Chiang Mai to Issan

Discussion in 'North-East Thailand - General Discussion Forum' started by tonykiwi, Jan 8, 2009.

  1. If I want to visit Issan during my trip I am not sure of the best way to do this. I guess it depends on the route and whether it is worth while to ride.

    So, do I hire a bike in Chiang Mai and ride to Issan, or do I take a bus to maybe Kohn Kaen and hire from there.

    the distance isn't an issue at all, and if there is good scenery and reasonable stop offs on the route. If the route is crap then mabe a bus is a better option. I would prefer to ride but wonder what the locals think.


  2. Hi Tony,

    I go once a year to visit family and my route from CNX is Lampang-Uttaradit-Phitsanoluk-Lom Sak-Khon Kaen

    The Phitsanoluk/Lom Sak area is spectacular (Petchabun N.P?) and well worth the ride. The only issue would be with the rental shop - some are not keen on their bikes travelling too far outside of the home province and in the case of our shop, we provide recovery services up to a 150km radius from CNX.


  3. Tonykiwi

    Welcome to Isaan and if you are planning to hire bike in KK,John will mostlikely reply to you shortly abt possibilities in KK.

    Driving from CNX to Isaan is fantastic ride and sceenery is ok as well.
    I did drive from Chiang Khong to Home 1067KM in 13.5hrs :?

    any how, if you are HW 23 from Ubon to Yasothon
    drop me a line and let's have a coffee or something.
  4. Thank you gentlemen, your advice and encouragement is appreciated. Decision made


  5. Hi Tony, Just got back from 4 day trip, funnily enough, from Khon Kaen to Chiang Mai and back, so only just seen your post.
    Not sure if now too late to comment, but briefly just in case useful.
    Khon Kaen very poor for hire of big bikes, best you will find is a 200cc Phantom, but Captain Slash is doing many Km on his this year, so it can be done. Udon Thani has some bigger bikes available, maybe up to 600cc.

    The route already described to you has some great riding, the only bit I change to avoid 100km of straight dual carriageway between Uttaradit and Pitsanalok, is to take a diagonal SE from Uttaradit, to Chat Trakan, Nakhon Thai, dropping down to the 12 for a great scenic descent into Lomsak. Of course one could take the spectacula Phu Hin Ronkla route from Nakhon Thai to Lom Kao, Captn Slash has reported on this. It is quite demanding and will be a lot slower than the 12. I enjoy the ride between Khon Kaen and Chiang Mai, very varied scenery and generally very good, not too busy roads.
    This trip I came back by taking a couple more days and took in visits to Phayao, Nan and Loei. Some spectacular and almost deserted roads, which I will describe in a separate report.
    Hope your trip goes well and if you want to meet up anywhere within reach of Khon Kaen, or KK itself please drop me a message or post on this thread. Cheers, John
  6. Thanks John, no it is not too late. A few issues here in NZ mean I have had to delay the trip from February, but flights are booked now so, issues or no issues, I will be on my way in June.

    I appreciate your advice. I am not too worried about the size of the bike to be honest, I am more concerned on longer road journeys with the size of the seat as compared to the size of my butt. Having seen a family of four with a couple of dogs and a weeks shopping on a Honda wave, I am sure the Phantom would be just fine for me and my backpack.

    I would probably have preferred to motorcycle the journey down given the 'Slash' reports and other comments, but it looks like there may be a problem (Pikeys comments regarding rental bikes) which would preclude me from doing so. If this is the case, then I guess bus down and hire there would be the only way. If I need to hire in Isaan I will certainly call on your local knowledge, and whatever happens will let you know when I am coming. If you are around for a beer or catch up then that would be good.

    Thanks heaps

  7. Hi Tony, Will look forward to seeing you in June.
    I understand Pikey's comments, but you can be sure that someone in Chiang Mai will be willing to hire you a reasonable condition Phantom, especially if advance arrangements are made. It is as comfortable for touring as any machine of that capacity. As the Phantom has been widely sold in Thailand for many years, you will find shops in every town that can offer spares/repairs, of course who pays would be a matter of negotiation, but it is a very reliable machine.
    You may wish to contact the Captain for his comments, he will have gone back to the UK by then and maybe some arrangement is possible with his machine, depending if he is going to keep it for next year or not. Certainly he can comment on the comfort and luggage handling, and reliability etc. I have not seen anything negative from him on his reports

    By June it is much warmer of course than February, although the hottest weather has passed, and the showers have started, but it is going to be wet at times when you are riding, although probably heavy showers rather than prolongued rain, and often at the end of the day. You will not need any cold weather clothing, unlike February. However the rain does bring benefits, a greener landscape, much cleaner air, less dusty roads, and some beautiful views.
    Happy trip planning, Cheers, J
  8. Lek Bike rental in Udon ha some bigger bikes.. But, I would ride from Chaing Mai any number of great routes to take. June you will need rain gear.

    If your goign ride straight from Chaing Mai to Khon Kean take the bus. But if you explore just a bit you can have a great time

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