HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

An amazing world tour

Chiang Mai Pool league

Handgun training at the 700 Year Anniversary Sports Complex

Friendship Bowling Club for Thailand and Laos

Looking for good junior Badminton players

Chiangmai SportRoundup

An amazing world tour

Text by Reinhard Hohler
Photos by Simon Harby

Chiangmai Mail received notice from David Unkovich, Chiang Mai’s eminent motorcycling authority and featured Local Personality, that an adventurous English couple had ridden through the military ruled Union of Myanmar, on two motorcycles. I was curious how they were able to achieve this amazing tour of force and interviewed them during their stay in Chiang Mai on their amazing world tour.

The English couple, Suzi and Simon Harby, on their world tour.

Suzi, 43, an interior designer, and Simon Harby, 39, a political consultant for the pharmaceutical industry, left England on two motorcycles on 9 December 2002. The plan included catching the ferry to Cherbourg and heading down the west coast of France and the west side of Spain, taking the ferry across the Straits of Gibraltar to Ceuta, in North African.

Happy times at Inle Lake in Shan State/Myanmar. Intha villagers are working in front of their floating gardens.

From there, they traveled on through Morocco and on to Mauritania, where Simon had a bad accident, hitting a donkey and smashing his motorbike. Now ‘two-up’ they continued to Dakar in Senegal with the one bike, later flying to Johannesburg, where they used much of their money buying a second-hand replacement.

A market in Shan State.

From May to September 2003, they toured as much as possible of South Africa, before continuing to Mozambique, then up the African east coast from Tanzania via Uganda to Kenya, where they visited Mombassa, Malindi and Lamu, following the wheel-tracks of Chinese Admiral Zheng He in the 15th century!

In January 2004, they shipped the bikes from Mombassa to Bombay in India. From there, they headed down the Malabar Coast to Goa, Cochin in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. As the ferry in Rameswaram to Sri Lanka was out of service, they decided to explore the inland of the Indian Subcontinent. Heading to Madurai, Bangalore, Hampi, Poona and on to New Delhi.

It was in the Indian capital in April when they applied for visas at the embassy of the Union of Myanmar. These applications, including a special route permit, took two months to process, so while waiting they explored the Himalayas.

They finally received their route permit on June 17. At the Myanmar border post of Tamu, another handwritten travel permit was issued to them stating all their important stages on their route within Myanmar. They followed the new UN-ESCAP projected Asian Highway through Kalewa, where is a new bridge across the Chindwin River, to Monywa, Sagaing and across the Irrawaddy River to Mandalay. They were harassed by the police for not staying at local guesthouses and were told to spend their money like bona fide tourists.

After staying in Mandalay for a week, Suzi and Simon left to ride to the pagoda studded Bagan, passed Mount Popa in the monsoon rain and ended up in Kalaw on the Shan Plateau. On July 15, full of expectation, they departed to Taunggyi, the capital of Shan State, and continued by road to Kengtung and further down to the border town of Tachilek.

It was at this stage that red tape ensnared them. After having passed all the roadblocks for 30 kilometers after Taunggyi, they were stopped by military personnel and escorted back to Taunggyi. There, it was made clear that they had to fly to Kengtung but send their motorbikes by truck.

As all the Wa driven trucks from Taunggyi to Kengtung have to travel in convoy, so the English couple waited for six days at Inle Lake before boarding the plane to Kengtung at Heho Airport.

They finally arrived in Kengtung, and stayed in Harry’s Guesthouse to wait for the truck convoy to arrive. Days went by and they had to overstay their visas by three days until the convoy arrived and they could then ride to Tachilek.

On July 28, they exhaustedly crossed into the border town of Mae Sai in Thailand. The whole operation had set them back financially USD 400.

Despite the problems in Myanmar, Suzi and Simon are planning to continue the amazing world tour via Laos, Cambodia, Bangkok, Malay Peninsula, Australia, and Central America, U.S.A. and back to London to arrive in April 2005. For further information, see their web site

Chiang Mai Pool league

Handgun training at the 700 Year Anniversary Sports Complex

Gerard Krebs

The shooting range at the 700 Year Anniversary Sports Complex will be running courses in the use of handguns August 28-29 and September 4 this year.

These courses are open to the general public, with the emphasis being on safety as well as shooting techniques.

A competition will be held at the end of the courses. This year’s event will feature newer and better pistols. The registration will cost 2,500 baht and those who pass the training course will receive a merit badge to mark their successful completion of the course.

A similar course was held last May and another in June this year, which were very popular.

Those who are interested in this sport can apply at the One Stop Service room at the 700 Year Anniversary Sports Complex from Tuesday to Saturday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. telephone 053-210825 or 053-226105.

Friendship Bowling Club for Thailand and Laos

Inauguration planned for November

Staff reporters

The Chiang Mai Provincial Bowling Club has been assigned by Puan Nammitre Bowling Club and other bowling clubs in Thailand to establish the Thai-Lao Friendship Bowling Club with the election of office bearers to be held in Vientiane, Laos in November.

Warin Pruakthayanond, the advisor to the Chiang Mai Bowling Club, and its president Samran Wongsasing, said that after the recent bowling competition held in Lampang, they have planned to establish the Friendship Club which will be comprised of the Vientiane Bowling Club, Khon Kaen Club, Korat Club, Chiang Mai Club, Udorn Thani Club, and Lampang Bowling Club.

The clubs have agreed to designate Chiang Mai Bowling Club as the coordinator and organize the establishment of the Thai-Lao Friendship Club in Laos in November.

Other clubs expect to join Thai-Lao Friendship Bowling Club are Phrae Bowling Club, Bang Saen Bowling Club, The Mall Klong 6 Bowling Club, Nakhon Swan Bowling Club and Hanoi(Vietnam) Bowling Club.

Looking for good junior Badminton players

From 10th Educational Office areas

Staff reporters

Northern Badminton Center, Chiang Mai province, is looking for young talented badminton players to represent the province, competing initially in the badminton competition for students in the 10th Educational Office area at Lampang.

Kriangsak Kittitharakul, director of Northern Badminton Center, Chiang Mai, said that Somchai Maijandaeng, the director of Chiang Mai Tourism, Sport and Recreation Center, has assigned the center to find Chiang Mai students who were talented in playing badminton to compete in the Student Badminton Championship hosted by Lampang province.

The first selection round will be on September 11-12, at 1 p.m. at the Badminton Court (Gymnasium 1) at the Municipality Stadium. Applications must be received by August 31 at the Badminton Court at the Municipality Stadium. Applications can be done between 4-8 p.m. The applicants have to bring with them copies of birth certificate, ID card, residential census document, certificate from their schools, a 1 inch photograph and a 150 baht fee.