Phayao - Chiang Mai: The Long Way Home - 120 1035 1252 118

Discussion in 'Touring Northern Thailand - Trip Reports Forum' started by Kiwi Cruiser, Jan 6, 2008.

  1. Man, it gets chilly in Phayao! Leaving town in the 9am fog and rumbling up 120, my nipples were so hard they'd nearly pierced the lining and the outer fabric on my new heavy-duty denim jacket by the time I got up into the sun! I love 120, its a truly excellent piece of road - so much so that I've still not managed to stop and take a photo on it, in the 3 times I've been over and back in the past few weeks! :roll: Yes, its THAT good!

    Got gas at Wang Nua (91 only) and decided to inspect 1035 - my recommendation is to only do that if you are on your way to somewhere else, not for the intrinsic merits of the road... it has only one redeeming feature that I could see....
    The rest of it was either almost completely finished roadworks, half-completed roadworks, or newly commenced roadworks. That included several kilometres of shitty shingle, dust and construction equipment dodge'ms. Bored with that, and entranced by the sight of a lovely temple in the distant right, at the base of a hill, I examined my dodgy map and it lied to me yet again - where I turned off, allegedly onto 1252, the road soon veered steadily AWAY from the beautiful temple in the distance... at the base of the hills in this photo.
    But hey, I'm happy coz the sun's shining, the birds are singing - although what with the earplugs, and big-assed noise the Vulcan makes, I sure cain't hear them... :lol:
    The highway runs through a little gorge with some nice scenic views.
    Across a small valley, and then off into the mountains. This is a very cool road. I've definitely decided the 1035 was an excellent choice this morning, simply as a means of getting to 1252 from Wang Nua! :)
    There's a bit of a problem for the roading engineers here!
    Overall, the road is in pretty good shape though. There are few potholes, the occasional patch of sand, and on the uphill from the Chae Hom side, there's a few places where the ground-cover has almost encroached to the yellow line on some corners. The biggest hazard in several shady places throughout the road is that the surface is pretty smooth - and there are a few places where a spring is weeping out across the road - meaning its slicker than snot on a doorknob on those bits! I LOVE these little villages in the middle of nowhere!
    I liked the pretentious entrance to this place as well :lol:
    In many of the villages through here, there are lots of COFFEE BEANS spread out to dry in the sun. I had no idea WHAT sort of 'nuts' they were, but a helpful reader of this post enlightened me... :lol:

    As always, you can count on a temple to brighten up the landscape.
    All things considered, this is a lovely 50+ km route and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I had intended to turn off onto the link to the 1317, but never saw any solid indicator as to which of the left turns might do that for me.

    MY map adds a delightful and sometimes bewildering element of uncertainty to MY expeditions... 8) I expect thats quite unlike the secret (wimpy) GPS maps that SOME guys have coz they're afeared of getting lost! I like getting lost and finding myself again - its the whole point! How else would you get that sense of challenge, and achievement? :roll:
  2. Silverhawk, thanks for the link to the previous post, appreciated and enjoyed. Thats actually a pretty 'close-to-CNX' loop for an entertaining days outing, and is exactly the environment I enjoy most - narrow, winding mountain pavement, no traffic and stunning surroundings. Being able to do a circuit without going over the same section twice is good...

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