Old Boys On Bikes 2019, Chiang Mai - Laos - Ko Chang & Back

Discussion in 'Laos Road Trip Reports' started by bigal, Oct 4, 2019.

  1. bigal

    bigal Ol'Timer

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    #1 bigal, Oct 4, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2019
    This years ride is a new experience for the 3 of us that are on it as for the first time ever we are including Laos.
    Not only will this be the first time to Laos on Bikes but it will be the very first time ever.
    Of course this leads to a request for input and information on the current situation crossing the border and the roads on the Thakhek Loop and all input most appreciated.
    Updates will be added as the plan develops and with luck I will add the actual trip report as we go along provided I don't make a right arse of trying to post it as I did for last years trip.

    Bikes

    The 2 chaps coming over from the UK will be on Honda CBX500's hired from Pops, we have taken bikes out of Thailand from Pops in the past and their paperwork has always been good.
    I will be on my Forza, yep I am taking a scooter although I should ask if this may lead to border crossing problems?

    Here is a map of the proposed route;

    old boys map_04 October 2019_06h57m54s_002_.
    And where we plan to be;

    Old Boys on bikes 2019


    • Monday, December 2, 2019
    • Tepin Barn Lek (7:45 am)
      1317,Saraphi,Chiang Mai,Thailand
    • Sausage King Garden (8:00 am)

    • Sausage King Garden (9:00 am)

    • Indiego Space Loei ? (5:00 pm)

      Close to 500 km cross country 8 hours or so. Too much?
    • Looks like an OK place, other suggestions welcome.

    • Tuesday, December 3, 2019
    • Indiego Space (9:00 am)

      Just over 200 km about 4 hours BUT have to get from Thailand to Laos. Could take 6-8 hours total maybe?
      Have heard this is not a good crossing.
    • Hotel Aaron Vientiane (6:00 pm)
      Have allocated 2 nights in Vientiane so can see a few sights. Can reduce if you don't fancy.
      Places of interest for me
      Cope visitors centre, Buddha Park, Patuxia (?at night), night market and more

    • Thursday, December 5, 2019
    • Hotel Aaron (8:00 am)

    • Kong Lor Cave Guesthouse (5:00 pm)

      315km on Laos roads including a chink of twisty stuff with the looks of the map. Google says 6 but I think allow 8 hours.

      Booked, can cancel before 4/12/19
      About 220 thb per room
      Small non aircon digs, good write up, very close to cave.

    • Friday, December 6, 2019
    • Kong Lor Cave Guesthouse (8:00 am)

    • Kong Lor Cave Boat Trip Landing (8:30 am)

    • Kong Lor Cave Boat Trip Landing (12:30 am)

      About 200km again on twists Laos roads, Google says 4 I say 6 hours ish? to next stop


    • View Theun Guesthouse (6:00 pm)

      Good write up, not on any booking site. ?Call

    • Saturday, December 7, 2019
    • View Theun Guesthouse (8:00 am)

      40km to cave say 1 hr


    • Tham Nang Ene (9:00 am)
      Laos
      cave, Saturday so may be very busy suggest allow 3 hours for cave trip and maybe an hour for farting around.
    • Tham Nang Ene (1:00 pm)
      Laos
      30 km to the border so should be there by 2 pm. Another 20 km once we get back to Thailand.
    • Fortune River View Hotel Nakhon Phanom (6:00 pm)

      Looks like a quality hotel, food and drink, pool and a view of the river. Just right after the days in Laos???


    • Sunday, December 8, 2019
    • Fortune River View Hotel Nakhon Phanom (9:00 am)

    • Thong Tarin Hotel (โรงแรมทองธารินทร์) Surin (4:00 pm)

      Down to Surin, 360 km about 6 hr.
      Booked, can cancel before 4/12/19
      The hotel here looks OK, just under 900 thb inc breakfast.

