North again through the 'Auke' route

Discussion in 'Northern Thailand - Road Trip Reports' started by tonykiwi, Jul 5, 2009.

  1. tonykiwi

    tonykiwi Ol'Timer

    Havi,ng met with Auke the other day I told him I wanted a further trip North as I loved the top of the country. Auke advised me a border route which seemed like a good idea.

    The plan was to do the border and stay over night in Fang, then on to Chiang Rai and North again the next day.

    Bike is the ER6N and the team is me, myself and I.

    Got an early start (well 7 am from home) and was having a lovely breakfast in Chiang Dao soon after 8 am. The weather was brilliant and I was totally energised like one of those duracell bunnies.

    I have just gone to remind myself of the days happenings and for some strange reason, all my photos are out of order so Ill have to try my best to make this report from a shaky memory.

    Looking at my track, I did a bit of a bypass of Chiang Dao on the 107 although I can't remember why. Carried on North after breakfast on the 1178. Hit the 1340 and ticky toured for miles around the most stunning area I have seen in my life.

    I just did the track thing and will add it but to be honest I really haven't a clue where I went in the end. I am sure that with the photos and track and some commentary, someone else will assist in exactly where I went.

    Anyway, specific points of note for this run. The bike is wonderful on the good roads, good speed and handling. I stopped plenty of times for photos and meeting locals who I have to say are all the most accomodating people in the world.

    I visited hill tribe villages, sat in a hut and spoke english to a guy who spoke something else. We laughted a lot.

    I played with kids and gave two a ride on the bike.

    I found the army camp thing where they were clearly all on red alert, laying in hammocks watching the thai boxing on TV. I walked around and wanted to take a snap of the Myanmar side. I took a step back and fell backwards down a foxhole much to the delight of the soldiar laying in his bunk near by. I niftily jumped to my feet and did all I could to make him think it was an intended manouvere but I suspect he knew the truth. The rest of the day I had mud all up my back which was probably why Thais laughed at me.

    Davids map clearly shows 'caution very steep', and also 'road collapse'. I don't mind road collapse and I don't mind very steep, but a collapsed steep road on a ER6 was not the thing for a tired Kiwi. The brakes had just about shit themselves by the time I got to the checkpoint at the bottom. The guys were good though, more interested in my bike than the passport. They asked for my passport and I tried to explain that Mrs POP Rental has it but that didn't work so I showed them my Gym membership card and got a salute and was allowed to carry on.

    Fantastic ride to Fang. I have to admit to being pretty disapointed in Fang so decided ot carry on the extra 20 Kms to Chiang Rai.

    Did I say 20? Yes, my mind had totally lost it by now so after about an hour I saw Chiang Rai 60 kms. Sheesh

    Arrived at the same hotel, the same doorman ran over to me and started stripping the gear off the bike almost before i had stopped. Same room as before even, can you believe that.

    Seriously, a wonderful day and the pictures may not reflect the joy this run brought me. I have no shame in admitting to stopping on the highest ridge, turning the engine off and soaking it all in. It was an emotional experience to see the world from this viewpoint, I feel honoured to have been lucky enough to do this run.

    Into town and a chat with my lovely wife on Skype, followed by tea in Easy bar and a fairly early night.

    Weather throughout was fine although light rain in the afternoon.

    Sunday morning arrived and the weather was crap. I had planned a trip to Dao Mae Salong and Mae Moh but the weather truly took the shine of the plan. I changed my mind and rode home to Chiang Mai where i am now in my room. The ride home was 'interesting' with the heavy rain. The good point is that my left boot did not leak.....

    I also found that riding at speed in cheaper wet weather gear is not perhaps going to keep all water out. There weemed ot be a collection point around the family jewels however at least the meat and two veg were water cooled. This has however given me a good understanding of a lot of things for the trip next week and I'll be well prepared.

    Thanks Auke, the route was appreciated. If anyone has not done the route I do recommend it.

    Pics to follow soon

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  3. Rhodie

    Rhodie Ol'Timer

    Fang is v disappointing to stay in.
    Tha Ton 25kms north is far more charming,
    tho at this time of year a lot of places are closed.
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  4. tonykiwi

    tonykiwi Ol'Timer

    Well, having listened closely to Auke as to the route, it appears I did not go where he advised at all. I sent him my tracks and he tells me that I did the Nor Lae road rather than the one he recommended.

    Probably best that no-one takes directions from me.

    The route was pretty hard but an experience I'll remember forever.

    T
     
  5. Auke

    Auke Ol'Timer

    Well, you followed the route almost to the letter. The only deviation you made was to take the Nor Lae road instead of Rd 1249.

    The reason why I recommended to take the 1249 is that the Nor Lae road is very steep at places and there are more potholes than there is asphalt left. Coupled with the time of the year - rainy season - and knowing that you would ride solo I thought that it would be wiser to take the 1249.
     
  6. Marco

    Marco Ol'Timer

    Nice ride mate and great pictures
     
  7. SilverhawkUSA

    SilverhawkUSA Ol'Timer

    You are definately getting around and making good use of your time. You did well coming down the backside from Nor Lae on the ER6N without incident.
     
  8. tonykiwi

    tonykiwi Ol'Timer

    Just in the process of planning some basic routes again for visit in June.

    As I am coming at the same time of year, is Tha Ton a good spot to stay as an overnighter? It looks to be a nice place to visit. I can tie this up with the Thoad Thai and Doi Mae Salong trip I missed last time due to heavy rain.

    Cheers

    T
     
  9. tonykiwi

    tonykiwi Ol'Timer

    Just in the process of planning some basic routes again for visit in June.

    As I am coming at the same time of year, is Tha Ton a good spot to stay as an overnighter? It looks to be a nice place to visit. I can tie this up with the Thoad Thai and Doi Mae Salong trip I missed last time due to heavy rain.

    Cheers

    T
    Any local comment please?
     
  10. dirthonk

    dirthonk Ol'Timer

    Tony, its really pretty simple to distinguish these 2 towns for an overnighter.

    Fang is a better place for a beer, maybe a few pg girls, and a bit of a boogie. accomodation I use the Phumanee which has great, clean rooms for 300baht at the last time of knowing.

    Tha Ton I would stay if you fancy dinner by the river, an early night and a possible trip to the temple on the hill in the morning.

    Either way they are only about 25kms apart so you cant really make a wrong decision.

    Good Luck.
     
  11. SilverhawkUSA

    SilverhawkUSA Ol'Timer

    :thumbup: I can't think of a better summary. Nice one, DirtHonk.
     
  12. tonykiwi

    tonykiwi Ol'Timer

    Thanks Luke and Dave, appreciated

    Last time the weather buggered me up for the ride so hopefully I can get two or three days around there this time. There seems to be a lot to see around that particular area. Not long now :) It should be a good warm up ride for my longer one planned down the laos border

    Cheers

    T
     
  13. Kiwi Cruiser

    Kiwi Cruiser Ol'Timer

    Hi Tony

    Personally, I'd rather stab myself in the eye with a screwdriver than stay a night in Tha Ton. :lol-sign:

    Fang is a delightful little town for a night or two, with some nice restaurants, bars, disco etc. However, you've got to get onto the back streets to find the highlights.

    :idea: If you get to Chiang Rai and want some company for a beer or a ride, PM me. All i need is an excuse to stop working... :angel:
     

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