SSR / GTR ride from Bangkok-CNX-Chiang Dao-Phrao-Phrayao-Nan

Discussion in 'Northern Thailand - Road Trip Reports' started by TonyBKK, Dec 11, 2009.

  1. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    Brilliant ride and everyone made it back in one piece!

    The cast of characters from Bangkok:

    Frank- Yamaha R1
    Bakerboy- Honda VFR 800
    Dr. G- Ducati Monster
    NakedAir aka BananaBoy- Yamaha FZ6
    Ithailian- Kawasaki Ninja 650R
    TonyBKK- Kawasaki Ninja 650R
    Dunder- Kawasaki Ninja ZX10R
    Spud1- Yamaha R1
    Hawkhill- Ducati 1098S

    We left Bangkok almost on time :wink:
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    About 50km south of Pitsanulok the VFR800 shit her chain... :oops:

    Talk about fortune though- this happened in the middle of nowhere and within minutes a jolly old fellow shows up in his pickup and drives the VFR800 all the way to Pitsanulok for a mere 1000 Baht. In Pitsanulok we are lucky enough to find a big shop on Soi Sanambin (Airport Road) that has a 530 chain in stock and they install it in about 15 minutes. Job done, Ride On!
    Woohoo!
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    Somewhere near Uttaradit- where the road starts to get interesting!
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    A couple of Ninjas 8)
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    Here's a pretty cool video riding West from Den Chai to Lamphun on Highway 11-


    This is a brilliant stretch of road-
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    Pitstop-
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    That's it for Friday the 4th.

    Will continue with the rest of the weekend soon!

    Happy Trails,

    Tony
     
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  3. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Tony
    Nice one. It certainly looks as if you got a nice clean smooth run through there. Well done. Not much traffic at all - lucky. Sometimes you get a couple of slow moving vehicles & someone hesitant to pass (they only watch the vehicle in front & not look the spaces) & traffic backs way up.)

    I see the car in the ditch beside the road, almost in a straight section & you have to wonder how they do it.

    I had my horrific orange crush bus accident on the ridge line there 15 years ago. Heading North from Uttaradit, overtaking a bus in the slow lane & the bus driver decided to make a make a right turn without any indication straight into the sala viewpoint just as I was overtaking in the fast lane. I almost got past, but unfortunately clipped the front fender / door hinge & was catapaulted off the bike. The fuel tank was sliced open & so was my leg as I went up & over the bars. 100+ stitches in the left leg, to within a couple of cms of the crown jewels! I was extremely lucky, nothing broken & was back on the bike on 6 weeks. Ho. Ho. And the people at the sala viewpoint thought I would die for sure due to loss of blood. They all got a shock when I rocked up 6 months later on the same bike.

    Life is good gents. Enjoy it while you can.
     
  4. Marco

    Marco Ol'Timer

    Hi tony

    Nice one and looking forward to see your next section of pictures,, you surtainly got some intrestig pictures "I know" :wink:

    Was so much fun riding with your guys in NAN Rd1181 and as always 9/10 stayed upright,,,LOL
     
  5. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    Indeed, we were quite lucky with the traffic all weekend (except in Chiang Mai- I've never seen it so thick!)

    No idea how that car ended up in the ditch- female driver though so anything's possible? :wink: :shock: :roll: Ha ha ha!

    100 stitches?! Yikes! I'll bet that's a cool looking scar!

    George Carlin said it best:

    Life's journey is not to
    arrive at the grave safely
    in a well preserved body,
    but rather to skid in sideways,
    totally worn out, shouting
    "...holy sh*t ...what a ride!"

    Happy Trails!

    Tony
     
  6. Franz

    Franz Ol'Timer

    "Holy sh.. what a ride", yes that's what it was or the part where I had the pleasure in joining with the "Bkk hooligans". Looking very much forward to more pxs and your trip report Tony !!!! :mrgreen:
    Keep 'em comin' :lol: , cheers, Franz
     
  7. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    The view from my hotel room on Saturday morning-
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    Most of us stayed at the Chateau Chiang Mai Hotel. Hardly a "Chateau", but the rooms were big and clean and the breakfast buffet wasn't too bad and it was conveniently located right next to the Sirinart Hotel where the CM Bike Week was being held.

    It was pretty fun watching guys walk past the bikes. That stunning Ducati 1098S in the middle always gets people's attention! :mrgreen:

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    Today's plan was to ride up the 107 to Chiang Dao, then hang a right on the 1150 to Phrao and on over to Ban Pong and back to Chiang Mai on the 118:
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    Spud and HawkHill are ready to ride!
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    Here's a pretty cool video of me chasing Spud on his R1 through some of the twisty parts of the 107- man that guy can ride! 8)


    Some guys thought the 1150 was a bit too narrow and dirty but personally I just love that road. No traffic whatsoever, amazing views, and a very cool mix of canyon and ridge roads.

