A Top End Meander Chiang Mai- Chiang Khong Return

DavidFL

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Dates: 18 Jan 2013 - 25 Jan 2013.

The Way:
1. Chiang Mai - Chiang Dao- Arunothai - Doi Ang Khang - Fang.
2. Fang - Doi Mae Salong - Thoed Thai
3. Thoed Thai - Mae Mo - Thoed Thai - Mae Chan - Mae Sai
4. Mae Sai - GT - Chiang Saen - Chiang Khong
5. Chiang Khong - Phaya Phipak - Phu Chi Fah - Chiang Khong
6. Chiang Khong - Houei Xai
7. Houei Xai - Chiang Khong - Chang Rai
8. Chiang Rai - Chiang Mai.

The reason: a gentle ride to check on the sites & maps; & enjoy life on the road.

DAY 1
First stop was Arunothai for a bite to eat & drink.
The Hao Sua restaurant is the cleanest, friendliest place to go

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after a quick kow soi it was onto the magical R1340 headed for Doi Ang Khang & the Sakura blooms.

There's a neat coffee stop & viewpoint just north of Pha Daeng, that is worth a stop for the views (but sadly not the coffee & coffee mate.)
The views

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the coffee vendor

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shame about the coffee, but you have to admire the entrepreneurial spirit.

Approaching Doi Ang Khang some of the Sakura trees were starting to bloom

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Doi Ang Khang was packed with Bangkok city slickers looking to experience the cold mountan air & flowers.
The car park was full of mini buses, plus 2 or 3 groups of bikes - 10+ riders each - all came in to set up for the night & camp out = brrrh!

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Supposedly the night time temp was just under 10 celsius & something for the concrete jungle dwellers to enthusiastically enjoy.

Business for the hill tribes was booming selling handicrafts & trinkets

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I cruised on down the hill - R1249 - the main DAK road & spent the night in Fang.
The Khun Yuw Place was my place of stay

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Dinner was at the Cottage, where the food, service & music is good

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the Cottage is a mature adult night spot, without the delinquent youth crowd & is worth checking out if you think that suits you. (It does me.)

Next day was off to Thoed Thai via Doi Mae Salong.

But not before finally catching up to Lao Ta at Lao Ta's Coffee north of Tha Ton.

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Lao Ta is an amazing guy with an amazing history.
His Lisu Guesthouse 25 years ago was the place to go & hang out with hill tribes, for the adventure backpackers. And in those days it was an authentic experience - the real thing.
He has since moved on a bit since then - a petrol station plus an aircon coffee shop - but I believe you can still stay in the village.

Doi Mae Salong was a quick whistlestop

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to say g'day to Mr Ho at Shin Sane, plus Somboon & the Little Home crew.

Then a treat at Sweet Mae Salong with Tdon & Mee, plus a bit of clowning around

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even Blister, Aka Art turned up to get in the fun.

More coming....
 
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DavidFL

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Heading east out of Doi Mae Salong, there's a nice new viewpoint on the left

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At Akha Sam Yaek you turn left & head north to Thoed Thai & the Myanmar border.
The Akha Sam Yaek - Thoed Thai road is a beauty to ride, step, winding, swooping & is one of the more exhilarating rides in he North. Check it out if you've never done it!

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Thoed Thai
is one of my favourite out of the way traditional towns in North Thailand.

John's Rim Taan Guesthouse

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is looking better than ever after being hit by a flash flood in the wet season 2012.

I took a quick peak at Khun Sa's old camp /HQs & it too is looking better than ever. More signs, a garden with a stream & small water wheels.
Atop the hill where they used to keep prisoners in the well, for mis-behaviour (& death?) there are some new trenches. I'm not sure whether these are totally new, or old ones they have dug out again.

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Then it was time to explore a little, out to the Mae Mo & the Myanmar border.
The road north is still sensational

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The Choui Fong tea gardens were what I was after

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DavidFL

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The Choui Fong Tea plantation was an eye opener for me...

