Kuala Lumpur - GT Ride 2010

Discussion in 'Touring Northern Thailand - Trip Reports Forum' started by rob7711, Jan 21, 2011.

  1. I have been researching and planning this ride for almost a year for my local riding group and finally this has come to
    pass. All this is made possible with the wealth of information gathered from this forum and the various tips provided by
    individuals here to whom I am thankful. This ride took place from 11/12/2010 to 23/12/2010 with 7 bikes travelling from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. There were 2 gtr1400, 4 er6f and a z1000 in our party and the following is the ride report.

    Day 1 : KL to Hua Hin(1287km)
    We all met up at Jejantas at midnite 10/12/2010 and after some brief introductions and pre-ride photos we were soon off on our ride with myself sweeping at the rear. The weather was good and we were dry all the way. We rode at moderate speed on the north-south highway and we were at Changlun around 5:30am. After a quick breakfast, bike insurance and changing RM to Bahts, we made our border crossing at Bukit Kayu Hitam (there was already a line at immigration) and soon we were riding our Thailand leg.

    We made Hua Hin around 8:30pm and after a bit of searching around we settled for a less than perfect motel to spend the nite (could not even remember the name of the motel). We were all tired out from the day's hard riding which for some in our group was their longest one day ride ever!

    Group pic before departure for this epic ride
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    Pic of night scene in Hua Hin
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    Day 2 : Hua Hin to Chiang Mai (916km)
    This was a "Ha!Ha!" day for me personally as I was almost an hour late on my wake up alarm (set the wrong time alarm on my phone ... rats!!) and after some frantic washing up and packing etc I sheepishly made my way to the bike park where the group was all ready to go! Sorry about that guys!

    We made our way out from Hua Hin and headed towards Cha'am riding through some nice beach front areas (lots of nice beach resorts here). This leg took us through Ratchaburi and after Nakhon Pathom we were on route 321, 3260, 329 before joining 32 heading towards Nakhon Sawan (to bypass the BKK traffic). We hit a bit of wet weather today after Nakhon Sawan and also some road resurfacing works at some stretches approaching Chiang Mai while riding in the night. After another long and exhausting day of hard riding we settled at Chang Hotel for the next 2 nights.

    Enroute to Chiang Mai
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    Day 3 : Chiang Mai Free n Easy
    Today was a rest day for the group and everyone had a free and easy day in Chiang Mai. The green chilis (er6f's) went for a bike tour and pilgrimage at a mountain top temple (to pray real hard for divine help in facing MHS challenge). Bro Jerry, Kelly and myself went for a tuk-tuk ride to outskirt long neck village and elephant sanctuary at Mae Taman. It was an enjoyable and relaxing day out and we had ourselves a splendid northern thai dinner at a fancy restaurant which had a very charming setting.

    Pic with a pretty lass at the long neck village
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    Elephant sanctuary at Maetaman
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    a disclaimer ..
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    Day 4 : Chiang Mai to Mae Hong Son (305km)
    Today is THE day where we will get to experience the famous MHS corners and everyone was all pumped up and excited. We made our way out of Chiang Mai (which is confusing for us first timers) and after several wrong turns found 108 and onwards to Doi Ithanon which is a national park and also The Highest Point In Siam.

    The ride up the mountain was exhilirating and cold too. The road conditions was very good and everyone had a warm-up for the MHS corners yet to come. Our temperature reading at the top of the mountain in bright sunshine was 17degC but with the strong winds blowing it felt more like 14degC! After the mandatory pics we made our way down the mountain to the by-pass road to Mae Chaem. During this journey through some really narrow, gnarly and twisty downhill route, we had our first crash of the ride. (Post Ride Comment : This particular stretch of road should be traversed very carefully)

    The Z1000 threw the rear wheel and slid under a crash barrier. Everyone's soaring enthusiasm was brought to the reality of these roads. Though the crash was not too serious but it was bad enough to curtail our bro's ride due to bike damage and body being bruised. Thanks to a lorry load of bypassing workers, the bike was extricated and retrieved (again evidence of the friendliness of the people of LOS). A long hospital check-up and x-ray at Mae Chaem Hospital determined that no broken ribs and internal injuries had occured and we were all relieved. Rider and bike had to head back to Chiang Mai for repairs to both bike and person. The rest of the group then proceeded to face MHS.

    Now these famous MHS corners are really something to experience. I just dont know how to relate this in words as the
    sensation of endless corners is just mind blowing. There were several very sharp dips with hairpin corners that were really something we wont ever see in Malaysia! If you can dream up a corner with any manner of elevation change included ... you will find it here at MHS! There were many heart stopping moments I can tell you and I am pleased to write here that all of us made it through and finally arrived at Mae Hong Son around 5:30pm. It was a triumphant feeling everybody had ... but little did the rest know that they had to undergo similar number of corners getting out of Mae Hong Son the next day ... Heheh!

