Udon to Chiang Rai - via Nam Pat

Discussion in 'North-East Thailand Road Trip Reports' started by brian_bkk, Jul 12, 2014.

  1. brian_bkk

    brian_bkk Ol'Timer

    G'day All,

    A quick 3 day long weekend last weekend.

    Up early and in the office by 7am... so I could leave early and get to Banmaerimkhong by nightfall or shortly after.

    Really lucked out on some good flights.. Nok Air up 898 baht all in..
    Thai from CEI to Bangkok for 1,200 or there bouts. All in as well.

    Here is a quick look at the route taken.

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    Get off the plane and head directly to Kawasaki.. Need to get moving ASAP.
    Before I even get inside Kawasaki.. Who is standing at the service area drive in with a big smile and handshake.. Fuark.
    This was a surprise.. The first person I see in Udon.
    The last time in VTE.. ran out of time to stop at his shop.. so great to meet up here.

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    We have a good catch up and Fuark loads up his tyres and other parts and heads back to Vientiane.

    I pay my bill and hit to road too..

    Love riding along the khong and stopping for a coffee looking over to Vientiane..
    Unfortunately.. no time for coffee this time.. But did manage to get in a few snaps before continuing.

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    Time to head on to Banmaerimkhong.....
     
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  3. brian_bkk

    brian_bkk Ol'Timer

    Arrive at Banmaerimkhong.. It really is like coming home.

    Fourth time to visit and second time to stay the night.
    On a positive note. The owner said they are seeing more big bike groups coming through over the last year or so..
    Even in the low season they are busy with Thai's and foreign visitors.
    People come from Udon to spend the weekend here every weekend... and why not. Lovely spot.

    My room with a view

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    Now you know you are in a truly friendly place.. When the family and staff call you by your name.
    Usually you hear people speak amongst themselves.. Farang this and that..
    But at Banmaerimkhong only ever heard my name used even when not in the conversation..

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    Invited to dinner and it was lovely..

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    Also enjoyed some JD :)
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    Never been provided with so many mixers before.. all nicely chilled.

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    The next morning have a good look around..
    The local tourist attractions listed.

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    The night before.. K. Koi the owner told me there is another Brian living near the village.
    So now we have Gerrie and Koi's son.. Brian, Brian that just arrived and Brian half Thai / US that living down the road.
    Don't believe this little village has been blessed with so many Brian's all at once before..

    While having a few drinks.. I mentioned what my plan was.. Stay here tonight and Chiang Khan the next evening.
    Spending the day riding up and down the Mekong taking as many pictures as I want and enjoying the scenery...
    - No rush to get some where.
    I asked the other Brian if he wants to join.. He is on a scooter but no drama's as just taking it easy today.

    Also decided to stay one more night at Banmarrimkhong.. Enjoying the place too much.
    Just means a little earlier start the next day..

    more to come..
     
  4. brian_bkk

    brian_bkk Ol'Timer

    After a lazy start and a hearty scrambled eggs and bacon breakfast.

    The two Brian's head off for a ride up to Chiang Khan.

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    The Majestic Mekong is certainly running low..
    Hard to believe only a few months earlier we had been navigating this part of the river on the boat with bikes..

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    We are passing through Baan khok Phai.. Something made me think this was the town we passed on the boat trip.
    We observed from the boat there was the new immigration building..
    So stopped to check out and just make sure no planned changes for entry points were in the making.

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    Brian and the friendly immigration officer. He came out had a chat with us and gave us a bottle of water each.
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    The immigration officer informed us this crossing is only for Thai and Lao still.. Three days allowed either side.

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    The new building is to replace the old building in the background

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    Next stop Chiang Khan...

    Quick snap with Xanakham in the back ground.

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    My riding mate for the day..
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    We had a fantastic coffee and cheese cake here.. Really good.

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    On the way out.. Brian wanted to check out another landmark along the river.
    The plusses of riding with someone else.. New ideas and places of interest you may not know about

    Tha Li 55 KM, Luang Prabang 425 KM
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    Then we head back to Banmaerimkhong with a snap or two along he way.

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    Last night of drinks and dinner

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    Fantastic food.. If you order the Mekong fish here.. It doesn't come from the market.
    The fishermen pull up outside and ask if the resort would like to buy any fish..
    Not sure you can get much fresher than that.

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    More to come...
     
  5. Poompui

    Poompui Ol'Timer

    Excellent trip report....keep it coming!
     
  6. brian_bkk

    brian_bkk Ol'Timer

    The next day.. alarm goes off at 6 am..
    Want to get up to the view point and hopefully gets some nice snaps with the sunrise.

    Drag myself out of bed.. get geared up... get on the bike.. fire her up.
    Ride off.. something is wrong.. That familiar feeling of a flat tyre..... Bugger.

    Get off and sure enough.. find this in my brand new tyre..

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    Now.. hmmmm Do I try and do this myself or find a local..
    Lets take the easy option..

    The first time I was really pleased I had purchased this from Nat at Pistonshop.

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    Pumped her back up and went and had breakfast while waiting for my guide to the local motorbike / tyre repair shop.