    • Monday, December 9, 2019
    • Thong Tarin Hotel (โรงแรมทองธารินทร์) (9:00 am)

    • K.P. Grand Hotel (โรงแรม เคพี แกรนด์ จันทบุรี) Chanthaburi (5:00 pm)

      360 km and 6 hours in the saddle gets us to this hotel. again not fixed but decent write up.
      Twin 1150 ฿ per room. Booked can cancel before 6/12/19

    • Tuesday, December 10, 2019
    • K.P. Grand Hotel (โรงแรม เคพี แกรนด์ จันทบุรี) (9:00 am)

    • Sangtawan Resort White Sands Ko Chang. (3:00 pm)

      Only 85 km but after the 1st 70 km we will have to take the ferry over to Ko Chang. Ferry Koh Chang Timetable for boats to & from Ao Thammachat We should arrive early afternoon and I have allowed 3 nights stay, is that too long?
      This resort is right in the beach
      Booked 6750 thb per bungalow for 3 nights, can cancel before 2/12/19
    • Friday, December 13, 2019
    • Sangtawan Resort White Sands Ko Chang. (10:00 am)
      Ko Chang, Trat 23170, Thailand
    • Charoensuk Grand Hotel, Kabin Buri, Prachin Buri, Thailand (5:00 pm)
      13.98330 , 101.76692
      Hotel not fixed although rooms are limited here. Price 1500 ฿.
      No reason to stay in this city other than 280 km includes ferry so maybe 7 hours.
      One of those just ride and see where we get?

    • Saturday, December 14, 2019
    • Charoensuk Grand Hotel, Kabin Buri, Prachin Buri, Thailand (9:00 am)

    • Pattarakarn Homestay Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Thailand (2:00 pm)

      155 km 3.5 hours
      Good reports.
      I have included Ayutthaya in case you fancy a look round some of the historic stuff, if you don't let me know and we just go further home, maybe we will be "touristy out" by then and had enough. Less than 1000 ฿ but not many rooms left.

    • Pattarakarn Homestay Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Thailand (9:00 am)

    • Sunday, December 15, 2019
    • Amarin Lagoon Hotel (โรงแรมอมรินทร์ลากูน) (4:00 pm)

      305 km via highways 32 and 1 to Nakhon Sawan or we could route via highway 11 and hope they have filled the potholes! Say 5 hours.

      This hotel is out of town, may have a choice of restaurants although only was open the last time I stayed (which was quite a while ago) about 1000 ฿

      or

      If you prefer we can stay in the city where Ian and I stayed last time the Topland Hotel & Convention Centre

      or

      route a totally different way staying in highway 1? Let me know your feelings.
    • Monday, December 16, 2019
    • Amarin Lagoon Hotel (โรงแรมอมรินทร์ลากูน) (10:00 am)

    • Tepin Barn Lek (4:00 pm)
      1317,Saraphi,Chiang Mai,Thailand
      340 km say 6 hours.
      Can drop bikes back same day or next morning.

    total distance: 1,441 miles 2319 km

    Created on Tripline. To see the full version, click here: Old Boys on bikes 2019

    Above its the link to the site I have this trip on in more detail. I will be updating I hope as the trip draws closer.

    Any suggestions for hotels etc appreciated.

    Comments and help on border crossings and bikes really really appreciated.

    Al
    Forgot to ask, 2 nights on guesthouses in the loop, anti malarial course or just lots of spray?
     
  2. bigal

    bigal Ol'Timer

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    Would appreciate a bit of help info on crossing into Laos. Where can I find info on Getting AGL Insurance on arrival in Laos. What insurance is required? The will be 3 bikes, 2 hired Honda 500's and me on the Forza. We plan using the Nong Khai friendship bridge in and Nakhon Phanom (T) / Tha Khek to come back into Thailand. Again hints tips advice really appreciated as this is our first time.
     
  3. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    #3 DavidFL, Oct 21, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2019
    Best to get the maximum 3rd party coverage you can get for a month.
    The AGL office is on the right hand immediately after you have cleared Lao customs.
    The FB1 can be problematic getting in, but the last I heard it was ok; or enter at night, after 8PM.
     
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  4. bigal

    bigal Ol'Timer

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    Thanks David, much appreciated. We are hoping a morning crossing will be ok but I am interested in the idea of an evening entry. Can you recall the cost for the insurance you mention?
    Once again info much appreciated thanks for passing it on.
     
  5. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    #5 DavidFL, Oct 21, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2019
    The insurance should only be a couple of hundred baht for a month.
    I think I used to pay about 1,800 baht for a year, when I was going frequently to Laos.

    AGL Laos: Allianz | Insurance, Allianz General Laos

    Laos Motorcycle Insurance
     
  6. bigal

    bigal Ol'Timer

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  7. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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  8. bigal

    bigal Ol'Timer

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    Less than a week now before the trip starts, a few route mods have been made, updates when close to leaving on those.
    Confess to being a little stumped by the TM2 and TM4 forms and the terminology they use. Would appreciate info on if it is better to fill these in before arival at the border or at the border? The TM4 uses terms like "master of conveyance" and owner of conveyance" what is that? who is riding and who owns the bike?
    Also any info on number of copies of stuff (including photocopies of passports if required) we should have with us each.
    Info much appreciated.
     
