4 weeks solo ride to Northern Thai Laos.

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

  1. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    I can see you've got the right Trail Tech gauge there on the dash too.
     
  2. Winghunter

    Winghunter Ol'Timer

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    @Lipmeng: Like always: Thumbs up for your great riding report:D Hope mine will be half as good as yours:D
     
  3. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    This is the Bird short time hotel. Pretty impressive eh? But from memory the rooms don't quite come up to the standard of the exterior.
     
  4. lipmeng

    lipmeng Ol'Timer

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    David, what is a Bird shot time hotel as I did not ride in the premises but stop at the frontage for pics only?........are they common in Thailand or just this place?
     
  5. lipmeng

    lipmeng Ol'Timer

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    Hi Rudi,

    I just upload those pics that I took as I ride along the various places and some of them are tourist spots which interest me even though I have been there during my past visits. I feel that these places are nice for first time visitors especially those from the west and also some from Malaysia who has not been there before. (I mean those who plans to ride the northern region of Thailand).

    Hopefully those readers will have an insight of the places mentioned in this ride report and I have been benefiting from this forum since my first ride here in 2008 till todate.

    You will definitely enjoy your visit here as the people and food is fantastic not to mention the various riding routes in the north.

    Regards

    Lip Meng
     
  6. lipmeng

    lipmeng Ol'Timer

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    Continuation of the ride to Sop Ruak , Chiang Saen and Chiang Khong..........................

    Arrived at the Golden Triangle for some prayers offering and purchase some GT and indo-china flag badges........
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    Went to the House of Opium to buy the GT and Indo-china flag badges for my jeans jacket............wide range of souvenirs available.
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    Some view of Laos over the mighty Mekong along the route to Chiang Saen....................sorry for the poor quality of pics.
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    Nice road surface towards Chiang Saen.................
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    An observatory building perhaps................definitely not the 2014 World Cup Football promotional object.
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    A sheep farm along the main road........looks like a foreign breed but not sheep shearing in sight.
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    At the junction of Chiang Saen town......
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    Detour back and use alternate route to Chiang Khong via Doi Luang (R1098 & R1174) as the R1129 stretch from Chiang Saen to Chiang Khong is bad and appears to be under major road repairs.
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  7. lipmeng

    lipmeng Ol'Timer

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    Some more random pics of ride on R1098 and R1174 fro Doi Luang to Chiang Khong.........
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    Some water buffaloes taking a mud bath along the way....................
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    Arrived at Chiang Khong for lunch before crossing the bridge to Laos..................
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    Visited Mrs Jam at her restaurant and she has her own guest house just next to her restaurant. My last previous visit to her place for lunch was in 2008 and she still remembers me. She told me about her visit to Macau and also Boten while I had my lunch there as she is a good cook.
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    I bid Mrs Jam farewell after the lunch stopover and promised her that I will stay overnight on my next visit as I need to cross to Houei Sai via the Friendship bridge.

    Approaching the road to the border bridge.....
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    Parked my bike at the Thai immigration booth and negotiate with them for my crossing.......refused by Thai side and ask to use the ferry instead despite my appeal.
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    My frustration of being refused by the immigration at the bridge did not deter me from riding Laos as I head towards south and attempt to cross at Nan. But the long ride and fatigue after unsuccessful in getting a decent accommodation in Chiang Kham, I continue riding towards Phayao and stay for the night.

    Had a sumptuous dinner at Phayao after a long day.............
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  8. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    This is like a drive in motel. Drive in park your car in the car port next to your room, the curtains are pulled over & into your room you go with your companion, unnoticed by the outside world & prying eyes.
     
  9. Showtime

    Showtime New Member

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    Great report!!
    In a few days I will begin my first trip. Pattaya-(Cambodia)Sihanoukville-Kampot-Phnom Phen-Siem Reap-(Laos)Pakse-Vientiene-Vang Vieng- Luang Prabang- (Thailand) Chaing Rai- Chaing Mai - Phuket - Then back home to Pattaya.

    I have no time limit to do this so I will stop all along the way. Also I plan on trying to document it extensively like you have done here.
    Looking forward to your next report!
     
  10. lipmeng

    lipmeng Ol'Timer

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    Thanks mate. I am sure you will have an enjoyable trip riding those places mentioned especially when you have the luxury of unlimited time frame. So do have fun and take as many pics as possible as you travel along the places. I did not have the skills of good photography and sometimes I loose my focus by rushing a bit on certain places especially the mountains of Phu Khun in Laos. I am sure that Laos have more to offer if one intends to take pics of the rural places and its dwellers.

