4 weeks solo ride to Northern Thai Laos.

Discussion in 'Northern Thailand - Road Trip Reports' started by lipmeng, Apr 11, 2014.

  1. lipmeng

    lipmeng Ol'Timer

    Dear all

    It has been a long while since my last trip up north a few years ago and recently I rode solo for 4 weeks to north Thailand and some part of Laos. My initial plan was to ride for 8 weeks to northern Thailand and enter Laos via Houay Xai with the objective of reaching Chinese border at Boten and thereafter ride down south and enter Cambodia via Strueng Treng and back to Thailand through Koh Kong. As I am no longer working since Jan this year and have the time to ride for a long trip with approx 10K km in mind and also most importantly to use this opportunity to rejuvenate myself after working for more than 30 over years in the same industry and with the same employer.

    My ride for the trip is still my trusty 21 years old AT which I have rode to many places in Thailand and Cambodia. I started the ride on Monday morning 3 March 2014.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Got distracted by the newly open 2nd bridge to Penang on my way to border. The beauty of the scenery was spoilt by the smog as there are many open burning in this part of the country during this time of the year. There Hwy concessionaires waived the toll fees for the 1st month on this new bridge but motorcycles are strictly required to use the motorcycle lane on this new bridge thus it is not
    enjoyable as compared to the 1st bridge. The new bridge is the longest bridge in south east asia measuring 24km while the 1st bridge is only 13.5km.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Loading...


  3. lipmeng

    lipmeng Ol'Timer

    Enroute to Thai border via Wang Kelian, Perlis and passed through the largest sugar cane plantation in Malaysia at Chuping.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Road was pleasantly quiet at the section with smooth surface and some twisties. The vast open space do have some surpirses at times due to strong gust crosss wind.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  4. lipmeng

    lipmeng Ol'Timer

    The ride gets more exciting upon reaching the hills to the M'sian-Thai border and there are some sharp hairpins and certain steep sections as well.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Some of the scenic spots along the hills.........................nice pics when sky is clear.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The process of stamping out by immigration & customs clearance at the M'sian side is simple and no hassle while the Thai side is almost the same but the local crowd at the immigration counter do not adhere to queing up which amazes the western tourist whom have been there under the hot sun patiently and politely waiting in line for their turn.
    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  5. lipmeng

    lipmeng Ol'Timer

    Rode from Satun to Trang via R416 to Palian thereafter R404 to Trang and did not take many pics of the route as I was a bit anxious to reach Trang early as it was my first day of the ride.

    Usual coffee break at Amazon along the route to Trang.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Checked in to S2Queen Trang hotel for 400baht fan room with clean bed and cold shower.......stayed here last year for 600baht air cond room.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Dropped my bike at the parking lot as I did not fully extend my side stand while dismounting. The heavy loaded bike tilted to an angle beyond my recovery and it leans next to the scooter thus damaging the side signal and the tip of the left hand cowling. My standby musking tapes proves to be useful for travelling especially under such circumstances.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Dinner at the same road side stall which I patronised during my ride here last year. Lovely noodle with herbal chicken soup and pork porridge with egg and the delicious meal keeps me in high spirits after the unfortunate damage of my bike just now.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  6. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Lipmeng - its great to be free again with unlimited time + an Arica Twin to ride eh. You're a lucky man & I can feel a good report coming on - brng it on.
     
  7. lipmeng

    lipmeng Ol'Timer

    2nd day morning - 4 March 2014 ride out from Trang towards Phangnga.

    Soup noodles with pork and hot coffee for breakfast before departing Trang. Food is delicious and worth for another visit next time in Trang.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Walked around the market area and nearby places after breakfast before going back to hotel.

