A Blast to Nan on the Evil Twin - Thanks Ernothai!

Discussion in 'Northern Thailand - Road Trip Reports' started by wimpy, Feb 5, 2007.

  1. wimpy

    wimpy Ol'Timer

    Last Monday I did a quick trip to Nan province. I was supposed to go with two other friends, but they flaked out. So, it was Wimpy on his own again.

    I managed to get out of Chiang Mai about 10:00 heading out route 116. I stopped for a tasty breakfast at Pong Nam Ron, and then on to Wang Nua. I was looking forward to the twisties just beyond Pak Bok on route 120. Unfortunately, there is major road resurfacing going on through that entire stretch. What a disappointment, and a maddening beginning to my trip. I was just getting started, and the evil twin was already filthy.

    From route 1021 I hung a right on the very quiet route 1251 at Dok Kham Tai. This road is still in pretty good shape and lots of fun - especially towards the end. As usual, route 1091 into Nan is loads of fun without much traffic to worry about.

    Rolling into Nan around 15:00, I tried to book a room the Dheveraj hotel. Fully booked! David is correct about the hoards of Chinese Thais in minivans. The parking lot was full of them. I got a room at the firetrap Nan Faa hotel next door for 350 a night. In the afternoon I managed to squeeze in some photography around town before the light failed. That evening I walked to the new location for Da Darios, but they were closed, as it was being moved to the street level. I ended up eating from the market across from the hotel.

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    A detail from Wat Phumin

    The next morning, the Nan Faa served a less than appetizing breakfast for 110 baht in their pub that is being remodeled. I was checked out and back on the road again by 9:30. I took route 1168 towards Mae Charim. I was wearing full leathers, but still shivering so much, I couldn’t get into the rhythm of the road. A left on route 1225, and then a right on route 1257. By this time it was warming up enough, I was able to enjoy the lovely road and scenery. Then, a right on route 1081 heading for Bo Klua. This road has lots of brand new oh so smooth pavement.

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    The brand new pavement on the way to Bo Klua

    A quick drink stop in Bo Klua, and I continued North on 1081. I had ridden this road about 8 years ago, and remembered it as being rather rough. This time it was even worse - very rough with lots of pea gravel. Basically it was a pretty tedious ride all the way to Huai Kon. From there, the surface improved dramatically and was a real pleasure all the way to Pua. From there I went to Tha Wang Pha, as I wanted to sample route 1170 to Pa Tong. This road was pretty much non-stop villages, and will give it a miss next time.

    Route 1169 back into Nan made me a little uncomfortable. I found it too narrow, considering the amount of traffic on it. Lots of pick-up trucks coming at me in my lane. Maybe because it was commute hour.

    The second night I managed to get a room at the Dheveraj hotel. 500 baht for a large comfy bed, stall shower, and breakfast. This evening Da Darios was open, and the food was as good as ever. No red wine though! The next morning it was the usual cold Dheveraj fried eggs. If anyone finds a decent breakfast in Nan, please let me know!

    Based on ernothai’s recommendation, I decided to leave Nan on route 101 and continue South on 1026. Just South of Salik this road becomes seriously fun!! It has some of the smoothest pavement I have encountered in Thailand, and non-stop 80-140 kph twisties!! No traffic either. I highly recommend this road! At Na Noi I took a right on route 1216 heading to Khun Satan. I had stayed away from this road in the past because David’s book indicated it wasn’t paved. Well, thanks to ernothai, I gave it a shot. The ride up this mountain has some confusing intersections, but the locals were happy to help with directions. The surface heading to Khun Satan isn’t that great, but the scenery is so stunning, it really doesn’t matter. Just take your time and enjoy it.

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    Downtown Khun Satan.

    After Khun Satan the road surface becomes PERFECT, and it is a twisting blast all the way down to route 101. At the bottom I was very tempted to turn around and do it all over again. I think the next time I will go to Nan via this route, as it should be even more fun going up this section of road.

    At Phrae I took route 1023 which is a nice fast ride to route 11. Route 11 was downright scary. I have never seen such shiny slick black asphalt. Lots of traffic too. Beware.

    All in all, a very satisfying getaway. Hope to visit Nan again next month.

    Wimpy
     
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  3. scot harper

    scot harper Ol'Timer

    Hey wimp, loved the post an pic's, Black and white is the new colour!
    Keep roch'n in the free world..Scott
     
  4. wimpy

    wimpy Ol'Timer

    Actually shot on something called film, and processed and printed by me!
     
  5. wimpy

    wimpy Ol'Timer

    That looks like an interesting ride on the map. Do you know if it is all paved, including 1243 back to Mae Charim? If it is, that could be a great day loop out of Nan.
     
  6. Rhodie

    Rhodie Ol'Timer

    Great pix & nice report.
    tremendous seeing good b+w images.
    Cudos.
     
  7. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Went across to Phayao & Chiang Kham a few days ago, part of a failed attempt to go to Huay Kon & check out the border status. (The attempt failed yet again because of those electrical gremlins that have been plageuing the old Africa Twin for the last 2 or 3 months.)
    Anyway what I noted on route 120, the Wang Nua - route 1 / Phayao road is that the road works whilst being lengthy, actually only saw two dirt road sections of approx 4 kms a piece. So it probably is not really that bad, although there are quite a few more kms where the road is being widened & there is dirt on the road.
    And the stuff that is finished at the east Route 1 end is awesome & fast smooth flowing - good for opening the throttle right up on Wimpy's black evil twin, no doubt.
    Wimpy great to see you back riding & on the board again - keep going mate.
     

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