Return to Nan & back to the future?

DavidFL

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Davidfl;251292 wrote:

Made it; & a very contented GT Rider
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Amazing Thailand - a memorial museum to the communists fighting the Thai goverment.

Get out there & enjoy it while you can riders. Life here is G-O-O-D!
The more you ride the better it gets.
:D :D :D :D

More info & translation from Ms Wipawee
The information on this poster is not really clear. Therefore, I searched more info from other websites and then extend some info in each paragraph on the poster. You can cut it shorter, or look for another part that may useful.

Revolution 1932
In 1935 the new army chief and defence minister, Plaek Phibun Songkram (1897–1964), known as Field Marshal Phibun, became prime minister and established a dictatorship. From 1933 to 1937 the number of military men doubled and the military budget increased dramatically. The army became a vector of industrialisation. In the name of nationalism it invested in agriculture and transport and took control of Chinese enterprises. A new law on nationality in 1939 forced minorities to “become” Thais by learning the language, changing their family names and sending their children to Thai schools. The regime of Phibun imposed a martial law more severe than Siam had ever known in order to assimilate non-ethnic Thais into this nationalistic vision. A new alliance was established between sectors of the traditional bourgeoisie (including Sino-Thais), the administration and the military. But, under Phibun, some campaigned for the “superiority” of the “Thai race” and racist campaigns were directed against minorities.

Communist Party of Thailand's beginnings, 1940–1972

At the onset of World War II, Thailand, under the authority of General Phibun, allied itself with Japan, embracing much of Japan’s fascistic ideology. In 1941 Japanese troops invaded the country under the pretense of fighting British and French armies on the Thai borders. The Thai government declared war on the Allied powers while joining the Axis, but Japanese forces quickly took on the role of conquerors, alienating the Thai population. Two resistance movements organised against the Japanese occupation: the Volunteer Organisation for Armed Opposition to Japan created by the newly reestablished CPT and the underground Seri Thai (Free Thai) network.

As armed struggle was no longer on the agenda, the CPT dissolved its military forces. Then, instead of organising peasants in the countryside, the CPT called back its members to Bangkok, which shows how much it remained an urban party. Leaders and militants of the party returned from China, including Udom Srisuwan, who became a well-known editorialist of the CPT and its primary theorist. During the years following the war the influence of revolutionary ideas began to find its place among students such as Jit Phumisak (1930–66), whose essays and poems impressed many generations of militants and who was eventually killed by police. The underground, episodic CPT newspaper, Mahachon (the Masses), became a weekly publication. The party reestablished itself in the capital and started the Bangkok Labor Federation as well as unions, associations for women and youth and associations of school and university students. The CPT became politically involved at the parliamentary level when parliament member Prasert Sapsunthon publicly declared his affiliation.

From 1950 Bangkok aligned itself with the United States and became the first country in Asia to offer troops and material to the United Nations in Korea. In return, Washington offered massive military assistance to the Thai regime. Thus, the geopolitical situation of Thailand changed dramatically. In the past, Siam, as a buffer between French and British colonies, remained at the margins of regional conflicts and avoided colonial conquest. This time, the kingdom was on the front lines, in the direct service of imperialist military strategy. The anti-communist and anti-Chinese repression worsened and arrests increased. The democratic movements and the left were muzzled. Pridi Banomyong returned to exile, this time permanently

The movement toward rural armed struggle was difficult for the Thai party to make, as it necessitated a radical reorganisation of party forces that were culturally and sociologically removed from the peasantry. The prestige and influence of Chinese Maoism helped move the CPT toward rural struggle, but the evolution of Thailand’s political scenery itself played a significant role. From the mid–1940s to the end of the 1970s, the country had only three democratic interludes of three years each punctuating three decades of military rule. There were 18 coups d’état under one reign of King Bhumibol, Rama IX, who ascended the throne in 1946.

The CPT held its second congress in early 1952 and was officially named the Communist Party of Thailand. It was only during this period, the early 1950s, that the Chinese Communist Party of Thailand (CCPT) was formally dissolved. According to some estimates, this organisation had about 4000 members and the CPT only 200. Some militants went back to China and others joined the Thai party. This integration reinforced the “Chinese” influence on the direction of the organisation. The congress also endorsed the “rural turn” of the CPT, without giving up the development of its urban activities. In particular, it mobilised forces to participate in the worldwide peace movement, an issue important to Thailand.

