Chiang Mai to Pattaya

Discussion in 'Central Western Thailand Road Trip Reports' started by bigal, Oct 3, 2014.

  1. bigal

    bigal Ol'Timer

    Next week (10 October) I plan to ride my scooter from Chiang Mai to Pattaya. I have done this trip a few times when I had the Harley but this will be the first time on a twist and go.
    The route I intend to take will be the enjoyable superhighway 11 until it bumps into superhighway 1 at Tak Fa and follow sh 1 to Lopburi where the plan is to find food and a bed for the night. I would welcome any suggestions for eating and drinking in Lopburi and in fact for a couple of hundred km before as something like rain could play havoc with the plan.
    Day 2 would be from wherever I had stayed to Pattaya. The planned route would be to continue on sh 1 bypassing Saraburi and taking highway 33 until road 3051, along the 3001 which becomes the 3200. Take the 304 then the 315 until it meets with the Chonburi bypass.
    I will add a report to this once it is done including the return where I would look to ride as far as Phitsanulok before resting for the evening. Meanwhile this is different to the routes I have taken before so any hints and tips would be more than welcome. Thanks.
     
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  3. Franz

    Franz Ol'Timer

    Bigal, once you have to stay in Lopburi try the Lopburi Inn Resort (not the Lopburi Inn Hotel- fleabucket), it's on the outskirts of town near the main shopping centers, there's also some good eateries along this road which is the diretissima to Saraburi via Na Phra Lan.
    Once you bypass Saraburi, turn left in Nong Khae to Nakhon Nayok, then Prachinburi, then 319 via Sri Mahaphot onto the 314 and Phanom Sarakam, onto the 331 then and straight to Pats. Could be the 304 and not 314 as I am on a trip right now and cannot check. But that's the best route to go to Pats or you do a detour and pass Saraburi's North and head to Muak Lek on the Mitraphap Road in direction of Khorat (Nakhon Ratchasima) but in Muak Lek turn right into the "Wineyard valley" and take the small road into Khao Yai N.P. over to Prachinburi, very scenic road; not the big one from Khorat to Kabinburi of course.
    Time ago I posted some descriptions in the Eastern Thailand section. At least these routes give you a little pleasure but still, nothing compared to what we are used to up North. I have ridden Chonburi/Rayong-CNX at least 50 times in the past 10 years and found out that there's not much excitement if you must eat kilometers quickly. Have a good ride, rgds, FR
     
  4. bigal

    bigal Ol'Timer

    Many thanks Franz, appreciated. Was thinking of the hotel you suggested but it is good to get info from one who knows. will look at the routes.
     
  5. bigal

    bigal Ol'Timer

    Here is a brief report on the trip.

    I set off on the Forza on Friday 10 October 2014 after breakfast.
    Ready to go
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    to spend a couple of days with a friend of mine who had just arived on holiday from the UK.
    He tends to base himself in Pattaya, I have no idea why :lol:

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    It was just an excuse for a ride really. Here is a picture of the route I ended up taking following the input from Fanz;

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    The google map link is https://www.google.co.th/maps/ms?msid=212646794397075373373.00050594008dafdffbad3&msa=0&ll=15.829251,99.854736&spn=6.412736,11.969604

    The blue line was day 1, about 600km, mostly on highway 11.
    I like highway 11 at least until Phitsanulok, it is interesting and the road surface is very good.
    South of Phitsanulok however, when it becomes a single carriageway what I hoped would be a really nice ride through the countryside was seriously marred by the terrible road surface.
    You couldn’t really spend time looking around or the chances were you would disappear into a crater. The road surface was reminiscent of the clints and grykes I used to go to at the top of Malham cove.

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    The road improved before the junction with highway 1 which would have been great except it started to rain, not too much but for about 50 km I was getting wet.
    Once it stopped though I soon dried out and I only had about 50km more to go. One of the great thing about riding a Forza is the amount of weather protection you get which In my case meant only getting wet from the sternum upwards.

    Finding the hotel took a little time but not that much of a problem. I stayed at a bit of a weird place, the Lopburi Inn Resort. The place has a thing about monkeys and there are statues everywhere including outside of my room.

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    They also are supposed to sell monkey beer, but they didn't have it whilst I was there.
    As you may know it wasn't that unusual for people to want to take pictures with the Harley when I had it but this was the first time I had a bunch of Indian tourists posing for pictures with the Forza.

    Dinner at the resort was poor
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    but breakfast was passable.
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    Day 1 made me feel it is better to break journeys up into smaller stints especially if you don’t know the road conditions etc. of where you are going.

    Day 2 in red on the map was about 310 km I think, down highway 1 and take the bypass of Saraburi, There are road works by the junction of highway 33. Some shitty road surfaces in patched but liveable to be honest, the main problem is truck dodging.
    Highway 33 is a great road, I really like it. I went further on it than we had done before and then down the 319 to the 304. I should then have just joined up with the 331 but I missed the junction and ended up taking another link road, the 3121. Not a bad road as it happens plus at the junction with the 331, a dual carriageway a Thai driver decided to cut the corner in his car. He screeched to a halt as he found himself pointing the wrong way on the 331 carriageway. I just laughed I am afraid.

