Chiang Mai-HuaySai-Chiang Khong-Nan-Chiang Mai


Feb 23, 2004
Day 1:

The three of us left Chiang Mai about 10AM for a blast thru to Chiang Khong, the start of a six day trip away from the hustle and bustle of Chiang Mai.

Bob was riding his TDM850 and Julian was on a rented Honda CB400 Super four, I was on my mechanically jinxed BMW R1100-GS.

The first part of the ride was fairly slow, with a stop at the Hot Springs at the last restaurant on the right for a coffee; this place seems to be the current favorite judging by the amount of tour buses out the front! Good coffee though! Then onto the mandatory stop at the Charoen Resort for lunch and some of their excellent cheesecake and more coffee. Then onto Chiang Rai, where we had a confusing 15 minutes navigating onto the 1233 and 1152 we made good time after this although the 1174 is a bit bumpy and narrow in places, arrived in Chiang Khong at 15:30, pretty average going really, but a lot of stops for Julian to have his nicotine fix!

In Chiang Khong we met up with Jimmy who arrived in his car, looking rather fresher than us!

We stayed at the Ban Rim Khong, with nice clean rooms, and a great view over the Mekong river into Laos, plus good safe motorbike parking.

A few afternoon Heinekens were in order, so down to the very friendly Rim Taling G.H. then up to the Bamboo G.H. for a Mexican dinner, we arrived a bit late as the Mexican food is made and prepared as ordered, so there was quite a few people in front of us, not too worry a few or more bottles of Beer Chang filled the time in! It was well worth the wait, the best Mexican food I have ever had! After this we checked out the ear splitting Madame Pub, with the androgynous singer and very expensive beers, then a few wind down beers at the Teepee bar.

Day 2:

A slow start to the day (Beer Chang Syndrome) as Jimmy would say. After lunch Jimmy, having decided to forgo the Laos experience, drove us up to Immigration, as we had decided not too take the bikes, a decision we later came to regret, and after having got our passports stamped and paid 20 baht each for the longboat, departed to Huay Sai.

The Immigration Officials in Huay Sai were extremely efficient and friendly, the only sour note was some English people whinging about the 1500 Baht visa costs!
We stayed in the Keo Oudomphone Hotel, not too bad, we were the only guests there, probably because of the location, about 1.5KMS from the main part of town.

At sunset we headed up to the Wang View, which sits on a small hill with a commanding view over the Mekhong River to Chiang Khong, and is also a great place for a few crates of Beer Lao, (this is definitely a superior beer to the Thai beers) and some snacks.

Day 3:

We were all a bit blurry the next day, so we walked around Huay Sai looking for the bank to change some Baht to Kip, when we eventually found the bank we changed two and a half thousand baht and got six hundred and sixty thousand kip, I reckon we should have changed a bit more so we could be millionaires! Took the rest of the day easy, and inevitably ended back up at the Wiang View, for some more sunset beers!

Day 4:

Back to Chiang Khong today after a leisurely lunch, with a far too early arrival at the Bamboo GH for some more of the excellent Mexican tucker, and of course a few Beer Changs while we gazed wistfully across at Laos.

Day 5:

Off to Nan today, we take the 1155, which has some great views and quite a few a Hill Tribe villages, this road is in good condition, but the grey surface rock always looks loose to me, so I take it fairly easy, then onto the 1021 and into the flats and through Chiang Kham, then up into the hills again and onto the holy grail of Northern Thailand’s roads, the 1148, nearly 100KMs of beautiful light grey smooth racing surface, no time to rest and enjoy the magnificent lime outcrops, as the corners flow on and on. We stop in Tha Wha Pha for lunch, then on down the 1080, which is very black and shiny and fairly narrow and can be quite busy, so you have to be careful!. In Nan we stay at the Deveraj Hotel which is right in the middle of town, and for dinner out to Da Darios, Italian food, and very good indeed!

Day 6:

Last day of trip and off to Chiang Mai, the best way to return is the 1091 to Chun, then the 1021 to Phayao, then across the 120 to Mae Kachan and then along the 118 into Doi Saket, and then a long boring flat drive back into Chiang Mai.


A great ride if you have the days to spare, all the roads are in excellent condition, with just a 2KM stretch on the 1091 which has probably been finished by now. GO FOR IT!