[ ? ] Fly and Ride (BKK-CNX) - 1st Dec

Discussion in 'General Discussion / News / Information' started by VietHorse, Nov 1, 2013.

  1. VietHorse

    VietHorse Ol'Timer

    Well, it may be crazy in this SE Asia, but I just wanna thru the idea and questions, looking for some advices.
    My team will have a motorcycle trip from Vietnam (HCMC) thru Cambodia to Chiang Mai 1st week of this December.
    But I just can join them small part of the trip. I have to come back HCMC by 04 Dec.
    There are some options for me now:
    1. Fly all the way from SGN-BKK-CNX-BKK-SGN. Rent a bike in Chiang Mai and ride around for some days, before doing the MHS loop with my team on 03Dec.
    2. Fly and ride. I will get the flight SGN-BKK, spend a night in BKK. Rent a bike in BKK and ride to CNX early the next day.

    - Riding from BKK to CNX within a day is doable, right?
    If so, I prefer the option 2.
    - Concern: I don't want to spend one more day to ride from CNX back to BKK, to save time as I have to head back HCMC by 04Dec. So, some questions come up:
    1. Anyone wants to ship his bike from BKK to CNX (01Dec), I can ride it for you there. I had some offers like that during my trip in the US last year. But don't know it applicable in SE Asia. Anyway, just ask. :-?.
    2. How about the bike rental agents in BKK? Will they offer the option that pick-up the bike in BKK and return the bike in CNX?

    Thank you very much for your comments and recommendation.
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  3. johngooding

    johngooding Ol'Timer

    Can answer one of your questions as I have done it a couple of times and my BKK friends many times, yes BKK centre to CNX is easily doable in a day, leave early as possible to get out of BKK before traffic jams up. However to do in a day you are talking about major multi lane highways all the way, so its not interesting scenery.
  4. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    Certainly easy to ride BKK-CNX in a day, and if you're willing to add a bit of distance you can hit some really fantastic roads on the way up.

    Getting out of Bangkok can be tricky for a first timer, but I'll be happy to escort you if you like. As John said, an early departure is critical to beat the morning rush hour.

    This is the most direct route, about 700km, it's all highway and not terribly pleasant-

    This is the way I like to go:

    It only adds about 20km to the total distance but it's a much more enjoyable ride IMO. Once you reach Uttaradit the highway 11 is pretty awesome all the way to Lampang.

    Finally, if you're feeling ambitious, riding up the 21 to Petchabun and Lomsak rewards you with the fantastic Highway 12, and you still get to enjoy Highway 11, but it makes for a pretty long day at 830km. Most people would break this into two days but I know you could handle it just fine :mrgreen:

    I only know of two places in Bangkok to rent big bikes:

    Bangkok Bike Rentals (where you rented before): http://www.bangkokbikesrental.com/

    and a new shop that just opened-

    Asia Riding Adventures: http://www.asiaridingadventure.com/rental-corner/

    I expect both outfits will want you to return the bike to their respective shop in Bangkok, but it may be possible to convince them to allow you to to have your bike shipped from CNX to the rental shop at the end of your trip. Sending a bike from CNX to BKK via Thailand Post Logispost will cost you less than US$100.

    Regardless of what you decide to do, I'd book asap as December is high season and even in CNX it can sometimes be tough to source a decent bike at this time.

    Best of luck and Happy Trails! :happy1:
  5. blackb15

    blackb15 Ol'Timer

    A guide is a good idea I have ridden in and out of bangkok a few times and got very lost ,I rode from Chaing Mai to Pattaya in one day no prob apart from going thought bangkok but as david says not great roads the better roads sound a good plan have a great trip
    Safe riding
  6. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Sorry my vote is always to fly & start / finish from Chiang Mai, unless you have to stop / start in Bangkok.

    I look at it this way
    1. Its arguably cheaper & quicker to fly into Cnx than ride from Bkk, especially if you are renting.
    2. Bkk - Cnx direct is generally boring flat 4-lane highway with "heavy" traffic
    3. You get one extra day riding in the mountains, which should be what you want, as opposed to the approx 600 kms of rice paddies & scrub Bkk - Lampang.
    4. Flying in you arrive fresh & hot to tackle the mountains, not drained & weary from the boring 4-lane 600 kms

    but if you have not done it, then I guess there is always going to be a first time.
  7. VietHorse

    VietHorse Ol'Timer

    Thanks. I am not member of Iron-butt but it is not an issue for me to ride 1000km a day. So the distance should not be a top concern. The thing I worry about is the traffic. I have experienced once with TonyBKK last year and found riding among big trucks, trailers is not fun at all.
  8. VietHorse

