First trip report: CNX, Soppong, Chiang Rai, CNX. 2 up

Discussion in 'Touring Northern Thailand - Trip Reports Forum' started by Jade64, Jul 25, 2010.

  1. Hi everybody, this is Johannes from germany, so please be generous and excuse all the mistakes that i will make.

    after reading a lot on this board, i want to contribute my first trip report to northern thailand.
    We, that is my wife (farang) and me, were travelling on one Honda AX.
    The exact route was:
    CNX, Pai, Soppong, Pai, Kong Lom, Arunothai, Tha Ton, Chiang Rai (along the Nam Kok river), Mae Suai, CNX

    I will post some photos. unfortunately i had the wrong date in my camera, so the date in the lower right corner is wrong. our trip did take place in december 2009.

    The trip started in Chiang Mai and we speeded a little bit on the first leg, because we had heard about a hilltribe festival in Soppong, wich we wanted to visit. And i will not write anything about the CNX Soppong road, because it is part of the famous Mae Hong Son Loop, and everything has been written about that a hundred times +....
    We arrived at Soppong around early afternoon and heard, that the festival was still 2 days on. festival started every evening around sundown.
    That festival was really a unique experience for us, because there were except us 2, only 4 other farang tourists. and hundreds of colourful hilltribe people and a lot of Thai Yai.
    So it was their festival, and not touristy at all.
    The different hilltribes, mostly black Lahu, Lisu, and one more Lahu tribe, had built little houses, typical for their tribes.
    They had displayed their traditional food, that everyone could try:
    foodb.jpg

    Lahu food

    Also they had built their traditional houses on the festival ground, and they had traditional farm equipment to show. they demonstrated the use, but were happy that we gave it a try too:
    farm1h.jpg
    farm2i.jpg

    Both Black Lahu and Lisu did demonstrated a dance. They invited my wife to take part in one dance. Very cute!
    dance1g.jpg
    dance2d.jpg

    of course, they had some fun for (real!!) men as well
    zwille.jpg

    on the main stage of the festival was the usual karaoke dancing of girl-groups, performed by Thai Yai girls.
    hupfdohlen.jpg

    We stayed 2 nights in Soppong, Little Eden guesthouse. On one daytrip north to the burmesian border, the gearstick broke, but it was no problem for the locals to fix that
    gearq.jpg

    The mountains north of Soppong are really great!
    hills1.jpg

    our bike was a little old, suspension not working too good, with 2up. but it was quite reliable.
    bikevv.jpg

    some more nice hills
    hills2.jpg

    the next day took us back to Pai, wich we did not like at all. From Pai we took the gravel road to Kong Lom. this road was a bit boring.
    Coming in to Kong Lom, we found a guesthouse, that was really fantastic. Accomodation was average, but the open restaurant, overlooking a peaceful valley was absolutely great.
    kong1.jpg
    kong2.jpg
    kong3.jpg

    next day, we went through Piang Luang to the burmesian border, had a look at a small temple, and overlooked the burmesian armyposts, including some bamboo-fortified hills.
    burma1.jpg
    burma2.jpg

    went on to Arunothai, and high into the mountains. Seeing some pinetrees and vegetation, that we did not expect to see in tropical Thailand
    treese.jpg

    our journey went on to Tha Ton, where we left the tar roads and followed the river Nam Kok eastwards in the direction of Chiang Rai.
    There we found the Taiwanese owned Huay Khum Resort. Very pricy, but good location. Unfortunately with dutch families. it was 3 or 4 farang children there. very loud and very annoying around the resort restaurant.
    Down below our bungalow a Lahu village. Picturesque.
    kok1.jpg

    next day we went a little back to the main road and visited Ban Lorcha, an Akha hilltribe village just on the mainroad. Some say, it is too touristic, but we liked it, as they earn a little money with that, and are used to farang.
    From there we made a little offroad adventure from Khiu Sataa to Pha Kwang and then along the Nam Kok river all the way to Chiang Rai.
    Some part were too steep and a little muddy, so our bike was too weak to take both of us up the hill. It was the only time, my wife had to walk a bit.
    laufen.jpg

    there was even a little water crossing. it was very shallow.
    wateren.jpg

    although we were on the "mainroad", sometimes we decided to "give way"!
    pigsd.jpg

    in chiang rai, it happened to be the annual "Chiang Rai Food Festival", girlgroups dancing, and hundreds and hundreds of food stalls. Great experience for us!!!
    foodfestival.jpg

    next day, we saw a parade through Chiang Rai. We couldn´t find out what was the reason for that parade, but I personally liked those camouflage girls best!!
    camouflagey.jpg

    on our way back to Chiang Mai, we saw a Resort called Thad Luang Resort on the GT-Rider Map. A little west of Mae Suai.
    Wow, that is a peaceful location. direct on a little river. very very nice, and no other guests around.
    Highly recommended!!!

    thad1.jpg
    thad2.jpg
    thad3.jpg
    thad4.jpg

    and this is a happy motorbike driver, relaxing just 5 meters below our nice bungalow
    thad5.jpg

    as our back-parts were really really sore, we were happy to be back in Chiang Mai, and made our last little trip down from Doi Suthep to the Huay Tung Tao Reservoir.
    Happy end,
    huay.jpg

    Facit: No injuries, two minor breakdowns, lots of impressions. My best motorbike trip ever!! actually the first one with some offroad parts as well.

    Best wishes to all bikers in this forum.
     
  2. The photos look great!!

    The Thad Luang Resort looks nice and how much for that little villa?? Interesting concept by the river and at night, i guess you can hear the river flowing.......
     
  3. Hi Fir-chan

    actually you hear nothing else than the river. it is very loud, but monotone, so I could sleep very very good. For my wife it was not so nice, because she could not hear all the "gangsters sneaking around the house", because the water was so loud.....

    We had the most down Bungalow next to the water. The bungalows more up the hill are more quiet.

    We paid 1100 Baht for 2 persons, including breakfast.
    They even have a little website:
    http://www.khattiyasurin.com/chaemmuang ... index.html

    And because it was so nice, we extended our stay to 2 nights. a very good spot to relax and read a good book. but it is a very lonely location. absolutely nothing around.
     
  4. Hi Jade64,

    Thank you for the information. When i do get there and the chance permits.... i might take up this offer to stay at this Resort.

    Nice!
     
  5. Jade64
    Welcome & thanks for the trip report, especially the report on Taad Luang Resort. When I surveyed the map I thought that was a beautiful place & somewhat unique. I now need to go back there & spend a night.
     
  6. Hi Johannes,

    I know it isn't much of a compliment, from an Aussie who speaks one language badly, to a European who probably speaks 5 well, but your English is better than most of the Germans I work with who have been living in Australia for 20 years :D ...

    Thanks for taking the time to write up your report...

    Great to see you taking such an adventurous route, and glad that you got to see those festivals, Thai style...

    Cheers,
    Daewoo
     

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