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A massive plantation right on the Myanmar border & breathtakingly beautiful @ 1,200 metres.

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Some research on the plantation has turned up this info

Choui Fong Tea has the biggest tea plantations in North Thailand.

The Choui Fong tea plantation started in Phayphrai in 1979 with 200 Rai planted.

There are now 3 plantations

[list type=decimal]
[*]Chouifong Tea Factory @ Ban Phayaphrai (500 Rai) started 1979.
[*]Chiang Rai Chouifong Tea @ Ban Sannayao (50 Rai) started 2004.
[*]Chouifong Tea Industrial @ Ban Mae Salong Nai (600 Rai) started 2005.
[/list type=decimal]

Choui Fong Tea has won the following awards
· 1993 - Best Producer of Tea Leaf and Tea Powder from the MatrathanTurakij (Business Standard) Newspaper.
· 2001 – Best Quality in Oolong Tea as awarded by Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn.
· 2004 – Oolong Tea Award from The World Tea Festival.
· 2004 – Product 5-Star Rating by OTOP
· 2008 – Product 5-Star Rating by OTOP
· 2009 Gold prize for Jinxuan Oolong Tea & Ruanzhi Oolong Tea from the World Tea Contest held by the World Green Tea Association in Japan
· 2010 Product 5-Star Rating by OTOP
· 2011 5 Awards from Thailand Asean Coffee & Tea Exhibition

Tea Products

1. Chinese Green Tea
Often referred to as “unfermented” tea. It has undergone minimal oxidation during processing . Well known for its many health benefits, Chinese Green tea helps to prevent cancer, lowers cholesterol & blood pressure, strengthens the immune system, prevents cavities, reduces stress and regulates ageing. Green teas are a natural and delicious way to include antioxidants in any diet.
Taste: Unlike most Japanese steamed green tea, Chinese green teas are pan-fired (like Hoijicha) giving them a smoky and hearty taste
Water for green tea, should be around 80 °C to 85 °C (176 °F to 185 °F)

2. Jasmine tea
The most fragrant and popular scented Chinese tea. Our Jasmine tea is made from good quality green tea leaves which is repeatedly scented with fresh jasmine flowers, allowing the tea leaves to fully absorb the fragrance and to create a tea with longer-lasting taste and aroma.
Taste: Refreshingly sweet and delicate tea with a distinct fresh Jasmine fragrance and taste. The strong flowery aroma of this tea is very soothing.
Water for Jasmine tea, should be around 80 °C to 85 °C (176 °F to 185 °F)

3. Jin Xuan Oolong Tea (Oolong Tea No. 12)
Often referred to as “ semi-fermented” tea that is known for its intense and flowery sweet aroma combined with a pleasantly sweet after taste. Oolong Tea never ceases to lose its appeal no matter how often you drink. Polyphenol in oolong tea is effective in controlling obesity. It activates the enzyme that is responsible for dissolving triglyceride. It has been confirmed that the continuous intake of oolong tea contributes to enhancing the function of fat metabolism and to controlling obesity. It also increases your body energy, promotes metabolism, promotes healthy teeth, skin and bones and can help to lower cholesterol, protect against heart disease and aid in digestion and help to regulate ageing.
Taste : Oolong teas offer a spectrum of flavors that impart unique notes and elegant bouquets. It is commonly brewed to be strong, with the bitterness leaving a sweet aftertaste.
Water for Oolong type, should be brewed around 90 °C to 100 °C (194 °F to 212 °F).
Tip : The vessel should be warmed before pouring in the water. Clay teapots are the traditional brewing vessel for oolong tea. For best results use spring water, High quality oolong can be brewed multiple times from the same leaves. It is common to brew the same leaves three to five times, the third steeping usually being the best.

