Golden Triangle - Doi Phuka loop

Apr 25, 2005
Hallo, this is my first attempt to write a trip report, english is not my native language, so please forgive me my stupid writing errors.

Places where I spend the night:
Chiang Mai - Chiang Rai - Chiang Khong - Chiang Kham - Nan - Nan - Chiang Mai
The trip was made on a Honda CB 750 rented at Mr. Mechanic.
And the date was a few days after new year, I think around the 7th january when I finally recoverd a little bit from the huge hangovers that come with the late night drinking I never can stay away from in Chiang Mai.

day 1:
The plan was to start early and head north using the 107. But because of the problem mentioned above ( I remember something about going to the Lucky for a last beer Chang and this turned into enough Chang's to keep me there till 5 am[:eek:)] ) the depature was delayed to somewhere around 1 pm. So we just took the 118 to Chiang Rai, to get away from the CM bars. The ride was pretty boring and only a quick stop was made at the cabbages and condoms restaurant to drink three soda's on this incredibly thirsty day.
In chiang Rai we checked in at Mae Kok Villa at 500 bath, and went out to get some food at the market, because I wasn't feeling very well I decided not to check out the bars in Jed Yod, so I now have a reason to go back to Chiang Rai

Day 2:
This day it was no problem to make an early start. We drove to Mae Chan on highway 1 and then took a left onto the 1089, next we made a right turn to Mae Salong, very nice mountian roads here and the weather was also very good so a perfect day for driving. From Doi Mae Salong we made our way to Doi Thung, with a quick stop at the Mae fah luang gardens and had many magnificent views along the way and from the temple on top of Doi Tung.

From Doi Tung we made our way to Mae Sai by the small road that runs next to the myanmar border, there is a new garden just before the first check point that has very nice views of Myanmar and Laos. There are three checkpoints along the 20 Km of road and they only checked the thai friends ID so no problems at all. And the road is also in good condition, so nothing special there.

From Mae Sai we went to Sop Ruak and made a mandatory stop at the Golden Triangle, but I was in a hury to go to Chiang Khong because I was hoping this was a town with some nice places to drink or at least a few beautiful ladies to look at serving the drinks!! But ofcourse I didn't find any nice places[:(], even finding a bite to eat was hard, so I just had a few Changs in the Tammila guesthouse where we stayed, and looked at the route for the next morning and went to sleep.


Day 3:
The next morning at breakfast in Tamilla the friendly owner told me that the road up to Phu Chi Fha was possible with the CB 750 so we decided to go and have a look. Whe took the road to Wiang Kaen, and then the smaller road from Pang Hat to Pha Tang and on to the turnoff to Phu Chi Fha. There was some dirtroad and also some roadworks in this section but nothing that the CB 750 could not handle. The picture is of one of the good pieces of the road, so you have to be a little bit carefull.
The walk up to the top of phu chi fha was hot and a little bit long and steep, but it was a nice view.

Because of the dirtroad and the walk up to Phu Chi Fha we didn't cover as much distance as I expected and had to stay a night at Chiang Kham, We stayed at the hotel in town for 180 bath, the resort a little bit out of town mentioned in de GT-rider book is closed. Again a boring night with noting to drink after 10pm so we got some bottles at the 7/11 and had some drinks in the room.

Day 4:
We left Chiang Kham and headed for Nan, the roads where nice and in good condition and to fill the day whe made a little side trip and made a right turn a little bit before Tha Wang Pha, on a nice road leading over some nice mountains, the trip is described in the GT-rider book but I don't have it with me and forgot the details, but is't a really nice road that stops somewhere in a village after 30km or so if I remember correctly.

When we reached Nan we checked into the nice Dhevaraj hotel. And after a shower I started the search for some food and more important somewhere to drink. We ended up in a nice place opposite the exit of the parking of the hotel. Ofcourse no luck for me and not many goodlooking ladies but at least the nice lady kept the place open as long as we ordered drinks. To proof I am a gentleman I walked to the 7/11 and got the boss/lady a few spy's so she had something to drink besides the leo that she didn't like. At 2am we decided it was time to stumble back to the hotel and the boss promised me she would have beer Chang the next day[:eek:)], don't like Leo that much.
By the way, didn't go to the Dhevaraj cofeeshop as there were signs saying you can't smoke!! Can't get the Chang down without some smokes!!

Day 5:
Ofcourse we overslept and missed the free breakfast buffet[xx(], just waited for the 59 bath lunch buffet witch wasn't bad.
The Doi Phuka loop with a little bit of a hangover. It's a really nice loop with some roadworks going on in the last section on the 1257 I think. Its really nice of the roadworkers that they make the road flat so you can pass when they see you approching, I don't ever see things like this in Belgium. Nothing special here, there is a 20 bath entry fee at the entry of the park and for once they didn't even try to get the 200 bath farang fee out of me, was plesantly suprised there.



Went straith back to the drinking place and had some nice food there, but only a few Changs this time because I knew it was a long way back to Chiang mai the next day, and I wanted to try the breakfast at the Dhevaraj[:I]

Day 6:
The breakfast wasn't bad, but not worth leaving the drinks aside the evening before[:D], but at least I tried it.
Went looking for the suspension bridge but didn't find it, started on the road to Prae, had a nice little race against a few guys in a new landcruiser but mind you the CB750 is a good bike but not made for this kind of thing going true the corners with two people on it, but atleast in the corners it was good enough to leave the landcruiser behind[}:)]. From Phrae the 1029 to Mae Rang, and on to Lampang and finally Chiang Mai.

So that's it, now I was just looking at the post from SilverhawkUSA about Mae Sot and somebody just has to tell me where to find nice places to drink with such dancers because I just can't seem to find them!! I have to admit I didn't search very hard because I didn't want my friend to get any bad idees about me, but in 12 weeks I'm coming back to do some riding in the area and would sure like some tips.[8D]
A few days after this trip I also made the mae hong son loop and all the way down to Mae Sot, but not to the bar shown in the other post, will try to write something about this too. Actually it will be the same stupid story about not having enough beers and girls, You guys are lucky I don't write anything about Belgium[:(], That would be a sad story[}:)].

Regards, Koen
May 20, 2005
Hey Keon,
your pictures brought back very happy memories for me. Last summer, I did around 5000Km on that red CB750 you rented from Mr mechanic. It was a good bike - everyone seemed to like the fact that it had an huge number '1' on the tailight.

Regards, Jim