This post was originally published on December 16, 2015 on The Grand Prix Road Trip Blog at MyRoadTrip.net // under the title:
MAZDA MX-5: MIATA CLUB OF THAILAND ROAD TRIP NORTH TO THE LAOS BORDER
- Southeast Asia Miata Road Trip Overview
Day 2 in Bangkok started bright and early. No time for jet lag. Quick run down Sukhumvit Soi 11 for a delicious bowl of soup and a visit to Bai Po massage parlor for an hour long Thai massage to get ready for the Road Trip to the North of Thailand near the Laos border. Don’t think I’ve ever been folded in half and stretched out like I did this time around. Even with the touristy mark-up, at under $10 USD, this was a steal of a deal and I felt like a brand new person after a rather strong Thai massage before Tanet came to pick me up.
We hit the expressway heading North to a gas station just north of Don Mueang Airport where I’d be flying to Singapore from just a few days later. Lucky for me Tanet explained that despite my naively believing there was a direct train connection from the city, getting to the airport would be slightly more complicated, which prepared me to research a shuttle bus for my departure. And then we arrived. A smile came to my face when I saw an A&W root beer restaurant, a sight which I’ve seen a number of times in Southeast Asia but have never actually seen in all my travels in the US. And as we sat drinking root beer more and more cars started trickling into the parking lot.
Once again I was very pleasantly surprised at the volume of cars that showed up! The turnout was pretty incredible and this was just the first stop on our five hour journey. Cars continued to join the trip as we went along, and even more cars joined later that night when I broke off from the group taking an overnight bus back to Bangkok.
The drive up was exhilarating. Obviously this club has done this before, and quite frequently. Everyone had walkies talkies and the group stayed in contact throughout the drive.
It was only a month since their last big Road Trip down south to Krabi & Surat Thani where the owners from Singapore and Malaysia joined the Thai group on the drive. It was a Tri-5 Road Trip I was hoping to recreate by visiting each country separately, but I could imagine how cool it must be when they all get together.
We started out with the top down enjoying some beautiful sunny weather until of course the clouds rolled in and the mist turned to rain and then heavy rain along the way. Some NA’s and NB’s complained of taking on water. Even Tanet’s car dripped a few drops onto my foot from what I’d assume to be seeping water thru the dash board. But the road trip went on and was quite exciting!
We’d pull into another gas station for a pee break. People would put their tops down and as we get back on the main road watching the clouds get darker everyone would put their tops back up.
About half way along the way a Ranger passed us from what I’d assume to be Buriram Circuit… a place that currently hosts SuperGT among other cool races in Asia. A circuit which I would really love to participate in as a marshal one day (in case anyone has contacts?)!
A few more hour drive in the dark, and another pit stop. We had reached our dinner spot pretty late around 8pm and you could tell people were hungry because there was plenty of complaining via the walkie talkies. The food was absolutely delicious! It was traditional to the region of Northern Thailand / Laos, spicy, fresh, and good!
Tanet was kind enough to let me drive his ’08 NC GT PRHT for the last hour of our journey and boy was that neat! His car is lowered and has some engine mods which were really noticeable to me as I kept on comparing it to my car and how much better his is. It was great!
We had such an incredible time together, the whole group came to send me off at the bus station in town, and went on about their way to their overnight stay destination at a hotel to the north of Phetchabun. The bus ride to Bangkok was fairly quick four hours, getting me to the Mo Chit Terminal around 3:30am and I was back in my hotel by 4am… too excited to go to sleep yet! So I went and got some street food on a very active and lively night in Bangkok.
What a trip!!!
- Southeast Asia Miata Road Trip Overview