31st December – Enter Malaysia – Cameron Highlands

2 Jan

From Songkhla we drove straight down to the Thai Malaysian border at Sadao, it had rained hard in the night and the whole area was very wet. The East coast tends to get the worst of the weather at this time of the year.

Having dug out all the documents, we made sure that we had the Temporary Conveyance (Import) document TM2 ready as we were told that it was critical for an easy passage through customs.

 

 

In fact  there was only a casual glance at the TM2 and we were given it back to take away. There was more interest in the carnet, although it is not really needed for Thailand. We had got it stamped on the way in and so made sure it was stamped on the way out. Just so you know what the TM2 looks like, here is a picture!

 

 

On the Malaysian side we went through immigration without any problems. The girl on the counter collected foreign notes, so we dug out a couple of Mongolian and Russian notes, and she gave us enough Malaysian money to pay the ‘toll’. We had not changed any yet and so it was really handy.

Once through immigration, we parked up and visited the customs officials. They led us to a small office and they stamped us in on the carnet. Important as you need this when you ship out of Malaysia. All in all a very easy border to cross with your own car.

Outside the border area, just down the slope on the right hand side are a few small offices. The first sells insurance (about 80 MR) for one month, and the second is a Department of Transport office where you get a sort of temporary tax disc (circulation/transit permission). This is free, but necessary.

 

The rest of the day was driving in the rain, and later the dark into the Cameron Highlands. Arriving late, we had ideas of gatecrashing a New Years eve party in a big resort at the highest point, but ended up just parking right outside reception and setting up camp. No one seemed to mind and the party just carried on without us. At one point Graham was tempted inside by the noise of people having fun, but after seeing himself in a hotel mirror, unshowered, crumpled clothes and with a few days stubble, decided he did not fit in and crept back into the camper. As we lay in bed, and the countdown got to midnight, we heard the sounds of people cheering and blowing whistles and wishing each other a happy new year, we felt a bit like Mr Bean when his visitors tricked him into going to bed early while they enjoyed a party next door!!

We did however enjoy our coolest evening for weeks, as the temperature dropped to 17 or 18 degrees C during the night instead of the normal 28 to 30 degrees C.

 

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