    Highway 331 southbound is a bummer of a road, the surface is shot to bits and it is full of trucks as it is the direct route to Laem Chabang the deep water port. I didn't enjoy that bit of the ride really.
    I also did not take the spur towards Laem Chabang and highway 7 and continued to highway 36 which needed a u turn to get pointing south on. Neither the road signs nor my nav took me off the 36 onto highway 7, the direct way into town but onto highway 3, the old way, still not a big problem. I was at the hotel, the Sabai Wing by 2pm.

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    The route back was planned to be a 2 day. Originally I had thought to go the same way but in reverse. The main difference being that the 1st day as usual would be the longer ride so my stop would be Phitsanulok. However, I was fed up with the road surface on that route so I was thinking, in my mind, to change to highway 1, the way historically I would normally go. The actual route is in purple.
    I took the 7 from Pattaya to the junction with 331 at Laem Chabang where to go north a u turn on a make shift path between the carriageways was performed, possibly not quite legal but I was not the only one so…
    Here in comes an observation whilst going north on highway 331, although the road surface was far from perfect, it was a billion times better than the southbound carriageway. My conclusion, the fully laden trucks go down the road to the port but the laden trucks for import take a different route, probably to Bangkok. The trip to highway 304 was really quite nice and so was the trip all the way to highway 33.
    Before lunch I turned off highway 1 onto the road that bypasses the south of Lopburi and apart from stopping for a pee and getting a little blood back in the cheeks of my **** I was pretty soon at Singburi on highway 32.
    I had thought that I would stop maybe at Nakhon Sawan but it wasn’t even 1pm when I got to Singburi and Nakhon Sawan was less than 150km away. I figured that if I got to the Kamphaeng phet /Tak area later than 5pm I would find some where to stop otherwise.
    I was in Tak before 4.30pm. This included being stopped by the cops for riding too much in the outside lane. Yes I had been using that lane a lot. The left lane was often deeply rutted by the trucks that don’t give a shit and they will cross with no regard to anyone else to the bike lane to, having ****ed the road, mess that up too. The far right is at times the only safe place to be.
    Thankfully, the nice cop agreed, told me how dangerous Thai drivers can be (which came as a shock) and apart from discussing how many cc the bike was and how many hp, sent me on my way.

    Having got to Tak I was but 270km from home, I am riding alone so there is no social “let’s stop and enjoy Tak” to think of so I thought just keep going, so I did.

    So that was the trip to Pattaya and back. The Forza did well I think, for sure bigger wheels would help on some of the shitty road surfaces but 900km in a day without a blip, that’s not too bad.
    Next it is the Issan ride...

    Al
     
  6. blackb15

    blackb15 Ol'Timer

    Very useful a good trip and food for thought well done
    Safe riding
    Paul
     
  7. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Nice one. Well done. That's quite a ride on the Forza I reckon...impressed.

    Thanks for the feedback - most appreciated.
     
  8. Franz

    Franz Ol'Timer

    Nice trip Bigal, did these routes I don't know how many times already on how many different bikes and cars in the past 20 years.
    Need to go to Lopburi quite often for business purposes and always stay there overnight, is better than the not so far away Saraburi Inn which is also stupidly overprivced. Yes, food at the Resort is let's say yyyyyyakkkkkkkkkk, better one sticks with local food in there as anything Farang is just awful. Also the brekkie gets my stomach into "protest mode" at any given time. But this is at most of the typical local 3 star flea-castles...............
    Funny at room No. 56 or something which is close to the owners bungalow at the furthest corner of the entrance there's a green tree snake under one of these 3-4 tiles which are angled at eye height at the room-'balcony' entrance. She came to visit me already several times, twice also in the room but after me stomping onto the floor she quickly deemd it better to leave than to be trampled by a farang hippo. Told the cleaning stuff about this little sneaker, woman only said ahhhhh that one, we know her already.............................
    Next time you go there you should take the route over the Khao Yai Wine valley road and National Park.
    331 around Bowin is a real PITA at shift-changing times at the big industrial estates but still with a bike manageable as you can sneak through lines of jammed busses, minibusses, 10 wheelers , other trucks, pick-up cans and other smaller vehicles.....................
    Highway from Laem Chabang to Bowin is a big NO-NO as completely in disrepair and trucks there are driving as sickly as one can imagine, think the heavy traffic there and the condition of the road makes even the softest drivrs to become real maniacs, not a road recommendable for bikes or even cars. Have a nice upcoming trip to Esan anyway..............
     
  9. bigal

    bigal Ol'Timer

    Cheers Franz, much appreciated. Not sure I would have been happy about the snake. Looking forward to the next ride now and the wide open spaces of Issan.
     

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