Chiang Khong - Gt-rider Up-country Dinner Trip - Jan 2019

Discussion in 'Touring Northern Thailand - Trip Reports Forum' started by Kiwi Cruiser, Feb 3, 2019.

  1. Kiwi Cruiser

    Kiwi Cruiser Ben Kemp
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    The ride to Chiang Khong from my part of the world is 500 kms, and I decided to break it up with a night in Phayao and catch up with Moto-Rex and Scotty.

    A late (11 am) start influenced the route. Roadworks precluded the 118, heavy traffic and miles of dust and dirt on roadwork is no fun. The 1001/1150/120 is not a fast route at any time, although it is enjoyable. So, the sensible plan was the 108 to the 116 turn-off before San Pa Tong. Right onto the 116 and skirting Lamphun and over to Lampang on 11. Then, a fast blast up Highway 1 which is actually a nice ride on because it has less traffic than 118, its 4 lanes all the way. Its also a scenic route, and has lots of high-speed sweeping corners that makes it a pleasant ride. A couple of Amazon stops later...

    1-amazon-sth-of-phayao.

    I got to Phayao at 4pm, and had a ride along the waterfront. I then checked into the KM Kwanphayao Hotel at Moto-Rex's recommendation - a good option at 590 baht, it is quite a new place, friendly staff and undercover parking.

    2-kwan-phayao (1). 2-kwan-phayao (2).
    Rex and I met up with Scotty at 5pm for a sundown beer at the Charlian Restaurant on the lakefront.

    2-kwan-phayao (3)-charlian-restaurant.

    Sunsets can be spectacular in Phayao...

    2-kwan-phayao (4). 2-kwan-phayao (5)Moto-Rex+Scotty.
    Moto-Rex (left) and Scotty...

    This place has some of the best food in town!

    2-kwan-phayao (6).
    Chiang Khong: Wednesday 30th: David suggested lunch up river from town, a good choice! The 7 kilometres up "Paradise Road" were enjoyable, as was the food...

    3-river-view-restaurant-chiang-khong (1). 3-river-view-restaurant-chiang-khong (2). 3-river-view-restaurant-chiang-khong (3). 3-river-view-restaurant-chiang-khong (4).

    Life on the road does not get much better than this...

    3-river-view-restaurant-chiang-khong (5). 3-river-view-restaurant-chiang-khong (6).

    The designated meeting place was the pier:
    4-pier-chiang-khong (1). 4-pier-chiang-khong (2). 4-pier-chiang-khong (3).

    Ships passing in the night...

    4-pier-chiang-khong (4).

    Boat Trip: after some dithering about whether to upstream or downstream, and for how long, Captain Sparrow suggested we go across to the Laos side and he would get some proper beer. Such a sensible suggestion could not be declined on any grounds!

    5-mekong-boat-trip (1). 5-mekong-boat-trip (2). 5-mekong-boat-trip (3).
    The Huay Xai locals arriving back on the Laos side of the river, returning from a shopping trip in Thailand... complete with a new washing machine!

    5-mekong-boat-trip (4).
    Beer Laos si Dum takes the sting out of life...

    Setting off down the Laos side of the midstream island with beers in hand, the 5 intrepid mariners were enjoying the cruise. On rounding the downstream side of the island, Captain Sparrow ran the boat up on a massive sandbar and suggested we all get out for a "marooned" photo...
    5-mekong-boat-trip (5).

    What a great location! There was some discussion about the Margate shoals and cricket matches on the sands at exceptionally low tides. That would be a definite possibility on the Mekong sandbar, if ever a team could be assembled. Thirsty work, sandbars... our good captain then suggested we adjourn the match planning to the Laos side.

    5-mekong-boat-trip (6).
    Directly opposite was a floating pub... Our good captain seemed confident that we would not be arrested by the Immigration Police as long as we did not step ashore... Perfect!

    5-mekong-boat-trip (7).

    The diminutive proprietor did not seem at all flustered to receive a boatload of foreigners

    5-mekong-boat-trip (8). 5-mekong-boat-trip (9).
    Looking back over to Thailand

    5-mekong-boat-trip (10).

    We also learned that Beer Laos has some new versions; Hoppy, and White!

