The Doi Ang Khang - Nor Lae - Nong Tao - Fang Road

Discussion in 'Golden Oldies' started by DavidFL, Sep 20, 2008.

  1. The DAK - Nor Lae - Nong Tao "road" is arguably the steepest & most spectacular in North Thailand.

    The steep bit basically runs from Nor Lae to the Doi Phahompok back road turn off just before Nong Tao, a distance of 6.3 kms.

    Nor Lae is a beautiful Palong village, sitting right on the ridgeline forming the Thai - Burma border.
    Above: Nor Lae 1994

    The steep section commences immediately after the Burma army camp on the hill.

    Below the Burma army camp on the hill in 1994.

    Over the years at various times this road has been closed my landslides & occasionally by the Burmese when they've been in dispute with the Thais.
  2. There's been a Burmese army camp close by the border & the Nor Lae Thai army camp for years.
    The camp in 94 & it almost looks the same nowadays

    Immediately after here the road drops off the mountain into that amazing descent.
    The start of the descent in 94


    After the wet season the descent is often a problem from landslides.

    In 93 there was a small one at the bottom
    that you had to get over.

    But the big one was in 94. The asphalt was washed away

    There are a series of switchbacks & after the big wet there was a huge landslide on the switchbacks, making the Nor Lae descent real interesting.

    It was late in the day, & I knew Fang was only 30 mins away via the Nor Lae back door to Doi Ang Khang or 1 1/4 hrs back via the main road & R1249. The locals - army & villagers - warned us of the landslide but guessed we could get through ok. So being "young" & stupid we thought we'd give it a go.


    Because of the nature of the landslide, rocks / tree branches / dry & wet mud, we could not ride the bikes over, but had to push & sometimes carry them up & over.


    With 3 bikes it got a bit tiring (exhausting) I can tell you.



    Once you'd cleared one section you road down to the next switchback & met the same landslide again, & had to repeat the same process. Walking / pushing / lifting the 3 bikes up & over the landslide once more.

    The final straw was at the 3rd landslide the mud was still wet & in places we were sinking into it up to our knees. Defeat! And yet only a few hundred metres from the good road down below. We now had to repeat the process in reverse & head back up again! By the time we reached the "top" & clean road it was dark. It had taken us well over 2 hrs for less than 3 kms. Almost totally exhausted we got back on the bikes & roared into Fang for the night in the dark, jubilant about our little adventure, even though we'd failed by a couple of hundred metres.

    For more recent reports on Doi Ang Khang check out



    The Doi Ang Khang Nor Lae roads feature on the GT Rider Golden Triangle map, ... iangle-map
  3. Great stuff David and makes us "newbies" realise just how easy we have it now. I would've liked to have ridden around then to be able to compare to now.

    BTW, in the first pic, that looks like the XLV750 that is currently owned by "Hans the Painter". Same bike?


  4. Jeff
    I think the bike is an old XL600, that used to belong to the Snail that we rented from the Library Service.

    This is same bike after Lek lightened it up a little, with a smaller tank.
  5. The Nor Lae descent being rebuilt after the 94 flood damage,
    & yep I did manage to ride up there with a bit of local help pushing!
  6. Approaching Nor Lae

    Attached Files:

  7. Found one from July 93 Trevbart on the Arunothai - Doi Ang Khang road R1340.

  8. Japanese Clogs ?
  9. Nor Lae & the army camp - 1996?

  10. Doi Ang Khang, 29 January 1982...





    loads more to come.


Share This Page