On October 6, 1976 police, military and anti-left wing paramilitary forces assembled at the gates of Thammasat University and opened fire on protesters in a massacre. There were hundreds of deaths and thousands of arrests; the televised images of the massacre shook the entire country. Just three years after the removal of the dictator in 1973, the military took power again in October 1976, shortly after the massacre. For many, it destroyed hope for Thailand’s democratic evolution.

Still, this was not the end of the left. By the thousands, in order to avoid arrest or death, to pursue their struggle and obsessed by the desire to avenge friends massacred at Thammasat, students joined the guerilla forces, along with workers and peasants. The People’s Liberation Army of Thailand (PLAT) increased its forces dramatically. In the beginning of 1979, at its peak, it had 12,000 to 14,000 soldiers according to government estimates; according to other estimates, there were 20,000. Guerilla zones existed in more than 40 provinces and the CPT had influence in thousands of villages with a total population of more than 3 million.

The mass arrival of young urban folks in the guerilla camps caused many logistical problems. The integration of students educated into the urban democratic fight within more traditional village communities was difficult. A few months after the coup d’état of October 6, 1976, the first conflict broke out within the camps in the southern province of Surat Thani; however, such conflicts remained localised. Still, the rallying to the CPT, to the PLAT and to the new United Front of prominent worker, peasant and student activists, and the growing propensity of the student movement for revolution, allowed for a considerable enlargement of the social base of the Thai communist movement.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Communist Party of Thailand - CPT was a Marxist-Leninist, Communist political party inThailand, active from 1942 until the 1990s. Initially known as Communist Party of Siam the party was founded officially on the 1st of December 1942, although communist activism in the country began as early as 1927. In the 1960s the CPT grew in membership and support and by the early 1970s was the second largest communist movement in mainland South-East Asia (afterVietnam). Even though the CPT suffered internal divisions, at its political peak the party effectively acted as a state within the state. Its rural support is estimated to have been at least four million people; its military support consisted of 10-14,000 armed fighters. Its influence was concentrated to the North-Eastern, Northern and Southern regions of Thailand.
However, following a series of internal party disputes, changes in international communist alliances, successful counter-insurgency policies of the Thai government and, ultimately, the end of the Cold War, the party disappeared from the political scene in the early 1990s.
1940s - 1950s: Founding of the Party
During its initial phase of existence, the Communist Party of Siam remained a small party. It was mainly based amongst intellectuals in Bangkok and the services. By early 1948, British intelligence sources deemed reports that the party would have had 3000 members nationwide as 'exaggerated'. The party enjoyed a brief period of legality from 1946 to 1948. The secret party headquarters were located in a wooden building at Si Phraya Road, Bangkok.


For more interesting info pls consult
http://links.org.au/node/1247
 

blackb15

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Oct 11, 2009
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Dave

Just refreshing my memory from your trip postings. I enjoyed my last trip to Nan and the roads last year. I am back in November this year and planning ahead but not sure which way I will be heading from CM

Hope to meet up again

Safe riding

Paul
 

CBR250

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This is great thanks. Am adding two days of the Nan ride to my tour of the North in October.

Cheers. :D
 

oldbloke

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An old leftie like me is always gunna be a sucker for a place like this... I'll be heading up that way when I get over there, Oct/Nov... might see you guys along the way!!
 

DavidFL

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17th FEb 2012
Wat Phumin in Nan

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is under going renovation, & maybe disappointing for some whilst this is going on.

The Nan Tourist info centre, opposite Wat Phumin is one of the best set ups I have seen in North Thailand.

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The official tourist office

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At the Tourist Info Centre Nan Coffee has some good coffee

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Miss Jit is the stunning "Coffee Vendor."

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DavidFL

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17th Feb 2012
I hung out in Nan for another night as supposedly there was to be a night of classical Thai dancing in the grounds of the Nan Museum, but sadly they were only setting up & the big night was the 18th, too late for for me with Chiang Mai ToyRide the next morning.

I did however manage a couple of night time temple shots

Wat Chang Kham

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Wat Hua Khuang

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Plus Miss Emmy performing at the Nan Riverside Pub

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And Wat Ming Muang at dusk

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also at dusk, Wat Khu Kham

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DavidFL

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Just in from an over-nighter (2 nights) in Nan & looking to dump a few pix.
The air was exceptionally nice on my Nan rest day...

Wat Phumin

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Wat Phrathat Chang Kham

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Wat Hua Kuang

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Coffee Bike is a free wifi coffee bar at theShell gas station in the centre of town.