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  9. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    TM2 & TM4 are usually filled out at the border.
    At Chiang Khong the Thai immigration will fill out the forms for you for a 200 baht tip.
    Huay Kon & Chong Mek they also used to do it for you.
    But I think at all the others now you have to do it yourself.

    Go here for a bit more info on GTR
    Border Crossings

    The forms should be here to download
    IMMIGRATION FORMS DOWNLOAD CENTER | ASK ABOUT THAILAND

    I always take 4 copies of my passport & the bike rego book.

    Don't forget your Laos insurance - the maximum 3rd party you can get - when you enter Laos.!
     
  10. bigal

    bigal Ol'Timer

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    Thanks David, yes I have downloaded TM 2 & 4.
    Bike and Passport, copies (4) all pages?

    Cheers
    Al
     
  11. bigal

    bigal Ol'Timer

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    We set off tomorrow, pick up the bikes today. Thanks for the planning assistance.
    The route has been modified
    The link wont work just now so the map later.
    Reports as we go along.Old Boys on bikes 2019
     
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  12. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    Good luck. Have a safe fun trip & enjoy the beer Lao in the big bottles, it is so much better in the big bottles, than the export quality small bottles.
     
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  13. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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  14. bigal

    bigal Ol'Timer

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    Thank you David, will do.
     
  15. bigal

    bigal Ol'Timer

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    #15 bigal, Jan 26, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2020
    Update on the completed trip;



    A

    Old Blokes on Bikes 2019, Overview.
    The OBOB ride for 2019 as it does so often, emerged from snips of comments.
    The riders this year were 3, Francis and Ian plus I joined as it would have been rude not to.
    It took place December 2 until December 16 2019. Total distance: 1,508 miles
    A fuller trip report is here OBoB 2019 with maps and slide shows etc, there is a blog page as well with entries for individual days. My Blog

    Francis had read a post or 2 around the internet of "The Thakhek Loop" and both Ian and Francis though it would be nice to have a few days and nights chilling by the seaside as well.
    Worried that Pattaya would be fearful of a trio of bikers riding in we settled on Kho Chang as the beach resort for the trip.

    As the trip included border crossing from Thailand to Laos we needed to look where this can be done by aliens (foreigners) on motorcycles and what was required.
    The information and groundwork for that was done with the help of GT Rider an invaluable source of knowledge and experience for biking in and around South East Asia
    We also did a little checking on the state of the roads in Laos as the internet had out route including "mud tracks that 4 wheel drive vehicles were getting stuck in".
    For information we found this NOT to be the case.

    This is a trip report for all of the days, The ride is also recorded as a daily blog and you can get to that by going to the blog page.
    As this is the intro or summary, here is a slide show that gives you a bit of an idea of it all, you will find it on YouTube as well.
    .

    OBoB 2019 Day 1, Chiang Mai to Dan Sai.

    We set out from Tepin Baan Lek at about 08.20 am, The 2 guys on hired Honda 500's with me on my trusted Forza.
    Our first destination, the traditional start to an OBoB ride. Sausage King to stock up ready for the ride ahead.
    Our route was via Super highway 11 until, just below Uttaradit, we moved onto more rural roads for the rest of the days journey.
    We had out stops for fuel and more than a coffee or two.
    By 16.20 we were at our digs for the night, Banpaja resort, outside of Dan Sai in a lovely rural setting. With a lovely host.


    OBoB 2019 Day 2, Dan Sai to Nong Khai.

    Day 2 was a lovely ride to follow the Mekong and the Laos Thailand border to Nongkhai.
    An enjoyable ride although care is needed to make sure the trucks that don't care which side they are on the road are avoided.
    Rather good noodles for lunch right by the river.
    Our digs in Nongkhai was the White Inn, good spacious well equipped rooms, nice staff and although they don't do food there are bars, cafes and restaurants right across the road.

    OBoB 2019 Day 3, Nong Khai to Vientiane.

