Ride To Angkor Wat – Khmer Temple Trail – Chiang Mai To Siem Reap Loop

Discussion in 'Cambodia Motorcycle Trip Report Forums' started by ZCM, Apr 6, 2019.

  1. ZCM

    ZCM Ol'Timer

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    #1 ZCM, Apr 6, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2019
    sfasf.

    25th March – 3rd April 2019. 9 day trip. Hot Season.
    Well this is going to be a hard one to write about for sure, as so much happened in nine days, but will try.


    FULL ROUTE (google map links):
    Day 1 / Day 2 / Day 3 / (Day 4-5 -no map) /Day 6 / Day 7/ Day 8 / Day 9 (secret)
    (Accommodation links at end of report)


    Untitled-4n.

    The last (and only) time I visited Siem Reap and the Angkor Wat complex was eleven years ago. It had been on my wish list for some time to revisit the complex, and in recent years it was on my bucket list to do it on my bike. Ever since I was around seven years old I was fascinated by the ancient Khmer temple ruins after I watched a documentary on it. I said to myself at the time that I must visit there one day, so I smile when I think back to that little girl who looked at the tv documentary in wonder, only to have now visited it in a way I could never even of conceived of at the time!


    Day 1: Chiang Mai to Khao Koh, Via Sukhothai (Google Map Link)
    500+ km

    m1-1-1.

    Knowing that I had a lot of ground to cover, I set off early. So by approximately 5:30am I was on my bike and off. This was an additionally good idea because it was the hottest time of the year, with temperatures reaching as much as 40 degrees centigrade. So hitting the roads in the early hours made sense. It was also the test run of my new pannier brackets (and cheap soft panniers) <–I will make a separate post about this soon, so was keeping my fingers cross that all would work out ok with them. The initial ride was in the dark, but as the first part of the ride is main highway, I wasn’t missing out on much. By the time the sun was rising, I was already on the nicer B roads.

    Untitled-1.


    Nice mountain in Klang Dong area. Smog mask on!

    54798170_676206212794780_6634553239033348096_o.

    The route was nice, but smoky. Sadly at this time the forests are set on fire, creating toxic pollution and hazy air (read more about why this happens here: Chiang Mai on Fire, Why the North Burns)

    First stop: Sukhothai!

    54798684_2017502804964561_8413708523317231616_o.


    I reached Sukhothai Historical Park by just 10:30 am, but it was already heating up.

    s1.


    Sukhothai (meaning ‘dawn of happiness’) Historical Park is the site of the ancient Sukhothai Kingdom, which in the 13th and 14th centuries was under the domination of the Khmer Empire. A good starting point for my Cambodian trip.

    s2.

    Dirty already. Haha!

    Had a cool iced cappuccino and a nice ride around, before heading for Khao Koh.

    s3.

    Nice lady gave me some ice shavings to cool me down.


    The R12 to Khao Koh is well known as one of the best racing style roads in Thailand. I am not much of a racer on my 250cc, but the speed was consistent.

    However, suddenly a flash rain storm hit! Wow, it was heavy..and I got a nice big gobfull of dirty rain water, and it soaked me through..lol. At least it helped wash away the smog!


    Anyway, I still made good time and arrived in Khao Koh at around late lunchtime. So plenty of time to rest up.

    I stayed in my favorite resort in this area (Phu Fa Sai Resort) and in the exact same room as I always stay in.
    The normal price is 2000 baht (even in low season), but she discounted to 1500 for me.

    I love this room and the view:

    asffdafasfV.
    (this image from August 2016, when the view from this hotel was at its most beautiful. At this time the skies had a bit of smog)

    My plan was to ride the short distance to Wat Prasornkeaw (have a great trip report on this stunning temple HERE), to see the sunset at the temple, but to be honest, when I got to my room and had food in my stomach, all I wanted to do was sit quietly and watch the sun go down from my balcony. It was like my feet had been replaced by blocks of lead. It had been a long day riding and I was too relaxed and too peaceful to leave. So, the temple at sunset will be for another time instead.

    20190325_183929.