4. Ruanzhi Oolong Tea
One of the most famous and finest Oolong Tea.The leaves of this tea are carefully hand-picked It is believed that Ruanzhi Oolong tea plants needed carefully plant. As with most Oolongs, the frangrance and taste of this tea is wonderfully sweet and will leave you craving for more. The appearance is yellowsh gold in color.
Taste: The naturally sweet, fruity aroma is strong and captivating, while the taste is full-bodied, refreshing and sweet with a flavor that is reminiscent of a mouth-watering peach.
Health Benefit and brewing temperature see Jin Xuan Oolong Tea.

5. Gui Hua Oolong
is produced by scenting Jin Xuan Oolong tea with fresh osmanthus flowers, combining the sweet osmanthus fragrance with the fruity sweet nature of Jin Xuan Oolong. This tea was especially popular among the ladies in the past as they believe that drinking it can help them enhance their beauty. In any case, Gui Hua Oolong is truly a lovely tea suitable to be shared with your friends and family anytime. You will find some golden yellow osmanthus flowers mixed in with the Oolong tea leaves. During the infusion, the flowers will float on top of the surface of the water.
Taste: when infused, the tea leaves release the lovely sweet and pleasant aroma of osmanthus flower. The tea is refreshingly light and has a hint of peachy flavor.
Health Benefit and brewing temperature see Jin Xuan Oolong Tea.

6. Ginseng Oolong Tea
This is an invigorating blend of Oolong and ginseng. The tea is produced by tightly compressing the tea leave with powdered ginseng and liquorice grass into the shape of tiny tablets. Ginseng has long been renowned as a medicinal herb. It’s frequently used for enhancing physical and mental endurance, strengthening resistance to stress and fatigue, boosting the immune system and revitalizing cell activity.
Taste: The taste is somewhat thick and strong, with a very sweet aftertaste and liquorice tingle. Its sweet aftertaste makes this a very desirable scented tea.

7. Ti Kuan Yim
Ti Kuan Yim means 'iron goddess of mercy,' a name derived from local legend. The name reflects the vibrant color and beautiful shape of the tea leaves, each resembling a tiny piece of green jade. Appearance of Ti kuan Yim is tightly curled dark jade green leaves. The infusion is yellowish green in color.
Taste: tea leaves have very subtle fragrance. The lovely orchid-like fragrance fills the air. It has a sweet honey note with a hint of floral taste. Refreshing, mild but lasting floral aftertaste.
Health Benefit and brewing temperture see Jin Xuan Oolong Tea.

8. Green Tea Powder, ( Matcha)
Green tea powder is made from the whole leaf of the Camellia sinensis plant. Often it will include the veins and stems of the leaf. It is milled from the leaf to make a powder.
This powder can be used for making mixes for baking, cooking and even soaps and candles as well as drinks. It is also used in some cosmetics.
Matcha is very much a delicacy and a high quality green tea, which means it tends to be quite expensive

9. Jasmine Pearl
It is an exotic Dragon Pearl tea blend with jasmine. Each pearl combines two delicate leaves and an unopened bud. When added to water, the pearls majestically unfurl, releasing their delicate scent and flavor.
Water for jasmine pearl tea, should be around 180 °F for 2-3 minutes

10. The Flower Blossom
Art Flower Tea, This finely picked green tea has been masterfully tied together by hand to delight all senses. The display develops into an elegant bouquet of fine green tea with a globe amaranth in the center The combination of the flowers' captivating scent and the fresh high quality tea leaves produces a wonderful balanced aroma
Brewing Guide: Using clear glass cup or wine glass. Rinse the tea cup with hot water. Use only one piece for each cup. Steep tea leaves in hot water at 70 °c (158 °F) to 80 °c (176 °F) for 1 to 2 minutes for the first and second brewing. Gradually increase steeping time and temperature for subsequent brewing.

