42          180 km

20/21 February 2005           KANCHANABURI Hotel RS,  £12.85          270 km

22/23 February 2005           KANCHANABURI Hot River Kwai,  £16.00          300 km

24 February 2005           BANGKOK Hotel Comfort Suite,  £26.42          190 km

25 February 2005           HONG KONG Hotel Panda,  £25.00         

26 February 2005           HONG KONG Hotel Panda,  £25.00         

27 February 2005           BANGKOK Hotel Comfort Suite,  £26.42          

28 February 2005           HUA HIN Seaview Guesthouse,  £17.14          285 km

1 March 2005           RANONG Hotel R Garden,  £9.42          460 km

2 March 2005           PATONG Hotel First Resort,  £17.14          300 km

3 March 2005           KRABI Hotel Seaview,  £17.14          240 km

4/7 March 2005           HAT YAI Hotel Diamond Plaza,  £12.71          320 km

          Total Distance for Thailand:            5,930 km or 3,700 miles         

MALAYSIA

8 March 2005           PENANG Hotel Continental,  £14.00         

9 March 2005           PENANG Hotel Continental,  £14.00          73 km

10 March 2005           PENANG Hotel Continental,  £14.00          170 km

11 March 2005           KOTA BHARU Hotel Crystal Lodge,  £15.71          420 km

12 March 2005           KUALA Terengganau Motel Desu ,  £13.57          220 km

13/14 March 2005           KUANTAN Hotel Seri Malaysia,  £17.14          250 km

15 March 2005           KUANTAN Hotel Seri Malaysia,  £17.14          25 km

16/17 March 2005           CAMERON HILAND Pines Resort,  £27.60          470 km

18/19 March 2005           CAMERON HILAND Pines Resort,  £27.60          40 km

20 March 2005           KUANTAN Hotel Seri Malaysia,  £12.85          530 km

21/24 March 2005           MELAKA Hotel Naza,  £21.14          375 km

25 March 2005           MELAKA Hotel Naza,  £21.14          90 km

26 March 2005           MELAKA Hotel Naza,  £21.14          260 km

27 March 2005           MERSIN Hotel Seri Malaysia,  £17.14          280 km

28 March 2005           JOHOR BAHRU Tropical Inn,  £17.85          140 km

29 March 2005           JOHOR BAHRU Tropical Inn,  £17.85         

30 March 2005           SINGAPORE Hotel Orchid,  £21.11         

31 March 2005           SINGAPORE Hotel Orchid,  £21.11         

                                       Total Distance for Malaysia:                  3,340 km or 2,090 miles

                                       Total Distance in South & SE Asia:  17,950 km or 11,220 miles