From Pattani to Danok, the minibus fare was RM13.00.
As the van started to make way there, i noticed changes of the landscape. From flat land to hilly areas of rubber plants, we entered highway then two lane road, indeed i do love the fact that these road are well maintained - again the driver was a F1 racer wannabe. From there the transition was pretty fast with view of houses, beautiful carved with jati, it is known that these people are talented in wood carving. Along the way, furniture shops of jati product will definitely catch the attention of avid home-centric people, but not to sure how much these thing cost.
From muslim villages, as we approaches west cost area, many siamese influence in the villages we saw. Kids, especially boys running around, with this typical hair cut, clean shaven at both side but some hair left on top of the head (please watch Nang-nak if u wanna get clear detail) proved that we were entering Siamese area. The reason of the hairstyle? According to my housemate, those hair cut is to ward off the children from evil spirits roaming . tatau betul ke tak....
So we made it to Danok. Walked all the way from immigration office to Malaysian border. Hugh relief! The only thing bought at Danok was the famous pulut mangga (yummy!) unfortunately the price has gone higher, from RM4 (in June 2010) to RM5 today. As usual the kiddo will only feast the chicken wings. We entered Malaysia via Bukit Kayu Hitam immigration point safely, Alhamdulillah......
So how do I feel about this place - Southern Thailand (Pattani, Nara and Sg. Kolok)?
After witnessing myself and experience it without relying on the news and rumours, it is indeed somewhere i call closer to home. Friendly people, laidback and easy. They are exactly kind of places of where I used to grow up - Kelantan. Infact, dotter kept on saying "macam dok malaysia jer except for the signboard". Yes she was right.
The insurgency caused by the Separatist in gaining Independence, in my two cent worth opinion is a proof when people realize how it is important to preserve their heritage of language, religion, culture, life style and sense of belonging before having the love of the country. They simply want to live like their forefathers. You have to be yourself before accepting others, is like to what we have now when the Government trying to gain power of ruling in East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia, the local are much pretty sure of what they want - someone who is comfortable enough to be what they want exactly. The sense of familiarity and belonging. Another one thing, we can never can simply change people when it comes ideologies . Dunno whether you will agree or not, but the proof is not only can be linked to the state itself but to many others.
Just in case you wander what is all about - the mufti wish for Haji Mabrur (truest form of pilgrimage) to those who performed Haj in Mekah/Madinah
In conclusion, only tolerance and understanding of the importance to keep each other comfortable despite the differences is the only solution to have a united nation.
With that I regard this trip is a learning experience. A great one.
For more beautiful pictures of the region, simply browse into this page. Awesome!