Uttaradit-Phu Hin Rong Kla National Park-Chiang Khan
AnonymousAnonymous 10th November 2008 at 1:48 pm #85899
The Route Hwy 11, 1047, 1244, 1245, 1143, 2013, 2331, 2372, 203, 2014, 2013, 2399, 4014, 2154, 201
Total Distance 395 km
It was an early start this morning, I went for a short ride at 7.45 to warm the bike up then went to the Honda dealer next to my hotel for the 1000km service, 20 minutes later and only costing 120 Baht I was on my way
I took my usual route to Nakhon Thai then took the right onto the 2013 for a few kms until I came to the 2331 and took this (new for me) road
A very pleasant start it was too, I was hoping for a long twisting road of this quality
Not far along and I spot this unusual looking building
I start to ascend the hills and the scenery is great, upon arrival at the National park gates I am asked for 200 Baht, I explain that I wish to ride to Lomkao and expected it to be the same as Doi Inthanon that its a through road. The Ranger showed me the prices so I showed him my Thai drivers licence and the fee was dropped to 40 Baht. Is this correct or if you only wish to pass through should there be no charge?
Its a very enjoyable ride both with the scenery plus the road is fun too at first, near the top the road is good in places but shit in others, its also quite windy and chilly up here
I exit the other end of the park and stop at a view point, this looks nice but as I get there it has to be ridden carefully as the road surface alternates between good and bad very quickly
The scenery is very good for a long while adequately making up for the lousy road surface
At the T junction I turn left onto the 2372 and ride into Lomkao, here its a water stop at my favourite shop then its the 203 until I take a right onto the 2013 for Dan SAi, this is another stretch of road that I havent ridden before
One thing I noticed today was the lack of gasohol available from Lomkao to and including Dan Sai, I had to wait until the PTT in Phu Ruea to find any. From here I took my usual route to Chiang Khan
DavidFLKeymasterDavidFL 10th November 2008 at 2:08 pm #172099
3 cheers for doing the Phu Hin Rongkla Nat Park road.
I can see the spectacular stunning views are still there…
and my pics from 1992
http://www.gt-rider.com/thailand-motorc … t4409.html
It’s a shame about the road conditions at the Lom Kao end. Straight after the wet season I bet it was chopped up / eroded in most of, if not all those steep sharp tight bends. It would make it tough if you’re on a sport bike & I think I would only recommend it from the Lom Kao end if you’re on a sport bike. At least if it is too chopped up & you can’t get up, then it’s not far to go back to Lom Kao. What do you think Slash?
Now while you’re in the region, please drop into the DD Ghouse at Sang Khom for me & say hello. Goi is the name.
Keep the power on
AnonymousAnonymous 11th November 2008 at 1:31 pm #172124
David any bike would be able to do the entire journey its just a shame that its not a racetrack quality surface on those lovely bends. I should be going through Sang Khom in the next couple of days so will drop in for you, is that the place thats got an Irish owner? if so I have eaten there before
beattheswissParticipantbeattheswiss 11th November 2008 at 3:08 pm #172125
David, thanks a million for all these great shots of what must be one of the planet’s most scenic areas! The cool season has just started in BKK today, so your photos really make me want to take my bike for a long ride right now!
Your old photos are interesting, especially for all of us who love to complain that there’s no progress! 😀
I plan to take the Missus to the Chiang Saen bike week, followed by a week-long MHS loop with all the trimmings. Will we meet some of you in Chiang Saen, I wonder?
DavidFLKeymasterDavidFL 11th November 2008 at 3:23 pm #172126
Captain_Slash wrote: David any bike would be able to do the entire journey its just a shame that its not a racetrack quality surface on those lovely bends. I should be going through Sang Khom in the next couple of days so will drop in for you, is that the place thats got an Irish owner? if so I have eaten there before
Yep. That’s the one.
Keep the power on
road2dharmaParticipantroad2dharma 5th January 2009 at 10:44 am #173970
Great scenery on this road. Thanks to David and Captain Slash for promoting it. After reading their posts, I rode it on Xmas Day 2008 on my way through to Phetchabun, coming down the 2113 from Na Haeo in Loei via Dansai and then on the 2013 towards Nakhon Thai before turning left and taking the 2331.
Agreed that the surface is a right state in places and looks kind of rotten, but with a bit of caution its no great drama.
Interestingly I noticed a big blue (?) all-Thai and very long-winded sign (didn’t stop to try and de-code it!) about halfway on this road suggesting that they have a big fat budget to upgrade this entire road in the next year or two.
