Ubon Bike week

Discussion in 'General Discussion / News / Information' started by Peter Hooper, Mar 10, 2005.

  1. Peter Hooper

    Peter Hooper Ol'Timer

    Ubon Bike week. 4-6 Mar 05
    About 20 bikes left Sisaket at around 5pm Friday 4 Mar and got to Ubon around 6.15.(226). There were banners set up in the street and a table with goodies and drinks supplied and a couple of bands to entertain. Probably about 300 bikes in all (unofficial) from Bangkok, Pattaya, Burirum, Surin, Yasothon, Mukdahan, Nakom Panong, and Sisaket. Mine was the smallest bike, and only Phantom there but I was able to keep up no trouble.
    On Saturday we lined up for an official departure, and did an escorted tour around the streets of Ubon and then a pit stop before heading due East to Khong Chiem where the Mun and Mekong Rivers meet(217-2222). The Mekong is the border here between Thailand and Laos. On the way we visited the Pak Mun Dam which is in the middle of a dispute with locals over water rights. Near there a donation of rubber waste bins was made and some local singers entertained at the Gang Ta Na National Park near the Tanan rapids. Lunch in a restaurant by the river at Kong Chiem and then a one hour ride north parallel to the river to a Police Camp(2112). We parked the bikes then all aboard three Police trucks and another hour along a dusty bush road to a little School right on the river bank at the Easternmost point in Thailand. The Mekong is very narrow here even in full flow it would be only 400 M wide. Right now it is around 100 M. The School is in a very poor village and because of it’s strategic position is staffed only by Police teachers. The kids, about 60 of them, were all lined up to greet us (on a Saturday) and must have thought what a weird mob we were dressed in leathers and riding gear and no bikes. There the Chief Police Officer/ Headmaster welcomed us and received gifts of books and stationery from the bikies. We then did a whip around and gave them over B8000 in cash. The kids were then lined up and each given some goodies including B20 each (some of the big kids got 50 and a couple got 500) They have probably never seen that much money. They then lined up and got ice creams which went down very quickly. Back in the trucks and waved goodbye by the kids and villagers and an even dustier ride back to the bikes, looking like we had actually been somewhere. Mounted up and rode South about 35 mins to Pha Taem National Park. Here there are ancient rock paintings and a very well equipped Tourist Office with a South Western outlook over a stretch of the Mekong. It was just after 6pm and from the balcony we watched the sun, blood red, slip into the darkness. Dinner was served on cane mats and the Director of the National Parks welcomed us and received donations of more rubbish bins. The entertainment was provided by singers and dancers and the inevitable boys dressed up like girls. I wasn’t sure of the sleeping arrangements but found out that some had bought camping gear and were allocated an area to sleep. Others , about 30 bikes, myself included , opted to ride back to the Hotel in Ubon and slept. It took just over an hour to ride to Ubon and we almost froze to death on the way.
    Sunday morning was scheduled to be spent with the Army with demonstrations of Paint Ball Warfare Training and Confidence Course demonstrations. Having served my time with the Army, I decided to go to church with some friends in Ubon.
    The Ubon Bikies did a great job on the organization and everything ran smoothly, including a lead car with flashing lights supplied by the Tourist Police and driven by a very helpful young man named Khun Nat. There were also a couple of pickups(for the HD’s), and only one flat tyre that I saw. The only thing they couldn’t order was the weather. Earlier in the week it had been around 36C but it turned cold on Thursday with a grim NE wind from the snow in China cutting across. We headed into it on the way East and at Kong Chiem it was blowing everything away. At Pha Taem we froze during dinner(so did the dancers) and the ride back to Ubon late at night was an endurance test. I haven’t heard about the campers, I hope they didn’t die from exposure. Usually it is a case of trying to keep cool but this time the leathers were not for show, but a necessary part of the survival kit.
    An odd site just as we were leaving Pha Taem late on Saturday night was a group of Vespas all arriving (I think)to spend the night at the camping site. They all had a pillion and didn’t seem to mind that they were in places Vespas aren’t supposed to be.
    Thanks for a good job Joe and Tainmo and the Ubon Bikers.
    There are pictures posted on www.bikemodel.com
    From the Home page go to the 3rd Tab from the left which is the web board and previous and present photos are listed there, the Ubon ones are dated 8 March and are numbered; 062570, 062567, 06265-all at Pha Taem, 062559, 062553, 062550 and 062546, all at Ubon 1st night. I am the old joker registering on 062546-0 & 1 and you can just see the top of my Phantom
    Cheers,

    Peter Hooper

    “The Journey is the Destination”

    PCHooper
     
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  3. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Peter
    Thanks for the report. It certainly sounds as if you guys had a good time.
    It was amusing to read about the cold weather too! We were just as cold on the Laos side of the border further north in Tha Khek.
    Being March & the "hot" season, I only bought T shirts & a vented mesh jacket for the heat, & did not anticipate any sort of cold weather.
    But even in the cold season I would not expected such cold gusting winds in S Laos
    Now a week later, I'm back in Luang Prabang & I still have a nasty head cold!

    Davidfl
    Keep the power on
     
  4. Peter Hooper

    Peter Hooper Ol'Timer

    Thanks David,
    The wind gusts you mention were sudden, strong, and quite unusual for here and quite unnerving when coming from the side. A Honda Goldwing in front of me seemed to be affected more than I was, possibly because of the flat fairings.
    Peter

    "The Journey is the Destination"

    PCHooper
     

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