6 nights 7 days in the Top North.

Discussion in 'Northern Thailand - Road Trip Reports' started by DavidFL, Aug 7, 2009.

  1. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Date: Sunday 26 July - Saturday 1st August 2009

    The way: Chiang Mai - Chiang Rai - Mae Sai - Mae Chan - Doi Mae Salong - Thoed Thai - Chiang Saen - Chiang Khong - Chiang Rai - Wiang Pa Pao - Phrao - Chiang Mai.

    The weather: heavy overcast, but cool 'n dry! And it's wet season. You little beauty. :)

    The weather at the start
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    Going over the top the road was wet, but I lucked out - no rain.
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    It was a break at Black Canyon in Mae Kachan for a cappuccino, then a bigger break at Charin Resort for cappu & cheese cake. Arrival time in CEI was 5.50PM & the Nimseeseng was the place of stay.

    The master plan for this trip was to check out some "new" (for me) attractions in Chiang Rai.
    1. Oub Kham Museum
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    http://www.oubkhammuseum.com/

    Unfortunately no photos are allowed in the museum, but I did manage one with Ajarn Julasak Suriyachai outside his museum
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    The museum is a truly amazing place & could be one of the North's best kept secrets? But it shouldn't be.
    Everyone should check out this place in Chiang Rai!

    2. A couple of hill top wats south of the Kok River.

    Wat Doi Incee.
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    The view
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    Wat Mae Aep
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    3. Huay Mak Liam Hot Springs
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    The Huay Mak Liam springs are right beside the Kok River
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    to be continued...
     
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  3. ianyonok

    ianyonok Ol'Timer

    Friends,

    The Oub Kham museum is indeed one of the most interesting places to visit in Chiang Rai city. Khun Julasak started his collection many years ago, when he was dismayed at all the Lanna artifacts that were being bought by foreigners and taken out of Thailand.
    He gets virtually no support from local government in running his museum, but it is thanks to people like him, that we can have an insight into how things used to be in Lanna.
    Well worth supporting. He'll give you some very tasty chinese green tea when you visit too.

    Ian
     
  4. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Yes Ajarn Julasak is an amazing man, & also a controversial one - he has alternative theories on the history of Thailand & the Thai people; hence the lack of official support, I suspect.

    But again the museum is outstanding!
    Check the museum & him out
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    a very fit man for 63, makes the younger GT Rider look old & wimpy. :lol: :lol:
    The "tasty green Chinese tea" is also superbly refreshing.
     
  5. Ally

    Ally Ol'Timer

    Good post there for the young rider ! :wink:

    Ally
     
  6. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    The road to Wat Doi Incee is a steepie
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    check it out sometime. It's well signposted & the views are brilliant.

    After Chiang Rai it was straight up to Mae Sai to rendezvous with Rhodie, plus Peter & Thao the Wheezy Riders.
    http://www.wheezyrider.com/
    Whilst at the Umporn Resort an SMS was sent out to David Learmonth who promptly turned up with his missus for a night of food, drink & good conversation.
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    David thanks for coming along at such short notice - it was a good night.

    The next morning we got some souvenir pics overlooking the Ruak river & Mae Sai for the album.
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    From Mae Sai for Rhodie & I it was up R1130 & R1234 to Doi Mae Salong to rendezvous with Silverhawk. We met up at Ho's Shine Sane for a meal, then dropped into the Sweet Mae Salong for one of those first class Cappuccinos.
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    Then from Mae Salong it was back track to Akha Sam Yaek; but en route Rhodie & I checked out Suan Manomai & the Phra Siam Thewath shrine, which we are still pondering the significance of. :roll:

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    Above: note the different photographic styles.

    And the shrine
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    Thoed Thai & Rim Taan guesthouse was our goal for the night.

    Rim Taan is a hidden gem of a guesthouse in North Thailand & coupled with Thoed Thai is well worth a visit (& night) if you are ever in the area
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    Thoed Thai
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    Late afternoon Rhodie & I went for a short ramble up the road
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    Route 3051 after Thoed Thai is an awesome road & ride
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    I love Thoed Thai for the traditional early morning market & it was a 6.30AM start for some piccies with Silverhawk & Rhodie.
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    I like the boomerang & hat on this guy, but you could not get him to smile for the camera!
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    Rhodie & Silverhawk were highly amused by the dog basket on this Dream
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    After morning brekky it was the highlight of the trip & the presentation of Rhodie's photographs to the Khun Sa Museum
    http://www.gt-rider.com/thailand-motorc ... html#36076

    Back at the Rim Taan guesthouse I managed some photos with John's family
    John's lovely wife Nouan
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    John's daughter Nui & grandma
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    We packed up then & split