Then once on the steeper downhill section with the great views, noticed that quite a lot of work is already going on widening, grading and sorting out the steep hairpins and the worst of the decay on the steep uphill bits. Plenty of yellow trucks and diggers.
Presumably once this is done they will properly surface the section from the Lom Kao turn-off to the top of the the steep windy bit. I imagine work on the middle section may be slower, but here’s to hoping, cos it would be great fun with blacktop the whole way.
In answer to Captain Slash’s Q about the Thai NP fees, I did indeed ride straight through the checkpoint [Nakhon Thai end of the road] (full-face down) without stopping, no drama. You don’t need to pay the NP fee to ride this road, or any other NP road, just to stop at the NP sites on the route. Actually, naughty me, I stopped at the NP (the Flag Pole Cliff part), but no-one was checking the NP entrance fee anyway. Flagpole Cliff has some nice views too and if you are interested in the history of the Thai Communist Party, you might wanna stop and check it out.
AnonymousAnonymous 5th January 2009 at 1:43 pm #173980
Some of the NP roads are free if you are riding straight through but I am not sure about all of them, like Khao Yai for example. Hopefully it will be completely resurfaced then it will be a fantastic roaddanwhite 6th January 2009 at 12:52 pm #174006
Why are you sticking gasohol in the phantom?…. Is that how the bike is set up?….. I have been manically avoiding gasohol for the last 6 weeks around the north….. Benzine only…… Am I mistaken…. I actually don’t really understand the advantages of one over the other except on price obviously….. I kind of polluted a great running 2 strojke once with yellow petrol so now stick to what is tried and tested.
AnonymousAnonymous 6th January 2009 at 2:02 pm #174010
Mine is only two months old and on the tank is a sticker saying E10 91, A year ago this sticker was displayed on new Phantoms so they are now designed to use it. I average 36km per litre using it and I would need to get 48 km per litre using benzine 91 to break even and I dont think that would happen. I ran my BMW F650 GS on benzine for 94000 km then changed to gasohol 95 for a further 16000 km and never noticed a difference at all in fuel consumption, the only difference was that it knocked badly on 91 benzine but didnt knock at all on gasohol 95
AnonymousAnonymous 7th January 2009 at 12:09 pm #174031
I was looking around the Kawasaki Big Bike shop in Chiang Mai a couple of weeks ago and virtually all of them had 91 gasohol stickers on the tank, the Boss included
AnonymousAnonymous 7th January 2009 at 1:44 pm #174035
No problems whatsoever, next time you fill up just fill up with 91 gasohol, you dont need to drain the benzine out first. Gasohol 91 is 90% benzine 91 anyway, its just that the other 10% is ethanoldanwhite 8th January 2009 at 11:59 am #174067
Great. Thanks for that……. Bit shaken today….. Got overtaken by a pickup on one of those fast one-lane-each-way roads where they drive badly at speed tailgating ….. Pick up cut in too close and sheered off half my brake leaver ….. Then as the it snapped the pressure released sending me the other way in to the oncoming lane where I very narrowly avoided a head on……All at speed….. Closest I have been in all 25 years of biking….. Very scary……
I caugt up with him….. I took the moral high ground…..
AnonymousAnonymous 8th January 2009 at 1:45 pm #174076
Glad to hear youre okay Dan, that sounded very closedanwhite 9th January 2009 at 4:07 am #174107
120….. Bloody hell….
Obviously one keeps a close eye on the mirror. This one seemed to come completely out of nowhere…. His attention was probably elsewhere….. Having an argument with the wife or something….. A very sobering experience….. The whole tailgating, speed impatience thing is endemic amongst drivers in Thailand…… Thais and foreigners alike.Marco 9th January 2009 at 4:19 am #174108
I had one other loonie on the road one’s,, he was obviously drunk or under influence of something else, as he didnt want any one over taking him and as soon one managed, he tryed to push them off road,cab or me on the bike,,,for me it was little bit more intimidating as when i took over him,he tryed to speed up and hit me from behind, but luckily i was watching my mirrors as always since then when i over take some one,, so he start to speeding and managed to keep up until 160 behind my rear fendes,,then i desided that now it’s enough and took off,,left him do what ever he was thinking to do…but some time’s i wonder what if any some of the driver’s thinking while they driving,,,and my vote goes to….they think nothing…danwhite 9th January 2009 at 6:26 am #174113
Good grief….. The guy sounds like a psycho. When I was a press photographer in London (not unlike being a dispatch rider) we used to call that kind of murderous road rage idiocy ‘white van syndrome’ because that’s what the culprits were often driving….. Your guy sounds like a bastard….. Mine simply wasn’t looking…. The result is potentially the same though.