    Day 3 was a very short ride but we had to get into Laos a border crossing we had never done before.
    With tales of changing moods and rules on the taking of motorbikes across this point we just didn't know how it would go. It actually went pretty well but more of that later.
    First order of the day, breakfast. The Good Corner Restaurant was right across the road so we checked out and crossed for breakfast. They open at 8 am.
    A short ride and we were at the Thai border which was not very busy. We grabbed our documents and went to the Immigration kiosk. Quickly through there we went to the customs kiosk.
    The process went smoothly and I didn't need any of the many copies of documents I had ready, I didn't even need the green book translation certificate. A printer spewed out 2 copies of temporary export papers for the bike and I got back on the bike and rode to the check area just behind the kiosk.
    Don't get me wrong, just because it was smooth and I didn't need copy after copy of things this time it doesn't mean the next time they won't be needed!
    The chaps on hire bikes had to do a bit more than me crossing over to another customs office but soon enough the books and the bike numbers has been matched and we were ready to cross the bridge, after a call in the loo.
    The Laos side was a bit more chaotic and took a lot longer. Having said that it was easy enough and not stressful at all.
    First get the visa. Unfortunately all of the US$ I had had been stamped with a small red mark and there was no way they were accepting these. Thai baht to the (expensive) rescue.
    Then get the insurance, no problem there and over to customs.
    Laos customs had a machine for paying the fee and a nice official help show us what to do.
    The machine did not give change but you could go to a small office round the corner.with the receipt it generated and they would give you your change.
    There was only 1 customs desk open so the queue was pretty long and it took some time to get processed.
    Interestingly, having paid at the machine there is another small cash payment to be made here as well!
    I had left my helmet on the bike but it fell off, snapping the Go Pro off the mount.
    I didn't like the GoPro on the helmet anyway, too much wind resistance
    All done we rode into Laos proper and the short ride to out hotel.
    We checked in, showered and changed then went to eat and drink. We were in enough time to do the sightseeing originally scheduled for the day after after the food so we grabbed a tuk tuk and off we went.
    First stop Cope.
    Cope is an incredible place with a good display of the tragic situation with unexploded ordinance the people of Laos have had to endure and are still enduring as a result of the Vietnam war.
    They provide super support for the disabled and victims of this ongoing tragedy.
    To be honest I find what is portrayed horrific and I an rather disgusted at mans inhumanity to man and how little support is or has been given to the people that have been so tragically effected by unexploded ordnance.
    From there we went to see the Patuxay monument before calling into a decent bar / restaurant for dinner.


    OBoB 2019 Day 4, Vientiane to Kong Lo.

    We all met for breakfast in the hotel wish was more than adequate, I liked this small hotel and I liked the location even more.
    We set of out on highway 12 eastbound enjoying the ride and the first full ride in Laos. The road was quite reasonable and the traffic fairly light.
    Most driving we encountered was similar to Thai driving, generally considerate with just the occasional one that kept us on our toes.
    We turned unto highway 8, onto the loop as it is known.
    The road here was more variable with many sections suddenly changing from surfaced to un-surfaced plus, of course, some impressive potholes.
    We passed some lovely scenery on the way.
    We left highway 8 turning right down the rural road that took us to Kong Lo, a most enjoyable ride in the rural environment and wood surfaced bridges to traverse.
    A characteristic of the day was high winds, not only for the ride but throughout the day.

    We found the resort easily enough, a good place with a most helpful owner / operator in a wonderful location.
    Having checked in we decided to use the rest of the afternoon to do out planned trip into the cave (which meant we could set of on the ride the day after in the morning).
    We purchased boat entry tickets at the ticket office and walked to the river where we were allocated a boatman. He led us to the small long-tail boat just inside the cave. I have to confess the boat felt less than stable with a couple of largish blokes as passengers but off we went into the dark.
    The cave was as good as we hoped, even getting out and walking past the formation to meet the boat on the other side was fascinating.
    Arriving at the other side we were asked to get out of the boat and stretch our legs for 15 min so the boatman could get his nicotine fix.
    The ride on the boat back was quicker with the current and we shot the rapids (creative licence) s owe didn't end up walking round again.
    It was dark by the time we were back and time to shower and go for dinner. Most enjoyable. Then to the rooms for the evening.
    Shortly after the power failed and that was that until about 5 am when a generator kicked in. It is very dark in that area with no power, thank goodness mobile phones have flashlight settings now.

    OBoB 2019 Day 5, Kong Lo to Thakhek.

