R4018 The Phaya Phipak road

Discussion in 'Touring Northern Thailand - Trip Reports Forum' started by DavidFL, Feb 15, 2013.

  1. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    I first went up the Phaya Phipak road in 2004 with Silverhawk
    The asphalt only went as far as the forestry park on the top of the hill.

    Here's some pix of the road from 2004.

    All photos are on the west R1020 side.




    We never went any further because we did not like the look of the dirt descent on our 750/ 850 bikes; & Im glad I never started going down there with the Africa Twin (wimp that I am).

    more to come....
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  3. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    The Phaya Phipak road is not a long one - only 10 kms, but it is a one hell of a steep one.


    It's a lot longer & arguably as steep on the west R1020 side, but the road there is quite flowing & open, whereas the big dipper on the east R1155 side is a tight twisting one. And the first time you do it, it can be somewhat nerve racking.

    Here's a couple of pix with the Snail & Scotty007 from a few weeks ago.

    Thu Long Thang viewpoint, just over the ridge line on the east side.


    heading into the big dipper

    287651=15038-img_5663. 287651=15039-img_5665.

    The Snail (& he's definitely not a snail) having some fun.


    as he said he'd lose his licence for having fun like that in Oz, & that's why he rode his Ducati Hyper-motard from Oz (KL) to Chiang Mai for a weeks riding - to relax & enjoy riding on the road, where you can.
  4. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    But what is it about Phaya Phipak that makes it important / significant.....

    the mountain was once a communist bastion, from where communists harassed the men building route 1155 down below.
    It took several years & battles for the government to defeat the communists in the area & regain control of it.
    Phaya Phipak was very much part of that communist battle scene.

    Phu Long Tang in Khun Tan district is the latest highland tourist attraction in Chiang Rai. In Chinese, long means dragon while tang means a pond, as a local tale says that a dragon lived in the village pond. Located about 20km west of Phu Chi Fa, Phu Long Tang offers a panoramic view of both Phu Chi Fa and Pha Tang.

    It is home to the Hmong community, which began to fight alongside the communist party against the Thai government in 1967.
    ‘‘We fought for 15 years. Every day there were gunshots and explosions,’’ said a village headman Chaiyuth Anusornsil, who joined the rebels.
    The battle ended in 1982 when Their Majesties the King and the Queen, as well as HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn made a royal visit to Phu Long Tang.
    ‘‘When His Majesty the King visited us, he told us to protect the forest and also marked his footprint on a plaster plate as requested by Colonel Virot Thongmitr, the leader of the fighting army,’’ he said, adding there were two prints.
    One is exhibited in King Meng Rai Military Camp in Chiang Rai and the other one is kept at a house of Colonel Virot in Chiang Mai.
    The village headman, the mayor and even the chief of district office have asked for the footprints to be returned to the village, but have not been successful.
    ‘‘The footprint is related to the history here. Unfortunately, we have not received any good cooperation so we only have a picture of the footprint for display,’’ said the deputy mayor Wichan Phiwong.
    The village still preserves a sample of a cave and underground walkway as a memorial.
    The villagers today are farmers who grow Arabica coffee and roses while some families make an extra income by selling their embroidery cloth to the Royal Project..

    The royal sala atop Phaya Phipak

    Photo of HM footprints

    more to come...
  5. Lakota

    Lakota Ol'Timer

    I did the dirt section in a Pickup , must be 10-15 years ago. It was sign posted as the gateway to Puu chi faa and took me most of the day. if I recall it wasn't half as much fun as it is today. they must have carved out the big dipper for our pleasure :)
  6. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    In December 1970 the Thai army attempted to regain control of the mountain ranges along the border on what is now R1093 & between R1155 & R1020. The mountains were Doi Yao, & Doi Pha Mon.

    From Chiang Kai-Shek & the Drug Warlords of the Golden Triangle.

    " by December 12 they had taken two of the higher peaks of the Doi Pha Mon range, suffering causalities from small arms & mines. They then turned southward along Doi Yao's spine to link up with 274 troops of Col Shen Chia-en & a BPP heavy weapons platoon. That group captured a CPT headquarters, complete with basketball court, mess hall, rice mill, weapons repair facility, uniforms, a 50 metre long storage tunnel, and numerous documents. Reunited, the KMT 3rd army soldiers then occupied the Hmong village of Ban Phaya Phipak, on Doi Yao's western slope. Nearly 4 months later they were still there.

    Prime minister Thanom, during an early April 1971 visit to HQ 04, ordered the KMT 3rd army to turn over its Ban Phaya Phipak positions to Thai troops & move to the designated resettlement village of Pha Tang on Doi Pha Mon. ....Chen's soldiers left Phaya Phipak by truck on the night of April16-17, conducted a series of unproductive infantry sweeps en route & joined KMT Gen Mao-hsius' soldiers on Doi Pha Mon in late April.

