Road Trip to Southern Thailand: Pattani [Part 4] – The Road to Pattani

Previously: Part 3

*****

23 January 2012

The first thing that I did after I woke up was to eat the mango sticky rice. Lol. Gladly it was still okay.

Bangun-bangun je pagi ni, terus aku capai pulut mangga yang aku beli dari makcik berpurdah semalam. Cium-cium sikit, oh elok lagi ni. Apa lagi, makanlah!

I went to the window and from the window, I could see the whole of Hat Yai town. Hat Yai is really a big city. It seems that the whole area is full with buildings and from the hotel room, I could also see the Hat Yai train station, which was the first place in Thailand that I went to, last month.

Sambil mulut penuh berisi dan menguyah pulut mangga yang manis dan lemak berkrim, aku pergi ke tingkap dan tengok bandar Hat Yai. “Boleh tahan besar bandar ni rupanya”, aku cakap dalam hati, sebab cakap seorang-seorang kuat-kuat, nanti famili aku ingat aku dah tak betul. Hehe. Dari tingkap ni jugak, aku boleh nampak stesen keretapi Hat Yai, tempat pertama aku jejak kaki di Thailand, bulan lepas.

Hat Yai city.

READ ABOUT MY FIRST JOURNEY TO THAILAND HERE [IN BAHASA]

After checked out, we looked for halal restaurant for brunch and after several rounds of driving in the city, we found a halal restaurant named Safiya Restaurant. We had a heavy brunch as we were going to have a long journey after leaving Hat Yai.

Dah check-out, kami cari restoran halal sebab nak brunch. Pusing punya pusing, akhirnya jumpa sati restoran dekat dengan masjid nama Restoran Safiya. Kami makan berat walaupun brunch sebabnya perjalanan dari Hat Yai ni masih jauh.

The Hat Yai train station, at the far left of the photo.

Plus, we did not know what we will face as the road that we planned to take was a dangerous one, considering the fact that we will pass through the troubled provinces. After brunch, I had a short walk to a nearby mini mart together with my siblings and we bought a pack of instant noodles.

Lagipun, kami tak tahu macam mana keadaan perjalanan kami nanti sebabnya untuk ke kampung, kami kena lalu wilayah-wilayah bergolak di selatan Thailand ni. Lepas dan makan, aku ajak adik-adik aku jalan dan kami beli sekotak mee segera berjenama Sedap. Tapi, ejaan jawi dia ‘sin’ ‘dal’ ‘alif’ ‘qaf’: sedaq. Mungkin, bunyi macam longhat Kelantan kot. Contohnya, kalau suami tanya isteri sedap tak makanan tu, mesti dia tanya “Sedak saye?”. Dan isteri akan jawab: “Sedak abe.” Tapi, kat sini pakai qaf, jadi sedaq! Hehe.

Soon, it was time to hit the road again.

Ok dah. Lepas tu, kami pun teruskan perjalanan.

The main highway from Hat Yai to Pattani. The best part: it is FREE!

****

Our next and final destination from Hat Yai would be the town of Baling in the state of Kedah since my cousin’s wedding would be held there. Suddenly, my dad came out with an idea of staying a night in the Thai border town of Betong since the distance between Betong and Baling is just less than an hour away.

Sepatutnya, dari Hat Yai terus nak ke Baling, balik kampung sebab sepupu aku punya kenduri esok dan ingat malam ni nak tidur kampung. Sekali, bapak aku cakap, “Kita tidur Betong jelah malam ni”.

Of course, we would say yes! The first major city that we passed through in this road trip was Pattani. Pattani is a Thai city where the majority are the Malays or in Thailand, they are called as Thai Muslims since they had been assimilated into the Thai’s culture. Nevertheless, it can be seen that the people here are trying hard to protect their own heritage.

Macam pucuk dicita ulam mendatang, mestilah nak kan. Aku pun tak pernah sampai Betong lagi. Dan lepas tu, perjalanan kami pun melalui bandar pertama selepas Hat Yai iaitu Pattani. Pattani macam kita tahu, ramailah orang Melayu Thai, atau kat Thailand digelar Thai Muslim sebab kerajaan Thailand nak asimilasikan diorang. Tapi, nampak diorang masih cuba nak kekalkan warisan budaya nenek moyang diorang.

Driving along the coastal area.

A lot of Pattani people can speak in Bahasa Melayu with the Kelantanese dialect. In fact, a lot of them are staying in Malaysia and opening up Tom Yam eateries all over the country. So, it was no surprise that whilst passing this city, I had the feeling as if I was in the East Coast of Malaysia.

Sebab tu, orang Pattani ramai lagi boleh cakap Bahasa Melayu dialek Pattani yang bunyinya macam dialek Kelantan. Malah, ramai orang Melayu Pattani ada di Malaysia dan bukak kedai makanan Thai. Sebab tu tak hairan, masa kami lalu bandar Pattani, rasa macam di Pantai Timur Malaysia.

Approaching the Pattani city.

Seeing people with ‘jubah’/Muslim men long dress and ‘kopiah’/head gears riding motorcycles, people with sarongs walking along the street, the feeling was familiar, yet distant.

Nampak orang pakai jubah, berkopiah, berkain pelikat, naik motor atau jalan di tepi jalan. Suasana macam biasa tengok, tapi macam lain.

At the Pattani city centre.

It was a nice journey passing through Pattani as we were driving along the coastal area and the blue ocean was visible from the main road. There was a setback, however, as throughout the journey, there were a lot of roadblocks set up by the Thai army. It was a known fact that this is one of the provinces where bombings, shootings and killings occurred but we dared ourselves to take the risk so that we could have an experience, driving in this troubled province.

Menarik perjalanan kami melalui bandar Pattani ni sebabnya lalu tepi laut, nampak laut membiru hampir sepanjang perjalanan ke sini. Satu je tak menarik. Sebab wilayah Pattani ialah wilayah bergolak, sepanjang perjalanan ke sini, ada je roadblock oleh pihak tentera. Kami tahu risiko yang kamu ambil, tapi demi pengalaman dan pengembaraan, kami sanggup lalu jugak.

Stay tuned for more / Teruskan membaca.

*****

To be continued – Part 5

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6 thoughts on “Road Trip to Southern Thailand: Pattani [Part 4] – The Road to Pattani

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