Chae Son National Park

Discussion in 'Northern Thailand - Road Trip Reports' started by Ally, Dec 16, 2008.

  1. Ally

    Ally Ol'Timer

    Today I rode from home in Hang Dong, out to San Kamphaeng, Doi Saket, Chae Hom, Lampang and then a complete circle back to Hang Dong. The loop is just short of 300 kilometres.

    This is not a journey for those wearing shorts and flip flops and if you have a map it would be extremely useful. If you have GPS, even better. If not, then you may well get a little lost, very concerned about time, fuel and where the heck you are.

    I started out from home on the 121 at 13:00 and travelled east & over the 11 towards San Kamphaeng. Turned right onto the 1317 and enjoyed the blast out past Mae On and the hot springs area.

    If you know this road you may also recall the tree nurseries on the top of Bah Sahakon and this day the scent in the air from the blooms was a pleasure to breath.


    At Huai Kaeo, instead of turning right and taking the 4074, the subject of my last excursion to this area, written about here ... today I stayed on the 1317 line which in fact is mapped as the 4032.



    Before reaching the 118, I found the newly opened "196 Coffee Corner", who's owner - retired Major General Khun Chaion - spoke perfect English and was thrilled to talk about his new 6 week old business. Of course I met the 3 dogs and they enjoyed the treats I always carry in my bag!

    After a great coffee, I continued to the 118, turned right towards Chiang Rai and enjoyed the good road up through the mountains to have another blast and realise the speed of the bike.


    Took the right turning sign posted to Chae Hom, onto the 1252. Once again if you know this route, you will remember the condition of the road, if you don't know the road, let me tell you.

    It's broken up on corners, inclines and on the flat too, the one or two steep hairpins with pot holes during the wet season have streams crossing the road and therefore sand is usually covering the tarmac and the sides of the road if not over grown with grasses encroaching on the centre of the road, are falling & crumbling away down very steep and don't even think about it, escarpments ! ... c_3398.jpg



    Working your way through the mountains you realise the temperature dropping, especially as much of the journey is done in the shade, as the sun is on the other side of the mountain. This was my second time on this road and both times have been early afternoon, both times in the shade and both times about 10 degrees cooler than Doi Saket or Lampang. In fact at times the temperature is brrrrrr ass monkies!


    Khun Chae National Park (Did the Major or the Park come first ?) turns into Chae Son National Park and is beautiful. There are some wonderful views, great birds to hear and see and of course some brilliant riding to be enjoyed.

    And up here there are plenty of nuts !


    Eventually the road comes out to something resembling civilisation and after a while comes into Mueang Pan, the road now becomes the 1157. The route now changes into smooth valley roller coaster road, quite a contrast and delight, after the previous hour on the mountain switch backs. The road just seems to go on & on & on. A really wonderful ride.

    The 1157 follows the river down towards Lampang and finally meets the 1039. Turning right and therefore west to Hang Chat, this road literally parallels the 11 and is more often than not, quieter than the main road.

    At Hang Chat turned left, then after a short distance, met the 11 and via the U Turn, turned towards Chiang Mai and therefore heading home to Hang Dong. The Shell pump on the 11 at Hang Chat has a decent coffee shop and to complement the hot coffee, the brownies are sweet and tasty.

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  3. Dougal

    Dougal Ol'Timer

    Nice one Ally. Great detail.

    Just got back from the North and just the view and mention of the cold gives me goose bumps.
  4. Marco

    Marco Ol'Timer

    Nice post Ally

    What a great pic of "Ex-road" that is one big "pot hole"

    Touring with GPS i have found my self a little bit weird position.

    all my time with LT i have drove with Garmin Nuvi(self installation) and i found my self addicted to GPS and will not remember small plases names as i use to do when driving with good old map's.

    just reading grom the display when is the next turn and dont bother read road signs much any more,,,but thats just me, i wonder if any one else has noticed any different on they riding with gps comparing to Maps.
  5. Ally

    Ally Ol'Timer

    Thanks guys, yes it is good to get back out on the road.

    The image of the road collapse above in the original post is a close up, the one below is the wider shot. Believe it or not, the tarmac is overhanging the eroded soil in places. The attempt to divert traffic using a crash barrier in fact adds to the problem. Posts have been driven / rammed into the tarmac and allowed for a further process of erosion to occur. TIT


    In contrast, the image below shows an attempt to stop the soil from eroding, by planting up the embankment, then providing a sprinkler to keep it moist and encourage the binding of the soil.

    For the folks who can't judge for themselves, a sign has been placed at this very beautiful spot to state the obvious.


    But Capt, still no live snake shots from me, the only ones I see are squashed & sundried!

  6. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Yes, good to see you back on the road on your big bike, wrapping up R1252 at last.
    Thanks for contributing.
    Wonderful photos as usual.
  7. JB2112

    JB2112 Ol'Timer

    I think we passed this spot today, but the view was surely different with the air pollution.
    What a great post!
    We need to do this loop again soon.
  8. vineetkoushik

    vineetkoushik New Member

    What a great pic thanks


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