    We stayed the night at Ngamta Hotel which is just next to the post office and there is a night market just a long the street.

    A mandatory pic ...
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    A little sign along the road fronting Post Office
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    Nothing beats a good foot massage under the stars ...
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  2. Day 5 : Mae Hong Son to Chiang Dao (295km)
    This morning after breakfast we made our way back to the Mae Hong Son gateway for some pics as well as stopping by the tourism centre for little souveniers ... certificates and stickers. Today is a repeat of yesterday .... endless mind blowing corner after corner and the road conditions were good. We stopped to visit the Fish Cave where this place has an underground river flowing thru it and in this river there is a specie of ikan kelah ( a river carp) that is blue in colour!

    In malaysia we can find the green and the red ikan kelah in Kenyir area but blue ones??? We made a lunch stop at Pai for some delicious food and some rest and continuing on to Mae Taeng and to Chiang Dao. After the mind numbing corners and excellent views we arrived at my selected designation for the night ... a jungle resort called The Nest II. I could see the disappointed look in bro Jerry when I told him that this place has NO air conditioning whatsoever and that we will have to also eat there at the resort. I am glad to report that despite his initial misplaced perception ... he left a fully satisfied customer!!! We had a fantastic traditional massage at a pavillon within the resort and it was something to remember ... it came with a herbal rub down. This was followed by a sumptous western dinner by Thai Tatler award winning kitchen. All this washed down with an excellent Thai wine all the way from Hua Hin (yes from Hua Hin) really made my day complete. This stop was pricey but I did enjoy the stay I must say.

    Pathway to the fish cave ..
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    The blue carps (ikan kelah) that is found here at fish cave ..
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    Checking out the views at Kiew Lom Viewpoint enroute
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    View of The Nest II resort at Chiang Dao
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    Nicely appointed and comfy room (pricey though)
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    Internet is available here ...
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    Good local wine from Hua Hin ..
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    Day 6 : Chiang Dao to Mae Sai (269km)
    After an excellent nite at The Nest II we departed for Mae Sai which is the northern most point of Thailand. On the way we visited Mae Fa Lung which is another hill resort that houses a palace and some beautiful gardens. The ride to Mae Sai took us through country roads and some gentle twisties and was very scenic. As it was a Thai public holiday, the place was full of local tourist and busy. We made Mae Sai by the afternoon and this town was also jam pack with local tourists making the crossing over to Tachilek (Myanmar) where there are apparently 2 casinos there. We checked into Wang Thong Hotel right next to the border check point and watched bus loads of tourists pouring in. The rest of the day was spent walking around the main street which later at night turned into a night market. We had a nice chinese dinner at a restaurant a few blocks from the hotel and spent the rest of the night sampling hawker fare along the main road. We decided against crossing over to Myanmar due to the need to surrender our passports which we were not too keen on doing.

    Mae Fa Lung ...
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    The northernmost milestone ... at Mae Sai
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    Day 7 : Mae Sai to Golden Triangle, Chiang Kong, Pu Chi Fa, Chiang Rai (292km)
    After breakfast we visited a lookout point on a hill which had a commanding view into Myanmar called Phratat Doi Wao. A giant scorpion was erected here with its claws and stinging tail aimed squarely at Myanmar to commemorate Thailand’s defeat of the invading burmese.

    We then headed to the fabled Golden Triangle which took us over some stretches of unpaved laterite roads that were under repair. We rode along the Mekong river and arrived at GT by late morning. The GT is the point that marks the boundaries of Myanmar, Laos and Thailand. After the mandatory pics and souvenirs our group split up with the green chilis making their return leg towards KL while bro jerry and I continued with our exploration of this region. I had a puncture here at GT due to some broken piece of hacksaw blade but we managed to get it fix at a local tire shop and proceeded towards Chiang Kong and Pu Chi Fa on route 1155. The route took us along the banks of the Mekong and through some stunning and scenic hills.

    The road was good and we had fun with some “mini MHS” corners along the way. We then headed towards Chiang Rai and checked into a nice hotel by late evening. We visited the night market and also had our dinner there in a food court accompanied by a live stage show.

    The scorpion at Phratat Doi Wao ...
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    At the GT ...
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    Along route 1155 ...
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  3. Day 8 : Chiang Rai to Sukhotai (492km)
    Today we headed towards the old city of Sukhotai via some B roads. We are now travelling along the lowlands where the
    general scene were rice paddys as far as the eye can see with the occassional hill or two. The temperature has crept up and the ride though still cool but not like it was in the past few days. Sukhotai wasn’t what we expected as it turned out to
    be a smallish city with not much going on in terms of sights and nightlife (or maybe I didn't research this city enough).