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    This soothed the annoyance of a not so good start to the day...

    Then up the road. Third place we stopped at.. No worries..
    What a ripper of a nail..

    All fixed for 60 baht.. (2 dollars)

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    Then up to Wat Pha Tak Suea.

    What a lovely spot and a must to stop here.. Really lovely view.

    I will over indulge with a few pictures form up here.. just lovely.

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    More to come..
     
  7. brian_bkk

    brian_bkk Ol'Timer

    So after the flat and looking like a wrecked morning back on track..
    Except for the fact that I am leaving a lot later than planned..

    A second breakfast at Banmaerimkhong at 10am! Coffee with K. Koi and Brian..
    Then hit the road..

    Managed to get all the way to Chiang Khan with out stopping for a photo once..!

    But did have to stop for another iced coffee and cheese cake..

    The place is called Toffee Coffee..

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    Then on to Dan Sai via Loei.. No stopping excpect for fuel at the PTT...

    Off up to Na Haeo..
    This really is a lovely ride.. like going back in time. The roads are mostly good on the whole..

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    Ban Hua Dan
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    At the border Na Haeo

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    I was running out of time and it was getting late to do this remote road by myself.
    Last thing is want to be broken down or worse late out here with no one passing until morning.
    Will go back and do some more exploring out this way for sure..

    More to come..
     
  8. ronwebb

    ronwebb Ol'Timer

    That's a lovely area up there. Lots of interesting little roads and some great views as seen here in Brians excellent photos. I have to try the Banmaerimkhong next time I am up that way.
     
  9. Oddvar

    Oddvar Ol'Timer

    After passing through Phu Soi Dao National Park along 1268 it’s nice to go along the 1243 instead of 1083 to Na Noi.
    1243 is a “disused” road with about 25km on good gravel road. One downhill section of about 100 metre is just solid “mountain” but fairly smooth. No traffic and just beautiful nature.
    On my last time through in May this year there was expansion work in the northern part.

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    This is about the average for the dirt part.
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    This is the "solid mountain" part.

    Here is a older link to 1243
    http://www.gt-rider.com/thailand-motorcycle-forum/showthread.php/35070-1243?highlight=1243
     
  10. brian_bkk

    brian_bkk Ol'Timer

    Onwards we go to Nam Pat.

    Getting on time wise a bit.. These roads take a lot longer than you would think..

    Saw two of these signs along the way...

    Google Translate... " Fun roads ahead " :)

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    This one was a bit embarrassing.. Upset stomach from the night before..
    So park up here out the way.. find a place to.. well you know what....

    Not much coverage up here and don't want to go in the long grass in case a cobra bites me on the a5se...

    Sort myself out.. Think I am in the clear only to see a family on a Honda Wave pass enjoying the spectacle :-8

    Oh well..

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    Some just stunning scenery along here.. really just beautiful...

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    This road and the ride in to Nam Pat.. Wow.. It had been a long day.. But it really woke me up.
    Sun getting lower in the mountains.. The cool evening air coming on..

    Arrived Nam Pat around 6.15pm

    Found this place with A/c etc for 350 baht. This was on my ESRI GPS.. Will add it to the forum properly later (if not already there)

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    Dinner on the side of the road up along the main street.

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    More to come....
     
  11. brian_bkk

    brian_bkk Ol'Timer

    The final soggy instalment.

    Wet wet wet and I am not talking about the boy band...

    Get up and all looking good.. Ride off enjoying the ride then get in to the mountains and turn off.
    Decided early on in the piece to stick to the paved road, being on my own and the versys has road tyres.

    Glad I did as after the first hour.. It rained all the way to Chiang Rai..

    Still enjoyed the ride.. even is I did get water logged and not as many picture opportunities.

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    I make it to Nan and starting to get a little concerned by the time.
    Especially if the rain gets worse and really slows me down or makes me stop.
    So a 7/11 breakfast it is and a mighty Meiji iced coffee..

    Then plough on.. Initially I was going to ride north then over to Chiang Rai.
    But wanting a more direct way with least issues should it rain more.. Called David and asked his opinion.

    So off to Phayao it is.. when I arrived very water logged.

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    I have two plates of warm food and a couple of hot coffees and then get ready for the final run in to Chiang Rai..

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    Final stop at Golden Sun Bar Chiang Rai.

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    More to come in another report out of Chiang Rai soon.

    Cheers
    Brian
     
  12. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Only a few days but you sure packed a lot in.

    Funny how it goes with flat tyres too eh -always when you least expect it new tire & just leaving town.

    The last wet day's ride must have been tiring & I reckon you got caught in that storm that came in causing the flash floods in Bo KLua (Doi Phukha) & Chiang Khong.

    This pic says it all

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    a wet bike & dark muddy river - there's lotsa rain around.
     
  13. Chris. s

    Chris. s New Member

    Not trying to be a clever tw%t, but the sign says. Big writing = No overtaking and the small means limited visibility for a distance. I had to look it up, but enjoy trying to learn Thai. :)
     

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