Puppies, Pandas, and Pumpkin soup. Wet season in the North.

Discussion in 'Northern Thailand - Road Trip Reports' started by Moto-Rex, Aug 15, 2009.

  1. Moto-Rex

    Moto-Rex Ol'Timer

    Puppies, Pandas, and Pumpkin soup. Wet season in the North.

    In and around, Mae Hong Son. August 2009.

    The sun broke through the clouds early on a Saturday morning in Chiang Mai, so I threw a few things
    in a bag, and headed of to Mae Hong Son via the elephant track that runs through Wat Chan.

    I knew it would be a little muddy. But thought I could still squeeze "just one more trip" out of my worn out tires.

    Wet Season....what Wet Season? Sun shines brightly just out of Samoeng.

    The track up until Wat Chan was in quite good condition really.


    After Wat Chan the fun began, and the next 70kms would take over 3 hours.

    Slip sliding away.

    It was great day to be riding this track, little bit of drizzle, and a cool 17 degrees or so. Prefect trail riding conditions.

    Looks like this is the very start of the Wat Chan/Mae Hong Son, super highway.
    This was on the very top of a monster hill. I couldn't work out why they wouldn't start at the bottom and work there way up.

    Check the bamboo rio.

    The rice fields look a treat at this time year.

    Welcome the jungle.

    While coming down this steep hill, I soon came the conclusion, that being a tight arse and trying to get "just one more trip" out of these tires was a bad move.
    Bold tires, 240kgs of bike and rider, along with gravity, createred unstoppable momentum, and It was so slippery that the front wheel would lock, even when I thought about using the brake.
    Seeing a cliff at the end of the hill made me think I better lay it down, or the next stop mite be at the bottom of a valley some were.

    I stayed up right when the bike came to a stop. But slipped over on my arse twice while taking the photo.
    I managed to walk the bike down the hill, slipping, and sliding all the way.

    I ventured on. :oops: :arrow:

    Yes, I have a rice field fetish.

    I like this snap. Shows the undulating track weaving through the jungle with full tree cover .

    You had to be there.....Looking across to a mountain so lush with foliage, that it looked like carpet.

    Motocross anyone?


    Just like KFC, I arrived in Mae Hong Son. But unlike the Colonel I didn't bring eleven secret herds and spices with me.

    Who would of thought. Mr. Sanders in Mae Hong Son. Wonder how long it will be before Ronald makes he's way up HWY1095.

    Tired and thirsty, I booked into the Piya Guest house.

    Next morning it was off to Salween Restaurant for breakfast. IMO the best food in Mae Hong Song.

    Coffee, sliced banana in pancakes with honey, while surfing the web with free WIFI.

    There's even a GT-Rider whaling wall..........for the whalers.

    After breakfast decided to ride up to the Burmese border at Rak Thai (mae aw). :idea:

    Thought this is what I had yesterday.

    Stopped to have a look at the phagha waterfall.

    To get to the bottom of the waterfall you had to take a slippery route.

    Sign confirming the condition of the route.

    Waterfall...scene one you've scene them all.

    Made it up to Rak Thai. A strange little town that surrounds a lake right on the Thai/Brumes border.

    There's some good restaurants to stop for a drink.

    This one had a fine selection of local wines.....some bottles dressed like small humans!

    There was plenty of accommodation right on the lake in bungalows.

    The border was about one km north of town, up this track.

    The next two photo's were taken as I was about to leave this area.

    I rode up the above track to the border, as I get about 10 meters from the crossing, eight dogs come from no where surrounding me, three of them are not your typical Thai dogs, but big mean mongrels, like the one on the left in the next photo. I couldn't go forward because Id come to a stop on a hill that was black slippery clay. I was stuck, and there was no one around to call them off.
    I just sat there for a minute saying things "nice puppies, nice puppies" while thinking,.....this is bad.
    Even with all my years of studying animal behavior via 60s and 70s cartoons, I still was unsure what to do.
    I know Sylvester would simply throw a stick and the dogs would run after it, thus giving him time to escape. But in this case putting my hand down near the ground to find a stick wouldn't have been a very good idea, besides, I doubt these muts would understand the concept of the thrower and the fetchee.

    No, I just had to wait. Id given up hoping a border guard would come out of the bunker. Id say the dogs had already eaten him, and they were looking at me for dessert.

    After about 3 minutes they settled down. So I slowly started to role backwards, still saying "nice puppies" which I think was helping my case. When I got far enough away I slowly turned the bike around, took these two photos , put the camera away, and got ready for take off.
    Its was so slippery that I simply couldn't just nail it, so I put it into gear and waited for the Benny Hill chase music to start. But there was silence, I took off and dogs didn't move.
    Believe me this was bad scene. Made worse by the fact that there no one any where.