    Plus, ended up that I had a companion for a while anyway…



    Relive Route Tracker for Day 1: Relive 'Day 1'

     
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  2. ZCM

    ZCM Ol'Timer

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    #2 ZCM, Apr 6, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2019
    Day 2: Khao Koh to PhiMai (Google Map Link)
    Approx 400 km
    m2-1.

    Wooo another big riding day in heat. Was on the bike early again (around 6am) and headed to the fantastic Wind Turbine Farm 20 kms away.



    When I arrived at the turbines they were not turning and no one was there. I decided I may as well ride along the base of the turbines to see them up close. Little did I know that this isn’t actually allowed (which makes sense because it would probably be quite dangerous if they were suddenly switched on). About half way around the circuit a man on a honda wave told me “NO! Go back!!”. Ooops! Still, was a fun moment while it lasted.



    After the wind turbines I rode along quieter twisty routes, avoiding any main routes as much as possible.

    t1.

    Later on, whilst riding in the Phetchabun mountain area (location HERE) I came across these cheeky monkeys. Such a cute family. I didn’t get too close though as I know monkeys can bite. Felt more confident being close due to having gear on..haha!



    I feel a bit bad about something though. It was only after reading up later that I realise we shouldn’t feed them. ..and in truth I shouldn’t have fed them junk either. It was such a surprise to me at the time and in my naivety I was lost in the moment. Now I know better. All I can do is learn from these things really.

    You cant see clearly in the video here, but all the drivers are smiling and laughing as they pass.



    Aggressive daddy…:(



    Well, after that bit of excitement it was time to look out for some place to have a coffee. I love morning ice coffee on hot days! Found this cute little coffee shop on the R225 in Phetchabun.

    55780691_676562656092469_7225032455353270272_o.

    Feeling refreshed I set off again and en-route stopped to look at this HUGE building.
    Chalermkarnchana Petchabun University / มหาวิทยาลัยเฉลิมกาญจนา เพชรบูร



    Throughout the whole of this ride there was a lot of burning taking place, which I expected. From the distance I saw a large area of smoke, so went to take a look at where it was coming from. I wish I had taken a video from the distance to show how large an area this was.



    This huge entranceway stopped me in my tracks too. Just look at the size of my bike in comparison! Still a work in progress. When I rode inside to take a look it is not yet a proper finished temple project, but looks like it is going to be a beauty! Wat Khao Bang Hoei Chumphon Simaram. Location HERE. Check out the google map images.
    Fab looking place! This is going to be a “must see” temple in future for sure.

    20190326_113606.

    Riding along long stretches of open road was not much fun, so I decided to break it up a bit when I noticed a sign for a lake area. I figured it might be worth a look-see.

    I ended up on a gravely dirt road, in the full sun, that was just a sea of burnt ground. It went on seemingly forever. I started to wonder if I would regret the decision, especially if the view wasn’t worth it in the end.
    20190326_124900.

    Thankfully my perseverance paid off and I ended up in this stunning lake filled with lotus flowers. Location HERE. I also met a lovely family who offered me (MANY) lotus plants full of lotus seeds. I didn’t even know you could eat them! They were surprisingly delicious.



    I am always humbled by the generosity of Thai people, especially those with so little to offer. A little later on I rode past their home on the side of the dirt road. Which was just a tin shack and some tented area for shade. They even asked me if I needed water.
    So kind.

    Amazing. Just amazing…



    This little guy came to visit me whilst I was sitting in the shade eating the lotus seeds. What a face eh! He had a collar on and was nice and healthy. He was just very good at putting on a “poor me” face. I had nothing he could eat, so he just got some next scratches instead, which he seemed content with.

    Untitled-7.

    After a short rest and cool down I got back on the bike for the last 100kms to Phimai. I checked into Phimai Paradise Hotel and felt very embarrassed because I knew for sure I smelled like wet dog. Nothing to do with the dog in the previous picture and all to do with sweaty me! It was a VERY hot day with many km’s in full heat on straight roads. It was a killer!

    55881742_676668296081905_1695306398700666880_o. After cleaning up (and washing my gear!) I left my room smelling fresh as a daisy and walked around the corner to Phimai historical park, and how beautiful it was!