    We had a quick tour of the city on a motorcycle tuk-tuk which incidentally ran out of petrol midway thru and we had to be
    “rescued” by the operator’s wife on a kapcai with a can of petrol.

    This must be the "sexiest" public restroom in LOS ...
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    Day 9&10 : Sukhotai to Hua Hin (651km)
    Today was an all out fast and furious ride from departure to arrival and we made Hua Hin by mid afternoon making a point to navigate away from Bangkok city (which the green chilis had the opportunity to sample ... sorry guys I thought this was a universal truth that everyone knows to steer away from ... my bad for forgetting to remind you). We decided to make Hua Hin our RnR place on this leg and stayed 2 nights here at a inner city hotel that was not too bad (Baan Suksiri Hotel).

    Hua Hin is a beach side resort city but since this was peak season the beach front hotels (there are plenty of them stretching from Cha’am to Hua Hin) were very pricey and we decided to not sample them this trip round. We toured the city and surrounding sites on a hired tuk-tuk while visiting the excellent night market every day of our stay. We also visited a temple outside the city and also monkey hill which is a promontory that has a temple built at the top. It also has a lot of “less than shy” macaques that will not hesitate to rob you of anything they perceive as edible.
    The tourist crowd from Bangkok made this place feel very cosmopolitan and touristy and things are relatively more pricey
    here.

    Welcoming figurine ..
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    View from Monkey Hill ...
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    Night market fare ...
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    Day 11 : Hua Hin to Hat Yai (762km)
    Today was also another fast and furious ride as we had been on this route before. We hit a rainy stretch about 100km from Hat Yai and that help keep us cool. We made good time and arrived Hat Yai by late afternoon. We had dinner at a BBQ restaurant that was pretty noisy mainly because of the live band playing “dinner music” and the big crowd too. Hat Yai is well .. Hat Yai. So it was an early night for everyone.

    Day 12 : Hat Yai to Betong (275km)
    We decided to take this route to check it out for future rides. As it turns out, the roads here were pretty good and the
    route took us through Yala and some hilly sections before arriving in Betong. The only set back here is that there were
    numerous military check points the entire route and tourist traffic here is next to nil due to the instability in this region of Thailand. The ride was cool and shady and there was some scenic spots to highlight this route.

    Well Betong is "hometown" to us and it felt real good to be back ... familiar town, familiar places and of course our favorite massage place (next to the clock roundabout). We had torturously painful but excellent massage to ease away all
    the accumulated muscle soreness and I finally got to savor my favorite breakfast of freshly made yu teow (a kind of deep
    fried pastry) with kaya (caramel egg jam) and coffee (on a side street near the wet market).

    View outside of Betong ...
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    Day 13 : Betong to KL
    Well this was our final leg of our ride ... a familiar route which we have done numerous times. So it was a gentle pat on
    the tank of the fabulously performing GTR, a quick twist of the throttle and the rest of the journey was a blurr .....

    zoooooooommmmmmm!

    I congratulate each and every rider for having the guts and commitment to take on this challenging ride and completing it.
    Well done I say!!! We take away from this ride a deeper sense of brotherhood and a shared bond that only an epic and
    memorable ride can bestow upon each participant. You guys earned this acolade and the memories will remain for a very very long time ...

    Rob7711
     
  4. Rob7711
    Good report from a different perspective.
    I'm pleased you had a good time & found the info on GT Rider helpful.
    Thanks for taking the time to post it all up.
     
  5. Thanks David for your compliment. It was only with the helpful resources here in these forums and advise from yourself, Pikey and others that we were able to have a trouble free and enjoyable ride. All of us have never riden this far north in LoS before. It was confidence inspiring whenever I came across those sites that many before us have posted pics here in their RR and I would say "Hey I have seen this before and we are here in person now!" Those were "feel good" moments. All these and my trusty zumo660 guided us throughout our entire trip. Now after this trip I dare say we will be back for more and I hope to meet up with you. Cheers!
     
  6. nice reprot brothers...during in Chiangmai David is in Loas ..just meet shakter
     
  7. Hi Robert,
    Thats the way to go man! Hit the road.
    I ve heard this ride from Jerry, and both of you rode the GTr.... It sure rcoks man.
    Too bad the pictures dont show up now. You have toads in the freezer.
    cheers

    AA
     
  8. Yo AA! Long time no see no hear bro. I dunno what happened to my pics and why they have all turned into toads??? Must be something amiss with the hosting ... rats!! Still its good to hear from you bro. Regards to Dr TT too.
     

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