    Trang is famous for its roast pork.....one of the stalls in the market area.
    [​IMG]
    <a href=""http://s183.photobucket.com/user/lipmeng/media/Indochina%20Ride%20March%202014/DSCN0536.jpg.html
     
  8. lipmeng

    lipmeng Ol'Timer

    Riding out of Trang via R4046 passing Sikao and joints to R4 at Khlong Phon before reaching Krabi and there are some road works along the way before reaching Krabi.
    Did not take many pics along this route as I drove with my family the same route to Krabi during Chinese New Year in Jan.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Stopped Shell station at main hwy 4 in Krabi for top-up and bike stalled due to flkat battery. Fortunately the staff of the station
    drive me to the bike shop in Krabi town to purchase a new battery and I am truly grateful to the said staff of Shell station there for their kind assistance.
    Continue my ride towards Phangnga thereafter.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Reached Phangnga town area...........
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  9. lipmeng

    lipmeng Ol'Timer

    Upon reaching Phangnga town, the most important thing to do is to look for this shop which I patronised during my visit last year, Khun Thip Phangnga Satay located on the left hand side of the main road. The lady boss who still recognised me speaks good english and the herbal drinks and desserts are good as their satay. Place is clean and neat and is well patronised by locals and the has a variety of satays.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Managed to locate a apartment GH after riding around the small town. Tippaiboon Apartment for 500 baht, air-cond with clean bed and sheltered car park.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    <img src=""http
     
  10. lipmeng

    lipmeng Ol'Timer

    Locals here frequents the night food market for dinner and I have some local street food & drinks for takeaway as dinner in my apartment. As usual I observed that the kingdom is dog friendly as most of the locals took their pet dog for rides in a motorcycle and automobiles.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  11. lipmeng

    lipmeng Ol'Timer

    Next morning 5 March 2014 will be my 3rd day of my riding trip and I woke up early as usual to look for street food breakfast. Went to a shop nearby to have noodles soup with pork and coffee with mini char kue......similar to those in M'sia which are much longer. The drive for food has overwhelmed the objective of my ride as I was drawn to spend more interest in eating local food than planning the ride of the day.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    some random pics of the morning in Phangnga......
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    A common sigh in the kingdom where local police on duty at school but not commonly found in M'sia.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Loaded up the AT and rides out of Phangnga heading towards Ranong on R4 but unaware that I dropped my new camera stand which was earlier tied to the top of the left side pannier.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  12. lipmeng

    lipmeng Ol'Timer

    Riding towards Ranong from Phangnga via R4 which is a pleasant road to ride as there are plenty of shades and greens at some sections as well as twisties and good road surface. Rode this section of R4 last year and never gets bored. It is interesting if one have more time to explore the various smaller towns along the way and some of those villages with beaches.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Forced to stop for top-up approx 60km before reaching Ranong..............bike stalled due to reserve fuel.

    [​IMG]

    Home made side stand base....from wooden plank with duct tapes.......DIY @ less than 10baht
    [​IMG]

    These dog loving ladies on the road seems to be going home with some coconuts and their dog is enjoying the ride as well.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Lunch at the small restaurant at Caltex Station located along the main R4 at Ranong.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Continue riding towards Chumphon after lunch as it is still early noon and nothing much to do to stay overnight in Ranong. It is better to ride the hilly section of the R4 here to Chumphon as road is dry under the hot sun as compared to the frigthening experience that I have last year riding these section at late evening with plenty of road works in the hills.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Approaching of the initial uphill and twisting sections of R4 from Ranong.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  13. lipmeng

    lipmeng Ol'Timer

    Reached Prachuap Khiri Khan and checked in to Ountawan Hotel at 550 baht with secured car park and room is clean and new. Free self serve coffee each morning at lobby and 7 eleven and mini Tesco opposite hotel. The hotel is located on the second road before the esplanade.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Dinner at the esplanade and some random pics.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  14. lipmeng

    lipmeng Ol'Timer

    Some pics of AT at the jetty in Prachuap Khiri Khan on 4th day morning (6 March 2014) before riding out to Kanchanaburi on boring R4.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  15. lipmeng

    lipmeng Ol'Timer

    Some of random pics along R4 from Prachuap Khiri Khan.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Lunch break mid way......
    [​IMG]

    Passed through Ban Pong and saw many animal figurines along the road divider.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Coffee break at Amazon after top-up at PTT station in Kanachnaburi
    [​IMG]
     
  16. lipmeng

    lipmeng Ol'Timer

    Checked in at MK Hotel in Kanchanaburi for 300 baht and bed was too small so is the room. I requested to swap with the empty massage room for the same price and is more spacious although with bare minimum of furniture. Hotel is not suitable for bike parking and looks deserted but the staff are friendly.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Dinner at road side stall and food is delicious. Plenty of food stalls and shops at the city centre near the bus station and place is busy with locals.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Bump into Chris (UK) who rides a Malaysian plated Kawa D Tracker 250 from KL after dinner and he stayed just 3 buildings from my present hotel and we arranged to ride to 3 Pagoda Pass at Sangklaburi tomorrow morning.
     