    Untitled-2.
    Entry fee for foreigners: 100 baht.

    Phimai (late 11th and 12th century), marks one end of the ancient Khmer Highway from Angkor and is considered to be the blueprint for Angkor Wat. An important piece of history and an amazing building. One interesting point about Phimai is that although the Khmer were Hindu, Phimai is a Buddhist temple.

    55624238_676712286077506_602220686244577280_o. After enjoying the park I eat a great meal at Ida Eatery & Drinks, then took a night walk before heading to bed. (I really liked this town!)



    Handy tip for washing gear..lol..



    Relive Route Tracker for Day 2: Relive 'Day 2'
     
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  3. ZCM

    ZCM Ol'Timer

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    #3 ZCM, Apr 6, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2019
    Day 3: Phimai to Siem Reap – via Osmach Border (Google Map Link)
    asdf.

    This day was lots of horrible straight road riding to Osmach border (and to Siem Reap). There were no interesting alternative routes I could see, so decided to just bite the bullet and right straight to the border on the fastest route available. It was tough going.

    At the border it was all ok, but a bit of walking back and forth to get the documents sorted out. All good though and in a hop skip and jump I was in the Cambodian side, where I had my documents checked and I paid for a tourist visa (charged 35usd. Apparently should really be 30 usd, but its a common unofficial addition.. *cough*).



    ..and hah! Triumphantly I was over the border and into Cambodia. .. and now to get to head to Sieam Reap. (Heh..and I had no idea about how the traffic would be..or how tough going the route would be, in terms of relentless straight and unsheltered roads). On top of the heat and straight roads is the fact that Cambodians ride super slow! In Thailand you can at least pick up the pace on the roads, but with the Cambodian style being slow and well frankly quite crazy lol (riding directly across without even looking and at super slow pace), you just cant go fast. I think they are not used to anyone riding or driving fast. They see a bike and assume its going slow. So I had to drop the pace down. Last thing I needed was to have or cause an accident in Cambodia (plus the Osmach border does not offer compulsory vehicle insurance..so you are winging it when riding there!)

    Idiot moment of the day…



    At one point I needed to stop for fuel, and was worried about this part as I wasn’t sure of the prices of anything and in these outer areas English may not be spoken.

    When I found a garage I had trouble being understood. I wanted $5 of petrol put in my bike. I wasn’t even sure how many liters it would get me. The owner of the garage had to get a younger man from the factory next door to help out as he couldn’t understand me. This guy spoke English and so it got sorted out. Then they both had a friendly chat to me (translated back and forth) because they were curious about me and the bike.

    I was lucky too, as it turned out that $5 was exactly right price to fill up my bike! Really! No scam. $5 = full bike!
    55478059_677152189366849_1387845864826863616_o-150x150.
    By midday I reached Siem Reap city and looked for a café in order to freshen up, have a cool drink, and use the wifi to search for accommodation. I found a nice cool coffee shop (Noir Coffee), which was right next to a petrol garage (bonus!) and the security guard outside kindly put large pieces of carboard over my bike to shade it from direct sun.

    I had previously read that there are three main areas for accommodation in Siem Reap, and to pick the area that best suits your ‘vibe’. The resorts surround Angkor Wat were generally away from everyday life and on the pricey side. The areas around Pub Street were for those who wanted more of the party vibe of the city. Then the area east of the river was a quieter mid-price range zone. The café was already in the zone I wanted (east of the river) and so I found a nice place not far: Sizen Retreat. I was told the price was 20 usd, but if no breakfast then I could have it for 18 usd (this price changed later on heh, but more on that later). I was happy with the room and the accommodation had a pool and off-street parking. I cleaned up, had a swim and a rest.

    Untitled-6.

    In the late afternoon I went to sort out a data sim card with a nearby mobile phone shop and $6 got me a sim plus enough internet to last my trip
    (*note*: you need your passport to register for a sim card).

    In the evening I went to take off my soft panniers and check over my bike, which is when I had a slight panic moment as I realized my engine oil was seriously low. I had never seen it go down so much before, but the many kilometers in searing heat had obviously taken its toll. For all my preparations, which included tools, levers, innertubes etc, I had forgotten to take surplus oil. DOH! So a bit of a panic to find out which would be a good (and affordable) garage to go to, to either buy more oil or better, get an oil change done. Thankfully I got a good recommendation..so I was able to settle down and rest.

