SOGS Tour- April 2008. Phuket-Chang Mai -Phuket

siinthai

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Mar 21, 2007
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SOG’S TOUR April 2008 Phuket-Chiang Mai and back
11 Days…
Lusting after the stories of the north for so long, it was time to check it out for myself. A little excuse in the way of a new bike to collect in CNX and it was all go. TJ graciously offered his services to ride back with me…on my other bike…. Noel said right mate, lets go.
Day 1-Phuket-Bkk(intended?)
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Not giving too much consideration to the capacity of Thai trains over Songkran, we(I) decided the 2 Degrees would ride to Surat Thani and just hop on the train to BKK overnite. Great theory…..3 and a bit hours from Phuket and needing a feed we found the train station…I think the only directions TJ got right for the next 10 days(more on that later).Hadn’t even got the camera out of the back pack since leaving.

“That’ll be 2 tickets in a sleeper and 2 bikes to BKK, krapp.” Pointing to a page full of 0’s on his computer, the clerk tried to explain that everything was full…I wasn’t having any of it…then his boss came over….pointed to the 0’s and said “all completely full sir” Bugger! Noël,” So which is the road to Bkk then?!”
So, not a good start but hey we were on the road and having a laugh.
Motorway bashing on an XL250 is painful…not just in the butt. A few hundred kms later we were heading off the HWY and looking for a bed.
No real plan, just head for the coast and we’re bound to find some bungalows….!
First bend and whoosh…a reminder that out in the sticks Songkran has an extended life span….it was bloody hot so quite welcome.
Getting dark,…lost Noel, …ah he says thought I’d better take the sunnies off !! Managed to ride right through a local Thai funfair by the beach, Noel decided the beach was better option. Still no bed in sight….”Lets head for those lights along the coast there…..good plan!”
Bloody lights turned out to be fishing boats and the Degree is not equipped with flotation devices…A few words with a local bar hostess and we found ourselves a bed ! A hotel down the road!! Ban Nong Khwai Tai (1200b-Songkhran!!)
Bar and food still on the go….this is alright then !! Not a common sight I don’t think..2 Farangs on bikes and very thirsty…delayed check-in to test out the beer from the bar. Dinner was a laugh…Thanglish not having the slightest effect in getting 2 plates of dinner…sharing is good!.....Then desert….ahhhh the Russian veggie juice….day one and we have things under control…or so we think.
TJ meanwhile is bussing from Issarn and most concerned about our inability to keep to schedule. We are beyond such things…..and can’t tell the time by now anyway!

Day 2-somwhere –Bkk (hoping)
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Early ,hung-over breakfast..and found we were right on the beach, no clue the night before. Decided we need to come back here and check it out, local expat said the beaches just north run for miles with no-one around..
Ok, we need to make Bkk to catch 1430 train to CNX- no worries.
Good early start; vaguely remember the road back up to H’way, then bashing to Bkk.
Missed the new H’way into Bkk, first trip! Kept following signs and were heading in right direction, TJ’s claim no traffic lights for last 100km in Bkk not happening…must be on wrong road. Still heading into Bkk…time running out- go faster …good idea when lost and in heavy traffic! Getting closer….big storm ahead….stop at lights-going on theory all old roads into big towns usually lead to the station. The heavens opened ass we crossed the river in Bkk turned off our road….big mistake…drowned, lost and about15mins for train…Ahhh..Cop shop..they’ll know . Very helpful members of Bkk constabulary gave a few different editions of directions….F&%k…Tuk Tuks were either having a no English day or just amusing themselves with bum directions.
Found it…screeching in under very serious glare of cops…found freight guy…need tickets first…ok…tickets in a flash…miracle…ahh…no freight space left….5 mins to train!!! F&#k, [email protected]$k, F&$k !!!
No problem…another train 1800….need to change tickets..yeah right…another quick as a flash…Noel is now ticket guy for the rest of the trip!....bikes booked….receipt and requested amounts don’t add up….beyond caring……now 3 hrs to kill and bikes to look after…and soaking wet….
No worries, leave right here we’re told….really? Ok then time for a beer…. Noel having AFD….woos!
1730…go back to bikes all is well under the attentive care of porters eyeing large tip….great blokes…loaded bikes up into the freight car…wouldn’t want to be doing this with big bikes…its quite a height.
All tied down and sleepers found….too easy…what was the panic about…should be in CNX 0710….really?
Train was good fun, very clean, expensive food and bevy but hey….All tucked by about 2100…bloody AFD’s….
Daylight…where’s Cnx then? About 2 hrs…..2 hrs later…..about 2 hrs…Ok must be the new time zone…North Thailand Time!
Got in a mere 3 hrs late…positively on time!