I actually holed up for new year because I didn’t want to be on main roads when they are all ‘mao’….. Maybe I didn’t hole up long enough.
Its coincidental that I actually wrote about this kind of thing for a magazine just a couple of months ago…. (copied below)….. Well the joke was very nearly on me yesterday afternoon…..
Traffic Madness: AbsoluteThai.
NO BI-LINE A CONDITION OF PUBLICATION
When it comes to driving in Thailand it is time to ritually fling the rulebook from the rear window of a fast-moving Totoya Corolla whilst veering lazily between lanes and ignoring anything resembling traffic lights. Driving in Thailand requires not only new definitions, it also requires nerves of steel and healthy faith in the unalterable truth of karmic destiny. Often described as ‘exciting’, the exhilaration of Thailand’s bustling pavements can soon transform into the suicidal if you step off the curb, into your vehicle and head out onto the open highway.
It is no condemnation of Thailand to point to the lunacy on the roads. Thai people do it themselves and the sad fact is that some of the worst offenders are farangs who having spent years in their own countries shackled by observation of the highway code and a very real fear of penury or arrest, come to the land of smiles seemingly determined to systematically break every rule of the road not to mention contravening something as obviously idiotic as basic common sense. The likelihood is that, when in Chonburi or Chiang Mai, the guy who just cut you up in the pickup, drifted into your lane without indicating or simply went smack into the back of your vehicle hails from Sweden, Germany or Wales. When being confronted with the fact that he is a child-murderer waiting to be, he will simply look gormless as he adjusts his grubby singlet and says, “Hey this is Thailand! Same Same free!”
The Thai Government is justifiably worried sick about road safety. With between 12,000 and 17,000 fatalities annually accidents cost Thailand a staggering 2.1% total of GDP. Road accidents are now the third leading cause of death after aids and heart attacks, according to the country’s Ministry of Public Health.
It is worth examining some of the more truly surreal habits of the highways. First of all tailgating. This is where drivers speed along winding mountain roads at 120mph leaving only 15cm of room between their front bumper and the boot of the car behind. It is as close to arriving at a mobile analogy for true stupidity as it is possible to find. What is the point? It is hardly an aid to overtaking on the straight. When taking the fast single lane highways between Tak and Mae Sot, up to Erewan Falls or south of Hua Hin one sees vast, pointless centipede formations of tailgating vehicles all proving once and for all everything that Peter Purves of Blue Peter fame told us in 1978, “Only a fool breaks the two second rule,”……. The fool quotient seems staggeringly high anywhere people are allowed to pick up speed. This is compounded by the fact that only 15% of road users actually bother to, “clunk click every trip.” If Jimmy Savile had ever actually been human, it might have made him weep.
Pulling out from the left into oncoming traffic without bothering to look right or simply to make a point about the fact that my car is more expensive than your car is a nationwide pass time particularly prevalent in Bangkok where car-status rivalry has transformed from a smattering of average snobbery into a menacing, rabid and untamed cult sweeping through the Central Business District from Sathorn to Ekkamai. Motorcycles don’t even count.
All this applies even more to overtaking. Any driver of something German and excessively shiny will see it as nothing less than an affront to his manhood to see anything Japanese and slightly grubby attempting to take up lane space ahead. If the grubby Japanese thing has only two wheels the fury of the man with the fat bank account will explode into a crescendo of indignant horn sounding. Wealth is no barrier automotive idiocy.
Lane discipline itself is simply seen by drivers as a provocation not to indicate. And of course driving the wrong way up the highway with an assortment of bikes, trolleys and worn out trucks is actually considered an obligation of road use in certain rural areas.
Remember all these manouvres and many more are best accomplished whilst having an aimless chat on your mobile-phone about things far less trivial than annhilation by impact-injury as you balletically drift across lanes and mow down the entire family on the knackered Honda wave going the wrong way up the bus lane beside you thereby killing them all instantly. Don’t worry. None of them were wearing helmets in any case.
Of course this whole lethal dance comes to a head in a water-drenched blood-bath of mobile inanity during spring’s Songkran festival when people celebrate the coming new year by killing each other in vast numbers in the name of fun. It didn’t use to be like this. These days how could anyone spoil the party by thinking that flinging a bucket of water from a pick-up at an oncoming drunken motorcyclist doing 90mph is anything other than ‘sanuk’? My how he will laugh as his head gets crushed by a passing truck!
ENDS: WORDS 806.
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