    Relive Route Tracker for Day 3: Relive 'Day 3'
     
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  4. ZCM

    ZCM Ol'Timer

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    Day 4: Siem Reap Morning Ride and Angkor Wat Complex at Sunset

    In the early morning I took a meander ride around the city streets. At 7-7:30am it was already bustling.



    Spotting a nice coffee shop I stopped in for a cool ice cappunccino. I was drawn to this coffee shop in particular, which is funny because actually Inthanin is a Thai chain of coffee shops, but I didn’t realise until later on.

    55451691_677601479321920_523445235074727936_o.

    After coffee and a rest I made my way to Promoto Garage.

    When I got there the garage was filled with interesting bikes.

    Untitled-1-1.

    Apparently that evening they were all going out on a Champagne Sunset Tour that Paul from Promoto runs. The tours sound fabulous! Info here: Sidetracks

    The owner and staff were great and sorted out an oil change for me at a great price.

    20190328_120415b.
    Thanks Promoto team!

    I even had a fun classic bike sidecar ride to boot!



    Relieved that my bike was good to go I headed back to my hotel to cool down as it was heating up fast. I took a siesta by the pool with the plan to head out to the Angkor Wat complex for sunset. I had also read that you could buy your ticket for the complex the day before (at around 5pm), so decided that would be the best plan.

    However, when looking at google maps I noticed an interesting place close to my resort named ‘Miniature Replicas of Angkor’s Temples‘. I figured a quick stop there would be a good idea before heading to the ticket office. Turned out to be a fascinating place with an interesting man who had an incredible history.

    …a short clip of a longer video that I need to clean up one day.



    This man is one of the few surviving old masters from Khmer Rouge regime. He is now 82. He created this detailed miniature Angkor Wat complex..and so much more and received accolades for his work. Worth paying his small place a visit. (He charges $1.50 to enter).

    afsd-b. A humble man with an amazing story which was so interesting that I missed the time for buying my Angkor Wat ticket in advance for tomorrow before the office closed… but thankfully the site is free after 5:30pm..which I didn’t know until i got there ! Lucky!

    Untitled-8.

    Had a ride around the complex as the sun was setting, and it was fantastic.

     
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  5. ZCM

    ZCM Ol'Timer

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    Day 5: Angkor Wat and Siem Reap City at Night.

    the-temples-of-angkor-map.

    I awoke MUCH earlier than my alarm was set, because adrenaline and excitement took over. So it was a frustrating experience to be wide awake at 2am, when I didn’t want to wake up until 4.45am. I sat about unable to rest. Finally 4:45am came around and I started to get ready to head out to the complex. At 5am I was on my bike and heading to the ticket office. There were a ton of tuk-tuks and mini buses already on the way. I got to the office, got my ticket, and headed into Angkor.

    tickets.
    ticket office for Angkor Wat complex

    I decided to bypass the popular sunrise at Angkor Wat (as I had watched this beautiful sight back in late 2007). Instead I headed on a small dirt road to Bayon Temple/Angkor Thom.



    I was there all alone and the barrier was pulled back, despite it saying it is not open until 7:30am. I figured I would wing it and enter. I was exploring a little when a temple guard approached me. He startled me as he was so quiet, creepily quiet. He told me the temple is not open until 7:30am, but if I paid him some money I could stay. I said no, its ok. I wasn’t really bothered about staying as I wanted to ride around anyway. The sky was already bright and there wasn’t much in the way of a sunbeam sunrise, so he didn’t get his pockets lined that day.



    I rode around a while and also stopped quickly in at Angkor Wat, which was bustling. I said hello to a grumpy monkey and observed five ladies doing yoga poses at the steps of Angkor Wat temple. I’m really not too impressed by this fad of yoga posing at religious sites…

    yogagram-1024x576.

    Had a nice ride around, and yes, for the complex I left my helmet off. It was hot and the riding was slow. I was more likely to come off my bike from heat exhaustion than riding gearless.



