First trip report: CNX, Soppong, Chiang Rai, CNX. 2 up

Discussion in 'Northern Thailand - Road Trip Reports' started by Jade64, Jul 25, 2010.

  1. Jade64

    Jade64 Active Member

    Hi everybody, this is Johannes from germany, so please be generous and excuse all the mistakes that i will make.

    after reading a lot on this board, i want to contribute my first trip report to northern thailand.
    We, that is my wife (farang) and me, were travelling on one Honda AX.
    The exact route was:
    CNX, Pai, Soppong, Pai, Kong Lom, Arunothai, Tha Ton, Chiang Rai (along the Nam Kok river), Mae Suai, CNX

    I will post some photos. unfortunately i had the wrong date in my camera, so the date in the lower right corner is wrong. our trip did take place in december 2009.

    The trip started in Chiang Mai and we speeded a little bit on the first leg, because we had heard about a hilltribe festival in Soppong, wich we wanted to visit. And i will not write anything about the CNX Soppong road, because it is part of the famous Mae Hong Son Loop, and everything has been written about that a hundred times +....
    We arrived at Soppong around early afternoon and heard, that the festival was still 2 days on. festival started every evening around sundown.
    That festival was really a unique experience for us, because there were except us 2, only 4 other farang tourists. and hundreds of colourful hilltribe people and a lot of Thai Yai.
    So it was their festival, and not touristy at all.
    The different hilltribes, mostly black Lahu, Lisu, and one more Lahu tribe, had built little houses, typical for their tribes.
    They had displayed their traditional food, that everyone could try:
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    Lahu food

    Also they had built their traditional houses on the festival ground, and they had traditional farm equipment to show. they demonstrated the use, but were happy that we gave it a try too:
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    Both Black Lahu and Lisu did demonstrated a dance. They invited my wife to take part in one dance. Very cute!
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    of course, they had some fun for (real!!) men as well
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    on the main stage of the festival was the usual karaoke dancing of girl-groups, performed by Thai Yai girls.
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    We stayed 2 nights in Soppong, Little Eden guesthouse. On one daytrip north to the burmesian border, the gearstick broke, but it was no problem for the locals to fix that
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    The mountains north of Soppong are really great!
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    our bike was a little old, suspension not working too good, with 2up. but it was quite reliable.
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    some more nice hills
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    the next day took us back to Pai, wich we did not like at all. From Pai we took the gravel road to Kong Lom. this road was a bit boring.
    Coming in to Kong Lom, we found a guesthouse, that was really fantastic. Accomodation was average, but the open restaurant, overlooking a peaceful valley was absolutely great.
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    next day, we went through Piang Luang to the burmesian border, had a look at a small temple, and overlooked the burmesian armyposts, including some bamboo-fortified hills.
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    went on to Arunothai, and high into the mountains. Seeing some pinetrees and vegetation, that we did not expect to see in tropical Thailand
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    our journey went on to Tha Ton, where we left the tar roads and followed the river Nam Kok eastwards in the direction of Chiang Rai.
    There we found the Taiwanese owned Huay Khum Resort. Very pricy, but good location. Unfortunately with dutch families. it was 3 or 4 farang children there. very loud and very annoying around the resort restaurant.
    Down below our bungalow a Lahu village. Picturesque.
    [​IMG]

    next day we went a little back to the main road and visited Ban Lorcha, an Akha hilltribe village just on the mainroad. Some say, it is too touristic, but we liked it, as they earn a little money with that, and are used to farang.
    From there we made a little offroad adventure from Khiu Sataa to Pha Kwang and then along the Nam Kok river all the way to Chiang Rai.
    Some part were too steep and a little muddy, so our bike was too weak to take both of us up the hill. It was the only time, my wife had to walk a bit.
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    there was even a little water crossing. it was very shallow.
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    although we were on the "mainroad", sometimes we decided to "give way"!
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    in chiang rai, it happened to be the annual "Chiang Rai Food Festival", girlgroups dancing, and hundreds and hundreds of food stalls. Great experience for us!!!
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    next day, we saw a parade through Chiang Rai. We couldnĀ“t find out what was the reason for that parade, but I personally liked those camouflage girls best!!
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    on our way back to Chiang Mai, we saw a Resort called Thad Luang Resort on the GT-Rider Map. A little west of Mae Suai.
    Wow, that is a peaceful location. direct on a little river. very very nice, and no other guests around.
    Highly recommended!!!

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    and this is a happy motorbike driver, relaxing just 5 meters below our nice bungalow
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    as our back-parts were really really sore, we were happy to be back in Chiang Mai, and made our last little trip down from Doi Suthep to the Huay Tung Tao Reservoir.
    Happy end,
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    Facit: No injuries, two minor breakdowns, lots of impressions. My best motorbike trip ever!! actually the first one with some offroad parts as well.

    Best wishes to all bikers in this forum.
     
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  3. fir_chan

    fir_chan Member

    The photos look great!!

    The Thad Luang Resort looks nice and how much for that little villa?? Interesting concept by the river and at night, i guess you can hear the river flowing.......
     
  4. Jade64

    Jade64 Active Member

    Hi Fir-chan

    actually you hear nothing else than the river. it is very loud, but monotone, so I could sleep very very good. For my wife it was not so nice, because she could not hear all the "gangsters sneaking around the house", because the water was so loud.....

    We had the most down Bungalow next to the water. The bungalows more up the hill are more quiet.

    We paid 1100 Baht for 2 persons, including breakfast.
    They even have a little website:
    http://www.taadluangresort.com/about.html

    And because it was so nice, we extended our stay to 2 nights. a very good spot to relax and read a good book. but it is a very lonely location. absolutely nothing around.
     
  5. fir_chan

    fir_chan Member

    Hi Jade64,

    Thank you for the information. When i do get there and the chance permits.... i might take up this offer to stay at this Resort.

    Nice!
     
  6. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Jade64
    Welcome & thanks for the trip report, especially the report on Taad Luang Resort. When I surveyed the map I thought that was a beautiful place & somewhat unique. I now need to go back there & spend a night.
     
  7. daewoo

    daewoo Ol'Timer

    Hi Johannes,

    I know it isn't much of a compliment, from an Aussie who speaks one language badly, to a European who probably speaks 5 well, but your English is better than most of the Germans I work with who have been living in Australia for 20 years :D ...

    Thanks for taking the time to write up your report...

    Great to see you taking such an adventurous route, and glad that you got to see those festivals, Thai style...

    Cheers,
    Daewoo
     

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