Triumphs rendezvous in Phrae

Discussion in 'Northern Thailand - Road Trip Reports' started by ianyonok, Sep 25, 2012.

  1. ianyonok

    ianyonok Ol'Timer

    With a plan to meet Ron Webb in Phrae, it was time to give the Thunderbird a little test ride after the top end rebuild.

    Day 1
    Headed out of the Viang about 05:30, crossing the Kok river soon after dawn, near Doi Luang

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    Breakfast stop in Chiang Kham and no oil leaks yet....

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    Life is good

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    This resort is in a magnificent location, just after you come over a mountain, with stunning views, but is pretty basic. I wasn't staying, but rooms are 500 Baht & 600 Baht

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    I backtracked a little from the resort back to the 1092 SW, another great road with almost no traffic

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    Then down the 1120 to Song and on to Phrae, arriving about 16:00

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    After meeting up with Ron and checking in to the Phuthai garden Hotel, headed down the road a little to the Bike Base

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    Ron's tasty Scrambler that has quite a bark.

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    Elvis lives...

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    Total distance today; 276 miles (444 klms).

    Day 2
    Met up with a friend who is also into classic Triumphs

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    Then it was time to go off tommy-touristing a bit. First stop the Phae Mueang Phi

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    Then Wongburi House. Phrae was the centre of the teak logging industry around the end of the 19th century. The present owners are the same family and live in the rear part of the house.

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    This is a wonderful teak wood mansion

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    A beautiful elephant howdah

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    Very intricate wood fretwork detailing throughout

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    Ordinary Thais were slaves at this time, being bought and sold for around 50 Baht each.

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    This is a slave ownership document... "tabien slave"? The slaves did not have family names.

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    Next up, we checked out the Governor's mansion. This was also built in the late 1800s and is full of antiques and old photographs. There are many more photos of this lovely old house from David's recent post about Phrae.

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    Photos of the logging industry.

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    The cells in the basement of the house. You can just stand, stooped over.

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    Another lovely old house

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    This one looked amazing, fully made of hardwood. The gateposts are intricately carved complete with statues on top, each made from one log.

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    Then it was off to the Seri Thai museum, many more photos of which are also on David's recent post about Phrae

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    Back to the Bike Base again for a couple of coldies

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    Total distance today; 60 miles (97 klms).

    Day 3
    Enough touristing... time to get out on the road again, heading east out of Phrae on smaller roads up and over the mountains. My ten year old B & B map didn't show this road and Ron's map didn't agree with his GPS.... who cares, we had a great time...

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    Not sure where we are here....

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    Through Na Noi, east to Sali, up to Mae Charim, then Santisuk.

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    A 5 minute shower while coming over the mountain.

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    Then into the Chompoo Phukha Resort in Pua, for the night, at 600 baht a room.

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    Total distance today; 198 miles (319 klms).

    Day 4
    We headed west out of Pua to Tha Wang Pha, then trying for the 1082/1228 across to Pong.

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    We didn't get more than about 20 klms out of Tha Wang Pha before being informed that the road was closed (blocked or washed away, so had to give that idea a miss. Shame, as it was a lovely little twisty road.

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    So, I said Goodbye to Ron, he headed west to Chiang mai and I went north, back up the 1148...

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    The obligatory photo at the 1148 midway viewpoint.

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    The Tam Luang cave next to Phu Langkha.

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    Coffee art in Chiang Kham.

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    Oh... just arrived in my village.... bottom of the 1155

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    Here is the memorial I was looking for commemorating the lives lost in this area 30 years ago, when the locals, communist Party of Thailand, Ex-Nationalist KMT soldiers and Royal Thai army were battling it out. So, when you ride the 1155, spare a thought for the more than 150 men who lost their lives fighting over building one of the finest roads in the north.

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    Good to see the local ethnic groups proud to wear there traditional dress

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    I came over a hill to see this....

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    ...... AND THIS.....

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    It's at 19 deg 53.027'N 100 deg 23.737'E, elevation 632m.

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    Last coffee of the day at Naka's Kiosken by the Khong, about 6 klms north of Chiang Khong

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    Sunset near Chiang Saen and nearly home.

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    Total distance today; 267 miles (430 klms).

    TOTAL distance for the 4 day trip; 801 miles (1289 klms).

    No issues with the bike and almost no oil leaks. Just a couple of niggly things to fix and we're ready for the next ride. The 54 year old girl did very well and was a pleasure to ride.
    Thanks Ron, for the company, it was great. Looking forward to the next one in this wonderful country.
     
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  3. ronwebb

    ronwebb Ol'Timer

    Thanks for posting Ian.
    Just a couple more road shots of this magnificent part of the world.....

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  4. David Learmonth

    David Learmonth Ol'Timer

    Good photos once again. Glad you both enjoyed it. Pleased to read TBird is back on the boil once again - certainly looks good. The Triumph Tiger Cub looks in good nick - much better than the 'old dog' I had on the fields in 1970 before I was old enough to use public roads.
     
  5. Lovely pics, all that greenery...... just beautiful. I'm sure you had a great time.
     
  6. Nicke

    Nicke Active Member

    Thank You very much for the exact answer to my question from yesterday.
    I have already written the position into my GPS, so now I´m just waiting for
    the rain to slow down.

    Thank´s again !

    Leif
     
  7. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Sure looks like you guys had a good time. Sensational photos of the wet season countryside & brilliant roads.
    I'm glad you were able to pick off a couple more old buildings in Phrae, there certainly are same old stunners there that have not been replaced by concrete shophouses - 3 cheers for the Phrae conservation movement.

    I could quite recognise all the roads you did, but it does not look as if you did R1216 the Khun Satan road into Na Noi, right?
    Otherwise from Na Noi up R1243, which some people claim to be the best road in North Thailand...Nan is full of amazing bike roads!

    Thanks guys for the contribution. Glad you enjoyed yourselves.
     
  8. ronwebb

    ronwebb Ol'Timer

    Leif, don't let the threat of the rain stop you at this time of year. This is the best time to be on the road in my opinion.
    Little traffic, beautiful greenery and clear air. I did something over 1000kms over four days and the only wet I encountered was up in the clouds on top of the hill. This has to be the best time to be out and about.
    I can feel a Mae Hong Son loop approaching in the next day or so.....
     
  9. ianyonok

    ianyonok Ol'Timer

    Ron is quite correct. This is the best time. Immediately the rains stop, people are out burning and the distance visibility is gone. Then the green green fades quickly. By December you also have a lot more traffic. Waterproofs are sold cheaply in every town for about 500 baht and the rain is not cold. But you could get unlucky and get rained on every day, ask Chiang_Mai_Martin....
     
  10. ianyonok

    ianyonok Ol'Timer

    David,

    Yes, Khun Satan to Na Noi. Got a bit lost in there, but this bit below was just wonderful. I love those roads that the jungle is trying to reclaim and have become single track.
    Feels sometimes like there is almost no-one else around for a 50 klm radius.

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