    My next goal was to get to Ta Prohm (aka the Tomb Raider temple) just as the gates open (at 7:30am). I was hoping I could get an iconic photo there..lol.

    Anyway, I think I did ^^

    55609181_678123355936399_1231054712137056256_o.

    Tomb Raider ambitions ^^



    55935492_2023326457715529_3579301048700895232_o.
    Who did it best ? Well Tomb RAIDER of course, but I tried!

    Thankfully there were some tour groups around so I was able to get a random tour guide to take a photo and video for me. This particular tour group had some brits and even fellow Scots, so they had a giggle at my antics, which was nice, because I felt a little self-conscious. My desire for an iconic shot overroad any shyness. One of the men in the group nicknamed me “adventure girl” lol. They had seen me arrive on my bike. Felt bigger than my own boots that day to be honest.

    Getting past the self-indulgent photos, the temple itself is just stunning. Well, as are they all. Goosebumps after goosebumps.

    20190329_080833. templesb.

    So many photos of this day, that I still have to sort through them!

    20190329_074622. Untitled-3.

    One thing about Angkor that can be tough is avoiding all the vendors doing hard sell. However, the children definitely push the cute response buttons. One little girl saw me arrive on my bike at Ta Phrom and directed me to where I could park. She had an 100 watt smile and coyly said that since she had helped me I should buy one of her fridge magnets. Cheeky rascal! Dammit though, she was so cute. The magnets were just $1 each and I bought two. Cheaper at the market no doubt, the moment was priceless. They would make nice gifts in any case.

    By midday I was baked and templed-out. No, actually, that’s not really true. I could have easily spent more time in the complex, but it was just so unbearably hot. It took its toll.

    Cambodian Police.

    Untitled-10. So I was stopped coming out of Angkor complex.
    This first officer was friendly and asked me for no details, except where my bike was from etc. General chit chat, which seemed a little odd to me, going by all the stories I’ve read (normally after a bit of tea money, apparently..).

    He spotted the GoPro running from the beginning, and he was on his walkie-talkie quite a bit which somehow made me think there might be more to this story, so was a little hyper-alert. Or, maybe I was just being silly.. but then again, good to be on your toes, eh..

    Ah-hah, but then, I spot a police roadblock, just as I was thankfully passing a big truck. I decided to act like I’m looking in my side mirror and not aware of any significance of the block. It worked. LOL. Probably would have had no major issues except some possible made-up fine. Who knows?

    Feeling crafty though..haha. Hoped my luck would hold out…



    I said goodbye to the beauty of Angkor and headed back to my room at the resort. I was hungry and tired. I ordered some food and figured I woud go back to bed and nap for a bit. However, an overly friendly staff member took a liken to me and decided to talk the hind legs off me. It took me some time to get away, and when I did I realized that the conversation (or well, me listening), took more out of me in 15 minutes than the whole of my riding trip thus far..lol!

    I rested in my room for some time then took a swim.

    Now, I figured I should settle my bill this day, because I planned on a very early checkout the next morning. I decided to get it all sorted so I would be good to go without delay or drama. I get the tally and the price is higher than expected, so I ask for a print out for my records. Turned out I was being charged $23 a night instead of $18. I pointed this out and the girl (who was the same girl I spoke to when initially enquiring) said that she had quoted me the rooms as $25 but was giving me a discount. Hah! Bollox! Now I realise why she didn’t want me to pay at the time I checked in, and instead wanted me to pay before checking out. Anyway, that wasn’t on and I told her so. Funnily enough she dropped it back down quickly without much ado. Best to keep your eye out for this one it would seem…

    In the evening I took a walk around the city to the local park area..



    ….and then to the infamous Pub Street area.When I first came to Siem Reap Pub Street area was not as “glitzy” as it is now. So much seems to have changed. The lovely hotel I stayed at was now a restaurant (which surprised me, because at the time it was apparently a very famous first hotel in Siem Reap). I asked a few tuktuk drivers about it, but none of them had any answers, just told me that so much had changed in recent years. It was also a thriving bustling place, full of foreigners

    xc.

