A dry rainy season trip to Nan and Chiang Khong

Discussion in 'Touring Northern Thailand - Trip Reports Forum' started by johngooding, Jul 14, 2012.

  1. johngooding

    johngooding Ol'Timer

    Weather has been kind the last couple of weeks and FZ8 needed to be run in and tested on some of North Thailands most scenic roads. For the FZ8 aspects please refer to the Yamaha Big Bike Club thread. This report will concentrate on pictures as the destinations and roads are well known.
    7 bikes, 3 BMW, 3 Kawasaki and 1 Yamaha met at PTT on Chiang Rai road 118.

    Ready to go chaps

    Roads dry for an easy run to Mae Kachan before turning onto the quiet, fast, scenic 120 with a stop at the viewpoint overlooking Phayao


    Clouds gathering in the distance


    But a little west blue skies

    And to the east deep blue skies.
    These skyscapes show the benefit of travelling in the rainy season, beautiful clean deep colours and the countryside full foliage and green.
    Having paid homage to the resident monk, with rain falling over the lake and heading our way, time to move on.

    Rain over the lake

    Leaving just in time, some wet roads, as we joined No 1 highway for a few Km before turning to Dok Kham Thai and then Chiang Muan on the 1251. After DKT, quiet scenic roads, stopping for good Thai food in Chiang Muan. Then the 1091 rising and falling with views either side all the way to Nan.


    650 single and 800 four, happy together.

    The FZ8 very happy on these roads, the naked bike great for these weather conditions, in the 3 days on the road, no direct rain. Maybe a small screen would help with falling rain.

    Into Nan and straight to the Hug Nan, new clean rooms,air, quiet location, friendly staff. 450 Baht. Some need to sleep, some to rest, some refill with nicotine or caffeine.

    Even the birds seem happy here.

    Evening meal at Nan Steakhouse on the riverside.


    Next day North on the 1080 as several had never ridden the 1148, by some considered to be one of the best riding roads in Thailand. For the second trip, I managed to lose some of the group leaving Nan. Most of Nan is very sleepy in the evening and night time, but it is very busy with early morning markets and school traffic. The group got split, but as usual managed to reform, but not until Tha Wang Pha, so a late breakfast at a noodle stall there. The 1080 roadworks are finished and it is a fast well surfaced road now.

    Breakfast parking

    So onto the 1148, damp in places, threatening skies, but again no falling rain. The road enjoyed by all with a couple of obligatory photo stops.


    Please note with careful composition the tree is not quite growing out of top of Tukta's head.

    But this was not a planned composition

    Assisting the foliage?

    Jimmy getting closer to the view

    Picturing, rather than assisting the foliage.

    All having enjoyed the road and views we stopped in Chiang Muan, where following a small incident with an erratic cyclist and a friendly policemen, the group split, as 4 bikes needed to return to Chiang Mai and 3 bikes continued onto the 1155, a road which in my opinion is superior in variablity of terrain and in views, but not as good a surface as the 1148. They are both great.
    We stopped at a roadside sala, which is a memorial to the local workers who were killed by the communists, who did not want the road to be built. This was only just over 20 years ago and a lady who had lost family was planting flowers and cleaning the place. We take for granted these lovely roads we travel, but not so long ago, some people paid dearly for some of them.


    An aspiring pole dancer?


    For the last few km the 1155 joins the Mekhong River, with great views, so safely into Chiang Khong. Sleep at the Namphong guest house, OK location, clean rooms, good bed, hard pillow, 500 Baht. Eat at the Mexican, Bamboo house, and happy to meet up with Gary D and David and Mai. Heavy rain while eating, finishing to allow us to walk back to the guest house.
    Breakfast on the river at Tamilla, tasty fresh bread.

    The way I look before coffee in the morning.

    And need help with the menu as well

    Breakfast completed we took the scenic, but not great surface 1174, and then the 1020, to join No 1 highway south of Chiang Rai and then back on 118. I needed to get to Immigration for a 90 day report and it was Friday 13th, so I anticipated trouble, but walking in at 2.15pm with no queue, I was out by 2.20pm.
    A happy trip with no incidents,(well one small bicycle problem), no falling rain, and a chance to enjoy some of the best biking North Thailand has to offer in good company. Thanks to those who joined.
    PS The FZ8 is a great bike, go out and buy one.
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  3. Rod Page

    Rod Page Ol'Timer

    Nice report to match the nice new bike!
  4. SilverhawkUSA

    SilverhawkUSA Ol'Timer

    [QUOTE}We stopped at a roadside sala, which is a memorial to the local workers who were killed by the communists, who did not want the road to be built. This was only just over 20 years ago and a lady who had lost family was planting flowers and cleaning the place. We take for granted these lovely roads we travel, but not so long ago, some people paid dearly for some of them.
    A good history lesson there, John. Thanks.
  5. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Nice little report with some good pix there. It certainly sounds like you're enjoying the FZ8 & happy with it.
    And I definitely agree, bigger is not necessarily better for riding / touring in the mountains here. The distances we cover are not great & the fast cornering speeds in the mountains are generally 60-80KPH (& maybe 100 if you're lucky, so for me smaller may well be better, especially if you want to look at the scenery & learn something, rather than blast through at warp speed.

    I particularly like this shot too

    I note you stayed at the Hug Nan & I've been hearing good reports about this place so if you want to tell us all about it you could give it a decent plug on the GT Rider Nan Accommodation Recommendations.
  6. Franz

    Franz Ol'Timer

    Nice report John and some good fotos !! Glad to see you are happy with your new toy !! Long weekend is coming up quickly, so I will be riding around if it doesn't pour down in buckets, care to join ?? Cheers, Franz
  7. johngooding

    johngooding Ol'Timer

    As long as not rain all day like Tuesday, may well be interested in getting out for a ride or 2. Talk Friday?
  8. Franz

    Franz Ol'Timer

    Hi John, talking about the weekend Thu 2nd of August to Sun 5th, will give you a call either next Monday or Tuesday and we can fix something if the weather permits and the Taifun over Vietnam has already passed. Not to eager either to ride in pouring rain........cheers, Franz
  9. johngooding

    johngooding Ol'Timer

    Sounds good Franz. I will send up a rocket or two to appease the rain gods, and look forward to your call. Cheers, John

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