    The original plan was to visit the cave after breakfast this morning but as reported before we arrived yesterday in enough time to do the cave then.
    We woke to a really nice morning and met for a good breakfast before setting off to do the loop.
    All the reports we had read prior to the ride had the look as an unsurfaced muddy or dirty track, sometimes difficult route so we were just guessing where we would get to.
    Our plan was to look for accommodation around where highway 12 meets highway 1E.
    Our host told us that the tales of mud and dirt were way out of date and the road was all good now.
    He was right, what a fantastic ride.
    We went through some wonderful scenery on good roads. Very rural in places.
    This was a very very enjoyable ride and one I would love to do again.
    We arrived at one of the places we had considered for the overnight stop at lunch time, so we had lunch then decided to press on.
    Having seen a cave yesterday we had also decided that we would give the second cave visit on the original plan a miss as we were "all caved out". A good reason to go back is how I see it.
    We got to Thakhek before 3 pm and started to look for somewhere to stay, we opted for a night at the Hotel Riveria. A good choice for the night.
    Check in and showered we tried the hotel bar where each drink seem to be served by at least 2 people.
    Out for a stroll in the cool night air, we decided we would eat pizza by the river rather than stay in the night market even though the bouncy castle was a big draw.

    OBoB 2019 Day 6, Thakhek to Nakon Phanom.

    Another short border crossing ride planned as we didn't really know how far round the loop we would get the night before and this border crossing was another new one to me.
    The hotel did a decent enough breakfast with freshly cooked eggs and some wonderful fresh bread.
    We set of on the short ride to the border.
    At the junction with highway 13 we turned left where, having avoided the roadside gravel for the whole time in Laos (there is a lot of it), I strayed onto it.
    The back end swung round and before I could do anything about it the bike and I had done a slow speed slide onto our side.
    No serious damage although a Forza panel or 2 could do with replacing. My jeans and t shirt were undamaged transferring the minimum of road rash to my skin.
    Continuing on I also missed the road turn to the border crossing, one of those days I guess and had to double back where I met the chaps waiting with big grins on their faces at my errors.
    Leaving Laos was easy enough although as it was a Saturday we were charged the overtime fee of 1,000฿ by the cheerful official.
    The Thai side was less friendly maybe but there were no real problems.
    The official at the kiosk once he had put down his phone looked me up and down and said he needed to get his supervisor. He came over and told us to move the bikes in a firm emphatic manner.
    He sorted the paperwork, stamped the passports and we were on our way, back in Thailand.
    It wasn't long before we were at our hotel, via the hotel from the same group I had incorrectly set as the destination .
    We were too early to check in but they served a good coffee so we chilled riverside with our coffee until we could get into the rooms.

    OBoB 2019 Day 7, Nakhon Phanom to Surin.

    The hotel was busy overnight with some corporate party so at breakfast we had to eat in the restaurant opposite the buffet. Not that that bothered us.
    The route was pretty straightforward on H 212.
    Lunchtime was taken at Tesco Yasothon or more accurately at KFC. I was also able to get a new belt to replace the broken one. Than made me feel much better.
    We arrived at the hotel late afternoon. We had to negotiate the booking as there had been a slip up with the original one.
    A decent hotel with a beer garden option for food and drink. An option we took advantage of for dinner and a few drinks later in the evening.



    OBoB 2019 Day 8, Surin to Chanthaburi

    The day started with breakfast which was a little disappointing I thought, still enough to get us on the way.
    The route to Chanthaburi was very enjoyable, mostly rural with some good things to see on the way. We stopped for fuel at a PT station only to find a few hundred meters further the Google listed Shell station was in fact a PTT. We stopped there for coffee, wish Amazon gave loyalty stamps

    Further along we came to a Wat that I felt warranted a stop to get a picture or two.

    We saw a roadside food cafe and called in.
    We were the only customers so we asked if they were still doing food.
    Yes they were and a good lunch it turned out to be. Convenient with great views.
    The hotel was pretty central and there were handy shops close by.
    A decent place to stay and another place with a beer garden option for food and drink in the evening.
    The turn was a bit better in this one compared to the day before.
    Dinner and refreshments over it was time to retire.

    OBoB 2019 Day 9, Chanthaburi to Kho Chang

    The day started with breakfast at the hotel, not bad at all with a buffer section and an egg station.
    Plus a coffee machine for a decent cup or two in the morning.
    The ride to the ferry was pretty simple a good 2/3 on H3.
    By 10.30 we had out ferry tickets and were waiting to load.
    The boat wasn't that busy and the crossing enjoyable. The chaps enjoyed a magnum ice cream on the way purchased from the on board shop.
    Once at Kho Chang it was over the hills to White Sands beach and our digs for a couple of days.
    We had booked bungalows and were just a few metres from the beach, the resort has a beach side bar and restaurant.
    The beach itself is fantastic, great sand and lovely sea.
    In the evening a number of beach bars put on shows, specialising in fire show. Most enjoyable.