    After a walkabout I stopped in at restaurant on Pub Street for some food and a drink. I figured it might make for some interesting people watching. Ughh! ..but the seafood was so off I could smell it as soon as it arrived. Was inedible and had to send it back! The waitress said they would make me another one, but to be honest if the kitchen could send out food that was that badly off, I didn’t trust them to remake it.

    Untitled-9.

    I ate the spring rolls I ordered, despite them tasting like cardboard, and drank the terrible wine. I know I sound like a diva, sorry, just was shockingly bad! Last thing I needed was a dodgy stomach or food poisoning on a motorcycle trip!

    wer.
    e-bikes for rent. Next time I visit Siem Reap I will rent one for sure. Great idea!

    After finishing my food I got one of Siem Reaps UBER-style taxi tuk-tuks. I downloaded the app called PassApp and my taxi got me back to my hotel in good time and good rate. No arguing about costs. Nice and easy.
     
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  6. ZCM

    ZCM Ol'Timer

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    Day 6: Siem Reap to the cusp of Phu Kradueng (Google Map Link)
    sdaf-1.

    I left the resort by around 6am. I planned to ride to Prasat Beng Mealea and then see how I feel after that. Maybe I would ride to Preah Vihear, if I had the energy (although I doubted it in truth). I figured that today I would just exit out at Sa-Ngam border (if possible) then back into Thailand. There were reports of not being able to exit at Sa-Ngam, but I figured that Osmach wasn’t so far away from Sa-ngam, so was worth the gamble. Plus the route looked a little better on google maps than the route I took coming in.

    The road was busy, despite the early hour. Lots of commuters heading into the city (and a few dogs leaping into my path…)



    I was getting tired of the busy straight road and decided to recheck google maps for an alternative route. There was one that looked interesting, so decided to take it.

    Ho ho…



    Well this road was relentless.. hot with lots of road works and gravel etc.

    I rode on for a bit to see if the road improved more, but no such luck, just got worse.
    It went on seemingly forever.

    I stopped to check my GPS and the temple was still 55km away, with this road stretching for around 35kms before it re-joins the main road. If I back-tracked to the previous road then that would take me hours off schedule…and it was already so hot!

    I weighed it all up and with the heat being in the high 30s and reaching 40s, and with temple fatigue setting in, I decided I’d had enough and wanted to head back into Thailand.

    I had met my agenda (to visit Angkor Wat complex), so there was no regrets in making the call to head to Sa-ngam border.

    I also had certain time constraints and commitments back in Chiang Mai.



    Additionally, Cambodia doesn’t offer bike insurance in the same way Laos does, so even though I had accident insurance, my bike was not covered, so I was winging it (this is the case for everyone who enters). It concerned me that I would be pushing my luck.

    I wanted a taste of Cambodia, and I got it. I didn’t want Cambodia to have a taste of me! Haha!

    So anyway, all went well at the odd wild-east casino border crossing. I had zero issues crossing. Was fast and friendly.



    I even had a $10 note drop out my passport by mistake when the Cambodian immigration officer checked my passport, and he handed it straight to me.
    56120163_2025021190879389_5425293235360628736_o. So..over on the Thai side I decided that I really missed mountains. Badly.

    I figured I may as well ride as far as I could until I see a mountain. …and that turned out to be 100s of Km’s away. ..and so my ride that day was around 630kms!

    My phone battery died en-route and I had a couple of backtracks before settling in Amphoe Chum Phae, close to Phu Wiang National Park. I could see a mountain! I was happy.

    I rested up in The Room Resort in Khon Kaen, on the cusp of Phu Kradueng mountain and Loei province. In my room I was tired but not able to wind down right away due to so many thoughts going through my head. So cue an episode of “The Silky Soft Hair Conditioner” saga. (I started doing these random voice overs on my trip in Laos, when resting up and bored. The saga began here: YouTube video)



    Relive Tracker for Day 6. Some footage missing because I forgot to start the app and later my phone died on me, halting the recording. Relive 'Day 6'
     
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  7. ZCM

    ZCM Ol'Timer

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    Day 7: Cusp of Phu Kadueng to Nam Pat – via Thai/Laos Border (Google Map Link)

    dafa.


