Tha Ton To Doi Tung Royal Villa, Through The Hills.

Discussion in 'Touring Northern Thailand - Trip Reports Forum' started by Steve Merchant, Sep 21, 2019.

  1. Steve Merchant

    Steve Merchant Ol'Timer

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    #1 Steve Merchant, Sep 21, 2019
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 23, 2019
    Living outside of Tha Ton I find the main highways and city roads a fraught and noisy challenge with everyone fighting for a bigger space. Having got used to the isolation I ride solely to enjoy the views and enjoy the mountain air.
    At 68, and recovering from the aches and pains of repairing terraces and ditches on my wife's Mango farm, I took advantage of the cool clear weather this morning (Sat 21 Sept.) to take off into the hills.
    Our small house is 10kms east of Tha Ton on the 107, a road far busier now than 10 years ago when we moved in but still a joy for bike riders.
    The road from Tha Ton is in good condition, two lanes going through Thai and Shan villages, past some new Buddha statues and starting to rise into the hills at Saen Suk, a mixed Chin Haw - Akha village with big lynchee plantations on the lower slopes of the valley. Then up the wide but heat damaged tarmac (sloughing) on steep slopes past Ya Pha (Akha) through Santi Suk (Chinese) and on to the Mae Salong junction. Left here takes you up to the most famous Chinese village in the north but I am not too keen on the pushiness of some of the sellers, tea vendors and tend to avoid it.
    From that army checkpoint at the junction its a lovely, well surfaced, twisty road down a steep narrow valley past several Akha villages and finally into wider rice terrace fields.
    About 16kms brings you to a well marked junction with the 1089 posted on the left. Its a wide, unused road that begs the question why did they put such a good road out here to just a few villages, but heh, thats why I'm on it.
    Note; one picture that shows the weeds have encroached in to the road almost one meter because of the lack of traffic.Its up and over a hill with almost no traffic and some great views. The biggest village here is a Yao, where the locals look to be putting in some fruit and rubber trees but have a great school wall painted with what looks like an advert for growing poppies. Some quite tight turns on a fairly steep road but nothing serious. Finally out through some old forest growth and to a T junction where the road joins the 1130, the usually route to Mae Salong from the Mae Sai highway. Turn right here but only 3 kms and then a left clearly signposted at the big police station for Doi Tung. More ups, downs and turns, few cars, no noise and lots of trees until you hit the last steep downhill with some very tight bends that brings you down to a bridge over the river and a resort advertising bamboo rafting. Just after that is a left turn to Therd Thai that I shall be trying soon.
    Some old rubber plantation around here, maybe part of the Royal Project work, a then a gradual climb up past more Akha villages to the Royal Villa's and gardens. Luck was in when I found the road blocked just before the gardens by a huge funeral festival for an Akha elder. I had to wait for people unloading from cars and found myself dragged in for a quick blast of Lao Kao and a chat to explain where I was from and why I was here.
    I'm a slow rider, 50kph slouch and enjoy seeing the views, stopping to look and take pictures. The road surface was mostly very good, no dangers and even if you enjoyed a regular breakfast at Tha Ton you would still be here for a midday lunch. A lovely morning considering all I was doing was ending up at Tesco at Mae Chan to do some shopping.

    View attachment 132319
    P1100178.JPG DSCN0439.JPG DSCN0440.JPG DSCN0442.JPG DSCN0445.JPG DSCN0451.JPG DSCN0437.JPG DSCN0452.JPG DSCN0455.JPG DSCN0456.JPG DSCN0459.JPG
     
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  2. Eoin Christie

    Eoin Christie Ol'Timer

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    Great report and ride, Steve - Thank you.
     
  3. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    #3 DavidFL, Sep 23, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2019
    You're living a good life out there in the countryside Steve.

    This is a great shot of 1089 going through that mountain pass
    p1100178-.

    and what a difference that is to the old goat track that used to work it's way up and down the mountains.
    You and I have both been so lucky living & riding here like we have for so long.

    Remember this....the old goat track road
    Image-16-X2.

    Then they started to upgrade that goat track to what it is now.
    Image-17-X2.

    I love this one too
    dscn0439-.

    because of the mystery of where R1089 / 107 / 1130 go..
    I tried to write it up on GTR here
    What's That Route Number - R1130 & The Mystery Of The Doi Mae Salong Routes.

    and I'm still unsure of what is what!
     
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  4. Steve Merchant

    Steve Merchant Ol'Timer

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    #4 Steve Merchant, Sep 23, 2019
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 24, 2019
    08340030.
    Approx 1987, the 'highway 107 when it was a dirt road, where the Hom Pandin Vineyard, Cafe and Restaurant is today. I used to walk to villages to take black and white pics.

    The other is my girlfriend (wife) on my brand new 150cc yamaha 2 stroke bike, north side of the Mae Kok bridge at Tha Ton

    09060005.
    . 08340030. 09060005.
     
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  5. Eoin Christie

    Eoin Christie Ol'Timer

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    Excellent! More, please...
     
  6. Moto-Rex

    Moto-Rex Moderator

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    Great write up Steve.

    You certainly live in a nice part of the world.

    Great photos of years past in this thread, there’s no doubt, you guys were the trailblazers of riding in the north.

    Moto-Rex
     

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