    We spent 3 most enjoyable days on Kho Chang, based at White Sands Beach.
    Kho Chang is my favourite coastal Thai resort.

    OBoB 2019 Day Kho Chang to Prachin Buri.

    After a most enjoyable few days relaxing on Kho Chang it was time to head back.
    Our last breakfast by the beach and of we went back to the ferry for an enjoyable event free trip across the water.
    The ride to our destination, a small resort in Prachin Buri was easy going using H3, H317 and H33.

    We arrived in the afternoon and found the resort did not offer food or drink other than the water in the room so we went for a wander and by 2.30 pm we had found a nice little coffee shop.
    It was coffee and nibbles then until dinner.
    In the evening we took another wander, crossing the railway and to a stadium where a 5 aside football tournament was underway. Close by we found a little noodle shop and that was dinner sorted.
    Our walk back was via a couple of markets before calling in the seven - eleven for beer and more nibbles.
    We went back to the resort and sat at what we took to be the restaurant area when it was operational and drank our beer.

    OBoB 2019 Day 13, Prachin Buri to Ayutthaya.

    A lovely morning as we set off on our easy ride to Ayutthaya with an early stop for fuel and a bite to eat as the last nights digs offered no food and nothing close was open. In fact we had to wake the resort staff up to hand the keys in...
    The ride was hassle free on H33 until we hit roadworks as we crossed 3014 junction. Shortly afterword the sat nav took us left down rural road 3012, most enjoyable. We crossed to the 3056 then found the road blocked, where to?
    The workmen pointed to a small road the other side of the klong so we took the detour.
    The route took us under H32 and we joint the city traffic to our digs for the night.
    It had been a short ride so even with check in, shower and change we were down for lunch by the pool. Chill time and then to the boat trip we had booked.
    The resort put us in the back of a pick up and took is to where the boat was waiting and we set off seeing Wats and the historic city before being dropped off at a market where we had to make out own way back.
    We elected to walk less than 2 km and close to our digs there were many bars and restaurants to chose from for dinner and a refreshing drink.
    We plumped for Chang House and rather enjoyed it.


    OBoB 2019 Day 14, Ayutthaya to Phitsanulok.

    The penultimate day of the ride tok us on H32 and H1 up to Nakhon Sawan where we elected to route via the city rather than the bypass. Lots of traffic lights and the occasional bike rider compliment to see.
    From there we took H117 a direct route to Phitsanulok again arriving pretty early at out hotel.
    The hotel has changes since we made the original booking and was now the Imperial Hotel and conference centre.

    Breakfast in the morning was offered with a 50% discount and decent enough. It comprised of a small buffet and cooked menu items that you ordered and were served at your table.
    Fed and watered we checked out, packed up and took a familiar route, H11 home to Chiang Mai.
    We did cut the corner at Lampang using the 1037 which made a nice break from the bigger road.
    Home we dropped the bags, returned the bikes and met up at Nine's Kitchen for a bite to eat.
     
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  16. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    Well done. that's quite a ride on the Forza.

    I'm intrigued that you had to pay 1,000 baht to exit Laos!!??
    Can you please reconfirm that you were asked & did pay 1,000 baht to exit Laos on a Saturday.
    They do have an official overtime fee of 20 or 40 baht I think it is, but 1,000 baht? No, that is a scam.
     
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  17. bigal

    bigal Ol'Timer

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    Hi David
    Yes we did have to pay 1,000฿. There was a sign on the kiosk.
    Also I had read it somewhere on the net prior to the trip so I sort once I recalled having read it I felt OK about it.
    Getting into Laos was a little more fiddly with the refusal of marked dollar notes at immigration and the ticket system at customs.

    The Forza has been great on all of my trips although it doesn't like off road and mud at all. First and only drop. a very slow slide turning left when I strayed onto the roadside gravel coming towards the border back to Thailand and the back swung round.
    About to change from the Forza, hope the new bike is as reliable and good overall.
     
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  18. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    Did you get any sort of receipt for the 1,000 baht?
    That is unbelievable for me.
     
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  19. bigal

    bigal Ol'Timer

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    I am pretty sure I did not get a receipt David.
    I think I saw signs, printed on paper at both the way in (Nong Khai Vientiane bridge) and the exit back (Thakhek Nakhon Phanom bridge) which is where I paid as it was Saturday.
     
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