Snot on Doi Phukha

Discussion in 'Touring Northern Thailand - Trip Reports Forum' started by DavidFL, Nov 20, 2012.

  1. After a brilliant 2 nights in Nan for the Tod Kathin festival it was time for a quick afternoon blast up & over Doi Phukha via Bo Klua, ending up in Pua for the night.
    The Doi Phukha loop is still the top spectacular ride in North Thailand I reckon & R1080 on the east Laos border side is in perfect condition.



    as sexy as a road can be.....


    In Bo Klua you can take a break get a nice coffee at the Phu Klua coffee shop


    From there it is way up into the hills Doi Phukha. On the Bo Klua side the road is in good condition, except the last 1 kms before the ridgeline.

    The start of the 1 kms road works.


    None of this would be a problem in the dry. But if it is wet & raining it could be your worst nightmare on a road bike....:eek:

    and indeed it didn't take long before it started to get complicated......


    this was after a mere hundred metres & I suggested my pillion get off & walk to play it safe.

    Enquiring how bad & long the road works were, the response was that it was ok, but not more then 3 kms - keep going, you can do it. :problem:
    Give it a go, otherwise it is a long way round to Pua for the night.

    A view from above, looking down on the start of the road works


    What was difficult to discern was how slimy it got & how steep / many bends there were to negotiate?

    a view of a snot incline


    A view over the edge


    To get to this stage above the front wheel locked up twice with the clay.
    It was pretty impressive too....



    4-times the front wheel - mudguard needed cleaning from the clay!

    Someone thought it was fun,

    but I can tell you I was sweating like a pig with weary duck paddling legs.

    Another view of the start, but imagine what the greasy hair pin bends were like!


    The greasy camber on the road meant you were continually slipping down towards the edge of the road.


    I admit to getting stuck here, no traction to move in towards the middle / upper side of the road


    more to come....

  2. yuk - look forward to the 'more to come'...
  3. Good stuff!

    I recall Brian posting some pics last year coming DOWN this section in the wet.

    Lovely pillion! :happy1:
  4. Indeed my pillion (Nan research assistant) was lovely

    but at less than 50 kgs not much help trying to push a 100 kg rider + 200 kg bike in the clay. She needed a lot more oomph; plus get dirty.
  5. Help came from some highways dept employees, heading the same way to Pua for the night.
    They got me going & back onto to the high side of the camber to tackle the next couple of bends.
    Twice they assisted clearing out the front wheel & mudguard; & having a good chuckle at the silly old farang.

    At one stage a pick up coming down from Pua advised me to turn back, saying it was 3 kms of hell.

    But some Honda Dream riders slip sliding down, said No keep going, it is just over the rise.
    We believed the Honda Dream riders.

    And so it was,

    but not before one last steep clay encrusted cambered bend


    the bike & rider finally reached their combined limit.

    No bodily damage, & to the bike only a broken front brake lever end.

    It was all to be expected, & almost happened at minus 2 kph sliding sideways & backwards on the bend camber, trying to get some gentle drive & play in the throttle. But Nope, not this time round.

    So for the record the Versys is down after only 11,500 kms.

    Now for Changnoi please note the Givi E21 side boxes, no damage to the boxes & no mounting damage. They held up & probably saved any further damage.

    We picked the bike back up & pushed it back onto the high side of the camber, straightened her up & off I went again. Another 50 metres.
    To hit the asphalt & escape from my clay hell


    I hope you enjoyed the snot ride & have a chuckle.... 1 hour for 1 kilometre

    Life & rides goes on.
  6. Ah well, its good to have pleasant company when life gets a bit sticky! What a mess that section is though.
  7. Good for you for persevering ...
    the way this thread started, I was rather awaiting the inevitable.
    Your pillion is either clearly very gullible, or, a gutsy gal indeed. :clap:
  8. Boy do I know that feeling....


    Believe this is just around the corner from where you dropped it..

    Also felt the bike going sideways across the road at one stage, no control, just pray.... Not nice that a large truck was approaching from the other way.. I had to go the wrong way around the bend or drop the bike for sure.

    Glad to get past that muck.. We couldn't even turn around to go back..

    Glad you made it out in one piece David.

  9. Amazing. I did exactly the reverse on the 19th as well and was going to post about the road. We probably passed you the opposite direction somewhere along the way. We had lunch at Bokluaview opposite the hospital about 1:30 after coming from Nan via Pua. Now in Chiang Khong, got pretty wet between Song Khwae and Hue, and along the 1155.
  10. Enjoy the ride - the weather is a bit abnormal.
    I slept in Pua on the night of the 18th & the next day got an emergency phone call in the morning to return to base in Cnx. I returned the quick way via Phrae & Lampang. Sad as I had a couple of nice rides outlined.
    It rained all night in Pua on the 18th & was very wet between Den Chai & Lampang on the way home - all a bit abnormal & spoiling some rider's fun I'm sure.
  11. Just to wrap up a little. The highways dept guys said they've been working on the road since January = almost a year. It looks like it could be close to being finished (one day) & once you cross the ridge line onto the west Pua side there is several kms of good "asphalt like dirt" ready for sealing. One would assume it will all be done this dry season - ready for the next wwet season & next landslides to start all over again.

    On GT Rider you can check out some of Golden Oldies Photos of Doi Phukha here.

    Because of the nature of the terrain on the Doi Phukha loop there is probably always going to be some section in need of repair or under re-construction.
    Nan has the best road bike riding in North Thailand. Read about it here: Return to Nan Back To The Future.

    For the night in Pua we stayed at the Chomphu Phukha Resort.
    Small cosy bungalows - good value for money @ 600-800 baht a night.



    The Chomphu Phukha has a nice restaurant overlooking Pua city & the main street.
    The food & service are both good.



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