4 weeks solo ride to Northern Thai Laos.

Discussion in 'Touring Northern Thailand - Trip Reports Forum' started by lipmeng, Apr 11, 2014.

  1. lipmeng

    lipmeng Ol'Timer

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    Some random pics of Mae Sot town and its surroundings.

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    Some of the notable RED buildings in town as most of the goldsmith shops in the kingdom are red in colour. There are many gem stone merchants in this town and jade are commonly traded in the shops by merchants who appears to be burmese origin.

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    Saw another Ford Ranger Wildtrack here which seems to be quite commonly in the kingdom.
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    A small Honda bike displayed at the local Honda shop and should be nice to have for running errant.
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    Beautiful places of worship in town.
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    Some of the interesting roundabout in town.
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    Had lunch at this shop selling chicken rice and the food taste good as I had 2 plates of them.
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    Found a shop nearby selling "Kaoy Soy" a type of curry mee with chicken sold by Muslim local and appears to be originate from Myanmar which I first tasted at CNX airport plaza food court during my visit a couple of years back.

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  2. brian_bkk

    brian_bkk Ol'Timer

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    Brillant...

    Looks like you had a fantastic time

    Cheers
    Brian
     
  3. lipmeng

    lipmeng Ol'Timer

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    Well you are right Brian. I do have a wonderful time riding the trip as this is one of the rare opportunity for me to ride a longer duration without much constraint. As I am riding solo and do not need to plan too much except to ride safely, I just pick some places that I wish to see and enjoy myself as much as possible.

    On day 9th morning (11 March 2014), I checked out of Mae Sot to ride towards Mae Sariang via R105. Met a Finnish gentleman at the hotel while loading up my bike, he is also a bike at home riding a Goldwing and is staying 6 months in the kingdom regularly to escape the cold season in Finland. He is kind to shared with me some of his riding experiences in the Scandinavian region especially the Nordkapp which is interesting.
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    My simple breakfast at the 7 eleven after topping fuel in Mae Sot.
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    Putting on the mask for the 1st on this trip to alleviate the effect of smog while on the road and surprisingly it feels more comfortable as it is made of soft cloth.
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  4. lipmeng

    lipmeng Ol'Timer

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    R105 is indeed a pleasant route to ride although the initial section still badly affected by smog. I am sure that during the cooler months this route has plenty of beautiful scenery and lush of greens especially the section near the river side. The refugee camp on the left side at the early section is something I have never seen before and the living conditions of those inhabitants in the camp must be dreadfully difficult as those houses are in deplorable state.

    Overall the road conditions on R105 is generally good except for the last section in the hills before Mae Sariang whereby it is still under construction and cutting of hills for road widening. A small section of it is still remote with little presence of inhabitants. For those fellow riders who have travelled R105 in those earlier period must have faced more challenges in their rides and thus I considered myself very fortunate to have an easier ride albeit the minor obstacles.

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    Looks like even the buffalos have much conducive living environment as they are free to sun bath and enjoy themselves in the padi fields.
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    Some of the rough sections of the route.
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    Road surface improved from this section onwards.
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    Arrived at PT Station in Mae Sariang for top-up and a light snack.
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    The river near the Ob Luang Gorge on the way towards Hot from Mae Sariang.
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    Another break for a cool drink from 7 eleven at Chomtong before reaching CNX.
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    Checked in at The Richess Home, Changklan Rd for 600 baht and it is mostly patronised by locals. The place is clean and tidy with free self serve coffee and biscuits in the morning.
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  5. lipmeng

    lipmeng Ol'Timer

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    Stayed in CNX for 3 nights to take a break and do some sight seeing and leave some heavy stuff behind as to ride to MHS on Friday 14 March 2014.
    Most of the breakfast in CNX is the usual chicken rice at the shop near the GH or porridge at the road side stall near the night market along Changklan Rd.
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    Lunch at the "Boat Noodle" which is beef soup noodle at shop along Taphae Rd which I patronised whenever visiting CNX.
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    Met up with Chris again on Thurs morning for breakfast as he has arranged KAWA CNX to service his bike.