    6:30am start and was heading north. I could see mountains! Oh how refreshing!

    56551763_2025876984127143_7567948691579863040_o.
    Check out those humps on Phu Kradueng !

    Aqi was 107, yet it was a breath of fresh air.
    Yesterday’s long endurance ride was forgotten in the presence of lush greenery and mountainous scenes. Was like giving water to a thirsty camel!

    Noticed this big development going on HERE

    Untitled-2-1.


    ..and these interesting huge rock formations HERE

    Untitled-2-2.

    This was a great day of riding! So great to be back on twisty roads again, riding through mountain areas. Granted the areas were dry in patches and there was burning and bad air, but it was still fabulous to ride in, especially after so many days of mainly straight roads.



    At one point I heard music in Na Haeo district, in Loei, at the base of Phu Suan Sai mountain. I had to investigate! I was so tempted to ride down to join but I felt really sweaty and uncomfortable. Maybe I should have anyway!



    I rode on until I reached my destination of Takayai Resort 2 in Nam Pat. A firm favorite.

    Just down the road from Takayai Resort is also a great little restaurant and I was looking forward to a great feed, but turns out she was shut up and on holiday!

    I ended up getting microwave food at 7/11. Not exactly thrilling, but filled the hole.
    I rested well.

    Relive tracker for Day 7: Relive 'Day 7'
     
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  8. ZCM

    ZCM Ol'Timer

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    Day 8: Nam Pat to Phrae – Via Sirikit Dam.
    (Google Map Link)

    dsa.


    One of the BEST roads I’ve ever been on!!


    By 7am I was on the bike. It was to be a short riding day in comparison to the other days, so was happy to take it slow. Enjoyed the road a lot this day.

    The R1339 route from Takayai Resort to Sirikit dam (where I intended to cross on a ferry) was a bit broken up last time I was on it (two year ago), but this road had a lot of resurfacing done, so was a breeze to ride.

    20190401_072154.

    I stopped to take a photo of the road, only to end up covered in little flies. My clothes were actually smelling really good that day as I had washed them well in a really nice scented washing power. REALLY! Alas, it was the good smell that attracted more flies than the bad smell..haha. Dammit! (I am guessing they are little fruit flies. If not, then ? o_O )



    Had a bit of a giggle at this sign. Location HERE

    20190401_073027-1024x576.

    My first stop was at Sirikit dam crossing where I had to wait a while for a ferry to take me across the dam. Chatted to the owner of the raft restaurant for a while (who also lets you camp there for 100 baht. Very quiet!)



    My bike so lonely ^^. Waiting. Waiting.

    20190401_082345-b.

    This day was April 1st (April Fool’s Day), so decided to make a silly video of my bike at the dam..



    Eventually the ferry arrived and I crossed over.



    (Don’t mind amitting that I was nervous coming down the clay route and also of what might meet me at the other side.)

    Off and away. All good! Phew!

    Stopped to take a quick video of the dam on the way, which is normally full to the brim and flowing. Now so very very dry!



    Now, this next route that I eneded up on was honestly one of the best roads ive been on. The R4010. Absolutely loved it! Just a pity it was so hot and dry with such bad air. In other months this road will be utter heaven!



    Ironically, after having been on the route I read a new trip report on Gt.Rider forum about this exact route! Apparently it has a 26% gradient! Woohoo! No wonder it was so much fun. Rollercoaster-tastic! Report HERE.

    Some burning on this route.



    Fuel was getting low too, but thankfully there is always some local vendor with bottles of fuel in whiskey bottles, so I was able to buy a couple of them to keep me going.



    When the R4010 connected with the lajdf to Phrae, that was also another piece of heaven road. Was a truly fantastic riding day and my best riding day of the trip.



    I arrived at Maeyom Palace Hotel in Phrae in the early afternoon, which gave me time to enjoy pool time. I ordered room service and ate and drank half a bottle of beer, then promptly fell into a deep deep sleep! I had been running on adrenaline and very little sleep for days. Suddenly it hit me and I slept like the dead for several hours. I had planned to have a ride around Phrae, but in the end I choose a warm bath and back to bed. I was shattered.