11. Rose Tea
This Rose bud tea is made from real rose buds, plucked when they are young and then dried. Lovely and highly enjoyable beverage, red rose tea add spark to women beauty, relieve menstrual pain (add a bit of red wine and brown sugar), ease stomach bloatedness. red rose tea is good for women’s general wellbeing.
Taste: Smells and tastes like the lovely rose, brew with Green or Oolong Tea will increase favor of Tea.
Tea brewing: Use 4-5 flowers of the Rose bud tea and brew with boiling water. It can also be brewed with tea leaves.

12. Chinese Black Tea
Tastes thick and robust. Tea connoisseurs appreciate Chinese Black tea as a beverage with various purifying qualities. Chinese Black tea blends easily with other flavors to create a rich and exquisite taste. Regular consumption of Chinese Black tea can reduce risk of stroke

13. Pouchong ( Oolong Green Tea )
It is very lightly oxidized tea somewhere between green tea and what is usually considered oolong tea, though often classified with the latter due to its lack of the sharper green tea flavours. At its best, Pouchong gives off a floral and melon fragrance and has a rich, mild taste. Pouchong tea has been shown to have antioxidant activity and antimutagenic properties. Catechins are important antioxidants in tea, and one study found Pouchong tea to have over three times the amount of these compounds relative to black tea, although it was found to have less than green or oolong teas.

14. Pu-erh Tea
This tea produced from good green tea, Xiao Tuo Cha can last for multiple infusions. A must try for new Pu Erh drinker. It is oxidized slowly, through an aging process, that is thought to bring out a deeper, more varied flavor from the tea. Pu Erh is the only tea that improves in flavor and value with age.
Brewing Guide: Use 1 piece for one big cup or teapot . Steep in hot water at 100 °c (212 °F) for 2 - 4 minutes.

Chouifong Tea Making Process
All of the Choui Fong Tea products are made out of 40 years of production knowhow from the devoted Chinese tea masters, Taiwanese tea specialists and local Thai skilled tea farm workers.
1. Early in the morning, by hands, gather young new tea leaves from well grown tea trees.
2. Spread those tea leaves under half-shaded place over 30 minutes to 1 hour.
3. Inside factory, spread over the tea leaves on bamboo basket-characteristic boards.
Keep room temperature 17° Celsius ( 63° F) and mix up tea leaves every 3 hours, repeat this process for 12 to 15 hours.
4. Drives the moisture out of well fermented tea leaves in a high temperature rolling machine.
5. Rub the leaves equally.
6. Spread the leaves over bamboo baskets around 2 – 3 hours.
7. Compress some amount of tea leaves and roll them, and massage like kneading ( repeat this job around 20- 24 times )
8. Put the dried & shaped tea leaves into quadruple conveyer drying machine to dry leftover moistures (repeat above number 4. processing )
9. In oven about 100° C( 212° F) for 10 hours, keep the tea leaves to dry them 100%, so this is final step of making teas before packing.
10. Collect only good quality teas by hands and pack.
11. Air-tight wrapping and store in a below 5° C(32° F) refrigerator.

Source: Choui Fong Tea.
They even have accommodation out there & maybe its not such a bad spot for a romantic night with a sweet companion.

The road is a bit narrow, & maybe a little daunting for some. It is a narrow steep & winding track, with the steepest section concrete, but quite doable if you take your time.
Some phone photos of the road in...

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Turn off 2.5 kms west of the R4032 Mae Mo / Phayaprai road junction.
GPS Waypoint: N20 19.557 E99 36.997
From the turn off it is 1.5 kms in to the tea plantation HQs.
Check it out, it is well worth it & a true hidden gem of North Thailand / The Golden Triangle.
Recommend spend a night in Thoed Thai at John's Rim Taan Guesthouse if you want to come out here. Dont rush, take your time, potter around & learn something as you go.
 
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DavidFL

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Back on the way out

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I spied an interesting looking chedi on a hill not far from the road & went to check it out.

Wat Phra Cha Rik Ban Mo (?)

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The temple was still under going construction, but there was an impressive LED lighted Buddha in the chapel.