    A nicely farkled Versys 650 displayed in the Kawa showroom and it is really a bikers paradise here in CNX.......pampered with choices at reasonable prices for local assemble bikes and plenty of nice hills to ride.
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    While Chris is enjoying his breakfast I played with my new found friend in the shop, a 4 year old handsome Labrador Retriever.
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    Went to some of the old Wats in CNX and offer some prayers.
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  6. lipmeng

    lipmeng Ol'Timer

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    On the 12th day morning, Friday 14 March 2014 I set out to ride to Mae Hong Song via Doi Inthanon with the main intention of purchasing the famous Huai Hom coffee powder and some tee shirts from Doi Inthanon and MHS . As I have not made my visit to the coffee plantation at Huai Hom near Mae La Noi during my way to CNX from Mae Sariang on 11 March 2014, I need to check out the OTOP outlet in MHS for the coffee powder.

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    Temple at before the entrance to Doi Inthanon.
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    My first impression of the road condition initially was ..........road works again here!!!!!!
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    Not really as the road surface is pretty good and the traffic is light.
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  7. ianyonok

    ianyonok Ol'Timer

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    An epic ride with an epic road report too. We look forward to more............. thanks Lipmeng.
     
  8. lipmeng

    lipmeng Ol'Timer

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    Thanks for your encouragement Ianyonok.

    The ride from Doi Inthanon to MHS via Mae Chaem and Khun Yuam is interesting although the heavy smog at the hills on the section to Mae Chaem and further up. The right turn from R1009 at the junction downhill just before the park ranger's checkpoint at mid hill of Doi Inthanon was a surprise to me as there is not much visible road signage indicating the road to MHS and the road on initial section of R1192 is narrow and appears to deserted.

    Fortunately I rode with minimal luggage for this MHS leg as most of the heavy stuff are left at CNX. I enjoyed the ride very much although I was a bit cautious initially as the beginning section R1192 is significantly quiet and no signs of any inhabitant along the way. However. the anxiety was quickly forgotten as I continue my ride and the road starts to be interesting although the smog is affecting the visibility at later section of the hills.

    Some pics of the initial section of R1192 from downhill junction of R1009 from Doi Inthanon.
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    Some locals along the road at the hills........wonder where are they going?
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    Presence of smog at the hills...................
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    Improved air quality ................so is the ride quality and some pics of R1263 from Mae Chaem to Khun Yuam.
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    Sometimes in small villages the roads are often lack of signage and I need to ask locals for the direction.
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    Better road surface.........................
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    Some minor rough patches of road ahead.................
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    Some nice little hills in the area.......
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    Some terrace rice fields at the hill slopes...........................
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    Stop for a rest under the shade....................................
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    Arrived at the junction of R108 in Khun Yuam......finally.
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    R108 is super smooth from here to MHS town and it curves starts to tempt me to ride faster..................
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    Arrived at the arch of MHS city entrance..........my 3rd riding trip to MHS had just been recorded but this time solo whereas previous trips was accompanied by another riding buddy.
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  9. Winghunter

    Winghunter Ol'Timer

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    Hi Limpeng,

    thanks for sharing this great riding report and the awsome pictures. I enjoyed your report a lot.8)
     
  10. lipmeng

    lipmeng Ol'Timer

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    Danke Rudi for your kind comments and happy that you enjoy the trip report as those pics that I took are mostly by my small compact camera and also at times while riding resulting poor quality of shots. My photography skills is also limited as I only use the camera on long rides and have not been riding such long journey for quite a while.

    Checked in at Ngamta Hotel for 700 baht which is located opposite to the MHS post office and parking of bike is just in front of my room. The beds are clean and with good shower although the price has exceeded my expected budget for accommodation.
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    The most common photograph of MHS.....Wat the lake side during evening and night.
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    Had my dinner at the night food stalls .....................sitting on the mattress at the side lawn just like most locals did.
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  11. lipmeng

    lipmeng Ol'Timer

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    Some random pics taken in MHS......................

    Bought some T shirts from this guy at his shop which is near the hotel that I stayed................friendly chap who has his own design of MHS tee shirts.
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    Some usual morning activities that locals do.....waiting to give alms to monks which I also did as it gives me a calm feeling for the day after being blessed by the monk.
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    Went to the market and look for breakfast................if lucky one can see the planes landing or takeoff as the airport runaway is near the market.
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    Managed to locate a shop that sells nice porridge near the market main entrance as the porridge stall in the market is not open for business.
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    Some other pics of shops in the town...............
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  12. lipmeng

    lipmeng Ol'Timer

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    Rode up to the temple at the hill top in the morning for a simple prayer before heading out to CNX. The visibility is poor as the view of the town from the temple is not clear perhaps it was due to the morning mist.
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    Went to the OTOP outlet at the end of MHS town enroute to PAI and managed to purchase the Huay Hom coffee powder which is my main objective of riding to MHS.
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    This pretty lady who prepares the Huay Hom coffee for me at the OTOP.
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    Some other mechandise available in the OTOP shop. Looks tempting but do not have the space to accommodate any other stuff. Perhaps next visit again by car.
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    The gentleman with me is a high ranking official attached to the MHS Govenor's office and he was at the OTOP during my visit.
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    The white packet tied on top of the yellow bag on my bike is the "valuable black gold".....Huay Hom arabica coffee powder all the way from MHS.
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    MHS OTOP is located next to the local university.
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  13. Winghunter