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GPS Waypoint:N18 46.729 E100 46.288.
Coffee Bike is biker owned & well known in the Thai biker comunity.
Check it out sometime.

En route back from Nan, I popped into the Huai Rong waterfall off R101 between Wiang Sa & Phrae.

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not the biggest waterfall in the world, & dry in hot season, but still a popular family picnic spot.

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GPS Waypoint: N18 26.523 E100 27.001
 

DavidFL

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Still picking up on all the Nan attractions.

Pua & it's Tai Lue temples.

The Tai Lue have one of the oldest recorded histories. The first Lue Kingdom was formed in Yunnan in 1180. Later in 1570 the then Kingdom was divided into 12 tax collection regions now known as Sip Song Panna. Of these 2 now comprise part of Laos and the other 10, part of today's China.
Tai Lue workers were brought to Thailand to help repopulate the region after the removal of the Burmese. Today they have a strong cultural presence in Nan Province.

Wat Ton Laeng

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the oldest Lue temple in Pua.

& a beauty of a Lue temple of it ever was.

The temple, also known as the Wat Ban Ton Laeng is an early 19th century temple in the Thai Lü style. It is a quiet place, seldom visited by foreign tourists.

The main building of this small temple serves both as a viharn and ubosot; its entrance is guarded by two colorful lion statues. The structure has small windows and very little exterior decoration.

Its most distinctive feature is the very unusual, three tiered, overlapping, hipped roof laid with wooden tiles.
Hipped roof and a very small gable

Whereas at the Lanna or Rattanakosin style temples the roof descends on only two sides which leaves room for a large usually heavily decorated gable, at the Wat Ton Laeng the lower two tiers of the roof are hipped; the roof descends on all four sides towards the walls, leaving no room for a gable. Only on the top tier the roof descends to the walls on just two sides, leaving space for a small gable, that is decorated with a colorful sun ray motive. The edges of the lower two tiers of the roof are decorated with triple Naga finials.

Inside the viharn banners woven from cotton hang down from the ceiling. Seated on a pedestal is a large golden Buddha image. The image in the Bhumisparsha mudra (“calling the Earth to witness”) is surrounded by a number of smaller images.

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Wat Nong Daeng in Chiang Klang, 15 kms away.

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built by Tai Lue & Phuan so the story goes.

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Wat Nong Daeng in Puea sub-district was constructed in 1787 by the Thai Lue and Thai Phuan people. The main Buddha image was cast by Khruba Sitthikan. The first renovation of the assembly hall was done in 1949 and again later in 1995. It was completed in 1996. Within the compound of the temple is a large shady terrace. The Chofa – gable finial decoration of a Buddhist temple’s roof – is engraved into the sculpture of Nok Hatsadiling (Hastilinga) – a mythical bird in the literature whose tip of the beak is an elephant’s trunk.
The Thai Lue people believe that it is a high-ranked animal from heaven. At the same time, the eaves boards are embellished with wooden fretwork, the unique ones of the Thai Lue people. The Buddha image is enshrined on the Chukkachi base – a masonry base of intertwined Nagas, called Naga Throne. It has been believed that the Naga is a symbol of gracefulness, goodness, and a protector of Buddhism. Wat Nong Daeng was granted the Award of Outstanding Performance in the category of Cultural Attraction in Northern Thailand in the 5th Thailand Tourism Awards 2004.
Under renovation yet again.

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DavidFL

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Pua.....Wat Prang & the "Ticklish Tree.""

Wat Prang

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Maybe not look much to most people, but Wat Prang is the home of the amazing ticklish tree

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stroke the tree trunk & the leaves will jingle - dance, as if ticklish.

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Hard to believe, but it is true & it does.

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not that you can see it in this photo above, but witness it I did.

A bit of info on the tree
Gardenia turgida Roxb. (Rubiaceae)
According to Wikipedia: Gardenia is a genus of flowering plants in the coffee family, Rubiaceae, native to the tropical and subtropical regions of Africa, southern Asia, Australasia and
They are evergreen shrubs and small trees growing to 1–15 metres (3.3–49.2 ft)

In India the tree can be used for medicinal purposes for snake bites
From a small tree - 5 g of fresh roots are crushed and mixed with 200ml of drinking water. Root paste along with water is given orally in twice a day.

It is the only one in Thailand, so they claim.
 

