Monday, 5 May 2014

Asean Family rally 2009 Part 1 (Travelling from Singapore through Malaysia to Thailand)

I had the opportunity to tag along with a group from SMSA (Singapore Motor Sport Association). This was part of the ASEAN Family Rally in conjunction with the ASEAN summit held in Thailand. Our Singapore contingent would set off on the 28th of February for Hatyai and return back to Singapore on the 6th. Basically, it was a 900+ km drive to be able to take part in a 400+km drive, then another 900+ km back to SG. All Photos taken from Bingo's camera as I did not have a camera then and almost all of my photos taken with my phone were kind of blurry.
Breifing before event
So bright and early before the crack of dawn on Saturday morning, we met up for a short safety brief before heading to Penang.
The three Porsche cars lined up outside our hotel in Penang.
Despite not driving at all,I did have the fortune to be a passenger in one of three Porsche cars which were part of the Singapore convoy.
Group shot

Being typical Singaporeans, we had to take a group photograph before starting the second leg of our journey which would take us from Penang, through the Malaysia-Thailand border, and into Hatyai. 

Uniquely Singapore!
Our "Uniquely Singapore" tops were kindly provided by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) since this was a sort diplomatic trip. Helped that an ex chairman of STB was also along for the trip ;)

Local politician welcoming us into Thailand
Finally at noon, we reached the Malaysia-Thailand border. In addition to having a welcoming party at the border, one of the benefits was that we got to "fast track" through Thai customs as we were on a "diplomatic mission". So no lengthy wait and vehicle inspection!

Dancers in traditional attire

There was much fanfare when we arrived, with a dance troupe putting up a performance for us. I imagine it was a bit of an annoyance for the normal crowd that crossed the borders as there was a section of immigration blocked off.

Unexpected welcome
Photos together with the dance troupe

Banner welcoming participants at the Malaysia-Thailand border

Local police leading the way
After crossing the border, with a police escort guiding us, we headed for our hotel where we would have a briefing before the actual day

No more photographs from the afternoon today as I'd split up from the rest to walk around town on my own. There was however a dinner organised for all participants which also included a fireworks display!

Exchange of gifts between the Guest of Honor and our SG contingent leader
Different countries contingent representatives
Fireworks 1

Fireworks 2
Closing performance



Closing performance

Hopefully the blog post for the next part of the trip doesn't take me as long to write as this one!