    Winghunter Ol'Timer

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    You are welcome Lipmeng:thumbup:

    Therer are many good recommondations in your report which I can personally use for my trip at the end of the year. If you are arou8nd Chiang Rai beween Dec. 28 and Janury 12,2015, please drop me a not. Would be great to meet you in person !
     
  14. ronwebb

    ronwebb Ol'Timer

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    I am thoroughly enjoying your report lipmeng. Its good to see someone taking their time and enjoying the experiences and sights along the way. Many thanks for posting - brilliant.
     
  15. lipmeng

    lipmeng Ol'Timer

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    Sure Rudi, I will keep that in mind and hopefully I can ride again the northern part of Thailand during the cool season.
     
  16. lipmeng

    lipmeng Ol'Timer

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    Thanks Ronwebb for your kind compliments. I feel that I am obligated to post some feedback of my ride as the other members ride reports have helped me tremendously in all of my visits to this kingdom and also Laos & Cambodia.

    I hope that everyone enjoys riding in the beautiful region as other Asean countries are getting more liberal by allowing us to ride across their borders.
     
  17. lipmeng

    lipmeng Ol'Timer

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    I rode out of MHS after purchasing the coffee powder from OTOP outlet and head towards Pai which is only approximately 110km and it will be a lunch stopover. I do not intend to stay overnight in Pai as I have been there before and CNX is only 130km from there.

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    The road from MHS to Pai is the most interesting section of the MHS loop as most of the twisting parts are within this sector and the road surface is equally smooth.
    Rest area for travelers and also a scenic spot before Pai.
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    Ensuring my "Black Gold"...still with me safely........Huay Hom coffee seeds are mostly contracted to Starbucks.
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    Pai is just only a short ride from here.................
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    Lunch stop in Pai and had 2 plates of chicken rice before heading out to CNX.
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  18. lipmeng

    lipmeng Ol'Timer

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    The journey from Pai to CNX is just plain ride as compared to the earlier sections of the MHS trip.

    An old bridge perhaps the WWII era at the end of Pai town.
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    An interesting building which appears to be a resort under construction along the route R1095 to CNX.
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    .... with an uniquely designed lavatory.......for "Hong Nam"
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    Another interesting European architecture further down the R1095 which must be an expensive holiday resort.
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  19. lipmeng

    lipmeng Ol'Timer

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    Checked in to Richess Home in CNX for 600 bahtn again and stayed for 3 nights before continue riding to Mae Sai as I need to changed the engine oil before riding to Laos.
    Relaxed a bit and have a break from riding for 2 days and most importantly have lots of good meals while in CNX. One of those includes......Kaoy Soi....noodle curry
    with chicken.
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    Sunday night market at the Thapea Gate area...............huge crowd with so much to see and attracts many tourist.
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    The night market have many street performers and the most outstanding performer is the................
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    The copper who sings solo and played his guitar together with harmonica opposite his police station for a noble cause. Impressed by his musical talent and amused by his
    charisma and respect for his sacrifice to such a good deed.........never seen such thing before except there was an occasion a police officer peddling his merchandise.....belts and leather stuff with his patrol car at tourist area in Hatyai few years ago.
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    The temple at the night market with beautiful lights .
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    Went to have a bike wash at the Petronas petrol kiosk along Thapae road for 200 baht inclusive of polishing. Very satisfied with the service.
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    Sparkling AT after the wash and polishing........
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    Looking at some rental bikes at POP near the bike wash.......plenty of mid size bikes that suits the riding in this region.
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    Next after the bike wash........proceed to Nat's place called "Piston Shop" to have the engine oil and filter changed and replacement of the broken front left signal.
    The staff did a very good job and the price is reasonable. The shop is well patronized by local bikers in CNX and also those overseas as well. Highly recommended to those bikers riding up north whenever they need any servicing or schedule maintenance.
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    A very happy biker after the bike wash and servicing at the Thapea Gate and the most importantly the AT is ready for Laos.
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  20. Winghunter

    Winghunter Ol'Timer

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    Lipmeng, you are welcome to join our ride. If you want I can email you our "Route Planning". Just send me your EMail address via PN. Would be great to meet you in person !:D
     
  21. lipmeng

    lipmeng Ol'Timer

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    Thanks again Rudi, I have no affirmative plans yet but I keep watching your thread on your year end trip.

