1178 - 1340 - 1249 - 107 - 1346 - 1001 to CM

Discussion in 'Northern Thailand - Road Trip Reports' started by Kiwi Cruiser, Dec 29, 2007.

  1. Kiwi Cruiser

    Kiwi Cruiser Ol'Timer

    Left Chiang Mai around 10 am for a solo cruise through the northern alps. 8) Traffic on 107 was heavy to Pai turnoff and Chiang Dao. Enjoyed a man-sized MUG of freshly percolated coffee at Kurt & Mons in Chiang Dai, to wash down the omelette and toast, then headed off up the 1178.
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    Immediate reduction in traffic, which was a relief! Some of the maniacs in
    4WD's doing high-speed overtaking manouvres don't leave much of a margin for error!
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    The scenery is pretty spectacular, and 1178 is a nice bit of road. Turned right at the checkpoint - after checking the dodgy map and off down 1340.
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    School was just out... there were kids for miles, no idea where they all came from - surely not all from this little town!
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    Keeping photos in sequence and remembering where you are is a challenge - many of the village names are similar, and it all becomes a blur by the end of the day!
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    There are lovely mountain villages in stunning settings, and lots of trees in flower at the moment - look like cherry trees, but never stopped close enough to one to get a good look.
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    The 1340 Highway is very narrow and winding, especially in the first section. There are strategically located potholes as you approach nearly every vantage point - and the landscapes are awesome!
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    As is the road - its so enjoyable, its actually hard to force yourself to stop and take some photos!
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    I rode into Doi Ang Khang, but it was unbelievably busy! To the point where it was nearly impossible to park, and there were acres of tents in camping grounds etc. After a shocked look at the parking carnage, I retreated back to the 1249 turnoff, and headed down towards Fang. Son of a bitch, 1249 is a steep wee bugger! A couple of times, I locked the rear wheel when changing down to 1st gear on a couple of hairpins, to the grins of amusement from what appeared to be "marshalls" at every REALLY steep section / hairpin.
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    Not sure what that was all about, but throughout the top 3rd of the road, there were guys in uniform with blaze-orange vests, waving down the traffic and indicating the need to decrease speed etc. Was very pleased I'd just got new front brake pads installed last week - not sure there's much of them left now though! :lol:

    Wandered into Fang for a quick recce... had earlier thought I might stay overnight there, but things were pretty busy! Opted to about-face the Vulcan for the run home instead. Cruised down 107 which had heavy traffic, so decided to take a detour to the left, just south of Chai Prakan, and run down through the 1346...
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    This is a really nice ride down 1346 to Phrao!
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    Aiming into the afternoon sun makes it difficult to get some decent photos, unless you stop and look back the way you've just come...
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    Which is exactly what I did 8)
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    There are some lovely forested sections, and a modest allocation of significant bone-jarring potholes for those who insist on glancing up at the landscapes! What is it with that? Its like some guy went through and deliberately placed potholes at precisely the points where you'd look up to enjoy the scenery! If it was NZ, I'd blame the local tow-truck driver! :)
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    Turned into a big day out, 300+ kms but thoroughly enjoyable. The butt was starting to get a little numb on the last 50kms of the 1001 on the final stages of the trip home. This last section out of the hills has got a lot of patchy seal and bumps to add to the ordeal. In contrast to 107, the 1001 was very quiet, traffic-wise.

    If heading north from Chiang Mai to Fang etc, 1001 to Phrao then 1346 to the 107 a few kms south of Chai Prakan is a good option. Whilst it may be little longer, there's a lot less traffic stress and some interesting terrain to make up for the extra distance!
     
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  3. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Ben
    That's a great litlle report & trip.
    This is what I call the Doi Ang Khang Loop. You can check out
    http://www.gt-rider.com/thailand-motorc ... html#13474
    for some earlier reports on this loop.
    Mark Rossi also has one up at
    http://www.gt-rider.com/thailand-motorc ... t3088.html

    I rate the DAK roads
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    as the steepest in the North, although the main Phu Chi Fah road will give R1249 a nudge.

    However the Nor Lae descent will always win.
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    Even Mr Trans Moto Sport, Mark Rossi, surprised himself going down two-up on the Nor Lae road earlier this week!

    It's good to know that you did R1346 Chai Prakarn - Phrao too. This road does not appear on any maps (yet) & really is one gorgeous tight twisting steep undulating road.
    There's another report on this loop here.
    http://www.gt-rider.com/thailand-motorc ... 7.html#967
    Plus it also cracks a mention here
    http://www.gt-rider.com/touring-loops-d ... HAIPRAKARN

    When you're ready to go again, let me know & I'll tag along to show you round Fang at night.
     
  4. Kiwi Cruiser

    Kiwi Cruiser Ol'Timer

    Captain, thanks for the kind words! I told you that your efforts were inspirational 8) and I've clocked up about 700 kms in the past 2 days!

    Actually, its been over 20 years since I've ridden seriously. The last road bike I had - 23 years ago - was a Honda GL1000 Goldwing. I've not long completed a self-imposed 6 month re-training stint on a 200cc Phantom... after 20 years of driving Land Cruisers! I acquired the Vulcan about 4 weeks ago. After several 100km "preliminary acclimatisation runs" I now feel I've got to the point where the machine is an extension of me :lol: and I can ride it with both confidence AND a small measure of competence. Now it gets serious... so many roads.... so little time! 8)
     

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