    In March 1974 Ban Phaya Phipak was abandoned & its population transferred to the Ban Mae Aep resettlement village.

    In 1978 as new roads (R1155) penetrated deeper into remote KMW strong holds resistance stiffened. A major CPT target was the 107 kms in the valley (R1155) linking Doi Yao & Doi Pha Mon.

    Between Jan 78 & the roads (1155) October 79 completion, 300 troops from KMT Gen Tuan Hsi-wen's 5th army (from Mae Aep) dealt with more than 100 attacks & sabotage attempts against construction crews. After June 1979, for the final 45 kms, attacks became so intense that the RTA sent regular special forces to bolster the KMT troops."

    Two hills - 741 & 780 - overlooking the road required great effort to capture. Hill 741 took 2 weeks, 2 battles & supporting artillery & air strikes to capture. Further south the capture of hill 780 saw 21 dead on the government side. In total the army lost 53 killed & scores injured to capture just two hills.

    Not long after R4018, the Phaya Phipak road joins R1155, there is a memorial to the fallen soldiers - 8 kms south of the R4018 / 1155 junction.

    The view from Phaya Phipak / Thu Long Thang overlooks the scene of many battles for R1155.
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2016
  7. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Now for a ride on the big dipper - Brian Bkk is the lucky guy.






    enjoy the ride out there now.
    Those roads have been built with blood & guts & lives.
  8. brian_bkk

    brian_bkk Moderator Staff Member

    Nice report David.

    Love the history. thanks for the brilliant pic .
  9. scotty007

    scotty007 Ol'Timer

    Yes, another great Northern Thailand ride, very steep ups and downs, this was the first time on this road for me, but not the last!

    Great to be riding with the 2 David again:)
  10. Snail

    Snail Ol'Timer

    Bit of a snail pace reply here but yep....sooooo good to be back there riding and this particular ride was in great weather, and for a change, in no hurry. Really appreciate the roads and the freedom riding here, even more so doing it with mates
    Got some pics here when I remember how to post them lol
  11. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    I reckon that doing the Phaya Phipak road, then Phu Chi Fah & Doi Pha Tang as a loop from Chiang Khong is one of the best exhilarating rides you can do in a day in North Thailand.

    Here's a birds eye view of the terrain showing the way.


    The way & route I'd recommend
    R1020 - 4018 - 1155 - 1093 - 1155 - 1020.

    Check out these GTR trip reports for more info on the roads & attractions in the area









    & for a map check out the GT Rider Golden Triangle map, upper right hand side. GRids 1G-H to 5G-H.

    Enjoy it's one of he best day rides with spectacular views you can do in the North.
    Take your time & have a couple of nights in Chiang Khong.


  12. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Fixed the animated gif fly over above = it is now working.
    Check out the roads.
  13. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    4th January 2014....the big dipper road with my brother.








    Enjoy folks, it's THE big roller coaster road 'n ride, albeit a short one.
  14. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Confirmation of the big dipper's steepness, the one 18% sign

    you don't see many of these in Thailand.
    This sign you can see heading from west to east.

    Heading down towards the big dipper from the east


    The road heading west

    coming up out of the big dipper.
  15. Goran Phuket

    Goran Phuket Moderator Staff Member

    Oh dear...missed that 18% sign. In fact I don't think I ever seen such number anywhere else in Thailand.
  16. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    UPDATE June 2015

    Up on top of Phaya Phipak is the forest park & royal sala with the King's footprints.

    As you approach the royal sala on the left hand side there is a huge 'banyan" tree, that you can't miss, although I"d never previously paid much attention to it.

    However you need to check out this amazing tree.

    The story goes that it was planted in 2534 = 24 years ago / 1991 & incredible growth in an extremely short time. It's a freak & a one off.




    There is also a large cactus "tree" in another spot by the royal sala.


    Another reason to ride Phaya Phipak - the big dipper - & enjoy the countryside 'n history.
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2016
  17. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    A view of the Phaya Phipak road taken from Phu Chi Fa

  18. Goran Phuket

    Goran Phuket Moderator Staff Member

    [quote quote=256319]A view of the Phaya Phipak road taken from Phu Chi Fa IMG_8843. [/quote]

    Now that is an amazing shot !
  19. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    The big dipper & GTR on Destination Thailand TV
    • Like Like x 1
  20. blackb15

    blackb15 Ol'Timer

    I had just got back from riding in China so looking at places on the site I hadn't ridden before and I picked the Big Dipper .Well worth it I really enjoyed it.I was glad it was dry though.Had a great trip good night in Chiang Khong with superb views of the Mekong.
    GT map excellent as always.
    Safe riding
    • Like Like x 1
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 1, 2017

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