    As I post the ride report, I felt that I have missed out many places and have a great desire to ride again this year with a more focus trip to satisfy myself.

    Once again have a safe trip and loads of fun.

    Regards

    Lip Meng
     
  11. lipmeng

    lipmeng Ol'Timer

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    Stayed at the Jumai Guest House in Phayao which is a 3 room detached house for 500 baht as their main guest house is full on that day. Room is a bit small but clean and free self serve coffee with snacks in the morning. I shared the place with 3 locals in the guesthouse and they are friendly and helpful.
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    The neighbourhood of the guest house.......decent place and safe as well. Will definitely stay here again when in Phayao.
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    Their main guest house just less than 50 meters down the road and near the lake with plenty of restaurant and pubs.
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    Got stung by an insect yesterday while riding somewhere in Doi Luang towards Chiang Khong......advisable to wear a mask if helmet visor is not fully drawn while riding. Luckily it was not a bee or wasp otherwise it will, be nasty.
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    Some pics of the huge lake in the morning.........................this place is nice to stay and rejuvenate. Will definitely be in my list of places to stay for at least nights for my next visit.
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    Some of the guest houses and restaurant & pubs along the main road facing the lake.........
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    A great marketing promotional theme.......but don't drink and ride!
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    The local monument along the esplande............
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    Always good to have breakfast even though a simple meal but enjoying the GREAT view and clean morning air facing the huge lake.
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  12. lipmeng

    lipmeng Ol'Timer

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    Continuation of Phayao.....................the lake is decorated with beautiful fresh water fishes and many other unique displayed items that I ever see before.
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    Just imagine that one can just jog along the beautiful lake each morning or having an evening walk................quality life.
     
  13. lipmeng

    lipmeng Ol'Timer

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    Checked out of Phayao on 20 March 2014 and head towards south......to Phitsanulok for overnight.
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    Lunch stop at 7/11 .......a piece of fried chicken and juice will be sufficient for the day.
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    Some hilly stretches along the way..................................
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    Junction near Uttaradit on R11.......place must be abundance of local fruits.
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    Smooth and straight ahead....................
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    Back view of the ride.............
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    Arrived at Phitsanulok province.............
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    At the Indochina junction of Phitsanulok....................
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    Looks like going to Kunming, China is much better than going home............distance nearer.

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    Checked in to The Village Hotel for 500 baht......comfortable and clean room with secure bike parking. Hotel is located approx 2 km after the city center on the right while entering from Indochina junction. Ideal place to stay for the price.
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  14. lipmeng

    lipmeng Ol'Timer

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    Had a good dinner at the road side food stall ................doubled up for the lovely chicken & roast pork rice with egg and sweet gravy.
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    Some random pics of the town..................
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    Me and a fighting ****.........
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    An old fort in the city..............
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  15. lipmeng

    lipmeng Ol'Timer

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    21 March 2014 - 19th day of the trip.
    Ride out of Phitsanulok towards Lomsak via Route 12 with Loei as the destination of the day................
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    Distance to Lomsak is not far...just 114km away on a hilly terrain and winding roads.............still one of the beautiful place to ride although the ongoing massive road works.
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    Some not too smooth road section.................but will be a fantastic road in the near future as it will be widen and resurfaced.
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    Some of the hilly sections......................nice landscape on the left.
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    Stopped for late breakfast at Khao Kho.............the popular rest area and purchase some t-shirts and stickers.
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    Inside the souvenir shop
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    Some other adjoining shops................
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    Met another local rider ...2 up.....................just married.
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    Breakfast............delicious but a bit expensive.
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    Continue riding towards Lomsak thereafter...........................

    Met a local procession.........don't know what is their celebration but they all are definitely enjoying themselves.
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    Another interesting coffee stop area along the hills on R12....................
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    Arrived Lomsak and took the left turn on R203 to Loei .
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    This section of R203 to Loei is pleasant to ride as traffic is light and road is good with some nice bends............definitely worth another visit here again.
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    Met a local gal with her male pillion along the way....playing his guitar while riding pillion. The young lady sportingly responded to my pics.....too bad quality of pic not good.
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    Junction towards Loei near Dansai....................
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    Heading towards Phu Ruea on R203..............a beautiful place and seems to have many flower orchards and a national park.
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    Behind a huge road monster......................
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    Approaching Loei.................
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  16. lipmeng

    lipmeng Ol'Timer

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    Checked in a Phutawan Hotel for 350 baht with free self serve coffee in the morning and room is spacious and clean with fan and air-cond.
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    Location of the hotel is good with plenty of food just within walking distance and petrol station and Amazon coffee & 7/11 next to it.
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    Had a soup noodle dinner at the food stall nearby and followed up with a plate of chicken rice at another shop.
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  17. lipmeng

    lipmeng Ol'Timer

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    21 March 2014.................checked out of Loei and ride towards Udo Than via R210 and thereafter R2 to Nong Khai.