  17. lipmeng

    lipmeng Ol'Timer

    Day 5 morning (7 March 2014), woke up early as usual and walk to market area to have breakfast and thereafter took some pics while on my way back to hotel. Checked out and to ride to Sangklaburi with Chris.

    Rice noodles with pork in soup to start the day.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Saw a local lady motorcyclist pass by with her dog as pillion on the back seat...............amazing Thailand!

    [​IMG]

    Some old shops still well preserved in pristine state along the walking street and resembles the old chinese inheritance in the community.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Getting ready to ride out to Sangklaburi with Chris at his hotel.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    We stop briefly at the bridge over river Kwai to take some pics before the bus loads of tourist arrive.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Thereafter, we continue to ride towards Hell Fire Pass as it is the first time visit by Chris up north. The smog along the way up towards Hell Fire Pass has adversely affected our visual of the road ahead let alone the beauty of the countryside scenery . Perhaps we are a month too late as the slash and burn by farmers have begun so is the hot season. Nevertheless, we continue riding towards our destination and our perseverance enable us to achieve our intended objective which is the 3 Pagoda Pass in Sangklaburi even though choking all the way.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Stop for lunch along the route to Sangklaburi before our next destination that is the Vajiralongkorn Dam.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Continue riding after the lovely lunch as it was good and cheap. Never mind about the smog and we really enjoyed the ride by taking pics of each other while on wheels.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    We finally reached the Vajiralongkorn Dam and were allowed riding in by the lovely lady officer at the entrance booth.She is so polite thus giving a very good impression to visitors and there is no entrance fee charge. In Malaysia, we are not allow to visit the dams as they are restricted area.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    We were on high spirits as the dam is so lovely despite the presence of smog and this place is worth another visit during the cool season.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Chris trying his illegal shortcut to the top pf the dam but the Kwaka is not ready for it.
    [​IMG]
     
  18. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    Good stuff mate! :thumbup:

    Amazing how the air conditions can change so quickly this time of year! Rode to Sangkhlaburi a couple weeks ago and was actually quite surprised how clear the air was; still some haze, but really not bad- guess the bulk of the burning took place while you were riding through in March.
    [​IMG]
     
  19. lipmeng

    lipmeng Ol'Timer

    Yes Tony the road to Sangklaburi is lovely especially during the cool season as the scenery is lovely and lots of green. With the completion of the road works towards the last section after the dam, I am sure that this will be one of the best road to ride in the part of the kingdom.

    We rode the wrong direction upon exiting the gate of the dam as we took the right turn instead of left and we rode pass 30 plus km without knowing that we are heading towards the remote border of Myammar. We were fortunate that a local driving a pickup passed us and stopped to inform that we are riding the wrong route to Sangklaburi as the junction to Sangklaburi is about 30km down the road that where we came from. We were amused that how does the local guy know that we are going to Sangklaburi? Perhaps he has met many foreign riders as most of them are riding towards that place while two of us are heading to somewhere remote or towards their farmland.

    We managed to look at our maps and realised that we should be riding along the lake on our left instead of right side and we detour back to R323 and continue riding towards Sangklaburi.

    Some random pics of the ride....................

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Riding the correct route as the dam is on our left side.
    The Go Pro camera bracket broke due to virbration during the return leg from Sangklaburi.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Some road works along the way......
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  20. lipmeng

    lipmeng Ol'Timer

    Finally arrived at our destination..................... Dan Chedi Sam Ong aka 3 Pagoda Pass and took some pics while having a break. Chris tried to get his passport stamp at the Thai immigration office was politely refused by the officer as it is meant for locals crossing the border.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    We were then being recommended by an off duty officer to stay at the resort few kms down the road and he also mention that there are young pretty ladies available in that resort (suspected to be Burmese underaged girls)....................not our itinerary of the visit although we checked in to the resort that he recommended which is Khaokhondo Resort for 500 baht. The place is located off the left side along the main road 3km from 3 Pagoda Pass and do not have any menu for dinner or any meal of the day except that you are to choose the frozen CP foods from the freezer at the restaurant and DIY using the microwave oven. We do not have any positive impression of the place that we stayed and will look for other alternatives if there is another visit next time.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    A playful puppy at the resort and this little fella seems to enjoy himself as the whole place is his playground.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  21. lipmeng