DavidFL

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Davidfl;213838 wrote:

Around 2.00 pm I headed north in search of the communist soldiers monument. I figured that I still had 4 1/2 hrs day light riding left for me to slip up to Huay Kon & perhaps track down the monument the same day. Easy eh?
Pua is only approx 60 kms north of Nan and a fast 40 minute ride on R1081.
Chiang Klang is another 16 kms north of Pua.
3 kms north of Chiang Klang a huge new blue highways dept sign indicated the turn off to the Pha Daeng battlefield.

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Above: Big new road sign with the local attractions, but no kms. So they are out there somewhere!

I could not believe my luck, this had to be it - I was almost there already. This was Route # 1291, a new one on me & it headed east straight up into the hills.

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Above: R1291 & 4017, 2 great biking roads to tackle.

What a road it is. Another exhilarating steep & winding Nan mountain road. After 15 kms R1291 for some reason becomes Route 4017 to run for another 22 kms way way up in the mountains.

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Above: R1291 thru the cabbage fields (must be Hmong hill tribes around somewhere?)

Eventually the road ran out in Maneepruek a Hmong village.

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Above: Downtown Maneepruek megatropolis.

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Above: Maneepruek super highway to nowhere.

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Above: End of the road, Thai style. But where's the monument & battlefield?

The GPS showed I was only 7 kms as the crow flies, from route 1081 on the Lao border / east side of Doi Phukha. But there was no battlefield or chedi that I could see. Perhaps Maneepruek was really a Fakawi tribal village, as they certainly knew nothing about a huge monument to fallen communist soldiers or where the battlefield was. You could only laugh about it, but I'd found a new spectacular road, had a great ride, got some nice pictures & so had a good rewarding time. But where was the huge monument nestled spectacularly on the mountain ridgeline?
Davidfl
Keep The Power On

Bump for Ian Yonok
Tham Pha Daeng, an old commie cave & camp

Tham Pha Daeng (ถ้ำผาแดง)
Tham Pha Daeng is located at Ban Mani Phruek, Mu 11, Ngop subdistrict.
It is a very beautiful cave and the longest one within the Doi Phu Kha National Park. Within the cave are stalactites and stalagmites with beauty, as well as, a large waterfall and brook.
In the past, Tham Pha Daeng was the refuge base of the Communist Party of Thailand.
The traces left inside the cave are beds of soldiers, beds of patients, some of which are still in good condition, secret holes to hide the weapons, pieces of food trays, and utensils.
To get there: Walk for 3 hours around the hills to admire the nature, plants and wildlife, as well as, the houses of the Hmong hilltribe amidst the nature at the centre of the valleys.
Now is that a 3 hour walk one way, or 3 hours return?
 

ianyonok

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Dec 9, 2008
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Thanks David,
That does look really interesting. It's noted on the list. Should go before rainy season kicks in properly.
 

siam garden

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Jan 10, 2015
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Davidfl;299254 wrote: Bump for Ian Yonok
Tham Pha Daeng, an old commie cave & camp

Now is that a 3 hour walk one way, or 3 hours return?
Hi. I go often to Mani Phruek, because I live in the area.
P { margin-bottom: 0.21cm; }A:link { } Mani Phruek caves (Mani Phruk)

There are several caves in the area of Mani Phruek (Mani Phruk), close to an hill tribe village. The most famous one, Tham Pha Phueng, is one of the most spectacular cave entrances, and the deepest cave of Thailand.

Tham Pha Phueng ถ้ำผาผึ้ง

The cave is close to Ban Mani Phruek 1 H'Mong village, and can be visited without being accompanied by a guide. The cave entrance is reached by a 5 minutes walk.

For the other caves (and for the battle field), you will need a local guide from the nearby Department of Forestry. It is a very nice off-road track, but easy to get "lost" :)

Tham Champi ถ้ำจําปี
This cave is 4.5 km. north-west of Ban Mani Phruek 1 and 400 metres lower in altitude.
There is a track from the village that can take you to about 1 km. from the cave.
Recommend getting a guide.
The cave is 400 metres long and well decorated, though it does also have a lot of bats.

Tham Ho Ying ถ้ำหอหญิง - Tham Ho Chai ถ้ำหอชาย
These caves are on Phu Hua Lan mountain, up the hill from Tham Champi. There are still landmines on Phu Hua Lan (there are warning signs) so stick to the footpaths and, preferably, have a local guide. Both caves are short (Tham Ho Ying is 100 metres long and Tham Ho Chai 30 metres long), but have some formations.

