Chiang Kham - Khun Huai Khrai & A Ride In The Heat.

Discussion in 'Touring Northern Thailand - Trip Reports Forum' started by DavidFL, May 12, 2019.

  1. DavidFL

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    #1 DavidFL, May 12, 2019
    Last edited: May 13, 2019
    Looking for new roads to survey & put on an update for the GTR Golden Triangle guide map, the village of Khun Huai Khrai popped up.
    GPS-KHK-ChKham.
    Seemingly located a few kms off R1093 and with a possible link up from Chiang Kham , the old fellah was sufficiently encouraged to take a meander down there in the 40 degree heat from Chiang Khong. It wouldn't take long & just be an easy ride out there & back for the day. Even though it was a bit warm.

    I skipped brekky at home & headed straight for an aircon one in Chiang Kham at The Carrot Cafe.
    Chiang Kham Restaurants
    The Carrot is now my favourite aircon stop in Chiang Kham & I've used it quite a few times the last couple of weeks in the heat.

    Kai Krata brekky with Ice Coffee
    upload_2019-5-12_17-34-25-jpeg.

    upload_2019-5-12_17-33-49-jpeg.

    Brekky down it was back onto the road to Phu Sang Waterfall.
    Route 4010 is the one you need & it starts 6 kms north of Chiang Kham on R1021.
    Turn off on R1021 & it is 10.2 kms down R4010, then turn left off to Khun Huai Khrai.
    upload_2019-5-12_18-16-50.
    Turn left and follow the winding rural back road through the parched country side & into the searing heat.

    More to come..
     
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  2. DavidFL

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    #2 DavidFL, May 13, 2019
    Last edited: May 13, 2019
    The road is a delightful narrow winding rural back road, slightly undulating, but steeper at the end as you approach Khun Huai Khrai.

    At the start on the right there is an OTOP Cultural Centre
    GTR - IMG_3989.JPG

    GTR - IMG_3987.JPG
    GTR - IMG_3994.JPG

    The road is a bit patchy in places at first, but ok
    GTR - IMG_3997.JPG

    GTR - IMG_4000.JPG

    Nice & winding it maybe but in the 40 degree Celsius plus heat it was slow going & sweltering all the way..

    The middle section is being resealed & has some lovely fresh asphalt.
    GTR - IMG_4002.JPG

    GTR - IMG_4005.JPG

    But it is super hot riding alongside the fresh stuff
    GTR - IMG_4025.JPG
    Absolutely boiling hot when you are all kitted riding at 30kph, especially slowed or stopped for a passing vehicle! GTR - IMG_4024.JPG

    Freedom to go a little faster..
    GTR - IMG_4022.JPG
    GTR - IMG_4023.JPG

    After the road works
    GTR - IMG_4012.JPG

    Towards the end, up on the ridgeline at the back is R1093
    GTR - IMG_4009.JPG

    A village below R1093
    GTR - IMG_4010.JPG

    The winding road becomes concrete
    GTR - IMG_4011.JPG

    The concrete climbs steeply up out of the valley heading to Khun Huai Khrai.
    GTR - IMG_4020.JPG

    and then exactly as shown on google maps - the road is dirt.
    GTR - IMG_4013.JPG

    It goes up & winds over a steep hill & down to Khun Huai Khrai, then links up with R1093 - "all being well."
    GTR - IMG_4014.JPG

    It doesn't look much but already struggling in the heat & in my aging condition, I will leave it for another rider to complete the last few kms & confirm that the link does actually exist & what the road condition is.

    Over to the next guy.....please report back

    It looks like this
    GPS-Map013.

    more to come..returning home in the heat & nearly not making it.
     
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  3. DavidFL

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    #3 DavidFL, May 18, 2019
    Last edited: May 19, 2019
    Time to beat a retreat in the heat.

    It was mid-late afternoon = peak temperatures.
    Rather foolishly I'd neglected to take my 2.5 litre camel bak on the afternoon's excursion,"figuring that it was just a leisurely cruise down the highway& back again, with an abundance of aircon coffee shops & 7-11s / Amazon coffee shops along the way. But you have to reach them first, before over heating....and so it was.
    It was slow progress riding out along side the blast furnace like new asphalt & kitted up, & no air flow the heat does creep up on you.
    Rather than return to Chiang Kham city I took a short cut over to R1020, that was a wonderful winding rural back road, but riding into the sun & not fast enough to cool down. Plus no aircon coffee shops, just a few roadside stalls with people laying low to keep out of the heat.
    I soldiered on at a low speed, eventually hooking up with R1020 & hoping for a nice aircon premises along the way.
    Eventually I fond a weak one,and dove straight in looking to cool down. The aircon was off, the fan worked, & I slumped onto the sofa. Two soda & one ice cappuccino please. The soda first because I am very thirsty. I only just managed to get the words my mouth was so parched! But I did it repeat it to reconfirm Soda First!
    It was a cute little coffee shop, run by a confused lady boy & her Mum, so I thought.
    Mum was calling the shots; so she decided to carefully, meticulously prepare a ice cappuccino first.
    I started to fade, slumped on the sofa & asked for some water quickly please, The lady boy brought over a whisky shot glass with a thimble of some water! WTF.
    upload_2019-5-18_14-20-35.

    W-A-T-E-R please and now! Confusion reigned so I managed to get up & open the fridge to yank out a bottle of water. Oh that's not cold, we will get you some ice. No, no I just need water now! And sip away I did, so parched that I couldn't really drink it as fast as I thought I needed. A bit of a close one I thought.

    An hour later I had cooled down a bit & it was time to move - 4PM & they were closing the coffee shop early to pickup the kids from school somewhere??? Out you go sir.

    45 kms further up the road on R1020 even @ 120KPH I was still over heating again.
    I pulled into the PTT near Khun Tan & had a wobble as I headed for the aircon Amazon to cool down. Oh dear here we go again.
    The mouth was again as dry as such that I struggled to speak, amusing perhaps if it weren't debilitating.
    A 45 minute break ensued with more liquids down the hatch, but no coffee this time.
    Arrival time in Chiang Khong was on dusk & he next day scheduled to be a quick blast down to Chiang Mai for the Triumph Grand Opening.
    However upon waking up in the morning my injured left leg was badly inflamed & probably infected, yet again. The old cellulitis playing up dramatically at short notice. Off to the docs and a recommendation not to travel, rest up with the leg elevated. Damn!
    I'm sorry I missed the Trump Opening, but leg preservation comes first.

    It's also time to make sure the camel bak stays out for all rides in the heat!

    You all take care out there now.
     

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