The Seri Thai Cave and Wat Chalerm Phrakiat Phrachomklao Rajanusorn

Discussion in 'Northern Thailand - Road Trip Reports' started by ianyonok, Oct 27, 2015.

  1. ianyonok

    ianyonok Ol'Timer

    Packed for a few days trip to see some Thai classic bike riding friends. New clutch plates and a few new gears in, plus a rear brake lever modification to hold the lever lower, at a more comfortable angle. Time for a test ride on the old girl.

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    A beautiful morning heading over the Kok river as a large flock of Asian Open-bill Storks cruised by.

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    Chiang Rai back roads and no traffic as usual.

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    A Bai Krapow Gai breakfast stop at a favourite shop near Doi Luang

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    Past Chiang Kham and out on to the 1148, went for look over a hill to the north, at the strawberry farm sign

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    I expect the mountains at the back are the border

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    Rain around and didn't want to linger...

    On to Sakoen and the whole area is looking beautiful and green right now

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    Passed through some light rain and back to dry roads again........................  luckily.....

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    Cruising along happily at about 40 mph enjoying the scenery and just got on a straight section when the bike went into a serious tank slapper. The front tyre had gone flat in an instant and I struggled to hold the bike upright as the flat tyre flopped from side to side on the rim.... Fortunately, came to a stop, rubber side still down.  Out with the tools, popped the wheel and tyre off and found....

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    Must be an old tube that just split... no other reason apparent. Lesson learned... if replacing tyres, replace the tube and rim tape too, even if they look good.... cheap anyway.

    I thumbed a lift back to the village I just went through after Song Kwae, to the local bike repair shop. I was going to see if I could glue a piece of rubber on as a patch as I had no hope of finding a 19" tube. But by some miracle, after shuffling around the back of the shop, the owner produced a dirty dusty bag that was an 18" tube. Near enough, so he took me back to the bike and the wheel was back on in minutes. Back in the fifties and through to the late sixties, all bikes had a tyre pump somewhere on the bike, usually on top of the chainguard or under the seat (for the 6T Thunderbird). It's really a bicycle pump and takes forever to get air in a bike tube, but good enough to put about 15psi in, enough to limp slowly back to his shop to fill up with the air compressor.

    After about a 3 hour delay, I rode on to Nan for a sausage and mash dinner at Tony's Place, served by Aree, who seems to be copying OK after Tony's death.  Then stayed at the usual Noble House Garden Resort, out of town, a bargain at 700 Baht a night.

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    A South Pacific Breadfruit tree in the garden

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    more later..
     
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  3. ianyonok

    ianyonok Ol'Timer

    Next morning it was down to Phrae and then headed west on the 1023.

    Too often, many of us ride past places of interest, thinking..... I must go back and look at that one day. Trying not to do that so much now and making time to stop and have a look.

    So, seeing a sign for the Seri Thai cave, I turned off north near the Doi Phaklong National Park.

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    Maybe the cave is in this karst.....

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    or ahead in that one......

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    or........

    Following the occasional new and small brown sign, only in Thai

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    Finally came to the turn-off

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    Which led to a monk's retreat

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    and pathway up to the cave

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    It would have been considerably hard to find in 1944.........?

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    The entrance was easy enough to get through

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    This millipede was 10" long[​IMG]

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    No sign of anything that may have been there 70 years ago......

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    At about 30m in and using mobile phone for light....... I'd had enough.... lets get back to the daylight

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    There was no information or things to see apart from the cave itself.

    Next stop was Khiew Lom dam on the way to Chaeson.... looking pretty sad for end of rainy season... a local reckoned the water should be up to where I took the photo... 10m higher than it was..

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    Stayed at the funky Raiya Chaeson Resort. Love the place, it's a bit run down but has real character.

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    Love the wooden gears in the restaurant

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    The Endurance Rally Association's "Road to Mandalay" run came through here early this year and stayed at the Raiya Chaeson. They started in Singapore and went through Malaysia, up Thailand through Phrae and here, on their way to Mae Sot, to finally finish up in Bagan, Burma.

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    Unfortunately I missed this event, but must have been a fantastic sight, here is the list of entries;

    http://www.endurorally.com/pages/road-to-mandalay-participants

    A great little vid here



    Some fantastic vehicles..... anybody get any photos of these cars up here ?????

    The old Itala is a wonderful machine and those '20's Bentleys certainly hammer through the dirt roads.

    Next morning early, I headed to the spectacular mountain top temple of Wat Chalerm Phrakiat

    It looks astonishing when riding south on the 1252 towards Chaehom, like a natural fortress.

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    The temple mountain is being promoted as part of the latest "Unseen Thailand" campaign.

    From the car park, as close as you can ride.

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    The BKK Hayabusa club were there too.

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    Pay 100 baht and jump in a pick-up for the ride up the mountain

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    But you have to walk the last 800m to the top....... well worth it and no harder than Phu Chee Fah.

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    Then you are out on to the top

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    Some vertical drops so I was hanging on to handrails all the time...

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    The top of the mountain rises about 600m above the plain to a total altitude around 900m.

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    The stupas are all built in place using scaffold..... not for those with even a hint of vertigo.....

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    Some superb drone footage showing it properly:



    After returning to earth, headed off for a lovely cool ride through Chaeson National Park.

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    After negotiating the traffic through CM (which seems much better without all the cops stopping every bike at every intersection on the ring road), dropped in at the Khun Chae National Park on the 118, to see what it takes to get to the top of Doi Langkha, highest mountain in Chiang Rai at 2011 m.... 4 days, a guide, a porter, only wilderness, camp fires and tents plus dumping in the bushes.... maybe next year...

    Anyone out there up for that ??? .... don't all shout at once....... hahaha..

    Stayed at the H2O hotel right on the 118 in Mae Kachan, nice newish place

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    Next morning, went past another sign I'd seen a hundred times........ turned around to take a look this time...

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    Just north of Charin Garden Resort

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    This lady arrived to collect her boiled bamboo shoots

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    The resort is very well done.

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    The very hot mineral water was most relaxing and eased the aches of the mountain climb the day before..

    A final stop was the Mae Lao raceway

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    Seems it is getting plenty of use.

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    That was it for another great ride around the north, 3 1/2 days, 750 miles, almost no rain, one flat tyre.
     
  4. Winghunter

    Winghunter Ol'Timer

    Great pictures and a very nice trip report. Thanks for sharing. That will give me some ideas for my next trip :)
     
  5. David Unkovich

    David Unkovich Active Member

    Thanks for this & good to see someone from GTR doing that Wat Chalerm Phrakiat - Ive been thinking about it for over a year now. But never quite got around to it; although I now think the vertigo maybe an issue to confront on the day.

    This temple complex was built by the same abbot from Wat Analayao in Phayao, plus now a new another new one he is building upstream from Chiang Khong. Wat Thepanimit? I think it may be called. He certainly pulls in some money to build some amazing temple complexes eh?
     
  6. ianyonok

    ianyonok Ol'Timer



    We do Bikes not cars....... but is just because I know how to paste a video in the forum now.
     
  7. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Ian

    Wow, thanks for the tip off on the Wassana Raiya Resort

    [​IMG] Wassana Raiya Resort - Chaehom - Lampang

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    Scotty & I checked it out a few days ago & it is a beauty.

    http://www.gt-rider.com/se-asia-motorcycling/topic/chae-hom-jaeson-national-park-lampang

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    a gem of a spot & a night is scheduled there in the future.

    The resort will also be on the forthcoming 2nd edition  GTR GT map...
     

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