10 May 2016

Blue Jackets Songkran drive to Phuket

           Let me introduce you to the Blue Jackets Fraternitas of Malaysia .   They are a Fraternity of Supercar owners and drivers who have had  amazing drives beyond what you'd expect from supercar owners . For example they have driven their cars from Malaysia ,across Thailand to Laos .
                      Supercars !!!!   not 4x4s .
 I've been following their exploits for some time and by some lucky circumstances i  got to join them for one of their amazing drives.

   Besides the drives ,what i really like was that this is not a car club. This is a group based on friendship                   ,respect ,love of cars....and ultimately , brotherhood .
That was my expectation...the reality was so much more.

Recently they organised a drive to Phuket in Thailand for Songkran .     1000km one way  .
 So there was a whole bunch of supercars ..............................................and 1 Elise .   ha ha ha ha.                          

                                               The BJS annual Songkran experience .                          

Before the drive a briefing was held in KL and the cars were stickered with the drives stickers.
From all red to black on red.

Day 1

D Day .

RV at 4pm ,as many had to work .

After a meet and greet...we're off. 

In addition to the BJS ,the Supercar Club of Sarawak ,and Exotic Car Club of Singapore will also be joining this drive.

Bogey on my 6 .

A short while later we RV'd with the Sarawak and Singapore drivers .

Fuel and some rest .

Today we drive to mainland Penang ,and tomorrow to Phuket .

The return journey will be Phuket to KL straight .

Skittles .

Some of the drivers. 
Don't let the petite young lady fool you .A very fast and skilled driver. GTR !!

Part of the group we're meeting .

The 458 is a spyder .

Rest of the group .

All here. 

Nice huh. 

Now we have the full contingent of cars .

Multiple bogeys on my 6 .

What a view .

Another short break for fuel and rest.

A nice collection of rear ends .

See  :-)

Lead car . 911 GT3 RS 

GTR duct tape edition . Rare version  :-P

Not all GTRs are built equal .Meet Gojira !

A very fast Audi TTS .

Merc CLA  AMG 45 . It was amazing watching this Merc stick to speeding Ferraris . 

Dangerous curves  :-)

We drove till dusk...

My cockpit  ;-)

Almost at our turn off.

Soon we reach .

Now for some pics . R-L.
458 ,360 ,Evora IPS ,911 GT3RS

GT3 ,GTR ,Audi RS5 4.2 V8

458 Spyder ,430 ,GTR .

GTR ,Audi TTS ,Maserati GranTurismo ,Lotus Elise S

Look closely at the centre car .

ha ha ha ha

My baby :-)

Also my baby  ;-)

Soon it was time for dinner with the guys .

Good food ,good company...then a good sleep , for tomorrow we drive in Thailand    :-)

Day 2

Bright and early .

A briefing before we set out .

Team leads , blue and black shirts .

And we're off .

At a good clip .The bikes were having fun too .

A nice morning view .

We were supposed to exit Malaysia via the usual border .

But being as its the Phuket bike week time and Songkran festival period ,we got news the border was packed .

So the plan was to exit via a rural border .

What makes that interesting is that from the border to Phuket ,we don't hit the main highway of Thailand at all .

All secondary roads .

My co pilot is also the photographer .

A last stop before the border for our paperwork .

What a line up ,huh .

Now for some fun driving .

These guys don't understand the meaning of sedate  :-p

It was not easy keeping up with them .

The Lotus is able ,the driver is barely adequate .

Nice view huh .

This is Malaysia  .Beautiful !!

160-200 on B roads .

The 3 of us were quite comfortable though  :-P

Great weather and grippy Malaysian roads.....

...make a great drive .

Throw in views like this...

Then it becomes fantastic .

The best kind of jam .

Here we go onto C roads .

Sedate.....Nooooooooo    ha ha ha

Green Goblin on my 6 .

Taking switchbacks at full throttle .

Nice huh .

Look at the angle .

Soon we reach the rural border post .

Guess the look on the faces of people here .

A break till all have cleared .

A pretty sight . 

Welcome to Thailand .

A sea of red .

And part 2 of the journey starts .

The pace was as quick as ever . 

A Ferarri FF  6.3 V12 . 
If you think the car is fast ,the very experienced 70 year old gentleman is even faster than most drivers here. 
And he drove from Phuket to KL straight on the return journey . 1000km straight .

Rural towns in southern Thailand .

What a view .

We're halfway through the journey here .

We stopped at a mall in Trang for lunch .

Being a public holiday all the parking lots were full .

They kindly opened a stretch to park these cars .

Lotus Elise Supercharged . Fast and fantastic handling .
Mine .   :-)

Also mine
  wait , wrong pic  :-P

After lunch we continue the journey .
 Locals along the way .

Just as it turns night.....

We reach Phuket .

Official Lotus Elise luggage .  Nice huh . 

