0054 A rather peculiar border crossing (Thai 009—new)

Sungai Kolok Travel Blog

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Sungai Kolok

Day 042: 4 hours, 3.8 kms

 From Phatthalung I catch a van to Hat Yai--  where I discovered the supercool “Buddha Army” a few weeks ago.  It looks like I should probably stay the night here, as it’s getting late and this is the last city before the Malay border. 

I wander around downtown a bit… enjoy my last Thai meal and stop to listen to some live music at a trendy spot along the main drag… Then I head back to my shabby back alley hotel and decide to call it a night.

Next day I get up early to catch the first train to the border.  I soon reach the town of Songai Kolick on the border which has a distinctive Muslim atmosphere.  Most of the shops are still closed--  folks tend to sleep in during Ramadan and most of the ladies are wearing hijabs and the men wear long robes and sport scrawny little beards…

The sleepy red light district seems a bit out of place here--  but then again, this is still Thailand…

I head on down a village style street with simple little spaced apart houses surrounded by green… and then the street turns into a muddy path… and it suddenly ends at a muddy little canal.

  There a couple of fellows are unloading boxes of miscellaneous goods from little rowboats that ferry across the canal.

Oh, I get it… this is the, uh, “unofficial” border crossing to Malaysia….

A couple of guys sitting under a tree ask if I need a ride across to Malaysia.  I say thanks, but I think I’ll take the legal crossing instead.  They point out a narrow elevated walkway through the mud and brush that’ll take me to the “official” crossing…

But first they insist that I play a couple of songs for them--  and I take a cool little video clip of me playing right there on the contraband crossing from Thailand to Malaysia…

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Sungai Kolok
Sungai Kolok
Sungai Kolok
photo by: nathanphil