    Continuation of the ride report for day 16th of my trip (18 March 2014). Checked out from CNX to ride towards Mae Sai via R118 after the regular chicken rice breakfast............last one of the trip.
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    Heading to R118 via Mae Kachan towards CRI........nice hill section with intended stopover at hotspring for coffee break then to Rubber Traingle aka Condom & Cabbages near Wiang Pa Pao & Wat Rong Khun at CRI to purchase Tee shirts.
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    Coffee break at the hotspring R & R at Mae Kachan.
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    Lacking pressure for the highest hot spring in the kingdom.
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    A temple looks like those in Seam Reap...Angkor Wat style.
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    A giant statue of a monk along the R118 after the hotsprings..........looks huge from distance at road side.
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    Stop over at the RUBBER TRIANGLE.......every time whenever I pass by this road to CRI during the previous years to support their noble cause.
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    Some of the info board at the counter.......check out which one you like most......
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    Definitely not recycle ones.........
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    Nice place to rest and rejunvenate.................
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    Healthy food available here.......................
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    A man with great vision.....................and a noble mission as well.
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    Self portrait of a happy rider ..............smiling alone for the camera.
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    New coffee kiosk after the Condom & Cabbages.......Sweet Memory Valley
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    Another one short distance ahead......
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    The Golden Clock Tower in Chiang Rai.......designed and constructed by the local guy who is a renowned artist , Ajarn Chalermchai Kositpipat.
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  22. lipmeng

    lipmeng Ol'Timer

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    The artist, Ajarn Chatermchai Kositpipat specialized in buddhist art and created the beautiful White Temple in Chinag Rai...........Wat Rong Khun and also the Golden Clock Tower. Bought some tee shirts from the temple printed with beautiful motifs of various hindu gods and the quality of cloth is good as well.

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    Rode to Mae Sai and checked in at Mae Sai Hotel for 450 baht with air cond room. The hotel is located near the border on the left hand side from the immigration checkpoint and is convenient to walk around the town with plenty of street food. Met a German rider on a Super Tenere 1200 who happens to check in at the same time but unfortunately I could not get to know him as he was to busy getting his stuff unloaded. I was very envy that his bike is so well organised in terms of baggage and panniers let alone the Yammie has been my dream bike since it was launched last 2 years.
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  23. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    Damn this is a super report. I can see you really enjoyed yourself & took your time riding around, taking in everything as you went. Bravo.
    I look forward to the Lao sector next.
     
  24. lipmeng

    lipmeng Ol'Timer

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    Yes David, it was enjoyable indeed as I have no fixed itinerary except to ride towards Chinese border at northern Laos and back to Thailand via Cambodia which was my objective of the trip. But I am flexible towards the schedule and will endeavor to visit places that I like along the way and have a nice time.

    Continuation of the ride report.........at Measai

    The town is still vibrant with plenty of local activities along the main road near the border and food stalls aplenty during the evening. Although it is still a small border town but there are many new mid size and small hotels along the main road and the town is a nice place for an overnight stay before riding out towards the Mekong river towns of the Golden Triangle.

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    Dinner at the roadside food stall..........
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    Just not enough for the evening.....so another food stall for duck soup noodle with some drinks from 7/11 before going to bed.
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  25. lipmeng

    lipmeng Ol'Timer

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    Day 17th of the trip -19 March 2014. Checked out early and went for breakfast at the restaurant along the main road which I have patronized on each of my previous visits to this border town. The shop has good soup noodles and their menu have a wide range of local food dishes for breakfast and lunch.
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    Locally produced fruit wines available......
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    Some fried mekong cat fish skin.....taste like fish crackers.........
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    The delightful mixed meat balls and fish soup noodles at the shop............
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    The hearty meal for the start of the day sets me towards Sop Ruak aka Golden Triangle via R1290 and today it was one of the longest ride of the trip in terms riding hours due to some unexpected events and decisions made.............so it was a small adventure with fun as well.

    Some interesting architecture at the turn from main road towards Sop Ruak on R1290......................just wonder whether it is a temple or museum?
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    Some of the padi fields beside the R1290 ......................
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