    1. Silverhawk off in chase of Thailasse's mystery stupa
    http://www.gt-rider.com/thailand-motorc ... 0-s25.html

    2. Rhodie headed back to Chiang Mai

    3. I pottered around Thoed Thai for a few more photos
    The biggest? bronze? Buddha
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    which I think is called
    Phra Song Chai Rattana Palang Paen Din
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    The view from the hill overlooking Thoed Thai is pretty good & coupled with the buddha well worth a quick look see.
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    to be continued
     
  7. feejer

    feejer Ol'Timer

    David,

    Great stuff as usual and fine pix of Phra Song Chai Rattana Palang Paen Din. Very nice to see it coming together so well. They had not yet started the flower petal monument to the left (empty lot) and were still laying the floor tiles when I was there last Nov. Beautiful sight now.

     
  8. David Learmonth

    David Learmonth Ol'Timer

    It was a good night!
    Thanks for the sms & it was good to meet the Wheezyriders - still in touch with them now & hope they are back this way soon!
     
  9. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    The weather on the way out of Thoed Thai was perfect riding weather - cool, overcast but no rain.
    Time for some piccies to show you another of the North's best biking roads.

    Route 3051 Akha Sam Yaek - Thoed Thai:
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    I stopped at Akha Sam Yaek to SMS with David Learmonth & set up a rendezvous point Mae Chan - Chiang Saen.

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    While waiting for his reply the Akha lady storekeeper kept looking at the size of the Africa Twin - she was impressed, as the bike was bigger than her. I thought great photo - her & the bike together - if I can get it without having to pay "ransom money" for her photo. I finished my M150 drink & no SMs reply. The Akha model went & looked at the bike again & I tried to chat her up a bit - not much luck. Still no SMS so I ordered another a drink - a Birdy. She went & looked at the bike again. Another line, but not much reaction. Still no SMs reply, so yet another drink - an orange juice. She goes back out to look at the bike once more & the phone rings. It's DL, we talk & agree on a rendezvous. I finish my 3rd drink & pay the bill. The Akha lady is still looking at the bike. I finally weaken & ask her straight up for a photo of her & the bike. No trouble 200 baht!! Ouch a bit more than I thought. I detail the number of drinks I've had & how much time & money I’ve spent at her shop so I should be eligible for a discount. She comes down to 100 baht. Nope, no deal. I start to put my gear on & she asks how much. 20 baht is my one & only offer. She agrees & potters out to stand next to the bike. I hand her the helmet & the crowd gathered behind me breaks out in laughter, but she won’t crack a smile at all. What a fashion model – keeps her cool no matter what!
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    The job done I give her 40 baht for the photo + enjoyment & ride off.

    Route 1130 Akha Sam Yaek - Mae Chan
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    I met up with David Learmonth late in the afternoon for a whistle stop at his home, but true to Thai hospitality Mrs. Learmonth had prepared food & drinks. It was tops & greatly appreciated. David you've got a top cook & very caring woman there mate - you lucky man. It beats living in the UK alright doesn’t it?

    David came over to Chiang Khong for night then & true to form it rained on R1129 Chiang Saen - Chiang Khong. DL had kitted up with his wet weather pants, but I'd decided to take my chances & there's no doubt he was the winner. Not me.

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    In CK we checked into the air con rooms at the Tam Mi La & headed downtown to a GT Rider favourite the Easy Pub & Restaurant. This place has to be one of the best value restaurants around & I think I was the winner with a chicken steak
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    (Slash are you looking at this?)

    It rained all night so we did not move from the Easy, however there's no doubt DL & I enjoyed ourselves chatting to the owner & the local expats.
     
  10. Marco

    Marco Ol'Timer

    David

    You forgot the "value" of the Huge meal
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    How much was it?
     
  11. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    On the way home to Chiang Mai I lucked with the weather again & managed a run across R1150 Wiang Pa Pao - Phrao.
    Some more boring road photos.....

    Route 1150 the start at the Wiang Pa Pao end.
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    It's a while since I've been on R1150 & had such good weather
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    I was back home in Chiang Mai 4 days, then off on the Mae Hong Son loop for a week. It's wet season but I've not been getting too wet at all riding in the mountains - the luck of the game I guess.
     
  12. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Erh, you got me, almost. I think it was 120 baht, but it's been 2 weeks now.
     
  13. David Learmonth

    David Learmonth Ol'Timer

    It was a good ride out thankyou. You are welcome to the hospitality, as are any GT chaps in the area! Glad you enjoyed it.
    Enjoyed the evening at Easy Bar. I had the Massaman chicken curry which was superb.DU's chicken was indeed a huge portion & he did well to finish it! I thought it was a 100 bahts but not 100% sure. Shame it rained all night long, but at least it had dried up by the time I set off for home. You are right David - it is better than the UK & I have no regrets about coming here! Look forward to next time!!!!!
     
