Day Trip to “Collapsed Road” north of Doi Pahampok

Discussion in 'Northern Thailand - Road Trip Reports' started by ianyonok, Oct 30, 2011.

  1. ianyonok

    ianyonok Ol'Timer

    I met up with Gary at Thathon for a 09:30 breakfast bowl of noodles. We were going to ride the mountain ridge road round the back of Doi Pahampok, the second highest mountain in Thailand, at 2285m. This is the road David U. has marked “Dangerous Road Collapse”, “Restricted Area, Dangerous Road”, Dangerous Road Collapse” and “Caution, Very Steep” over about a 30 klm stretch of this road, on the GTR Golden Triangle map.
    With so many warnings about the road, well….. you gotta go check it out……
    Gary had swapped his big 1300cc Yamaha cruiser for a shopping basket Honda and I had taken out my new plastic Kawasaki dirt bike.
    We set off northwest on the small road a klm or so west of the bridge over the river and were soon climbing up into the Mae Fang National Park. As it was the start of the cool season, we were soon up into the mist and I was wondering if I should have been wearing a jumper, but I managed fine. Gary had no problem with his extra "insulation"....

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    We sailed through the first border checkpoint then stopped at the next one. As the guys don’t see many farangs up here, they wanted to chat and gave us a welcome cup of coffee. So, we gave them a couple of choco bars.

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    It was raining on and off for the rest of the trip along the ridge road.
    They gave us a good warning about the broken road ahead. As we headed along this section, the road was very overgrown both sides, with large weeds growing up through the tarmac.

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    When we got to the “Dangerous Road Collapse” section, we came across several “trip wires”. Very thin green nylon string stretched across the road at about 12 inches height, that went “twang” as we rode through them. We presumed to prevent cattle trying to cross over…

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    It first appeared that there was no way across. Due to the time of year, the area was covered in greenery. We walked over the section first to have a looksee…… Just wide enough to get a bike across, about one metre in places, with just about vertical drops either side. It then started raining and was very misty. Discretion being the better part of valour, we decide to walk the bikes over…….

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    Made it………… phew……..

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    Think I've been in Thailand too long......

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    I can’t see this section of road being repaired for a long time, it would be a major engineering project, possibly a bridge would be the only way, without blowing off the mountain tops either side. The drops are just too sheer either side. However, the google earth map is dated 2004, so it hasn’t changed for a long time.

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    When we got to the next checkpoint, the border patrol police did a good check on us, including a radio call back to the checkpoint before, but another choco bar smoothed the passage and we separated as good friends, with them and us taking lots of photos.

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    They're allowed to look that serious with a gun that big.......

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    The road continued much the same for a while, feeling quite remote, then it turned south and we cruised down off the mountain and back into the sunshine.

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    What a great road and a great day in a great country. :lol:
    Thoroughly enjoyable, right up there in the clouds. We saw about 3 local people on that road. A wonderful feeling of being “out there”. I’ll be back sometime in the dry season to see the views better. Not a road for a bike with slick tyres though…….
    Cheers Gary.

    Best wishes
    Ian
     
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  3. ianyonok

    ianyonok Ol'Timer

    Hi Colin,

    Yes, a great road, I'll be back sometime when not so foggy. You're right, I can't see it being repaired.

    I know you're getting a new KLX250. I don't think I'll ever "like" mine, but I'm getting used to it. Extremely good for roads like that one and great fun on the dirt. It seems to have enough power on the road if you rev it. It sounds like shit and the seat is damn hard, but eminently practical as a "go anywhere" machine.

    Ian
     
  4. Rod Page

    Rod Page Ol'Timer

    Good stuff. I see you took the road up behind Wat Tha Ton - that's a good way up with great views & the attitude concerning entry to the collapsed road from that end is far more tolerant.

    Next run keep your eye out for the White Chedi near where Khun Sa fled when forced from Thailand. Also, its well worth trying to find the eternally strategically important Doi Lang; there's a military post up there but the views are truly sensational & the position's military significance will not escape you.

    Last but not least take the climb to Nor Lae if you want a 'dangerous' road.

    Repairing the road - unlikely, not the least because its still disputed whether it lies in Thailand or Burma!

    Cheers
     
  5. ianyonok

    ianyonok Ol'Timer

    Hi Rod,

    Thanks for the tips. I was trying to find that post (probably yours) with a lot of info about the white chedi, can you give me the url please. I have heard this mountain called Doi Lang from someone else. Is that the same mountain as Doi Pahampok? just different name? or different mountain?
    The day we went was foggy and rainy, so no views. I'll wait till the dry season and head back there again for the views and try and find your suggestions. I'll probably be back up there in February with another mate, so any more info would be great.
    The road is only a couple of hours from me, so I can get back there easy enough sometime.

    By the way, small world....we just had David and Eleana stay here at the hotel and now we have Steve and Anna visiting on an Africa Twin.

    Best wishes
    Ian
     
  6. David Learmonth

    David Learmonth Ol'Timer

    Great photos! Glad you got round safely - amazing what can be done on a small Honda scooter - congratulations to Gary for completing trip on it. Far too risky for me to attempt.
    Kwak will be a lot different from riding the elderly steeds but at least you won't need to travel with a big tool kit strapped on. That said - the Thunderbird (my favourite) does seem to be doing very well.
     
  7. Rhodie

    Rhodie Ol'Timer

    Again a great report Ian - you had the right bikes for this ride. Pity about the cloud cover, as the views are spectacular.
    This one of my favourite rides and then continuing on to Nor Lae, as Rod suggested, ending up at Doi Ankhan.
    I've taken both the Beamer and the Triumph over the washout two years ago and it was scary as f*ck then,
    even with the guys from the old Border Patrol base on the southern side clearing the bush back with their pangas.
    on one section the front wheel of the GS12 came off the track and it was only the undergrowth roots
    that kept me from plunging down into Burma, on another section of the "S" it was a root catching
    onto a footpeg that could have ended with similar results.
    Now that the BP guys are gone you really don't want to ride this by yourself or on a "big" bike.
    Re the Nor Lai section, the army only allows travel in one direction at a time and at very peculiar time-slots
    - like 6-7am & 5-6pm, when the light is not great and far from ideal when attempting it with a big bike.
     
  8. bartomeer

    bartomeer Ol'Timer

    Great report! Respect for the honda Wave and his driver!!
     

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