Tham Pha Daeng ถ้ำผาแดง
This is the well-known Communist base camp cave. It is about 9 km. north of Ban Mani Phruek 1 and can be accessed via the good track that goes along the ridge to the north-east of the village. As there are no signs once past the village a local guide is recommended.

Other caves:
Tham Phu Hua Lan ถ้ำภูหัวล้าน
Tham Nam Dan (Tham Nam Mudt) ถ้ำนํ้าดั้น(ถ้ำนํ้ามด)
Tham Nam Tok Nam Poen ถ้ำน้ำตกน้ำปิน
Tham Huai Poen ถ้ำห้วยปิน

http://www.thailandcaves.shepton.org.uk/deepest-caves
 

DavidFL

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DATE: Sat 22 - Tues 25th July 2006.

In the last few weeks having done 101, 1148 & 1091 into Nan I feel that R1091 is the best way to ride into Nan, & then take 1148 out. The difference is marginal, but for sure you will get a better ride and feeling arriving in Nan via 1091.

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Pix above: R1091 soars up into the mountains from Chiang Muan & Ban Luang.

Arrival time in Nan was 7.15 pm after checking out a few R1091 roads; & the tip is that Route 3030, north from Sanian (8 kms west of Nan) is good for a 16 kms side trip from Nan city to see some Yao hill tribe villages & lovely forest. Check it out sometime if you're hanging out in Nan looking for something to do.
Davidfl
Keep The Power On

Route 3030 features in today's news with a significant shoot out between police & drug dealers

Drug gang leader shot dead after bloody shootout in Nan

SECURITY personnel shot dead a suspected drug-trafficking gang leader and arrested one of his men in Nan province yesterday in an unfolding operation in which as many as 12 soldiers and police have been shot.
Three other gang members reportedly remain on the run.
Soldiers and police intensified their operation to nail down the members of this gang, after they shot the security personnel on Thursday night.
The most seriously wounded was Colonel Settapon Kettem, chief-of-staff of the 38th Army Circle.
Settapon was shot in the head and in the chest as he led a team of about 50 policemen and soldiers in searching several houses in Huai Labaoya, a largely tribal village in Muang district, on Thursday night.
At the time of the attack, his team had found more than 1,700 methamphetamine tablets in the possession of two villagers including the dead alleged drug-trafficking gang leader, Wen Kuan Chao. As the team left a house to go to another house, gunshots were fired and eight officials were wounded. Wen, 64, was also known as Sadam the Brutal.
More gunfire ensued as the team tried to evacuate the wounded. During the exchange of gunfight, three security personnel were shot.
After the team managed to leave Huai Labaoya on Thursday night, arrangements were made for Settapon to be airlifted from a local hospital to Phramongkutklao Hospital in Bangkok yesterday.
Following surgery, Settapon's condition was listed as stable yesterday but he remained in intensive care.
Yesterday morning, more than 100 police and soldiers searched a forest zone around the Huai Labaoya to try to track down the attackers and three more soldiers were wounded.
As of press time, just four victims were discharged from hospitals.
"We will check which villagers left Huai Labaoya during the attacks on security officials in a bid to bring the culprits to justice," Third Army Area deputy chief Maj-General Thana Jaruwat said yesterday.
Most Huai Labaoya residents are from the Yao and Mien tribes.
"The village sits amid a hilly forest. Many people here are said to have been involved in drug trafficking or smuggling," Tambon Sanian Administrative Organisation chairman Thirapon Wanwipusit said.
An informed source said only small-scale drug suspects lived in Huai Labaoya as bigger players usually hid in forest zones.
"They [the bigger players] get food and water from people living in the |village," the source said.
The source added that with such links, residents of Huai Labaoya had usually been uncooperative when authorities came to seek information on drug suspects.
Thana said the authorities would from now on closely check Huai Labaoya to determine which |resident had abused or trafficked illicit drugs.


Source: The Nation Newspaper.

The village of Labaoya is at the end of the concrete road R3030.
 
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DavidFL

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DATE: Sat 22 - Tues 25th July 2006.

Back to Nan for yet another look & mega ride.....

THE WEATHER: Warm - hot 'n very humid, overcast but dry.
Perfect riding conditions yet again.