    Shortly before the town of Phrao:
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    Yours truly :wink:
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    Here's a pitstop some ways east of Phrao-
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    Leaving Phrao to climb over the next mountain range we were a little vexed by water all over the road and we did eventually catch up with the offending water truck which was probably just about empty after sloshing his load all over the road for our entertainment... :roll:

    Video:


    Ah well- TiT- gotta be ready for ANYTHING and EVERYTHING! At least it wasn't diesel!!! :shock:

    To be continued! :mrgreen:
     
  8. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    Ok- this is a little out of order, but Marco just posted up this video he took on the 1181 near Nan. He took it with his point and shoot Canon so the image quality isn't the best, but the sound is just awesome!

    Man... makes me want to drop everything and head back there NOW! :mrgreen:
    Ha ha ha!
    Happy Trails,
    Tony
     
  9. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    Following Dunder on his Ninja ZX10R, Frank and Spud on their Yamaha R1's. (Sorry for the shaky vid- This is the last video before my camera snapped off...) Ha ha! Ride On!


    Stopped at Cabbages and Condoms for lunch before riding back to Chiang Mai-
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    Sorry, no pics of the food, but the northern style Gaeng Hunglay was excellent! :mrgreen:

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    Blasted into Chiang Mai on the 118 at a blistering pace- wow, that road is a real racetrack! Only bad thing is that my video camera snapped off it's mount. I was rather lucky, rather than falling off the bike and getting run over (like my last camera) :wink: this time the camera somehow bounced into the fairing and got wedged between the fairing and exhaust. I didn't even notice the camera was missing until Dunder spotted it hanging out from under the bike. :roll: Fortunately the memory card is still ok, but I forgot the camera at Frank's house so not sure if it still works... Need to start looking for a new bike cam- anyone have any recommendations? The Contour HD seems an excellent camera but it's also VERY expensive...

    More to come!
     
  10. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    Hit the Chiang Mai Bike Week on Saturday evening and was very happy to run into a lot of old friends, including David U, Ian, Pikey, Franz and Dougal. Didn't have my camera along so sorry, no pics, but the Yamaha dancing girls weren't half bad and there was one pretty in the Kawasaki booth that was very appetizing :lol:

    Peter and Franz told us of their plan to ride to Nan the following day with Marco and were kind enough to invite us along.

    We weren't able to make their 0830 departure time as we had one bike that was in desperate need of a new tire. I was quite surprised that there was a tire shop open on a Sunday in Chiang Mai that was able to sort the bike- I don't think that would ever happen in Bangkok!

    So, off we went- terrible traffic getting out of Chiang Mai, then northeast on the 118 then the stunning 120 up over the mountains to Phrayao. That 120 remains one of my favorite roads (and I think it's a new favorite for a few other guys too). I wish I could have captured it on video, but alas, no camera... :(

    I forget the road numbers we took between Phrayao and Nan, but they were great! I did stop to snap a few pics-
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    As you can see it's pretty late in the day, but fortunately we were headed east and the setting sun created some beautiful colors.
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    We rolled into Nan right about sunset and were warned by Liam, who had arrived earlier in the day that all the hotels in Nan were FULL! :shock:

    Well, first things first! We headed to the river where who should we meet? The Three Musketeers? Larry Curly and Moe? No, but close :wink: Marco, Franz and Dougal! :lol:

    Awesome to see you all again! A few pics from the evening- who can remember how many bottles of Jack Daniels and beer we consumed? I have no real memory of getting to the guesthouse but here there was some guys that wanted to break a chair over my head? :oops:

    Marco and the Panzer Wagon!
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    Hey... That's one way to get a drink... :roll:
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    Apparently some farts smell like laughing gas... :mrgreen:
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    Franz was in good form and looks excited for Monday's ride-
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    THANK YOU AGAIN FOR DINNER FRANZ!!!

    THANKS AS ALWAYS TO FRANK AND MO FOR SUPPLYING THE JACK!

    Wow- check out Marco's HIDs and footwear! Ha ha ha!
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    Dougal kept the jokes coming and had everyone in stitches as usual!
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    I don't know where I slept that night but big thanks to Liam for finding a place- It was only 350 Baht, clean, quiet, hot water and a very comfy bed. What more do you need?

    Monday's fabulous ride coming up next!
     