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all a bit surreal in this extremely poor, remote village on the Burma border, I thought.

Then a monk rocked up to say hello & have a chat.

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as heavily tattooed as I've ever seen a monk, or anyone for that matter.

He was from Sakhon Nakhon, had only been at the temple for a month and was the ONLY monk there.
No doubt a real interesting character, if you had more time to hang around & chat.

Mae Sai was my destination for the night & the next day Chiang Khong, my old favourite yet again.

R1129 Chiang Saen - Chiang Khong late afternoon in the golden light.

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DavidFL

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The purpose of the over night in Chiang Khong was to meet up with the Snail & Scotty 007 in the Kingdom on their holidays.
And the master plan was for a photo shoot on the big dipper road R4018 - The Phaya Phipak road.
However due to a lengthy breakfast & trivial chit chat about exactly what to do, which way to go, we did not get away until late.
So it all ended up a bit of a rush.

However we did get a few nice piccies on the amazing R4018.

Heading off at the start - the west R1020 end.

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The Thu Long Thang viewpoint

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Into the big dipper

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The Snail enjoying what he can't do in Oz & gets it up

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Joy oh joy oh joy & you get to keep your licence, no points lost!

From 4018 we blasted on up the Phu Chi Fah road & headed north along R1093 to Pha Tang.

Stopped Pha Tang for some noodles for lunch I got a marriage proposal from a wonderful Chinese lady who promised to cook & feed me.

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I promised to come back with an answer = I shall return.

Meanwhile the Snail's Duke gets admired.

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Further on down R1093, where it changes to R4029, there are some superb panoramic views looking back towards majestic Chinese Pha Tang.

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If you want to know a bit about Pha Tang, check this out

POSTCARD FROM THAILAND
At Siam's Gate

Few in the outside world know about it, but Pratu Siam in Thailand was a once key frontier in a secret war.

By Bertil Lintner

It must be one of the most ruggedly beautiful places in Southeast Asia--Pratu Siam, the Gate of Siam. Surrounded by steep limestone cliffs, this mountain pass on the border of Thailand and Laos looks like a scene from a Chinese painting. In the canyon far below, mist and clouds drift along the Mekong.

Picturesque it may be, but Pratu Siam and the nearby village of Phatang are unknown to tourists. Until well into the 1990s the area was off limits to outsiders. Up to just a few years ago, even local maps didn't show Phatang or the Gate of Siam. Getting here is not easy: The 15-kilometre road from the lowlands is steep and potholed, and almost impassable.

All that is a legacy of the past, when Phatang preferred to keep visitors out. That's because this area was once a vital frontier of the Cold War in Asia. In the 1960s and 1970s, United States forces used it as a base for their "secret war" aimed at countering Lao support for communist Vietnamese forces. In later years, fighters based here helped the Thai army defeat communist insurgents.

It is only now, as time eases the tensions of the past, that people who took part in those operations are willing to talk more openly, even if they refuse to be named. "We want to live in peace now," says one veteran of the secret war who lives in northern Thailand. "The past is history." Indeed, today's Phatang is a showcase of tranquillity. Its 3,000 inhabitants grow vegetables, fruits and tea, and make cherry and plum wine to earn cash. Visitors who do make it up may even be invited to share a bottle of wine.

Phatang's role in Southeast Asia's geopolitics dates from the early 1960s. At the time, Laos had been internationally recognized as neutral in the war raging in neighbouring Vietnam, and no foreign troops were supposed to be in the country. The reality was different: In the north, North Vietnamese soldiers were fighting alongside their Lao communist allies. Elsewhere, the U.S., or, more precisely, its Central Intelligence Agency, had built up a 30,000-strong "secret" army, whose number included a battalion of Nationalist Chinese soldiers.

Disguised as a Lao regiment and codenamed "Bataillon Spéciale 111" it was made up mainly of Chinese soldiers captured by the U.S. and its allies in the Korean War, and who had transferred their loyalties from Beijing to Taipei. About 1,600 wound up in Laos fighting for the Americans and conducting forays into China.