  14. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    For the GPS addicts
    David's Learmonth's house
    N20 15.276 E99 57.260
     
  15. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Bump for Ron Webb. :thumbup:
     
  16. David Learmonth

    David Learmonth Ol'Timer

    For the benefit of Gt'ers passing by - we are still here on the above co ordinates! :happy1:
     
  17. ronwebb

    ronwebb Ol'Timer

    Thanks David. I will be in DMS at the end of the month to ride the ridge along the Thai/Burmese boarder to Mae Sai.Will go then into Thoed Thai afterwards if I ever make it bake to DMS. MHS loop tomorrow. What a wonderful world!
     
  18. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    9th August 2012
    Finally on my 3rd visit to the Oub Kham Museum I was able to persuade Ajarn Julasak to let me photograph inside his museum.
    It is a truly amazing museum & collection of Shan / Tai artifacts - one of the finest in Asia, & justifiably so!

    Every piece has a story & "we" in North Thailand should be extremely proud & fortunate to have such a first class collection of Shan / Tai history, for without him, there would almost be none.

    The items come from Myanmar, S-w China, North Laos, & North Vietnam & are a magnificent tribute to the Shan-Tai people & their history.

    The collection is priceless & as such the museum is highly recommended.

    Now dare I say it: you can't understand the importance of Shan-Tai history in the region until you see this incredible collection. Don't miss it if you are in Chiang Rai, or just passing through.

    A few mediocre photos to start the ball rolling, & I want to go back again (Rhodie are you listening.)
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    Old photos of Shan Kings
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    many of the items in the glass cabinets are from royalty, have a story & are hundreds of years old.
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    A marvellous collection of beautiful ancient Buddhas in various styles.
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    Ancient Shan Princes
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    above, the bottom right pic was the Shan teakwood palace deliberately torched & burnt to the ground by the Burmese in an effort to destroy Shan history.

    The Golden robes of Shan royalty
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    more coming.....
     
  19. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    more pix from a stunning collection....

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  20. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    A 200 year old Tai (Shan) temple ceiling piece.
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    Royal costumes
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  21. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    The 5th room is an imitation cave to show how Lanna people kept their valuables....

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  22. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    The sixth room is a fashion room with display of the many superb colourful costumes of the Shan- Tai people in the region.
    The Tai ethnolinguistic grouping has 56 tribes spread across S-E Asia; & the costumes come from North Myanmar, China, North Vietnam, North Laos & even Bhutan.

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    Some info to digest....

    In view of the fact that quite a few of us are waiting to tour & ride in Myanmar, the above history of the Shan maybe interesting reading.
    Enjoy & if you've got time do check out the Oub Kham Museum in Chiang Rai, for without Ajarn Julasak, these pieces of their history would not have been saved.

    One page to come...
     
  23. ianyonok

    ianyonok Ol'Timer

    It seems Khun Julasak's collection is still growing which is excellent.
    An interesting history of the Shan too, David, thank you. The historical information on display at Khun Sa's museum is somewhat confusing, but the old photos of the Shan kings from 100 years ago or so are fascinating. A ride up there, combined with the ridge road at the back of Doi Tung and Doi Chang Moob is superb. A future route for the Chiang Rai bikers day out maybe....
     
  24. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    The final "7th room", adjacent to the main museum... houses the pride of the museum.

    This is Lanna-style throne, from Chiang Tung in Shan Sate, north Myanmar & more than 400 years old.
    The throne is artistically crafted wood shining in gold and decorated with propitious items. On the top is a Brahma flanked by angels on left and right, plus a gold Buddha image in the middle of the backdrop.

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  25. ronwebb

    ronwebb Ol'Timer

    Indeed, this museum has a spectacular collection of rare artifacts. I cant imagine that there is such a collection under one roof anywhere else. It really is very special.
    I went through the museum with Davidfl (thanks for the intro to this David) with a lovely lass who gave us the low down on what was what but to be honest, it was fairly superficial in detail.
    However, what would be truly spectacular, is the stories behind how some of these goodies were acquired in the first place. I am sure that here must be a great book within the tales of compiling this wonderful collection.
    As an aside, we swung by a temple under construction overlooking the valley heading north to Chiang Rai. What a great view although the photos don't do the view justice taken close to midday.

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  26. Jurgen

    Jurgen Ol'Timer

    Fabulous Ali Baba cave David, aninteresting destination and a great stop-over during a North Thailandtrip. Your pictures are enthralling and will certainly attract manypeople to this exceptional Shan museum. Thank you also for theaccompanying information.
     

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