Thailand
Page creation 21/03/2015
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For the 2nd "DSinAsia" rally, held in
January 2015, we decided to go a little
further: the Khao Yai mountain range, 200
km from Bangkok. A great opportunity to
try our old beauties on small, dusty country
roads. The DS was a rally car after all !
Khao Yai is one of Thailand's most famous and largest national parks, situated North-East
from Bangkok on the way to Korat. On its Northern side, many country houses and hotels
have been built, turning this cool, hilly area into one of Bangkok's well-to-be's favourite
week-end destinations.
8 cars and 30 persons gathered on a cool
Saturday morning in the Sukhumvit 53 area
of Bangkok, on January 24th, 2015. At
9:30, only thirty minutes late, we drove off
and quickly found ourselves cruising on
Motorway Nr 9, headed North-East. That
was the only (slightly) boring part of the
trip; once in the Khao Yai range, we could
enjoy the drive on small country roads, all
windows open and barely bothered by the
odd cow herd and the locals' bemused
stare.
Most participants were
"repeaters" from the first
rally in 2012, but we had
two new cars: the brown
"brun scarabée" 1973
DS23 of Somkanueng
Tanworrakul (far right),
who also had on board  
Cholathee
Pornrojnangkool,
President of the Citroen
Club of Thailand; the
other newcomer is my
own, bronze 1972
DS21 (middle).  
The afternoon was spent driving, taking
photos and videos (the Thai TV channel
"Grand Prix" made a report) along winding
country lanes and a few dirt roads. A
couple of wheel hubs were lost (and
immediately recovered) when potholes
proved too treachous for the cars' ageing
suspensions. It was already late afternoon
when we arrived at the "Toscana": a huge
Italy-themed hotel and resort, one of the
best in the area, for a memorable night.
The hotel's rooms are housed in
two rows of buildings on both
sides of a "main street", perfectly
recreated with an Italian flavour.
We were exceptionally allowed
to park on that main street: the
perfect setting for an
al fresco
Italian dinner (complete with a
Citroen quizz) and a no less
delicious breakfast on Sunday
morning.

The Thai participants were
especially delighted to be able
to spend time together in such
a unique European setting,
perfectly matching with their
beloved cars. I would not be
surprised if thousands of
photos have been taken
during these few hours...
A few of the participating cars: Pascal
Butel's 1972 DSuper 5, borrowed from
Khun Prasop (above), Khun Pood (Wirasat
Choochart)'s 1971 DS21 (left) and Khun
Vat's famous 1973 DSuper5 (below).
Other owners: Kees Goudswaard (Holland),
Ryosuke Nagaya (Japan) and Khun Mai
(Teema Hongladarom).  
On the top of
the hill in the
Toscana
resort, for a
photo-op,
with the view
extending up
to the foot of
the Khao Yai
National Park.
Hard to
believe this
is Thailand !
Above left: this time again, Khun Pod and Khun Pood (a.k.a. the Choochart brothers), now
official Citroen mechanics for DSinAsia, kindly accepted to provide the technical support...
We would simply not do it without them.  
Another great thing about this rally: very
little mechanical trouble with the cars, all
prepared and maintained well in advance.
One exception though: Khun Sayam
Sethaputra could not manage to start his
1969 DS21 (the one formerly belonging to
a Thai Prime Minister), but he kindly
decided to join us anyway.
Safely back to Bangkok on Sunday evening, after a stop at one of Khao Yai's famous
wineries ("Granmonte", above), we could not help but start to think of the next one,
probably in January, 2016. I have a few ideas... let's go even further, and cross borders !

A nice report was aired a while later by the TV channel "Grand Prix",
see it here (Thai):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SzOzYuUjOKk