    20190401_140815-b.
    Pool time. Woohoo!

    The receptionist wasn’t too impressed with this biker lady turning up I have to say. The hotel was old, but had a lot of business-style guests. I guess me turning up in biker gear didn’t seem to go down to well :/ Meh…

    Relive tracker for day 8: Relive 'Day 8'
     
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  9. ZCM

    ZCM Ol'Timer

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    Day 9: Phrae to Chiang Mai (secret route…)

    asdfsdf.

    I woke around 7am and took breakfast in the hotel (buffet included in the price). Was the usual non-descript fare of not so interesting foods, but ate a little anyway.

    sadf.

    Was up and away by 9am. Now, today I wont share my route, because in doing so it would reveal the location of a very special place that I just don’t want to share at this time. Sorry. So anyway, I had a great ride home on nice little b roads, whilst incorporating a trip to a favorite little secret Khmer style hidden place. Was a great end to the trip. I am hoping this place will stay secret / quiet for a long time to come....




    asd.

    On my first visit to this place I made this silly video too. ^^



    Arrived home and all became calm in the world again..
    20190402_172048.


    **********
    Places that I stayed in (all had secure parking for vehicles)

    Day 1: PhuFa Sai Resort, Khao Koh
    Normally 2000 baht (but she discounted to 1500)
    Close to Wat Prasornkaew. Stunning place with comfortable bed and lovely balcony view.

    Day 2: Phimai Paradise Hotel, Phimai
    550 baht
    Walking distance to Phimai Historical park and good eateries. Comfortable bed and swimming pool.

    Day 3/4/5: Sizen Retreat, Siem Reap
    20 USD
    Quiet bungalow style rooms. Comfortable bed and swimming pool. Good restaurant.

    Day 6: The Room Resort, Khon Kaen
    450 baht
    Simple roadside hotel. Nothing special but clean and quiet.

    Day 7: Takayai Resort 2, Nam Pat
    500 baht
    Clean and comfortable roadside hotel. Large rooms.

    Day 8: Maeyom Palace Hotel, Phrae
    700 baht
    Old hotel but quiet with swimming pool. Breakfast included.
     
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  10. Chantony

    Chantony Active Member

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    Awesome report Z, excellent reading/viewing for a Sunday morning!
     
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  11. Endojim

    Endojim Ol'Timer

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    Great ride... Thanks for taking us along.
     
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  12. scotty007

    scotty007 Ol'Timer

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    Excellent trip and write up! I promise not to tell anyone where the secret place is too! 555 It is pretty special did you look at the ovens and the bonsai trees too?

    20180325_100217. 20180325_100811.
     
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  13. ZCM

    ZCM Ol'Timer

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    Haha! Thanks. Seems silly of me, I am sure. There are a few places that I find by accident or have been recommended that I feel should be left tranquil. Its not that I have a lot of followers or think it will suddenly be filled with people if I reveal the location, it just that I have respect for some places that look like they should be visited quietly and left for others to peacefully enjoy. Not every place needs announced, and this is one of them for me. I have some dreaded feeling of it suddenly becoming the most instagrammed yoga spot in Northern Thailand. lol.


    I looked at the ovens and bonsai too. I love this place so much. Honestly wish I could set up a little camp there overnight haha. I am looking forward to seeing it in the rainy season. Now it is just so relentlessly hot I felt like I was being baked too!
     
  14. scotty007

    scotty007 Ol'Timer

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    Yes very interesting place not easy to locate, they still produce bricks there for various temples, I don't think they would be too happy if tour buses starting turning up 55. May have asked you already have you been to the 4 Golden Buddhas and pagoda in Mae Wang-Nam Phrae another hidden treasure with very few visitors.
     
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  15. ZCM

    ZCM Ol'Timer

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    Yes, you asked me before. Still on my to-do list but want to see it when the views are clear. Looking forward to the rains hitting !
     
  16. Moto-Rex

    Moto-Rex Moderator

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    Great report ZCM (Tomb Raider)

    Plenty of good information on border crossings, accommodation, tourist hot spots, to name but a few.
    I love your outlook on life, and your passion for adventure motorcycling.

    Cheers Moto-Rex
     
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