The cameras only came out once we hit Chang Mai- more to follow.
 

siinthai

Ol'Timer
Mar 21, 2007
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Day 3 Chiang Mai

Are we there yet?
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The train leisurely rolled into CNX….the lads had the bikes off the train in a flash. Ready to go…where’s our trusty guide Tropical, “I don’t know where I’m going or I’ve been” Johno….busy talking the hind legs off some poor bugger in the Kafe?
Arrive at Mr Motocross and Mr Happy Feet…..here’s the new baby….
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Check in to digs, good shower and the rest of the day evaporated in the Kafe…..seemed a good idea at the time ! Did get some shopping done…so good to have a half decent range of gear.

Day 4 Samoeng loop-X centre –back

Quick oil change for the bikes at the local trusty mechanics….great lads….and big thanks to Nae for all his help, ordering boots, bits etc…
TJ was meanwhile talking someone in and out of buying a bike, the latest gossip, house building in Issarn, and whatever else was and getting free internet from Starbucks !!!
Headed off on the Samoeng loop on the way to The Ambassador’s residence. Fun way to try out a new bike and thanks the H/Honkey and B+T for road tips…nice slippery stuff on the south side !
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Made it to X centre for lunch…superb food and what a lovely hostess is Long…..Nice to meet up with his Excellency and have a good look around. Hot as f%@k....nice touch the air-con….
Rhodie was shooting with Mark and doing some good damage to the well publicised ‘Scrambler’….
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Back to town for preparations for the evening meet with quite a gang of the Cnx crew….thanks lads for turning out and good to meet you all.
Sorry to the lads for not making it down to “Spicy” but unfortunately the ride to Pai the next day put the sensible hat on..not often !
A great evening down by the river at the River Terrace, I think, and the ride home in the diplomatic pick-up , complete with running commentary of certain drivers and embassies parentage loudly accompanied by the vast range of the melodic horn !
And who doesn’t drink?
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siinthai

Ol'Timer
Mar 21, 2007
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TJ,
SOGS....sad old gits ! although the boss of one of the SOG's suggested it should be HOG's happy old gits....but seemed a bit lame due to rather sad movie of road trip..John travolta and gang.
 

tropicaljohno

Ol'Timer
Jun 21, 2006
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siinthai wrote: Day 3 Chiang Mai

Back to town for preparations for the evening meet with quite a gang of the Cnx crew….thanks lads for turning out and good to meet you all.
A great evening down by the river at the River Terrace, I think, and the ride home in the diplomatic pick-up , complete with running commentary of certain drivers and embassies parentage loudly accompanied by the vast range of the melodic horn !
There were about a dozen of us at the River View, and a good time was had by all. Ian Bungy and the lovelly Miss Long offerd the 3 of us a lift home in the (company pick-up)

So here we are, 1.30am, driving thru the back streets of Chiang Mai. The local hill tribes were busy laying out the vegtables in the fresh food market. Ian would queitly drive up to them and give them a blast of one of the 25 or so sounds he has on his car horns.

Think some of the old ladies couldn't quite work out who the wolf whistles were for...
 

siinthai

Ol'Timer
Mar 21, 2007
203
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Day 5 Chiang Mai-Pai

Rather foggy start to the day…just the heads I think. And the camera operators….