According to another veteran of the war, heavy fighting around their main base in northern Laos forced an evacuation across the border into Thailand. Phatang, which was already an established Nationalist-Chinese settlement, was the ideal choice for a rear base. From the vantage point of the Gate of Siam, a watch could be kept as Kuomintang troops infiltrated Laos.

After the end of the Vietnam War, battle-hardened Chinese troops from Phatang played a crucial role in the battle of Khao Ya, a Communist Party of Thailand stronghold in the Khao Khor mountains east of Thailand's central plains. Those who took part in that operation were granted Thai citizenship. Few, seemingly, chose to settle in Phatang.

In recent years, another group of Chinese has descended on Phatang: dissidents from the 1989 pro-democracy demonstrations in Beijing's Tiananmen Square. "They had heard about Phatang, and thought it was a Taiwanese base from where they could continue to the West," says a Westerner who helped some of these dissidents escape from China. Many are still stuck here.

The road to Phatang may be steep, but it is an even steeper climb up to the actual Gate of Siam. Few outsiders make it to the top, but that, too, will change now that Thai tourists are beginning to discover the area.

It's doubtful that many will ever make it to the most important Nationalist Chinese memorial in northern Thailand. Hidden behind trees off a small dirt track outside the town of Chiang Khong, a huge arch commemorates soldiers who died in the secret war, mainly in Laos. Two hundred of them now rest in a cluster of tombs, all facing towards China. Their war, after all, was secret, and they weren't supposed to be here.

This article first appeared in the Far Eastern Economic Review, September 16, 2004
 

DavidFL

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From Pha Tang & R1093 / 4029 its R1155 along the 'Khong for some stunning views of the river.

The best views are between Huay Ian & Pak Ing, south of the bridge.

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Just before Pak Ing there is a small, slightly obscured chedi by the river.

Phra That Ya Mon

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a somewhat unusual looking chedi.

Go down to the river from the chedi & you have a sensational view of the Khong, upstream to the new bridge.

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DavidFL

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Next day was across the river to Houei Xai / Laos for the night & check up on any problems getting into Laos by motorbike at Houei Xai.

And the answer is non, if you're not a tour group.
The full story is here if you want to know more.

Boarding the car ferry is often an interesting if not entertaining experience
Once it was a truck stuck in the mud so no one could get on.
This time it was a truck broken down right before the ferry; but no problem, just jack it up & work on it right there.

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and then we had to throw a few rocks around to make the access more / or less bumpy, or muddy - please yourself.

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I opted to stay at the Porn Vijit guesthouse to enjoy their view this time round.
The happy hour view

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The early morning view

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all Mekong photos above taken from room # 12 at Porn Vijit Guesthouse Houei Xai.

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Room # 12 asking 1,000 baht a night in season.
But sadly the water pressure on the top floor aint much chop, & if it was not so cold a bucket of cold water would have been better than the "misty spray of warm water" that was supposed to be the shower. You can't win 'em all - go with the low flow this time round.

Late morning it was time for a run upstream to Kings Roman Casino city & check on the immigration set up.
But not before watching a Laos couple pick up their new satellite dish & take it home on the back of the Honda Wave.

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Its a good road upstream all the way out to the casino & quite a bit more

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the new road obviously came in after the power lines

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trucks are always a nuisance on the narrow roads

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I went as far as Ban Mom for a quick look & turn around.
Wat Ban Mom

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across the river on the Burmese side

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with lots of timber stacked up.

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now I wonder from exactly which side has it come & where is it going - upstream to China I guess.

Back track to the Casino city
and the boring GT view from the Laos side

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the view towards Thailand

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the Jamme Grocery Construction Tool shop

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had me confused & unfortunately it was closed on the day, so could not solve the mystery.

Outside the casino

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Pop onto Don Sao island

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for some fresh coconut juice & check on maps.