    Breakfast with 2 pieces of meat bunds from 7/11 and hotel's f.o.c. coffee before riding out.
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    Loaded up and ready to roll..............
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    Some hilly sections of R210...................
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    Arrived at Nong Khai at noon and have my lunch before crossing to Laos via Friendship bridge.
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    Heading towards the bridge after lunch and sky is getting cloudy.........seems to rain soon.
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    At the Thai immigration booth...........no hassle but to pay 200 baht for passport and bike without any receipt..........no wonder the officers there smiles when I approach their booth.
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    Riding across the friendship bridge at the Thai side...........................
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    Looks as if she is going to jump over............!!!!!!!!
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    Over the great Mekong...................
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    To be continued at the LAOS Road & Trips Report section.............................................................for the Vientiane-Vang Vieng-Luang Prabang-Pak Lai-Namheung sector.
     
  18. lipmeng

    lipmeng Ol'Timer

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    CONTINUATION FROM LAOS SECTION.......Return journey from Laos to Malaysia.

    Day 25th of the trip - 27 March 2014.

    Riding across the Namheung border towards Ban Nakraseng Boundary Post of Thailand is just a simple short ride across a small bridge but make sure to switch riding on the left side in Thailand and switch on headlights........hah!

    Immigration & Customs officers in Thailand is friendly and helpful. No need any sought of fees at all although saw locals and Laotians are paying.
    Ride from border exit to Chiang Khan is horrendous as the road is narrow, hilly, remote and with many pot holes. The later sections is next to the Mekong with Laos opposite the river bank.

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    Immediately upon exiting the Thai side border, I took the right turn heading towards Dan Sai via R2195 but after a short ride the road gets bad with huge dust and visibility is poor whenever there is a heavy vehicle pass by. So I detour and ride back to the opposite direction heading towards Tha Li which is the left turn after the exit of the border.
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    The road here to Chiang Khan is not good as well.................
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    Along the Mekong riverside .....overlooking Laos.
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    Quarrying sand from the river....................
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    A quite and calm Mekong somewhere towards Chiang Khan.

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    Ride from Chiang Khan to Loei is smooth and is only approx 40+km. I did ride into Chiang Khan town and the river side where there are many small boutique hotels and guesthouses. However, I opt for Loei as the Phutawan Hotel suits me better and I will have my dinner then and this time I will go for the local buffet bbq to celebrate the trip to Laos. The receptionist at the hotel asked me how was Luang Prabang? I told her Chiang Mai is much better and without hesitation she happily agreed with a broad smile.

    Dinner with buffet BBQ with a bottle of Leo beer @ 300baht.....prawns, fish, chicken, moo, bacon, intestines & liver, phat khaw, cold chicken feet salad with egg, century eggs, mushroom & vege, fried spring roll, fried chicken drumlet, ice cream, watermelon, pineapple & jack fruit. I can hardly walk back to hotel after the heavy stuff and beer.

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  19. Winghunter

    Winghunter Ol'Timer

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    Lipmeng: Like always: Thumbs up for your report !:D
     
  20. lipmeng

    lipmeng Ol'Timer

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    28 March 2014 - Day 26th of the trip

    Skype to wifey last night and will ride home instead of continue trip to Cambodia.......my pet dog at home is depressed.

    Had a simple breakfast in the hotel room......usual f.o.c self served coffee and 2 meat buns from 7/11 next door.
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    Loaded up the AT and roll out of Loei and head towards south........ via R201 passing thro Chaiyaphum and Sikhiu and thereafter R 2 towards Saraburi.

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    Had a short break at Sikhiu and turn to R2 towards Saraburi....................
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    Stopped at ChokChai farm for coffeebreak and look for some souvenirs.

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    Cute petting animals for visitors..................
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    Enjoying a coffee after purchasing a nice cowboy leather belt for 600baht...............then followed by an ice cream before heading to Saraburi for a night.
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    Ooooops.................wrong angle for the camera as always when travelling alone.
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    Got it right this time........................enjoy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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    Checked in at Kyo-un Hotel in Saraburi for 850 baht without breakkie...........which cost another 140 baht for buffet breakkie.
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    Dinner at the foodstall along the main road near the hotel...............food is lovely.
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    While walking back to the hotel after dinner, I noticed many shops selling the same delicacy ........dried pork meat and curry puffs. Asked the shop guy and he says that it is famous in Saraburi. So I bought 2 curry puffs for tomorrow.
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  21. lipmeng

    lipmeng Ol'Timer

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    29 March 2014.