    The border crossing.... so close but no cigar.

    Not long after escaping the K9 killers. I came across some good old “down under animals“. Yes, these are the type of four legged creachers we like.
    They don't attack or make trouble. No,...there kind animals, that spend there lives keeping the grass down, prejudicing wool to keep us warm, and when there dead, there great on the BBQ.

    Tasty friends.

    The road heading back to Mae Hong Son.

    Made back to Salween Restaurant for Pumpkin soup with freshly baked bread and NZ butter. Yum

    The Road south of MHS.


    If you go out in the woods today, you better not go alone.

    Came across this Panda in the jungle near Mae Hong Son.
    Just joking, believe it or not, its not a real panda, but a painting.

    Who knows where it is? Prize for 1st correct answer.

    I was only going to spend one, maybe two nights in MHS, but ended up staying five.
    Its a great little town, and the riding is great, even in the wet season.

    Cheers Rex
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2016
  2. Fishenough

    Fishenough Ol'Timer

    Awesome light hearted report - good to hear you didn't feed the dogs!

    You better go in disguise....

    May have to rent a KLX as I'm having a hard time waiting till it drys up before following this route - D-Trackers slicks wouldn't make 10 m in those conditions.

    Best Regards,
  3. Marco

    Marco Ol'Timer


    Nice report and well told, really enjoy it.

    I wonder why those dogs just surround you?

    but you did well not to do any sudden moves as they would take a little "taste" of your juicy leg Muscle.

    i was looking that picture of dog's and nto sure but on on the left looks lip Pitbull mix, not nesessary agressive dog but territorial and if the border belongs to them, then there is no way that you could cross them.

    love the story really. 8)
  4. Great report MR. and pics.
    just a question..
    were they sheep on the side of the road.
    never seen a sheep in thailand,
    sounds like you had fun.. keep the pics coming
  5. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    That really is a sweet enjoyable report. You always seem to enjoy yourself on the road no matter what the conditions.

    Is the Panda at the entrance to the Kaew Komol cave east of Mae La Noi?

    Thanks for the contribution & please keep them coming.
  6. Moto-Rex

    Moto-Rex Ol'Timer

    Gday kevthekiwi
    I took a turn about 3/4 of the way back to MHS, and the road ended up going to a small zoo. Great zoo for lazy bike riders because you didnt even have to get of you bike. It was a very small zoo, only deers, hogs, etc, but hundreds of caged birds from all over the world.
    The sheep where just roaming around next to the road. It was a no through road so they could escape anyway.

    "If god didnt want us to eat animals, why did he make them taste so delicious?" (Homer Simpson 2003)
  7. Moto-Rex

    Moto-Rex Ol'Timer

    I'm sorry David, the judges have deemed your answer to be incorrect.

    Please feel free to try again.
  8. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    I'm sorry David, the judges have deemed your answer to be incorrect.

    Please feel free to try again.
    Arh got ya. Pang Tong Zoo entrance on R5001,en route to the Royal Palace. Yes / no??
  9. Moto-Rex

    Moto-Rex Ol'Timer

    Wrong again I afraid David. Which only gives you one more chance.
    Yes the rules are....three shots and your out.

    Pang Tong Zoo is were the lamb cutlets on four legs live.
    The panda portrait is a long way south of there.
  10. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Ok sir, give me time to think more. I know I've seen that painting too. Maybe right in MHS, but that's not my guess so wait, you will get a 3rd attempt.

    What's the prize though & where's Thailasse to help out on this one?
  11. jerome

    jerome Active Member

    hi moto-rex
    enjoyed reading your report!
    might consider taking a can of dog food in my saddlebags for next trip!!
    let me know when you come back riding in Laos!
  12. Franz

    Franz Ol'Timer

    Hi Rex, perfect report as always !! Like your track fotos and the fearlessness while riding them !! :wink:
    So you seem to be perfectly happy with your KLX !! How many kms by the way have you done since you got the bike ?
    Cheers, Franz
  13. Moto-Rex

    Moto-Rex Ol'Timer

    Hi there Franz.

    The KLX is a brilliant bike, 28,000 trouble free kilometers.
    Although one of the headlight globes blew 2 weeks ago. :(

    Jerome wrote.
    Hey Jerome.

    Hows things in Savan mate? Not sure when Ill be down your way.
    If you take some dog food with you when riding, make sure you add a few special spices that will slow them down a little.

    Cheers Rex
  14. jerome

    jerome Active Member

    hi Rex,things are fine here in Savan.the Mekong level is much lower than at the same period last year! and we have our own local beer:Savan beer!
    planning a trip north laos for next month!
    regards. jerome
  15. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    For fans of Nang & The Salween Pub & Restaurant in MHS: Nang had a baby girl 3.2 kgs a week ago

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