Chiang Kham Loop & Phu Arnmar Camping

Discussion in 'Touring Northern Thailand - Trip Reports Forum' started by ianyonok, Jan 23, 2018.

  1. ianyonok

    ianyonok Ol'Timer

    Dec 9, 2008
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    #1 ianyonok, Jan 23, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2018
    East of Chiang Kham is a wonderfully scenic 40klm loop, now fully tarmac'd.The 1345 / 4029 runs out of Chiang Kham, past the Bua Thong Resort and then curves around south to meet the 1148 at Bahn Hae.
    Phu ArnMar Earth large.

    I was on my way there, via the river road from Chiang Saen to Chiang Khong.......
    2018-01-16 11.04.30.

    ...... and the 1155.
    2018-01-16 13.09.28.

    Once on the Chiang Kham loop, you soon see signs for Phu ArnMar and Unseen Thailand.
    2018-01-16 15.05.04.

    Out of the town, the mountains soon appear.
    2018-01-16 15.15.31. 2018-01-16 15.17.59.
    Double yellow lines........ No Overtaking......... errrr...... I didn't even see a buffalo to overtake....
    2018-01-16 15.19.44.
    The village of Bahn Pang Tham lies next to this impressive bluff. There is a "Tham" (cave) here that needs checking out, next time.
    2018-01-16 15.25.52.
    Looking back to Pang Tham......
    2018-01-16 15.28.39. ....... and east to Phu ArnMar.
    2018-01-16 15.28.48.
    Gorgeous mountain scenery and new tarmac with no traffic.
    2018-01-16 15.33.28.
    About halfway round the loop you come to a T junction, where the 1345 turns east to Bahn Nong Ha or you turn right down the 4029 to meet the 1148 at Bahn Hae. I turned left on the spur to the east.
    2018-01-16 15.35.19.

    Phu ArnMar Earth spur.

    More wonderful twisties through the mountains, for about 20 klms.
    2018-01-16 15.38.22. 2018-01-16 15.41.54.
    There are some fairly steep sections on this 4029 as you climb up.......
    2018-01-16 15.51.31.
    ........ finally coming to a new 1 klm concrete access road, also a little steep.
    2018-01-16 15.55.55.
    Then you have reached the Phu ArnMar car park.
    2018-01-16 15.59.33.
    A car park with a view.
    2018-01-16 16.00.38.
    Not exactly a busy day..........!
    2018-01-16 16.06.53.
    I took the panniers off the bike to carry the camping gear etc up. The path is about 100m steep walk, but steps all the way.
    2018-01-16 16.13.45.
    Up on to the escarpment.
    2018-01-16 16.26.32.
    At 1658M, it is like a smaller, lower, lesser known, Phu Chee Fah.
    2018-01-16 17.21.57.
    Phu ArnMar Earth.

    Fortunately, there was one reasonably flat spot to pitch the tent.
    2018-01-16 17.22.10.
    From the top of the steps, you can walk about 50m in either direction along the edge of the escarpment.
    2018-01-16 17.29.15.

    At this point, you can look east about 5klms, across the valley to the next ridge that forms the Phayao - Nan border, with the peak of Phu Langkha at the bottom of that ridge to the southwest.

    Next morning it was a bit chilly....... 5 deg C.....
    2018-01-17 06.48.21.
    Looking southwest along the Phu ArnMar escarpment, with Phu Langkha in the distance. Langkha is a little higher at 1720m.
    2018-01-17 06.50.32. 2018-01-17 08.39.47.
    These old bikes had a lot of air space around the engine........
    2018-01-17 08.40.03.
    Looking down on the beautiful Talay Mork, the "Sea of Fog".
    2018-01-17 08.43.42.

    I rode east and down to the small Akha village of Bahn Nong Ha. They have a Royal project there set up by the Queen, so I got a welcome coffee on a cold morning.

    The 1148 is a fantastic road, but the northern section is not that exciting. So, if you have time, why not take in this loop on 1345 & 4029. It is a very quiet and scenic road..... you won't be disappointed....
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  2. ianyonok

    ianyonok Ol'Timer

    Dec 9, 2008
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    Here is the GPS file of the track.

    Attached Files:

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  3. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    Jan 16, 2003
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    Fabulous. That looks like a must do ride for anyone passing through Chiang Kham.

    This is as sexy as


    Many thanks for the tip off.

    It must have been a bit chill;y camping out there on the ridge. Glad it was you & not me.
  4. Oddvar

    Oddvar Ol'Timer

    Mar 18, 2013
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    I have updated the road on OSM. Last time I rode there it was a section of about 4 km with roadwork.

    Screenshot 2018-01-25_08-25-04.

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