Soa....the Great Northern Loop~day 5-7

Discussion in 'Touring Northern Thailand - Trip Reports Forum' started by Conemeister, May 1, 2016.

  1. #1 Conemeister, May 1, 2016
    Last edited: May 4, 2016
    Day 5. Na Haeo to Chiang Khan
    I inquired on GTR some time back of the road conditions along Hwy 2195 as I had heard it wasn't up to spec....well I'm happy to say it still isn't.
    We leave Na Haeo mid morning knowing that the ride ahead is maybe 2 hours for the 120kms to Chiang Khan. Having lead the group for most of our journey it was time someone else took the lead, what could go wrong. Well eventually we pull up near Dan Sai at the turn-off for Hwy 2114. Yes at some point our leader has taken the wrong road, being Hwy 2113 south to Dan Sai and pulled up to ask which way now coach. Out with the GTR map and Google maps....with a few choice words we were heading up the 2114 back to connect again on the 2195.

    Mekong Run.





    Now on the right road, the road surface is fairly broken up however still rideable. Some sections east of the 2114 are being widened for the new border crossing at Tha Li, so here we pickup a fair amount of dirt. The road improves east of Tha Li for the rest of the run into Chiang Khan. I wanted to come hear a few years back and spend a few days just watching the Mekong go by. We find rooms at Suk Somboon Guesthouse right on the river for 700b a room, and quickly open a Chang. Later in the day I get bad news from home of my ex-wifes passing, which will require me to fly back to Oz. The boys are all equally shocked by my news which has changed our journeys direction. At this point, the map is re-worked for an emergency run back to Chiang Mai when needed. That night we take in the market and end up at a Thai riverside bar a couple of doors down from our hotel for a Chang and a couple of bottles of Hong Thong....a messy night indeed.








    Day 6. Chiang Khan to Udon Thani
    A 250km ride today to Udon with a sore head. Breakfast and go, we hit Hwy 211 and follow the mighty Mekong River along this great stretch of road. Pulling up for some fuel and hangover cures, one of our group is down for the count (Hong Thong hangover).



    Mekong River View.

    Continuing on again by the river, I look up to my right to the hills above to see the temples at Si Chiang to get there. Some 5kms later was the sign pointing us to this fantastic viewpoint overlooking the river and into Laos. We spend a little time here to get cultured and happy snaps and it's back on the road to make Nong Khai and the Thai/Laos Friendship Bridge for a photo op. Border security lets me walk past their checkpoint to get a view.




    Time to go, its 65kms to Udon Thani for our next stop. I have been here before so finding my way to the Hotel Charoen was easy. Later it's off for dinner at The SafeHouse and Sophias near Central Plaza. It was their opening night so a few bungles happened on the food side, but all worked out at the end. From here was some of the fun bars ending up at Yellowbird at the back of our hotel. What a fun place, good booze, pretty faces and live Thai bands....Chun Kowchai.



    Day 7. Udon Thani
    Today was supposed to be a run to Phu Phrabhat and on to Chum Phae, part of the original roadmap....however the news from Oz had prompted me to chase up flights back home. I had 3 days to get back to Chiang Mai. We book in one more night at Charoen and decide on a lazy day and hit the pool and Chang-time before another visit to The SafeHouse where the SoA sticker is now displayed, then on to the bars.


    SOA ChiangMai Front.

    To be continued

    Attached Files:

  2. Gday David...seems to a lot of good roads around there....2113, 2114, 2115 etc....all upgraded for the border crossing into Laos, shortcut to Kumming.
    Nice link there for LICME

Share This Page