The actual north of Thailand and Doi Sa Ngo

ianyonok

Ol'Timer
Dec 9, 2008
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Going east out of Mae Sai, you need to clear the town environs before you can ride the dirt road alongside the Sai river. After about 10 klms you come to the confluence of the Sai and the Ruak river. I slipped through a gap in the razor wire to stand on the bank of the river.

Not much to see really.... however...

This is the very northernmost point of Thailand at 20 deg 27' 52.5".

The Sai river is flowing from the southwest (left) from Mae Sai along the border, into the larger Ruak river coming out of the Shan state to the north, which then meanders in a southeasterly direction along the border, down to Sop Ruak and the Golden Triangle.

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There are many boundary reference markers in the fields on the Thai side, showing relative distance to the border

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From here it's a tarmac road.

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The razor wire has regular large openings to allow farm vehicles through, for people to work in the fields next to the river. The best soil I'm sure.
I saw several groups of Shan workers who looked like they may have just crossed the river and were waiting for transport to wherever they were going to work in the fields on the Thai side. I followed this border road towards Sop Ruak for about 10 klms before you start to get blocked by goverment sites, gates and fences.

Then headed down the 1041 to the main road 1290 towards Sop Ruak. Took a small road and then dirt road up the west side of Doi Sa Ngo. This mountain is only about 700m high, but has fantastic views from the top.

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This is looking west across the plain and highway 1, with Doi Tung and Doi Chang Moob in the distance, on the border with Burma.

Then without walking, just turn around and looking east you can see the Khong, Sop Ruak, the casino and the mountains of Laos in the background.

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Walk a few feet and you can look southeast to see Chiang Saen town on the bank of the river (in the distance left) and Chiang Saen lake (in the distance right).

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Just below the summit is the Akha village of Bahn Sa Ngo. This village used to be quite remote (although only about 6 klms from the touristy area of Sop Ruak) and there were only steep dirt roads up the mountain. But now there is a new tarmac road that runs from Sop Ruak west and all the way up to the village. From there it's a dirt bike ride or 10 minute walk to the top of the mountain.

Just down a bit from the village is an artesian well, still pretty close to the top of the mountain.

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My Akha is somewhat limited, but it seemed this lovely lady was quite insistent I should only drink from the well in the middle and wash my clothes and body in the other wells.

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The evidence of a hard life showed in her biceps and clawlike fingers.

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I rode down off the mountain and past the home and temple of the revered Shan monk Kru Ba Boon Chum.

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I didn't take a pic of his house, but it looked like a mansion belonging to someone who lives very well.......
 

CraigBKK

Ol'Timer
Jan 4, 2014
228
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Coming from an island nation, land and river border crossings hold a beguiling fascination for me. Thanks for sharing.
 

ronwebb

Ol'Timer
Jul 25, 2010
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ianyonok;300450 wrote:
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I cant recall anyone posting on this area. Very interesting indeed. Good also that you are still out and about meeting new friends Ian.
 

Lakota

Ol'Timer
Oct 10, 2011
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I'll have to check that area out. The Views from that Little mountain are amazing. Unusual to See Akha so far east in CR !?

Do you know if they've fixed that road north from Chiang Khong to Chiang Saen ?
 

DavidFL

Administrator
Staff member
Jan 16, 2003
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Chiang Khong
www.thegtrider.com
Update 24 April 2018
On the way back from Doi Mae Salong & Mae Sai I rode up from off R1290 nearby the police checkpoint at Wiang Kaew.

The road up is all concrete & it is quite a climb from the turn off
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and what a view from the road!
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I didn't see muscles the Akha lady or the view at the top. It was late in the day & I was hot & weary...next time I will hike to the top.
BTW a magic spot & well worth a ride 'n look.
The artesian well still awaits.
 

DavidFL

Administrator
Staff member
Jan 16, 2003
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Chiang Khong
www.thegtrider.com
The Star Doi Coffee Viewpoint - hugely popular with Thais & a great view.

A nice start through the rice paddies in the lowlands
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Then a left (if you're coming from the GT) up into the hills
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Below the summit & the Akha village is Star Doi Coffee, the new go to selfie place
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And why wouldn't you with a view like this
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If you want to have a splurge, there is camping and bungalows at Star Doi Coffee & Homestay
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