Day two began with the cars being flagged off at 0845hrs. Half an hour later, we made a stop at the Murugan Temple to shoot the cars. I, personally, did not find anything special about the temple; it looks like any other temple you’d find in South India. But hey, what do I know?
Like yesterday, we scythed through the traffic thanks to our fantastic police escort. After we stopped to refuel there was another surprise waiting for us. Joining the police in escorting us to the Thai border were about 40 or 50 big bikes. It was a full-power party, with 28 XUV500s and three Scorpios screaming down the highway with the visual drama provided by the police vehicles’ flashing lights and the background soundtrack by the bikes’ screaming and howling engines. It was with a sad heart that we said goodbye to these people as we crossed Malaysia’s border at three in the afternoon. We entered Thailand at the Sa-Dao border at 2pm. Yes, it was time to set our watches, since you gain an hour while travelling from Malaysia to Thailand.
Once again we were met by waving children, excited crowds waving ASEAN flags, and food. And another official cultural programme. We left the venue, this time escorted by the Thai police – no motorcycles, only police cars. The crowds part in front of us like the Red Sea before Moses; now I know what a big-shot politician feels like. You are the priority on the road, everyone else can wait. It was 1630hrs by the time we reached our hotel at Hat Yai. But, before we could park our cars, we were told to assemble back at the hotel lobby at a quarter past six. We had an official cultural evening to attend!