  11. Franz

    Franz Ol'Timer

    Tony, dinner was all my pleasure as were the day rides and evenings with all of you guys. Trent was all in his best mood and yes, Dougal kept them jokes comin' by the dozen. Marco was like an old busdriver who has driven his vehicle 30+ years, really glued to it. :lol: even with slippers :evil: ........After coming back, my stomach muscles hurt more than anything else !! Food down there at the river was perfect Whiskey, Singha & Leo too, the other one that claims to be beer I won't mention. :twisted: , looking forward to the real thing (ride into Doi Phu Ka) and of course to our next ride together.... :p , cheers, Franz
     
  12. HTWoodson

    HTWoodson Ol'Timer

    Beautiful pics Tony, especially the sun setting ones coming into Nan.

    The only pics I really took were of that first night in Nan down by the river. Here's a few more to supplement yours:

    Having dinner and drinks down by the river.
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    Lot's of laughs.
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    What a smile!
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    Ditto.
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    Notice the drink thief. Caught by Tony's camera on other occasions. I think Trent was a little confused as to where all his drinks were going.
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    The SSR wives club.
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    That was a fun night; everybody laughing all night. It was great to finally meet some of the GTR guys like Marco, Franz and Dougal. Thanks again Franz for the dinner and Frank for the Jack. You're both awesome.
     
  13. Franz

    Franz Ol'Timer

    Liam, also a pleasure to meet you finally, hope you'll be up for a ride again soon !! What a good hand you had in taking these fotos, no one ever seems to stop laughing, was it Dougal's jokes, Frank's frequent use of the 'F' word or Trent's farts I wonder.... :p . Just must smile at the thought of all of us sitting there and what weight we all had, that there wasn't even one of these flimsy plastic chairs that collapsed, well except the dozen in the small eatery up in Doi Phu Ka which Marco sucessfully cracked beyond use, he even stacked four of them together and they still cracked under his weight... :mrgreen:
    5555555555555555, cheers, Franz
     
  14. Marco

    Marco Ol'Timer

    Oh shite guys that was really craking night I do have to thank all BKK huligans, it was truly amazing and nice to meet all you guys and Trend,, how in earth you can smile with your mouth so wide open,, do you cathc any Flyes?...LOL man you are so much fun
    Tony and rest of the guys, im honored as always ride wit you guys, notonly that you blasitng away and ride awasomly but night and afterparties are so much fun.
    Franz, your genoriosity has no bounderies and THANK YOU VERY MANY of the dinner and as always so nice to meeting you.
    Liam, thanx for very nice pictures and it was nice to meeting you, if you ever pass by Ubon let me know(same goes with any of you guys ou there)
    Regarding me and my "buss" going wild,,ok i have to admit that you guys make me ride BIT over what i usually do,but i did it in limits that i could and my "Buss" i did over shot 4 corners as did not estimate corner correctly just to set it clear,, but all in it was SOOO MUCH FUN and BKK HULIGANS, if you ever desided to come and destroy Ubon town,,let me know, i would be so happy to join you
     
  15. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    Wow, those are great pictures Liam! I'm loathe to lug around a big SLR but the results you get do make it tempting.

    I think you have some good shots from Monday's ride as well and look forward to seeing them!

    Happy Trails!

    Tony
     
  16. Dougal

    Dougal Ol'Timer

    Great location, great company, awesome roads.

    The ride on the Doi Pukha Loop was incredible fun, the 2 nights by the river................well you've seen the photos. I think some of us were hurting from laughing so much.

    Great meeting you all again and riding with you and partying with you.
    An absolute 'highlight' of our trip. Thanks guys.
     
  17. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    Brilliant ride on Monday December 7th :mrgreen:
    The Phu Ka Loop:
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    Left town with Franz, Marco, Dougal and Liam as there was confusion about what the other guys were doing. Alas Derek and Spud decided to head to Pitsanulok so they missed out on one of the most beautiful rides I've ever experienced in Thailand, but fortunately the rest of the group caught up with us a little later in the Phu Ka National Park.

    An amazing climb up the mountain with tons of switchbacks- once again, amazing to see how Marco and Franz throw their big bikes around those tight corners!

    Franz and I made it up in double quick time, giving Franz time to yuck it up with the National Park guards at the entrance gate-
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    The rest of the group wasn't far behind-
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    Marco the conehead... :roll:
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    (What's Liam doing???) :oops:

    Ready to continue on into the Phu Ka National Park-
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    Designated a National Park on the 17th June 1999, Doi Phuka National park is situated in the mountains of Northern Thailand. The park is named after the highest peak in the park boundaries, Doi Phuka, which sits at 1,980 meters (6,600 feet) above sea level. Phuka is Northern Thailand’s largest national park, at 1,704 km2 size.
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  18. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    Wow it was chilly up there in the mountains! We stopped at the Lan Doo Daw viewpoint where there is also a campsite- (You can see the tents behind the sign)
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    The park staff told us it had gotten down to 12 degrees Celsius the night before and that it's not unusual for the temperature to go down to single digits in the winter months. :shock:

    All I can say is that when I went to wash my hands the water was ice cold- I wonder if any of the campers took a shower that morning??? :shock:

    Absolutely gorgeous up in the mountains and some stellar views. This area is also famous for some very odd prehistoric palm trees. I hope Liam will show us some of his pictures because my camera really wasn't able to capture them very well.

