Beer Belly Buddies Tour Of The North

Discussion in 'Touring Northern Thailand - Trip Reports Forum' started by Steve Coupland, Aug 8, 2017.

  1. 2b. 3b. 4b. 5b. 6b. 7b. 8b. day 1 b1. day 1 b2. day 1 b3. day 1 b4. day 2 b1. day 2 b2. day 2 b3. day 2 b4. day 2 b5. day 2 b6. day 2 b7. day 2 b8. day 2 b9. day 2 b10. day 2 b11. day 2 b12. day 2 b13. Day 3 b. day 3 b1. day 3 b2. day 3 b3. day 3 b4. Day 3 d. Day 3 e. Day 3. Day 4 1. Day 4 2. Day 4 3. day 4b1. day 4b2. day 4b3. day 4b4. day 4b5. Day 5. day 5b1. day 5b2. day 5b3. day 5b4. day 5b5. Day 6. day 6a. Day 6b. Day 7a. Day 7b. Day 7c. Day 7d. Day 7e. Day2 lunch. Day2 stop. Day2. Highway 12. Jarodvithi Thong   Google Maps. 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I recently got back from my latest 7 night tour of the North of Thailand. This is something I aim to do every 8 weeks or so.
    I've been living in Isaan for the last 11 years and never tire of riding in the North. There's always a new road or track to discover and the changes of season, routes and riding company, make each tour completely unique.
    This was 2,750 km of smiles, riding for the first time with Charles B S Shaw (Stuart) who was great company and a good rider. We were very lucky with the weather despite it being the middle of the rainy season, and only got wet a couple of times in the whole trip.


    Not a pleasant start. First two hours were torrential rain. Hardly rained on us at all after that for the whole week though. Roadworks between Tak and Mae Sot are not much fun either. Gonna be a great road when finished though.

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    Took this when the rain stopped the other side of Lom Sak.
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    Picture Book Guesthouse, Mae Sot 600B. Would use again.
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    Roadworks after Tak
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    The man knows how to order food!
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    Day 2 Mae Sot to Mae Hong Son. Glorious weather. Met up with Charles B S Shaw (for the first time) in Mae Sot. Fantastic roads all day. Stopped for lunch in Mae Sariang.
    Took a detour onto the R4009 just before MHS. Superb ridge top views from very high up. Some incredibly steep bits of road here, most of which is brand new concrete surface. Some storm damage, wouldn't want to do it on a cruiser!
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    My attempt at keeping the rain out. Half a pair of Marigolds. Not needed in the end as I bought new, higher, boots.
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    Protein top up in Mae Sariang
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    R4009 detour
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    R4009
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    Mae Hong Son
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    Day 3 of 8. Mae Hong Son loop. Never get tired of this amazing road.
    First time I did it was 12 years ago. The road surface then made it much more of a challenge than it is today. Superb, new surface all the way.
    We took a short detour to Tham Lot cave which is well worth the effort. Finished up at Chiang Dao. The Cave bar there is pretty cool but pricey once the 5pm (opening time) to 7pm ''Happy Hour'' finishes. A large Leo will cost you 120B. The bar opposite charges 75! Accommodation is pricey in Chiang Dao too. These huts were 800B. Great location but you're paying for it. Very hot day, was 36 deg when we got to the resort at 4pm.
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    Chiang Dao. You pay extra for the view!
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    Another incredible, full day of twisties. The newly surfaced 1178 is a lot of fun. Great weather all day until 20min before we got into Doi Mae Salong when we got soaked for the last time on this trip.
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    Day 5, left Doi Mae Salong at sunrise. Awesome views and almost every bend gets a ''Wow'' shout from me. Looks like the valleys below have been draped in crisp white sheets.
    Made our way over to Phu Chi Fa. All the roads around there for miles have been re surfaced and are a joy to ride now. Can't wait to come back up and have another go on the 1155.
    Had a good night out with Mark McConaghy in Chiang Kham, who took us to a superb restaurant in the town (with a really good live music band). The Boutique Resort Hotel number 5 we stayed in is a tacky horrible place with place that I won't use again.