    VietHorse Ol'Timer

    Thanks. I think to get out of BKK center, I can use my GPS, with Thailand map well setup. Or may be some Gt-riders may have time to ride with me a weekend morning... :)
  9. VietHorse

    VietHorse Ol'Timer

    Thanks Tony very much.
    After riding with you last year in and out of BKK, then 3500miles thru 6 states of the US, a trip thru Laos, Cambodia and Thailand last August, I feel much more comfortable and confident to ride myself in Thailand this time.
    With the speed as what we have done last time, I think If I can hit the road earlier (sometimes 6-7 o'clock AM), I can easily out of BKK and have more time to explore then get to CNX by sunset.
    About the bike, I have contacted both of them (via their FB page) but none replied yet. May be coz of weekend mood.
    I don't know how to handle the shipping the bike unless contact directly with the agents. The shipping process may take sometimes or requires me to send the bike to dedicated place, or something like that. Gotta work it out soon.
    I will try to call their given phone # early next week to see how the things could go.I want to spend a night there in BKK before heading CNX in the next day, then we can have some beers. :)
  10. VietHorse

    VietHorse Ol'Timer

    Thanks David.
    Flying is my base case. :)
    To be noted that there is no direct fly from HCMC (SGN) to CNX. If yes, definately I will choose that one.
    Talking about cost, not so much different, so not my concern. However, the ticket from BKK to CNX roughly abt 2500Bht. Bike rental for a day is somehow less than 1500Bht.
    Traffic - yes - my MOST concern. But as Tony said above, it seems not too bad, doesn't it?
    Totally agreed with you for the item 3 and 4 above.
    Haizzzzz.... Options always make us to be old quickly. LOL
  11. VietHorse

    VietHorse Ol'Timer

    OK. I and my friend will take the fly option. Arrive CNX afternoon 01Dec.
    So I have two riding days there in CNX only, 02-03 Dec.
    My friend prefers a Sport bike. Is there any sport bike for rent there in CNX? I think I will take a Versys.
  12. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    No real sport bikes.
    650 Versys / ER6 / Ninja.
    500 Honda F / CBR / X?
    Pop motorcycle is probably the best one to deal with at that time, because he has the biggest fleet of bikes.
  13. brian_bkk

    brian_bkk Ol'Timer

    I did have a little chuckle reading you comment with regards to Trucks and Trailers in Thailand.

    You Vietnamese make Thai's look like model drivers.. Something to be held up as a shining example of good driving ;-)

    Look forward to seeing you in December.

  14. VietHorse

    VietHorse Ol'Timer

    Looks like I have GT ride buddy for my upcoming trip in CNX :)
    Now I need to book the bikes and beds.
    Bikes, a CBR500X and a Versys sounds great.
    Beds, a double bed room in CNX for 2nd Dec, and may be 3rd Dec as well
    I will join my team for MHS on 3rdDec, and they will depart from Pai. So please advise if I need to spend a night in Pai to make ease for the day after?
  15. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Lux Hotel in Chiang Mai, best value for money
  16. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    Hey Buddy!
    Left my bike in Chiang Mai so that I can fly up and join you for the MHS ride :happy5:

    Point of clarification- your friends will stay in Pai on the night of the 2nd and ride from there to MHS on the 3rd?

    It's roughly ~130km from CM city center to Pai on twisty mountain roads with some rough stretches so you'd need to budget about 3 hours riding time from CNX-Pai.

    Pai to MHS is a short ~110km on good pavement and shouldn't take more than a couple hours.

    My two satang- a Versys will soak up the rough bits and power up the hills a heck of a lot better than the Honda 500 :mrgreen:

    See you soon! :happy1:
  17. NickyBKK

    NickyBKK Ol'Timer

    This info comes in very handy. Thanks for posting Tony. Myself and a friend are going to spend New Year in CNX. We are leaving Bangkok on Dec 29 and plane to arrive CNX on the 30th. Most probably we are going to take one of your scenic routes. We are planning to do it in 2 days and sleep somewhere in the middle. Can you recommend a good and bike friendly hotel?

    Once we arrive in CNX on the 30th we stay there until the 2nd of Jan and then do the MHS loop and plan to return to BKK on the the 5th.

    I wouldn't mind meeting some guys up there for a coffee. Either locals (the ones I know from this site) or others that are on the move.