View attachment 79506

THE WAY

DAY 1: Chiang Mai - Mae Kachan - Wang Nua - Phayao - Dok Kham Thai - Chiang Muan - Nan.
Routes: 118 -120 -1- 1021 -1251 -1091

DAY 2: Nan -Tha Wang Pha - Pua - Chiang Klang -Maneepruek - Pua.
Routes: 1081 -1291 -4017 - 1081

DAY 3: Pua -Chiang Klang -Thung Chang - Huay Kon -Pua - Tha Wang Pha - Doi Tiew - Chiang Kham - Thoeng - Chiang Rai.
Routes: 1081 - 1148 - 1082 - 1021

DAY 4: Chiang Rai - Chiang Mai.
Route: 118

View attachment 79507
Above: Nice weather near Pua.

The weather had sucked for the last week, but with a nice break from the rain apparent I was ready for a ride & Nan it had to be.......

WHY
A few months ago I read an article in the Bangkok Post or Nation newspaper about a huge new monument (chedi) that had been built in honour on the CPT (Communist Party of Thailand) soldiers killed fighting the govt troops out near Huay Kon north of Nan.
The photo of the chedi situated on the mountain ridgeline was spectacular, but the fact that the monument was erected in honour of the dead CPT soldiers killed battling the Thai govt troops intrigued me. This got me even more, when I read that it was officially opened by the previous head of the Royal Thai army, General Surayud (one of the good guys) and it had been his father who was killed leading the commies fighters against the RTA. (Who said Thailand was not a great democracy?) I had to go and check it out to see if it was all for real. I figured I did not need much info, just the fact it was on a mountain up near Huay Kon where there was only one road, Route 1081 (one of North Thaiâ's great biking roads), and that would be enough to suss the place out.

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Above: A Hmong hunter on R1291. Loved the gun, but dont know about the accuracy.

THE TRIP DAY 1
As I prepared to leave Cnx City for Nan, the weather looked a bit wet & dicey so I decided to hedge my bets. Instead of heading to Nan the quick way via Lampang & Phrae (routes 11 & 101) I opted for Phayao first. Then from Phayao the options were open, & if it looked too wet towards the east & Nan I'd head north to Chiang Rai for the night & to Nan the next day, weather depending. If it was no good then it would be back to Cnx via Tha Ton & Fang. Having so many loops & options to do in North Thailand is one of the reasons it is such a brilliant place to ride and tour!

I got away from the super "on time" (normal for the ol GT Rider) at 1.00 pm. 53 kms out of Chiang Mai as I crossed over the mountain ridgeline on R118 my luck was in with glorious weather. R120 flashed past & I was in Phayao at 3.15 pm for a late lunch. If you have never done R120 from Mae Kachan - Wang Nua - Route 1, then you are missing another great sport bike road & ride in North Thailand. Check out the elevation profile below to get an idea how it crosses the mountains west to east.

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After a short time GPs-ing some of the minor sois in Phayao it was time to head east & onto Nan.
From Phayao then you head back south 3 1/5 kms down R1 & take a lefty (east) onto R1021 for Chun & Nan. After 10 kms down Route 1021 I opted for Route 1251, the Dok Kham Thai - Chiang Muan road. This is one that John Nash from Jonadda ghouse has been raving about for the least few months, and he's right too. The road surface on 1251 is perfect racetrack asphalt - smooth thick, with hardly a ripple and some superb sweeping swooping corners towards the Chiang Muan end. The scenery is generally nice forest, but for me a bit uninteresting & I reckon that R1021 / 1091 to Chiang Muan is a more interesting (villages & farmland) ride than 1251. But 1251 does have one awesome descent at the Chiang Muan end & it's worth doing at least once just for this. Check out the elevation profile for this little baby.

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When you first start the descent it is surprising because you are totally unaware that you are so high up compared to the land below.
From Chiang Muan then its up onto 1091 another superb sweeping swooping road with racetrack quality asphalt all the way into Nan. Check out the R1091 pics below.

In the last few weeks having done 101, 1148 & 1091 into Nan I feel that R1091 is the best way to ride into Nan, & then take 1148 out. The difference is marginal, but for sure you will get a better ride and feeling arriving in Nan via 1091.

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Pix above: R1091 soars up into the mountains from Chiang Muan & Ban Luang.

Arrival time in Nan was 7.15 pm after checking out a few R1091 roads; & the tip is that Route 3030, north from Sanian (8 kms west of Nan) is good for a 16 kms side trip from Nan city to see some Yao hill tribe villages & lovely forest. Check it out sometime if you're hanging out in Nan looking for something to do.

