Phu Chee Fah in the rain

Discussion in 'Northern Thailand - Road Trip Reports' started by ianyonok, Jul 26, 2012.

  1. ianyonok

    ianyonok Ol'Timer

    The electricity was to be switched off for the day last Tuesday due to roadworks on the 1016 at Chiang Saen. Couldn't work in the workshop so thought I better get out for a run. Pu Chee Fah seemed like a suitable challenge in the rain, so I went for it on the dirt bike.
    Found a young French backpacker walking in the rain on the road from Chiang Saen to Chiang Khong. It was only 10:00 in the morning and he'd had 3 rides already. He'd come up from BKK without paying for any transport, just hitchin' a ride. Good on him, great sense of adventure. We rode the lovely river road round to Chiang Khong for fish and prawn noodle soup for lunch. Tristan didn't want to stay in CK and was happy to ride pillion with me up P C Fah, so we headed over to the 1155 and then 1093 up the mountains. I left Tristan in Pu Chee Fah village in the mist...... what he wanted..... honest guv...

    350 Baht a night at the back of here;

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    I asked the lady if they get many farangs up PCF at this time of year. She said......."ONLY MOTORSIKE FALANG" ..... :thumbup:
    About 8 klm further is my favourite place up there; Phu Sawan Resort

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    Then headed back down off the mountains on the middle road back to the 1155. Once below the mist, only a couple of hundred metres down, the views were beautiful when the rain stopped. Vivid greens all around. Almost no-one around, just superb, out in nature on your own.

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    Feeling in a flippant mood, decided to run the shortcut over Doi Phaya Phitak, from the 1155 to the 1020. Interesting that drivers are advised to use low gear when negotiating steep UP hills in Thailand...........:huh:

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    Not a road for the faint-hearted, even in the dry. It's steep up and steep down. I was scared last time in dry season I did this road, on the Thunderbird with 50 year old drum brakes......

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    Good tarmac all the way, so no problem on a modern bike and a must-do for those who want a thrill.

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    Up at the village at the top. Not sure the GTR map is correct here. The sign says "Phu Long Gung... Sa Mung Gorn". Phu Long Gung is the name of the mountain and Sa Mung Gorn is "The Dragon's Pond.. ".
    Then down the other side, some spectacular views down into the flat valley where the Ing river flows out to the Kong, from Thoeng to near the new bridge south of Chiang Khong. I think I have an aversion to heights and steep hills (it's an age thing...) so it was first gear down for me...... but I was overtaken by a couple of locals on sporty bikes.

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    Then back home via Doi Luang after a great day's ride. Had a spot of trenchfoot when I got back as the plastic bags down the boots didn't work this time.....
     
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  3. ianyonok

    ianyonok Ol'Timer

    There should be a yearly un-official hill climb race on the 4018. First one up to the car park view point............... Then down again......!!
     
  4. Great photos, especially 3 & 4 with the lush greenery and low clouds...... thanks! I'll be doing the 1155 myself in a few days time..... no off-roading as I'll be on a Harley lump.... but really looking forward to photographing the scenery.
     
  5. ianyonok

    ianyonok Ol'Timer

  6. I loved it on the botty of this lil beast! Sadly all gone now, gave the cafe to the ex as a parting gift and she couldn't make a go of it...... long story best told over a beer or three sometime!

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    Oh, believe me, I'm reading all the relevant reports! I've been meaning to make this move to Chiang Mai for a long time to enjoy my bikes..... I'm a road rider but did own an AX1 which I loved cheating with when laying trails for the Pattaya Hash House Harriers many moons ago, so lets just see how long it takes before I buy something with knobbly tyres now I'm living here! I give it less that 12 months.... and 6 of those I'll be in Cairo!!

    The 1155 looks like great fun and looking forward to it..... may even talk myself into hanging a left and doing the 1093 and back the middle road, same as you..... but I've got to keep an eye on the time as it's a recce for the group tour and on the day we'll be riding slow, taking in viewpoints etc, plus from the 1020 we'll be heading in to Chiang Rai and having a look at the White Temple before heading down to Chiang Mai before dusk.
     
  7. ianyonok

    ianyonok Ol'Timer

    Beautiful machine Martin !! Love the chequertape trim too.... just sets it off.

    Marcel,
    You're quite right. In the rain, it's not just roadworks, but where the farm vehicles have been dragging mud out on the road too. A week ago, I saw a bus and a couple of pick-ups going sideways, no grip at all, on just a slight incline where the roadworks are on 1016, Mae Chan to Chiang Saen. Dirt bike and plenty of armour is the safest really at present......
     
  8. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Some info on Phu Chee Fah to digest & maybe help give some more insight into the area

     
  9. Lakota

    Lakota Ol'Timer

    Ian, treat yourself and your trenchfoot to a pair of Sealskinz waterproof Socks. have to be Sealkinz brand not the army surplus goretex ones which are rubbish.
    you'll not regret it.
     
  10. ianyonok

    ianyonok Ol'Timer

    Lakota,
    Thank you for that Sir. They look the business alright. I shall try and order some.
     
  11. ianyonok

    ianyonok Ol'Timer

    David, Very interesting about Pratu Siam. Thank you. I'll be up there again soon, to look at things in a different light. It is a beautiful spot with those unusual rock formations and amazing views, east and west. A place few people visit, as most head on to Phu Chee Fah instead.
     
  12. Lakota

    Lakota Ol'Timer

    yes, this extra background information David provides certainly makes a place more interesting. I was up by Pratu Siam last year, I had a noodle at one of the stalls but couldn't be bothered to walk up to the actual Gate/viewpoint because I was all viewed out for the day as I had done the viewpoints at Puu chee Faa.

    Passed close by this morning on a little loop 1155 and over the Doi Yao, Phaya phitak crazy road and was tempted to checkout Pratu Siam but thought I would leave it for when I had more time to explore. Thanks David , much appreciated :thumbup:
     
  13. ianyonok

    ianyonok Ol'Timer

    check the GT-Rider map
     
  14. ianyonok

    ianyonok Ol'Timer

    Marcel,

    We've all got better things to do than make maps for people (apart from david GTR....).

    It's easy anyway.... take the 1155 south from Wiang Kaen. Take the first left turn, 1093 signposted up to Phu Chee Fah. You should see on your Michelin map, a sharp switchback in the road which is at the top of the mountain range that forms the border. At this point you are heading north then the switchback takes you round right so you are then heading south. This switchback is very clear on google maps. Bahn Pha Tang is right there. Just after that you will see a road turn off left up to the top and Pratu Siam. This is also very clear on google maps.
     
  15. brian_bkk

    brian_bkk Ol'Timer

    Love those twisties going down the hill.. Must have been interesting in a car..
     
  16. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Bump for Pratu Siam info for Ron Webb.
     

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