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Is this guy coming with us? Referring to Tropical” rainbow flag/fag” Johnno's kit bag.
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Having not ridden the road to Pai before, I was having an absolute blast…bike was great bit skitty in the real tight stuff but a few tweaks and mostly sorted….love the moving roadblocks on the corners…!
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Quick gear lever adjustment..
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And then some arty shots…
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Tried to stop for lunch….
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Ahhhh red bull…
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Coming down out of the hills into Pai was like opening the oven door….feeling very thirsty now…..
Checked into the guest house…a fav of the GT boys…..
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Bridge of the river Pai…?
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Now we’re talking……love Beer Lao…
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Very pleasant view…down the end of the road in Pai…
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Went off to see a friend who has a great place up the valley from Pai.
He has a few toys too….Noel used to have one and is now pining….
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A rather pleasant spot for a beer…
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Great first day out of CNX….fun riding..great sites and catching up with mates…and a few Beer Lao….
 

Ian Bungy

Ol'Timer
Sep 19, 2006
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www.chiangmai-xcentre.com
Good Photo's & Report Simon, Nice Place for a Beer, as i can't recall any of those Places i will have to Wait till your next Trip so you can Show Me where it is? As i am always ready for a Beer and Beer Lao is pretty Rare Here!!! :D
 

Dougal

Ol'Timer
Dec 18, 2007
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Top stuff guys. Love the photos.

Jealous as hell! wish I was up there. Work forbids.

Look forward to your next installment.
 

Noel Akers

Ol'Timer
Aug 27, 2007
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good coverage of events bloke.....the trike flying in that country would be an absolute blast....with plenty of altitude !!!!!! Keep the script rolling.....its great reliving the fantastic riding we had in this part of the world.
 

siinthai

Ol'Timer
Mar 21, 2007
203
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Day 6 Pai- Mae Sariang

Early start to the day….Looking forward to more fun on the twisties.
Loading up the bikes…chain lube….rainbow bag (full of lube?)
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Nicely cambered bridge
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Getting up there..
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There’s a view out there some where
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Yes…we’ve all seen this sign…the number of bends so far? Or altitude?
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According to TJ these market stalls were normally packed..maybe the end of the season or just a sign of the times?
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It was pretty hot ride through this section, were trying to cover some ground but also stop off to the main drag.
Tried to head down to a waterfall and got the usual Farang prices which made TJ’s pulse race each time I looked at a sign for one !

Local village on the way.
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Lunch stop…a local bus stop and good cheap tucker…TJ was getting his pants sown up…child labour?
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Emergency stop ?
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Mae Sariang….bloody hot and smoky now…dryer than the nun’s proverbial…
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We stayed here…NOT recommended…filthiest rooms all trip..no service..Lonely planet out of touch..although sign old.
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Good food and service here….opened an hour early for brekkie so we could get away whilst still relatively cool.
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Tour going well, bikes are great some wonderful roads and amazing scenery….Amazing Thailand !

More to follow….just jumping on a plane to Egypt, taking a boat thru to Turkey. Will post some trip reports on the way and maybe some for our yachtie brethren.
 

tropicaljohno

Ol'Timer
Jun 21, 2006
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Captain_Slash wrote: But good food and service at Sawadee where you had breakfast though
Captain Slash, isn't she a honey at the Sawadee Cafe, one minute the lovelly girl there is chatting to us all, and getting the drinks in, next minute its on with the apron and in the kitchen cooking a meal.

The Thai's certainly work hard, no unions here. All going well with the chit chat/banter then farang boyfriend showed up so had to make do with chatting to Simon and Noel instead....
 

siinthai

Ol'Timer
Mar 21, 2007
203
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Hey Pikey...am in Israel after a couple of weeks in Egypt(....slimey mother f53ke4rs !! reminds me of certain people I've done business with in this part of the world.....) pleasure to be here and large biking community.
Doing all the sites and hopefully avoiding the shelling taking place right now...
The Xr is doing great...got new pipe coming and pumper carb.hopefully be here when i get back...hang in there...i'll be up in the CNX soon to play with the boys .