Then
back down to Houei Xai to squeeze onto the ferry

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& cross back over to Thailand.

and the next day back in Chiang Mai for a GT Rider dinner at the Franco-Thai

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and another week has gone by....

Life on the road is good.
 

TonyBKK

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Dec 27, 2007
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You are living the dream David!!! :happy1:

Love this pic-
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See you next week! Happy Trails!

Tony
 

DavidFL

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Davidfl;287601 wrote: The Choui Fong Tea plantation was an eye opener for me...

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A massive plantation right on the Myanmar border & breathtakingly beautiful @ 1,200 metres.

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Some research on the plantation has turned up this info

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%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; mso-bidi-font-size:14.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-siz
e:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0cm; mso-para-margin-right:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0cm; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; mso-bidi-font-size:14.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} They even have accommodation out there & maybe its not such a bad spot for a romantic night with a sweet companion.

The road is a bit narrow, & maybe a little daunting for some. It is a narrow steep & winding track, with the steepest section concrete, but quite doable if you take your time.
Some phone photos of the road in...

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Turn off 2.5 kms west of the R4032 Mae Mo / Phayaprai road junction.
GPS Waypoint: N20 19.557 E99 36.997
From the turn off it is 1.5 kms in to the tea plantation HQs.
Check it out, it is well worth it & a true hidden gem of North Thailand / The Golden Triangle.
Recommend spend a night in Thoed Thai at John's Rim Taan Guesthouse if you want to come out here. Dont rush, take your time, potter around & learn something as you go.
A panorama shot of the Choui Fong tea plantation.

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Its well worth the extra effort to go there & check out guys!
 

DavidFL

Administrator
Staff member
Jan 16, 2003
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Chiang Khong
www.thegtrider.com
Davidfl;287601 wrote: The Choui Fong Tea plantation was an eye opener for me...
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A massive plantation right on the Myanmar border & breathtakingly beautiful @ 1,200 metres.
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Some research on the plantation has turned up this info

/* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0cm; mso-para-margin-right:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0cm; line-height:115
%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; mso-bidi-font-size:14.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-siz
e:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0cm; mso-para-margin-right:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0cm; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; mso-bidi-font-size:14.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} They even have accommodation out there & maybe its not such a bad spot for a romantic night with a sweet companion.

The road is a bit narrow, & maybe a little daunting for some. It is a narrow steep & winding track, with the steepest section concrete, but quite doable if you take your time.
Some phone photos of the road in...
attachment.php


attachment.php


attachment.php


attachment.php

Turn off 2.5 kms west of the R4032 Mae Mo / Phayaprai road junction.
GPS Waypoint: N20 19.557 E99 36.997
From the turn off it is 1.5 kms in to the tea plantation HQs.
Check it out, it is well worth it & a true hidden gem of North Thailand / The Golden Triangle.
Recommend spend a night in Thoed Thai at John's Rim Taan Guesthouse if you want to come out here. Dont rush, take your time, potter around & learn something as you go.
One of the other Choui Fong tea plantations is at Mae Salong Nai
4.3 kms north of R1130 just west of Mae Chan.
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the plantation is sprawling & the views panoramic
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There's a nice coffee shop on the top of the hill
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The Akha tea picking chain gang
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Just a short side trip from off R1130 basically down in the flat & well worth the excursion.
Check it out sometime.
 

Territorian

Member
Dec 8, 2015
6
0
1
Hey DavidFL
Cheers for sharing your report it was great reading. You sent me links to this a while back when I was researching our up coming trip and we have taken your advice and going to follow in your tire tracks and take this same route in late November.
We only have 7 days so we will fit in what we can and head back to CNX. I was curious about your trip across the river to Houei Xai I tried to use the link you proved it wasn't working. I was wondering if we would have trouble doing the same crossing on rental bikes or would it be to risky.
Cheers again for the great reports they are very helpful.