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    Chiang Kham to Na Noi. With pretty severe hangovers, we made our way to Na Noi via the 1148 which we've both done many times before.
    Personally, I think its MUCH more fun going North (other direction) as the vast majority of the twisty, fun bits are uphill in that way.
    Staying in a superb new resort for the first time in Na Noi (see pic. 600 Baht, great quality). Think I'm going to make my next trip just in this and the Phu Chi Fa area. So many more small roads to explore.
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    Superb resort on the South Side of Na Noi North of Sisaket Dam. Co ordinates... 18.320923, 100.712201 Rooms are 600Bht.
    I really like this place. Very comfortable rooms and there's a damned good relaxing restaurant in town with good food and a menu in English too.
    This is going to be my first night stop on tour to the North in future. The restaurant is here....https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/ร... See more
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    We headed off for the ferry crossing over Sisaket Dam. We've both done this a few times before and to be honest the novelty has well and truly worn off for me now. I really enjoy the last 20km of the 1026, the scenery is awesome but the port has become dirty horrible place. You don't see anyone in the restaurants now and there's a good reason for that. The 1339 south of the Dam to Nam Pat is in a shocking condition with really bad potholes and loose surfaces over many km. I won't be going this route again 'til I hear of any improvements. We proceeded to Sukhothai for our last night out before ''Stuart'' headed home westwards, in the opposite direction to me this morning. Someone here recently asked about places to stay in Sukhothai. I recommended this location and Ivo Hoornstra said the resorts were ''Shitty'' this is not true. The T R Guesthouse behind Bar 64000 (Which is really cool and not expensive. Lge Leo 75B) is a really superb place with the best bed I slept in during the whole week. Top notch rooms for 600B. The biker bar/restaurant has a chilled out atmosphere and a terrace overlooking the street. Good food too.

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    The place looks like the aftermath of a natural disaster. The road to the South is apalling now. I'll be riding around the dam in future.
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    Bar 6400 Sukhothai
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    Blast back home on almost a deserted highway 12.
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  3. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Nice one Steve & Charles.
    You guys certainly lucked out with the weather eh & got some awesome shots.


    I've stayed at that Boutique 5 hotel in Chiang Kham & probably wouldn't stay there again either.

    Some of your road photos deserve to go in the Top Ten Roads Thread
    North Thailand Top Ten Roads
     
  4. GTR-Admin

    GTR-Admin Ben Kemp Staff Member

    Hi Steve

    Thanks for taking the time and making the effort to publish an account of your recent trip - lots of stunning photos, well done mate!

    Reports like this have always inspired others to "just get out there and do it" - there's nothing more effective than leading by example.
     
  5. Rod Page

    Rod Page Ol'Timer

    Yes indeed an excellent report packed with useful information & great photos. A refreshing read in easy to follow format.

    Look forward to more such reports.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. johngooding

    johngooding Ol'Timer

    That's a great report, brings back some good memories. Interesting about the ferry crossing. Still seems to be a favourite with the tour groups, but I must admit, after three or four trips I have been inclined to take a different route
     
  7. Thank you :) I can't wait to get away again so I can write one.
     
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  8. Me too. The novelty has well and truly worn off. I came down the Western side via the 1022 and 1163 a few months back, that's not a lot of fun! 30+km of tight twists and turns on loose surface with 95% of any views obscured by trees. Met only one other car on that road. Won't do that again either :) Hope they get the ferry port sorted, there's rubbish and dog shit everywhere. The ramp on the southern side is in a pretty poor state too, rutted and muddy.
     
  9. johngooding

    johngooding Ol'Timer

    Have not tried that side, but have been the eastern side a few times. A fairly full varied day if going Nan to Loei. from Wiang sa its the 1162 then 1243 then 1083 1268 to Ban Khok. One of these stretches is very remote, but surface was OK a while ago, very little traffic, then winds along the border and drops onto what now is renumbered to be highway 21 near Phu Ruea. Some great scenery along the way and mostly quiet roads.
     
  10. I know what you mean, I've ridden them all. Think it's that 1243 that caught me out a few months back. I was heading West through Nan and should have stopped there really as I'd already put quite a few hours in but pressed on for ''a bit more'' got on that road and wished I hadn't, took ages to find a place to stay. Bizarre, the surface wasn't great but right in the middle of it there was a 20km? section of brand new tarmac with armco and fresh lines. Don't think I saw more than two scooters and a farmers truck all afternoon. Finished up in Fak Tha and the only room I could find was one next to a hooker who was doing a fair trade through the night!

    I'm doing 7 night trips in the North every 8 weeks and running out of places to go that I haven't done before now but never get bored of it :)
     
  11. Silom

    Silom Member

    Thanks Steve for the great report and details of the road.
    Looking forward to drive some of these stretches very soon:)
     
  12. Moto-Rex

    Moto-Rex Moderator

    Great report mate, with brilliant photos. It’s a Northern Thailand highlights tour, and a great reverence for anyone planning a ride in Northern Thailand.

    Good to see you included the 4009 in your ride.

    I just love this shot below.

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    I've had a few cold beers in this little establishment. lol
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    Thanks for taking to time to put together such a great report.

    Cheers Moto-Rex
     
    • Like Like x 2
  13. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Steve
    You got me on this one

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    Exactly where is it?
    Do you have a name for the wat?
     
  14. NELSKA

    NELSKA Member

    Hello David.
    This wat is located in Ban Nam Aug Roo 136 km to the North-Est of Mae Sot on the 105 road, close to Myanmar border
    GPS 17.533734, 97.949296

    More infos here : Google Maps

    Have a nice trip !
     

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