Smokin in Fang

Discussion in 'Northern Thailand - Road Trip Reports' started by DavidFL, Mar 19, 2012.

  1. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    An overnighter in Fang to locate the ghost market canyon.
    Plus a chance to maybe escape the smoky atmosphere in the Chiang Mai valley. Ha. Ha.

    The previous day Id been up on Mon Cham
    http://www.gt-rider.com/thailand-motorcycle-forum/showthread.php/36016-Mon-Cham-off-the-1096-from-Mea-Rim-Recomended!
    above the Mae Sa valley & the air did not seem so bad, so I thought why not head North the next day & enjoy some fresh mountain air.

    I roped Ron Webb in for the trip & we set off from the X-Centre at 11.15am.
    At Mae Malai Ron indicated he was not happy with the air & by half way to Chiang Dao the air was incredibly smoky & Ron was not a happy camper, & decided to pull out & return to base. I opted to carry on thinking that there was a good chance with higher elevation after Chiang Dao the air might be a bit clearer & windy.

    The view from the Chiang Dao bypass

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    you can usually see Chiang Dao mountain soaring up into the sky there.

    R107 Against the drab grey sky & smoke the blooming sakura trees were sensational

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    Smoked karst country north of Huay Luk

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    & Ron was a lucky man I thought.

    Another blooming Sakura tree

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    well you had to photograph something...there was not much else to see.

    Dropping down into the Fang valley the air was even worse, but I lucked out with a huge Poi Luang festival at Wat Si Dong Yen

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    it was a huge Poi Luang & I thought about hanging out for the rest of the day & night, but then remembered that it was not uncommon for local Poi Luang fairs to end up in fights between drunken youths.

    To be continued..
     
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  3. ronwebb

    ronwebb Ol'Timer

    Sorry I pulled out David but I cant see the point in riding and NOT seeing. As there is no rain in the forecast for weeks, I am tempted to nick off to Vietnam and catch up with Rod at Halong Bay and tap his plaster with a stick a few times. At least the air is clean there and as his reports show, what a lot there is to see.
     
  4. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Ron no worries. Oddly enough the smoke has not affected me so much this year & I don't think it is as bad as it was 2 years ago 2010 when Happy-Go-Lucky & I both got sick for a couple of months, resulting in our escape to Oz for the smoky season last year; & as it turned out 2011 in Cnx it was not bad (favourable weather!). After being here 28 yrs you get used to it, just carry on or flee the scene. It's not going to change in the near future & only favourable climatic conditions will make a significant improvement. Anyway enough of my bad air rant (but I have not signed any petitions to clear the air.)

    To be honest I was on a mission & in the hunt for the ghost canyon out of Fang.
    What's that you say - the ghost canyon?
    Yep, "Kad Muang Phi" is the place.
    And a new one on me.

    Kad Muang Phi is a Lanna language for "spiritual market". The forest around the site looks like Phae Muang Phi in Phrae & according to legend Kad Muang Phi is a place of ghosts.
    The Kad Muang Phi site resembles a canyon with cliffs & mushroom like pillars, thought to be several million years old.

    But where the hell is it?
    Well, as luck would have it a couple of friendly villagers at the Wat Si Dong Yen Poi Luang festival knew of the site & gave me rough directions: go back down the road & turn off for Ban Mahn, cross the river, turn right & just follow the road....?
    Sounds too easy & it ..........wasn't!
    Back down the road, turn off for Ban Mahn, cross the river, turn right & just follow the road.
    And I did, but there weren't any signs & I ended upon R1346,the Phrao -Chai Prakarn road, twice!

    The road across the river, & it was a nice meandering rural back road.

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    but where the hell was Kad Muang Phi?

    I doubled back more than once looking for any give away signs of a tourist attraction.

    Finally I decided this must be it:

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    I no sooner got off my bike, than Mr Jan magically appeared from the bushes across the road.
    He was the local ghost canyon caretaker & guide, because the ghost canyon site lay across the street from his orchard.

    Jan was appropriately dressed for the hot day with his camouflage outfit on.

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    He jabbered away & immediately set off up a trail through the dry forest. I thought I'd better follow.

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    "Site 1."

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    "Site 2" & The Real Deal Ghost Canyon

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    Local legend has it that a villager lost in the forest, found a busy market there. After buying many items in the market, he was shown the way out of the forest by the villagers; however when he reached home, he discovered that the items he bought were only leaves and stones.

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    Worth it?
    Well yes if you're over nighting in Fang I'd say. If you're just passing through, not sure. You've got to park the bike, take your kit off & hike up a gravelly slippery track for 500 metres.
    Allow 20 minutes minimum at the main "Site 2."

    Map coming...

    Attached files [​IMG]
     
  5. Rod Page

    Rod Page Ol'Timer

    Great to see you still discovering places after 28 years (& 1million + kms) in the area.
     
  6. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    A map

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  7. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    The return to Chiang Mai was via R1346 Chai Prakarn - Phrao, R1150 Phrao - Chiang Dao - R107 Chiang Mai.

    R1346 is part of the Chai Prakarn Loop from Chiang Mai & cracks a mention here

    http://www.gt-rider.com/thailand-motorcycle-forum/showthread.php/25783-Chai-Prakarn-Loop

    and here

    http://www.gt-rider.com/thailand-motorcycle-forum/showthread.php/26316-Xmas-Day-Ride-The-Chai-Prakarn-Loop

    I dawdled along R1346 taking photos a la Captain Slash & tried to capture the twisting sweeping nature of the road to show how good it is for a ride to / from Chiang Mai / Phrao / Fang.
    R1346 is one hell of a brilliant ride for a day trip from Chiang Mai. Check it out sometime, if you have not yet ridden it.

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    The start of R1346 at the northern Chai Prakarn end, & less than ideal atmospheric conditions.

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    Approaching Phrao & the "Land of the Pharoahs."

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    Back on the road R1346

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    R1150 Phrao - Ping Khong R107.

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    Wat Pang Makok

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    R107 Ping Khong - Chiang Dao

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  8. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Curious - have any of you Fang over nighters been out to see Kad Muang Phi yet?
     
  9. fabianfred

    fabianfred Member

    I've only been living in Fang for 16 years...give us a chance mate...lol.
     

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