After freshening up ,we head out to dinner .
Also we bought our guns . For tomorrow  :-)

Nicky's Handlebar Phuket .
A close friend of the BJS .

A great dinner caps off a great day driving .

Day 3

Our modest hotel .  :-P

With its empty parking lot .

Classy  .

A very nice place .

The streets are still quiet .

Today is Songkran !!

The most famous aspect of the Songkran celebrations is the throwing of water. The custom originates from spring cleaning aspect of Songkran. Part of the ritual was the cleaning of images of Buddha. Using the 'blessed' water that cleaned the images to soak other people is seen as a way of paying respect and bring good fortune.

If you drive out ,you'll be cleaner when you reach back  :-)

What a line up .

Red !!!   :-)

The white paste on the face is applied by the locals for good luck .

See the bike on the left .

Now see the same guy .

This is Songkran .

She really had fun .

The crowd gets more as the hours go by .

A nationwide street party .

Those are the guns .

Our port . It has beer  :-)
Now you can say ,here hold my beer , while i get my gun         ha ha ha

You can shoot anyone , anytime  :-)

The bucket is for ammo .

Some have ice water...fun  :-)

She had the most fun  :-0

After all the games we rode our rental scooters to a restaurant by the sea .

Everyone is soaked .

But very happy...

Look at the view we had...

Good food and a great view .

After riding around Phuket and visiting a shooting range we went back to the main street .

Much more packed .

When can you say , you have to go into the bar to get some peace and quiet .  ha ha ha

After some beers , its back for dinner and zzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Day 4

Early the next morning .

Some rooms have their own private jacuzzi .

Heading down we get this view .


Nicer .

Bunny  :-)

Today is free and easy .

So some of us decided to tour .

We took our cars and drove around the island .

Nice huh  .

Our first stop is the Big Buddha of Phuket .

Gojira with a nice background .

We're going up to the statue .

Paparazzi .

Free entry...

Then we see it .

And the view from the temple .

Been here 3 times . Still impressive .

The view too .
We walked around the temple complex and took in the sights .

A last look then its time for some refreshments .

Just down the road from the temple .

Drinks with a view .

Back to the hotel and we left the ladies.
  Then the guys wanted to visit a car accessory shop specialising in horns .

Hooters   ,  ha ha ha

Yes , a car accessory shop   :-P

Dancing on the streets , as it was also the Indian new year .

Hostesses .

Suddenly we heard a loud rumble .

A very cool trike , with the rest of our group .

After some drinks its back to get ready for dinner .

As it was the last night the BJS had set up a gala dinner at Nicky's Handlebar .

And gala it was. 

The core BJS team with Nicky . 

Look at the food . This is just part of it .

Needless to say i was overstuffed to the max .  

The whole contingent of  BJS , SCS  and ECC .

Dinner , drinks and friends .
A great night .

Day 5

Unfortunately we have to leave .

We are going to drive directly to KL .

Nice lobby .  :-P

The SCS and ECC will be stopping at Penang ,while we head back .

The Phuket bridge .

Driving in Thailand .

Nice limestone cliffs as we reach Krabi .

View from my cockpit .

One issue is that the roads in Thailand are slippery .

They are not grippy and have an oily residue . In the dry . Its worse during rain .

So we had to be very careful .

Being the fastest car , it was very nice of me to let everyone go ahead, ha ha ha   :-P

Really fun driving .

View at my rear .

We are going to exit through the same border . 

So that means no highways and all superb sweepers .

Like so .

The boys' got taste   :-P

A bit of light off roading to round off the experience .

Then smooth driving till the border . 

After crossing the border my wife wanted pics ...

As we waited for the rest to cross .

She and her bunny .

Met a new friend...Mr. Turtle .

Towards dusk we headed back .

We said goodbye to the SCS and ECC boys and headed back to KL.
By night everyone reached  home safe .

This is my first long distance group drive.  Driving solo is easy ,you do what you want .In a group many things have to be managed to make things smooth . From fuel stops, bathroom breaks ,food stops ,unplanned stops , to drivers capabilities ,endurance ,skill....everything has to be taken into account. Add in making sure the convoy stays intact ,especially in traffic ,or when some car has an issue ....all these have to be managed.  Also you have to plan the route and alternative options . I have taken a group of bikes on long rides and i know the challenges. But with bikes its much easier as you can filter through traffic and at a traffic light everyone regroups. Its much harder by car. 
So i was very impressed with the way the convoy was managed and at how smooth things were. 
It was due to work ,not luck .

The experience driving , enjoying Songkran ,touring and most importantly enjoying the  time with our BJS friends was fantastic.  Thailand is fun ,but its the people you're with that makes it great. 
I expected a lot from the BJS based on their track record.
What i got was so much more .

So ,the Blue Jackets Songkran drive to Phuket is over ,
but the smile on our faces is still there .

Cheers .


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