Bangkok to Khon Buri 900 Km Loop

Dec 27, 2007
Rode the Ninja up to Issan (Northeastern Thailand) this past weekend- a beautiful ride but a lot longer than expected!

Stopped for Somtam and Gai Yang at a friendly little place in the middle of nowhere somewhere between Thung Pho and Tha Yaek on Route 3039-

I just love these deserted rural roads. Seems to me that Thailand must spend a good portion of GDP on building beautiful roads that almost no one uses... Fine by me!

Left Bangkok a little after 9am and planned to arrive in Khon Buri in about 5 hours. NOT! The planned route via Pang Si Da National Park is in blue:

But it turns out that that route 3462 through the Pang Si Da National Park is closed. According to the park rangers I talked to the road is not maintained and some of the bridges are out.

So... I had to decide if I wanted to backtrack to Highway 304, or continue east around the national park. I chose Route 3485 to the east in the direction of Sa Kaeo, since I've never been that way. Good choice- nice scenery, good roads, and very little traffic. In the end, what I thought would be a modest 5 hour ride ended up taking the whole day. But I did make a lot of stops along the way and I wasn't riding too fast. I rolled into Khon Buri around 4pm

Personally I find 80 km/hr is a comfortable cruising speed for me on the Ninja 250R. At that speed the little parallel twin is spinning at about 6000 RPM so it's not loud or buzzy. I did open up on a few stretches and the Baby Ninja does just fine at 120-140 km/hr, though at those speeds it helps to tuck in a bit to take advantage of the fairing and wind screen. I find the chain noise is louder than any other bike I've owned. The Kawasaki shop tightened the chain when I took it in for service last week so I'm going to loosen it up a bit to see if that will help. (It's amazing how much effect chain tension can have on power and noise).

Here's a stop at the Laem Sae Dam-

My planned route (in red) from Khon Buri to Highway 304 looked so simple on the map-

But I got incredibly lost... I REALLY need to go get a GPS...


Route 3002?! Nice road, but I still can't find it on any map...

Well, I did eventually find Highway 304 and I made it back to Bangkok in good time, cruising at around 120 km/hr most of the way to stay ahead of the returning weekend traffic and dark storm clouds. I beat the traffic but I couldn't stay ahead of the rain and got a good soaking as I was passing through Chacheongsao. My own fault for not carrying rain gear during the rainy season.

One Love and warmest regards!
Oct 1, 2005
Nice report......Will this cursed rain never cease? Its driving me potty.

The marked routes through national parks can be a problem. About two years ago driving from Aran to Buriram I saw a nice alternative route marked through the national park in an appropriate colour. It was out of my way but involved more hills...... Problem was they hadn't built it yet. The colour was wrong and it was still no more than a dirt track.

I ran this by davidfl the cartographer when in Chiang Mai and he said its actually quite common and is a problem of what is basically shoddy guess work rather than research on the part of the map publishers......

Having said that arriving at a dead end is all part of the fun.

That bloody big lake reservoir thingy on the way to Korat is a great place for an evening beer.... When its not all flooded anyway.


Oct 2, 2008
Nice report,

Lookes like a tempting trip, hopefulle when I get back we could team up for some simular trips around. I got an idea I would like to run with you going through a national reserve, will draw it up and send it over for a weekend trip for anyone who like to join in for it.

Cheers Bard


Jun 28, 2007
Tony, nice report and nice roads you were on !!!!
Fancy a trip to Kanchanaburi 23.-26.10.? If so just have a look at the eastern section and my posting.......we are a group that travels close to the areas you are going, just came back from Khao Yai with 6 bikes. Were joined by one Djebel 250 so cruising speed was about 100-120 km/h, no problem for the baby Ninja...... :lol: cheers, Franz
Dec 27, 2007
Hi Bard, Hi Franz!

Great to hear from you both- I'm always up for a ride :eek:

Franz- I'll check out your posting; Ironically I'm going on a Kanchanaburi trip next weekend (17-19th) :roll:

But what the heck- Kanchanaburi is one of my favorite provinces so I'd be up to going there two weekends in a row.

Keep me posted and look forward to riding with you!

Going to check out the Chonburi Bike Rally this weekend and I'll post pics asap.

Happy Trails :D