    lipmeng Ol'Timer

    On the next morning (8 March 2014 which is the 6th day of my trip) , Chris and I checked out early and rode to the food stall near the 3 Pagoda Pass for breakfast.
    In view of the light dinner that we have last night, we were seriously hungry for a good meal and we managed to find a place that have lovely khao phat with fried egg and hot coffee for a reasonably cheap price.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    We head back towards Kanchanaburi after breakfast and the ride is much more pleasant as it is cool in the morning . Here are some random pics of our ride back to Kanchanaburi.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    We have an enjoyable ride to Sangklaburi albeit the smog and the hot weather and upon reaching Kanchanburi, we checked in to Prasopsuk Hotel for 350 baht where Chris has been staying earlier. We have our bike parked at our doorstep and the restaurant have nice food as shown in the following pics below.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Lunch at the hotel's restaurant.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  22. lipmeng

    lipmeng Ol'Timer

    Same foodstall at roadside for dinner and rest early for the night.

    [​IMG]

    Breakfast early at same shop near market area. This time will be chicken rice with sausage as much energy is required to ride a long distance for the day towards Mae Sot.
    [​IMG]

    Loaded up the AT and ready to roll out (9 March 2014 - 7th day of the trip)
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Saw a local truck with a lovely classic bike at petrol station in Kanchanaburi.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Passed by this place a couple of times while travelling up north ad nice canal with bridge somewhere near U Thong.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Some self portraits while riding to overcome boredom.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    One day I'm going to have one just like this for travelling.................Ford Ranger Wildtrack
    [​IMG]

    Lunch break at PTT station and ice coffee at Amazon on way to Kamphang Phet.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Junction before Tak to Mae Sot on R1 and distance to Mae Sot not far from R105 but raod is winding with plenty of hills. However the road surface is good with some minor road works and the presence of smog in the hills.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The ride is more enjoyable at the uphill section of the hills and I'm sure that the route is one of those beautiful places to ride during the cool season. It is definitely worth a second visit during Nov to Feb as the trees along the road and mountain views will be fantastic without the smog and heat.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    A local biker on Ducati Monster passed by at the section of the hills and was kind to gave me a thumbs up as encouragement.............the brotherhood of bikers.
    [​IMG]

    Traffic at the hills section.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Took a short break at the hill side cafe before continuing the final section of ride towards Mae Sot.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  23. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    :lol-sign:
    Haha! Love it! Anything to stay awake on the boring straight highway! Epic trip- I thought you'd start heading home after Kanchanaburi and Sangkhlaburi, but you're still going! Power on!!! :thumbup: :clap:
     
  24. lipmeng

    lipmeng Ol'Timer

    No Tony, my trip is suppose to be 8 weeks as I just quit my job and plans to visit Chinese border at Boten via Chiang Khong-Huay Xai and thereafter southern Laos to Cambodia. However, I cut short the ride to 4 weeks as my attempt to cross Chiang Khong bridge was futile and Laos customs at Vientiane only allows my bike stay for 14 days instead of 30 days despite my appeal.

    Perhaps there is always another ride and even crossing to China as things may change when the country opens up further to facilitate cross border trade.

    Some of the random pics of the ride on the last section towards Mae Sot town.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  25. lipmeng

    lipmeng Ol'Timer

    Checked in at Pornthep Hotel, Mae Sot for 600 baht and stayed for 2 nights to rest and visit the Thai-Myanmar border before proceeding to Mae Sariang. The room is spacious but hotel is old and bike parking under shade in front of the hotel. The hotel is centrally located with market and many shops nearby and food is easily available within walking distance.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Went for dinner at the local food stall nearby and plenty of choices on menu.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  26. lipmeng

    lipmeng Ol'Timer

    Woke up early and many shops have yet to open for business but managed to find a shop selling porridge.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Ride to Myanmar bridge border after breakfast and looks quite similar as other border eg Taichilek and surprisingly it was not busy on the Monday morning.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Morning mist as well as smog but still nice and cool to ride around.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     

Share This Page