    Checked out of Kyo-Un hotel in Saraburi early morning. Met an american lady from Seattle riding bicycle solo and she just came back from Cambodia.

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    Went for buffet breakfast @ hotel which cost me 140 baht and ate well. I expect the ride out this morning @ 8.30am will not be easy as I don't have GPS and my map is torn Blind as a bat without reading glasses and can't see while riding although I placed in on top of my tank bag together with a compass. Trust my instinct and memory from past experience in BKK.....many detours and asked locals for directions. Saraburi to BKK is only less than 120km and today is Sat morning .......still heavy traffic..............spend at less 3 hrs riding around the hwys. Went into fringes of BKK and managed to find my way to Nakhon Pathom...then enroute to hwy4 to reach Prachap Khiri Khan @ 4.30pm & checked in the same hotel.........Ountawan Hotel for 450baht. The receptionist still remembers me......so no need passport & room was ready while I park my bike.

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    Had a coffee break at Petronas station while figuring way out to Nakhom Pathom...............
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    Finally.........spotted the signage to Nakhom Pathom.
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    Local bathing her doggie at the seaside in Prachuap Khiri Khan.
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    Reward myself with a hearty dinner near the esplanade in Prachuap Khiri Khan.................spicy fish soup with rice and crab meat omelette and a coke all for 265 baht which is reasonable for a place like that and much cheaper than Hua Hin.
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    First time I ate a fish eyeball.....................
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    Done it all..................
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  22. lipmeng

    lipmeng Ol'Timer

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    30 March 2014 - Day 28th of the trip.

    Ride out of Prachap Khiri Khan @ 8.00am after simple breakfast ...bought from 7 eleven & f.o.c coffee from hotel. Total distance rode for the day is approx 620km to Hatyai which is the longest ride of the trip. Arrived Hatyai @ 4.00pm with 4 breaks for drinks without any food and 3 top-up @ petrol kiosk.

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    Again looking for my loyal riding companion during noon.........shadow of my ride.
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    Saw a western couple riding a long bike.........what a sight when you see them riding on the road.
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    Checked in @ Wang Noy Hotel, Hatyai which is a nice boutique hotel for 1000baht and dinner @ beef noodle (66baht) stall opposite BP Grandplaza Hotel. Thereafter banana split @ Swenson for 155baht before going back to hotel to rest.

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    Banana split at Swensen .....a must whenever in Thailand. M'sian the price for the same @ Swensen is at least 200+ baht.
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  23. lipmeng

    lipmeng Ol'Timer

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    FINAL DAY of my trip (Day 29) - 31 March 2014

    Breakfast @ Hatyai as usual also a MUST HAVE in Hatyai.....Bak Kut Teh, dim sum & coffee for 180baht. The best breakfast of the trip........most heavy and satisfying
    breakkie of them all................each time and all the time when in Hatyai.

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    Rode to airport to collect parcels from post office there.......books, coffee powder & tee shirts plus some unused stuff. The Thai post office also mail motorcycles... eg. my bike 750cc is approx 6500baht to Chiangmai as quoted by them.

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    Checked out from hotel @ 12.00 noon and rode home. Arrived safely @ 5.30 pm......first time rode in the rain along Kedah state North South Hwy..........cooling after riding in the hot sun for 4 weeks.

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    Total distance rode for the entire trip of 29 days is approximately 8,200km with 475 litres of fuel consumed................based on my written records. The bike is 21 yrs old African Twin and has always been reliable for all my trips up north.

    I truly enjoyed myself on this trip although there are some minor setbacks along the way and I did not ride the intended itinerary which include northern Laos bordering China
    and entering Cambodia via southern Laos. However, I will ride there again within the near future and hopefully it will be a longer ride with better photos as well.

    I am blessed to complete my journey safely and also most importantly I met with several people along this trip that I sincerely treat them as my friend .

    God bless and ride safe always.

    Regards

    Lip Meng
     
  24. CraigBKK

    CraigBKK Ol'Timer

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    Glad to see you made it home safely. I've enjoyed your culinary journey as much as your road journey, both of which appear to have had ups and downs!
     
  25. Poompui

    Poompui Ol'Timer

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    Amazing trip.....great to see your "old" bike got you home safely!
    Thanks for your report......makes me want to ride more of Laos.
     
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