  18. NickyBKK

    NickyBKK Ol'Timer

    Nice 1 David. MIght check this one out during my stay in Chiang Mai this New Year.
  19. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    Don't mention it mate :)

    Fun places to stay on the way up include Petchabun (Kosit Hill Hotel or Burapha Hotel). The club / disco behind the Kosit really kicks off in the late hours, if you can stay up!

    Pitsanulok is a decent sized town with plenty of hotel options and a bit of night life. Haven't stayed there in years tho. I understand there's a fairly decent hotel in Lom Sak. Lots of resorts in Khao Kho, aka the Thai "Little Switzerland". Reckon you should book well ahead as things will be very full at the end of the year.

    Be aware that at the end of the year the MHS loop, Doi Inthanon, and all the other popular destinations up north are bumper to bumper with Bangkok tourists. Maybe by Jan 2nd the masses will have thinned out and you can enjoy the MHS loop in style. If traffic still looks heavy I'd rent some dirtbikes and lose the crowds in the jungle! The "Elephant Trail" from CNX to MHS via Wat Chan is a nice easy ride and should be pretty devoid of tourists-
    [h=3]Epic Northern Thailand Dirt Tour! 5 days and 1200km of offroad fun![/h][​IMG]

    Best of luck!! :happy1:
  20. VietHorse

    VietHorse Ol'Timer

    It's awesome news, Tony. Can't believe that I can ride with you guys this time in CNX.
    Yes, confirm on the plan of the team. They will spend night of 2nd Dec at Pai, and do the MHS on the 3rd.
    Whether or not we arrive CNX on the 1st, spend the 1st night in CNX - go for a ride on the 2nd then arrive Pai for the 2nd Night. So that we can catch up the guys on the 3rd nicely and easily? Done the MHS and back to CNX for the 3rd Night. Knock off CNX on the 4th.
    Is there any concern on that plan?
  21. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    Sounds good!

    Have you guys booked bikes and lodging yet? December is high season in Chiang Mai so best to book well in advance.

    Have you and your mates figured out the route? If I'm understanding you correctly they'll be in Pai on the 2nd we'll meet them there and then all ride to Mae Hong Song on the 3rd?

    Just FYI, Pai to MHS is a fantastic road, but quite short. Only about 2 hours riding time to get from Pai to MHS at a normal pace. So, unless they make a lot of photo stops along the way we'll find ourselves in Mae Hong Song quite early. That's not necessarily a bad thing though as there are many things to see and do in Mae Hong Song.

    Assume they'll continue the loop via the 108 through Mae Sarieng or the shorter version on the 1263 via Khun Yuam and Mae Chaem?

    Here's the "Big MHS Loop":

    And here is a popular "short" version of the Mae Hong Song Loop:

    Both loops are fantastic. The longer one is perhaps a better choice for riders who like to go fast (you mentioned sport bikes). The shorter loop is on the slower 1263 and you'll want to stop at the top of Doi Inthanon, aka, the "Roof of Siam" for a pic at the highest point in Thailand.

    Either way they are both great rides! :happy1:
  22. NickyBKK

    NickyBKK Ol'Timer

    U da man! Thanks!
  23. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Viet Horse
    If I'm around I will join you for the Pai ride. I don't mind a night or two in Pai.
    For accommodation in Pai, check out GT Rider here


    there's a bit of what I call price gouging in Pai for high season, so be prepared for over the top prices & "everything' full.

    The Heart of Pai would be my accommodation tip, if you can get a room.
    Brookview will be full / over priced.
    Bell Garden is a good fall back, but not as good as it once was.
  24. VietHorse

    VietHorse Ol'Timer

    Thanks David.
    Checking with my team to see where they would stay in Pai, and asking them if the agent can book for us as well.
    Let's see after some days if they can furnish me with the rooms.
  25. VietHorse

    VietHorse Ol'Timer

    Bike and Bed are all booked.
    Counting on the clock... tik tak...
  26. daewoo

    daewoo Ol'Timer

    Lux Hotel is the pick of hotels in Chiang Mai at the moment...

    I think Tony is being a bit too subtle... you really should talk to your mates about not overnighting in both MHS and Pai - Choose one or the other - (I would choose MHS). you will be in Pai before lunch from either MHS or CNX... A lot of guys seem to like to stay 1 night in MHS and another night in Mae Sariang or something, but I have no experience with that...

    I love the 108 road from the 1088 to Hot - a new favourite, even if that stretch is only 30km... We were doing a day trip from CNX, so came onto the 108 via Mae Chaem... if the 108 is as nice as that stretch all the way back to Mae Sariang, it must be magic...


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