    We stopped here for lunch and could hear a sport bike off in the distance- who should it be but BananaBoy! Grinning ear to ear and going on about how not even Bakerboy could keep up with him today as he was "IN THE ZONE!!! Ha ha ha! (More on that a little later) :wink:

    Marco couldn't find a chair that would support him, but not for lack of trying :oops:

    Off we go- stunning roads and views the entire way...

    Except perhaps for the places where there was no road.... :roll:
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    Ha ha! Seriously though, there was NO ROAD at this spot- Once the construction crew saw us they MADE us a "road" of sorts and I rather suspect they were taking bets on how many of us would wipe out on their soft dirt "road". :lol:
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    This wasn't the only spot of construction and it wasn't too long after that BananaBoy decided to get his knee down, and then some... :roll:
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    Liam was right behind him and witnessed the whole thing. Apparently Trent had some trouble negotiating another spot of dirt, hit a big rock in the middle of the road and had a gentle low speed spill. Very minor damage to the Fizzer (since apparently it landed on top of Trent!) Ha ha! :mrgreen:
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    Ah- we finally reach the 1081 :p
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    Dougal promised us biking Nirvana, and he wasn't lying!
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    Stopped here to get some videos-


    A little further on is where Marco took this awesome video:


    We just couldn't get over what a perfect road this was and we were also wondering why in the world it was built?

    I think the entire time were were on the 1081 we passed ONE car! Not that we're complaining mind you! Thailand continues to impress with her amazing roads. This one is definitely on my short list of all time greats! Thanks again Dougal for showing us this secret gem! :D

    I can't wait to go back there and explore some more!

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    Smiles all around- what a great day!
     
  19. Marco

    Marco Ol'Timer

    tony

    Fantastic pictures and awsome ride it was indeed....
     
  20. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    Cheers Marco- Very much looking forward to the next one! :mrgreen:
     
  21. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Glad you guys have finally discovered the Doi Phukha Loop:

    http://www.gt-rider.com/touring-information-overview

    THE GOLDEN TRIANGLE / LAOS BORDER
    This area to the north and east of Chiang Mai has more hill tribe villages, more loops and choices of places to go, and is more developed than the Mae Hong Son loop. The Laos border region has the best riding on a road bike and is the least touristed area in the North. Sport riders don't hesitate to go to Nan, the roads are awesome, & you can't claim to have ridden North Thailand until you have done either of The Doi Phukha loops in Nan.

    There’s some golden oldies of Doi Phukha & Nan here if you want a laugh
    http://www.gt-rider.com/thailand-motorc ... t4369.html

    You can also take a look here
    http://www.gt-rider.com/thailand-motorc ... t1431.html
    for other brilliant roads in Nan.

    Nan really is top dog for rolling hills, steep & winding flowing sport bike roads.
     
  22. HTWoodson

    HTWoodson Ol'Timer

    Beautiful pics Tony. I'm so glad you got the dirt parts.

    Sorry, my camera didn't fare much better. The low clouds and mist at the Lan Doo Daw viewpoint made it really hard to get anything but whiteout. Here's what most of my pics looked like there:

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    I played around in Lightroom trying to recover some of the detail. You still can't see much though.
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    I guess this is one of those ancient ferns? I'm not sure.
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    More likely this one.
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    I didn't really take any other pics that day. As usual, I was just trying to keep up!
     
  23. HTWoodson

    HTWoodson Ol'Timer

  24. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    LOL! :mrgreen:

    Now now Liam, Dougal may be ancient, but he's hardly a fern! Ha ha haaaaa!!! :mrgreen:

    Good pics all the same- thanks again for sharing and hope we can hook up for another ride soon!

    Tony
     
  25. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    Ha ha! Those are some great old pics David! Amazing how things have changed, huh? Must have been very exciting back in the day to have probably been one of the very first bikers to ever explore some of these areas.

    Ride On!

    Tony
     
  26. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    So, been playing with Google maps and found this road (1257) to the south of the 1081 that looks amazing on the map-
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    Anyone ridden this 1257 recently that can tell us what kind of condition it's in? Would love to check it out in January- who's in? :mrgreen:

    Happy Trails!

    Tony
     

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