In Nan, the hotel was the Fah Tanin again & it's top value for money at 450 baht a night. I crashed out for a couple of hours, and later woke to drag myself downtown for dinner at the Poom3 & some of Toom's (Ex Da Darios) Italian food.
The food must have been alright because I managed to fire up & drag myself down to the Verachon Pub & Restaurant at 11.00 pm to discover Nan's number 1 adult nightspot. The place was packed, & really rocking with a good band. Twice before in Nan I had tried to find the Verachon, but without success. Now the tip is that it is in a dead end soi, riverside, downstream from the bridge and just past the Nan prison. So find the jail, & go straight onto the river & there you are. (The other # 1 nightspot in Nan is Channel X disco is you're are into delinquent teenagers & loud dance music. All right for some, but not oldies like me.)

THE TRIP DAY 2
Next day up at 8.00 am (super early) for me, check out of the hotel & cruise Nan for a few hours GPS-ing new sois & environs roads. Hint: there's a lot of interesting rural back roads suitable for cycling, west of R101, south of 1091, if you want to spend time dawdling around Nan city outskirts.

Around 2.00 pm I headed north in search of the communist soldiers monument. I figured that I still had 4 1/2 hrs day light riding left for me to slip up to Huay Kon & perhaps track down the monument the same day. Easy eh?
Pua is only approx 60 kms north of Nan and a fast 40 minute ride on R1081.
Chiang Klang is another 16 kms north of Pua.
3 kms north of Chiang Klang a huge new blue highways dept sign indicated the turn off to the Pha Daeng battlefield.

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Above: Big new road sign with the local attractions, but no kms. So they are out there somewhere!

I could not believe my luck, this had to be it - I was almost there already. This was Route # 1291, a new one on me & it headed east straight up into the hills.

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Above: R1291 & 4017, 2 great biking roads to tackle.

What a road it is. Another exhilarating steep & winding Nan mountain road. After 15 kms R1291 for some reason becomes Route 4017 to run for another 22 kms way way up in the mountains.

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Above: R1291 thru the cabbage fields (must be Hmong hill tribes around somewhere?)

Eventually the road ran out in Maneepruek a Hmong village.

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Above: Downtown Maneepruek megatropolis.

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Above:Maneepruek super highway to nowhere.

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Above: End of the road, Thai style. But where's the monument & battlefield?

The GPS showed I was only 7 kms as the crow flies, from route 1081 on the Lao border / east side of Doi Phukha. But there was no battlefield or chedi that I could see. Perhaps Maneepruek was really a Fakawi tribal village, as they certainly knew nothing about a huge monument to fallen communist soldiers or where the battlefield was. You could only laugh about it, but I'd found a new spectacular road, had a great ride, got some nice pictures & so had a good rewarding time. But where was the huge monument nestled spectacularly on the mountain ridgeline?

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Above: Pua rice padis with Doi Phukha in the background.

I backtracked to Pua for the night & checked into the Chomphu Phukha resort. If you've ever been thru Pua you've probably thought it's not much of a town - just a whistle stop for the buses, and you'd be right.

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Above: Downtown Pua, pretty exciting place eh?

There aint much in town, but there are 2 nice resorts, plus 1 cheap Charlie guesthouse. I use the Chomphu Phukha Resort @ 350 - 600 baht a night. The other resort is the Oob Kaew, costs a bit more & is further up the hill behind the Chomphu Phukha. The Chomphu Phukha wins every time because of the location, good restaurant & the beautiful Miss Ting (who should have quite a fan club amongst North Thailand bikers by now, she is so captivating, but un-catchable!)

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Now if you're doing any of the Doi Phukha loops, then my tip is to start / finish from Pua and not from Nan approx 60 kms away.
After a sumptuous steamed fish with lemon & a 1/4 of a bottle of whisky I realized I was still not going to make any impression on Miss Ting & retired to my room and Thai TV for the night. You cant win em all, but it's fun trying.

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Above: Pua excitement for the night!

THE TRIP DAY 3
I was on the road by 8.15 am the next morning after sampling the Chomphu Phukha brekky - tepid coffee, a cold kow pat moo, but a hot slice of dry toast. Again you can't win 'em all. The CP brekky does not yet rate in the Michelin guide, but there's nowhere else to really go!

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Above: Sign spotted in the local village shop in Maneepruek!

Route 1081 north of Pua gets better the further north you go, and eventually you cant really get roads more winding twisting swooping in North Thai. So R1081 north of Pua is one of the great rides of North Thailand.

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Above: If R1081 north of Huay Kon doesn't put a huge smile on your dial, something's wrong with you!

Huay Kon is approx 60 kms north of Chiang Klang & here at last I got some info at a military "passpoint".