    5-mekong-boat-trip (11).
    A beer or so later, and just in time to beat the curfew, we set off back to the pier to meet the rest of the group.

    5-mekong-boat-trip (12).
    6-pier-meeting-point.
    After splitting up for dinner, we ended up in mid-town for beverages.Scotty and I opted for Mexican at the Bamboo Restaurant, and it was damned good.

    7-mid-town-chiang-khong-pub.
    Breakfast at Namkhong Riverside: glorious views at 7am

    9-route-1120 (4). 9-route-1120 (5).
    Taking the Long Way Home
    : 1020/1021/1091/1120 etc to Phrae

    9-route-1120 (3).

    Water Lillies always catch my eye, its not a sight you'd ever see in New Zealand...

    9-route-1120 (1). 9-route-1120 (2).
    A ride out the delightful Route 1022
    - which takes you out to the Phu Phaya Pho viewpoint
    11-1022-phrae (1).

    11-1022-phrae (3).

    11-1022-phrae (2).

    Lunch at the Cholachart Restaurant.

    12-Cholachart Restaurant (1).
    12-Cholachart Restaurant (2). 12-Cholachart Restaurant (3). 12-Cholachart Restaurant (4). 12-Cholachart Restaurant (6).

    Not a bad spot and the Chicken Pad Thai was excellent....
    Map Location:

    Phrae Temples off Route 1022:

    Wat Pra That Cho Hae
    Regarded by locals as the 'main' temple of the city... Map location
    13-wat-pra-that-cho-hae(4). 13-wat-pra-that-cho-hae(2). 13-wat-pra-that-cho-hae(3). 13-wat-pra-that-cho-hae(1).

    The temple "artwork" is really gorgeous, with both internal columns and external reliefs carrying a similar motif and colour scheme.


    Wat Pra That Doi Leng
    Its elevation offers great views out over the city of Phrae - Map location
    - and of the 1022 as it heads into the hills


    10-wat-ptr-that-doi-leng (2). 10-wat-ptr-that-doi-leng (3). 10-wat-ptr-that-doi-leng (4). 10-wat-ptr-that-doi-leng (5). 10-wat-ptr-that-doi-leng (8).

    Note: all images in this trip report were taken with a triple-camera Xiaomi Mi 8 smartphone using standard camera settings. Zero image editing was done before posting the photographs... the Mi 8 is noted for its excellent imagery in low light conditions, something which did not escape the attention of DavidFL 5555 He even "borrowed" it a couple of times...
     

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  2. scotty007

    scotty007 Ol'Timer

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    Great write up Kiwi Cruiser - Was indeed a good couple of nights and a great turnout for the monthly GT-Rider dinner!
     
  3. blackb15

    blackb15 Ol'Timer

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    Look great. I enjoyed the View for food with David as well, the cruise 2 countries 1 afternoon
    Safe riding
     
  4. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    Glad you enjoyed your trip & GTR dinner.

    The Cafe Amazon's are starting to get special now aren't they.

    1-amazon-sth-of-phayao-.

    exactly where the hell was this one
     
  5. Kiwi Cruiser

    Kiwi Cruiser Ben Kemp
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    The Amazon, the Elephant & the Panther...


    Here's a little secret... I could not remember exactly where it was - other than that it was not very far south of Phayao. However, that tricky Xiaomi Mi 8 phone records that kind of data too...

    I finally figured out a couple of weeks ago that I could connect my phone to my Google Photos account, and all images are immediately sucked up into the "cloud" even when roaming - over 3 or 4G and via WiFi which is pretty neat. And of course, Google Photos is accessible from your desktop and laptop too, making access to photos both secure and distributed.

    Which means that to answer your question, I just found that photo in Google Photos on my desktop computer, clicked on it, and then clicked the "Info" icon...

    photo+gps-data.

    All of which is pretty amazing...
     
  6. Moto-Rex

    Moto-Rex Moderator

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    Great report Kiwi Cruiser.
    Its was nice to meet up with yourself, scotty007 and his family in Phayao for a feed and beer by the lake. I particularly enjoyed the one 'fish less' dish that was ordered. Watching the sunset over lake Phayao with a cool drink and some spicy tucker is hard to beat.

    Moto-Rex
     
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