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Above: A place (passpoint) to check in, promptly.

Yes there was indeed a monument to fallen communist soldiers, but it was yet another 40-50 kms further up the road, and supposedly up a steep 4-6 kms dirt sidetrack. Now to get this valuable info I had to first be quizzed exactly what I was doing in this neck of the woods. I did not think that I was that far out of the way, but they insisted I quickly dismount from bike, register my details (& half life history in Thailand), before they would answer my query about the monument. I also think we had a bit of a personality clash so the whole situation was a bit tense for the first 10-15 minutes. Eventually all was clear & I knew that I was on the right track. Now the hot tip they did give me was that the dirt track would be terribly greasy, & so impassable if it was wet. I had no chance on the heavy Africa Twin. I thanked him for their info & headed off as fast as I could.

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It was an enjoyable ride with magnificent panoramic views over the surrounding mountains and valleys. Then suddenly after 35 kms the cloud cover came in, blackened out the sky totally & poured with rain.

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Above: The rain eventually got me!

I stopped to put my waterproofs on, then changed my mind & thought lets get out of here. It would be a waste of time continuing Even if it stopped raining there was no sun to dry out any dirt tracks, so it would only be grease. I could only laugh yet again, but I'll be back after the wet season for another crack it.

At Huay Kon then I checked out the local border crossing to Laos & noted that there is not much going on.

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Above: Huay Kon border crossing to Laos. Not much going on here.

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At least the Huay Kon immigration sign advises you to complete a pax & crew list if you are leaving Thai with a vehicle!

I first came here 11 years ago, when word got out that the border was an international crossing, and indeed it was - but only on the Thai side & you could not get into Laos! Now after 11 years it is still the same & obvious that the Lao are not in any rush to open up the border to foreigners.

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The road out to the Huay Kon border crossing, not much traffic using this road. Check out the weeds growing in the middle of the road.

But on the Thai side you have to wonder about the huge signs promoting the border market & crossing to Laos - I think they jumped the gun a bit.

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It was a bit of a race back down into Pua, but what a ride it is on 1081 from Huay Kon. Basically from just north of Huay Kon you are at the source of the Nan river, and with the road generally following the river south you are just going downhill all the way. Check it out sometime - it's an extremely good ride!

Just out of Tha Wang Pha then I decided to check out another favourite road of mine, but one that I don't get on too often as it is just a side road up a big mountain.

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Above: R1082 is also another steep mountain road to check out in Nan province.

This is route 1082 & the Doi Tiew road. The views here are sensational and the climb really is as good as they get.

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Views on R1082, the Doi Tiew road.

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Riding the ridgeline on R1082.

The asphalt ends up in the village of Sop Khun, 37 kms from R1091. If you're on a road bike, then the only option is to turn around and come back out. But if you're on a dirt bike & a bit of a half decent trail rider, then there still is a link up from Sop Khun over to the next mountain Doi Phachi, & then onto either Ban Luang or Pong. Doi Phachi is also another old CPT HQs site, which is worth investigating & exploring sometime....

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Above: GPS Elevation profiles for the morning & lunch time rides - another hard day at the office.

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And if it all gets too much, then pamper yourself yourself with some "cosmatics" available at the Pua Shell gas station mini mart.

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Fleeing the scene (rain)on R1148, headed for Chiang Rai.

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Above: Scenery on Route 1148. Tha Wang Pha - Chiang Kham.

Davidfl
Keep The Power On


The asphalt ends up in the village of Sop Khun, 37 kms from R1091. If you're on a road bike, then the only option is to turn around and come back out. But if you're on a dirt bike & a bit of a half decent trail rider, then there still is a link up from Sop Khun over to the next mountain Doi Phachi, & then onto either Ban Luang or Pong. Doi Phachi is also another old CPT HQs site, which is worth investigating & exploring sometime​


From Sop Khun to Doi Phachi (Santisuk) there's a narrow trail that winds through the mountains.

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At the Doi Phachi end there is a small cemetery for the communists who died.
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Now if someone wants to go & check it out & write it up for GTR......you should also be careful walking around in the area because the local say that there are supposedly still a few land mines laying around from the war= take a guide if you want to go hiking!
 

Tarquin Ferrets

Active Member
Feb 4, 2019
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Fascinating stuff here all around. Wish I had it when I rode 1081 recently from Bo Klua to Chalerm Prakiat and back to Pua.
 

DavidFL

Administrator
Staff member
Jan 16, 2003
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