The Little House In The Big Forest And Doi Pha Hom Pok.

Discussion in 'Touring Northern Thailand - Trip Reports Forum' started by Steve Merchant, Jan 8, 2020.

  1. Steve Merchant

    Steve Merchant Ol'Timer

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    #1 Steve Merchant, Jan 8, 2020
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 8, 2020
    A few years back I wrote about this ride when it was a dirt track but rumours came to me that major road works had taken place on this route so today was the perfect time to go again. Living east of Tha Ton I am usually doing rides the 'wrong way round' for people coming from Chiang Mai but there was another reason for doing it this way which I will come to later.
    On the 1089 highway riding south from Mae Ai its only 4 kms to the village of Pa Sang where a sign clearly shows a right turn heading to the Ban Lek Nai Pa Yai ( Little House in the Big Forest) on route 3037. (Note: 3037 seems to cover at least 3 roads in this area, names mean more).
    Initially the road runs past banana, orange and rubber plantations before finally starting the climb up the mountain.
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    A waterfall is signed on the right at one point but it look like a walk not a ride.
    The first point of interest is a Lahu village set on a narrow ridge, steep drops on both sides and a view of a village off to the right on a hill that I've not yet found a way to.
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    The road is quite steep with some tight bends but a decent poured concrete all the way.
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    Its maybe another 10 kms up to the Royal Project/Watershed Protection area given this strange Little Village name and its at times narrow but mainly just forested and beautiful.
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    I followed the signs for the camping ground from where there is a good view and a new wash-toilet facility. Looks like great camping. From there it was straight on following signs (yes, brand new, big signs in English) that pointed to me to the Pha Hom Pok park and the Kiew Lom viewpoint.
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    An admin center was on the way.

    When I did this route before the hard road ended here but now its a 14kms concrete road all the way around the mountain until you reach the road that comes up from the Fang Bypass going up to Kiew Lom viewpoint.
    Its steep in places and twice I came to sections that sometime in the future will have landslips and collapse but right now its all good. Its pine forest, lovely scent and a perfect natural setting. Virtually no traffic and the clearest freshest air you could wish for.
    The right turn, 4 kms up to the Pha Hom Pok camping ground, the highest camping in Thailand had a few dirt stretches but they were hard, flat and no problem.

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    Strangely enough the viewpoint near the junction is the best view there is and if you are not camping going on up is probably just a waste of your time.
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    From the junction down the mountain is 15kms and only a few hundred yards up near this junction remains to be poured, they are working on it right now, and then the whole run will be on firm surfaces.

    Coming to the park office at the Fang bypass end had me a bit worried because the entry at Pa Sang is never manned and I paid no fee and had no ticket. But heh, this is Thailand, and when I exited I was called over for a photo op, given cold water and treated like a friend. The sign there is maybe out of date, I cant see any reason for denying bikes and pick-ups entry for what is now a good road, but who knows.
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  2. Steve Merchant

    Steve Merchant Ol'Timer

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    #2 Steve Merchant, Jan 8, 2020
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 8, 2020
    A few more pics showing those signs and the newly poured road.

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  3. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    Wow!
    Fantastic news. The hard top loop in here is probably going to be one of, if not the, most amazing steep road & ride you can do in the North.
    I was wondering how long it would take to finish it off when I was out there in June last year & figured it would be at least another 18 months.

    Huamereng, Border Regions, Doi Wawi & More…

    How wrong I was!

    It should look something like this on the new GT map coming up.

    upload_2020-1-8_23-0-56.


    On your bike Zed, & everyone else - go check out this baby.
     
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  4. canthai

    canthai Ol'Timer

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    Just got back from Fang yesterday. Spent 2 days gallivanting around, checking out roads not yet traveled.
    Sorry I missed it.
    Did go here tho' - nice curvy, twisty road. Last 3km dirt, but doable on the CRF with 17's
    Google Maps
     
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  5. blackb15

    blackb15 Ol'Timer

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    That looks good Nice photos I hope to do it when I get back later this month.
    Safe riding
     
  6. MarkT

    MarkT New Member

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    I did the border ride today going straight north from Tha Thon (as mapped by DavidFL above). The road was mostly very rough (mix of busted concrete, gravel, and dirt) until the almighty descent after Doi Chang Mub, at which point it suddenly becomes smooth like sailing.
    The whole experience was fabulous, and the "drop from the skies" was quite the exclamation point on an epic adventure.
    I had no idea what to expect after I got turned away at a couple of borders earlier in the day, but all the guards at the checkpoints on this route were super-friendly- they just checked passport info and asked for pictures before passing me through. Gorgeous weather, empty roads... couldn't ask for anything better.
    Maybe go hunt for the new pavement off 3037 tomorrow...
     
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  7. ianyonok

    ianyonok Ol'Timer

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    Thanks for the update Steve, the 3037 loop looks fantastic, will have to try that soon.
     
  8. Ian Bungy

    Ian Bungy Ol'Timer

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    TJ (Tropical John) would of been Proud of your innovative Top Box Ha Ha!
     
  9. ZCM

    ZCM Ol'Timer

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    Fantastic! I did this route in January 2018, before it was pathed. (Trip report on Gt.Rider here)
    I don't mind confessing that I was really nervous on the dirt! (Actually I am always nervous on dirt in truth!)
    At one point I lost traction and my bike rolled back. I think I might be able to handle it better now, but at the time I knew I was going to fall, so I figured I would just aim to go down as gently as possible.
    It honestly looks like nothing in the video haha..but it was steep and the ground gave no traction.
    Anyway, it did make for some unexpectedly good video footage at least haha!


    wwwd.
    It will be nice to take a trip up there again. Particularly as I got horribly lost on a solo trek to the viewpoint, resulting in me having to turn back. I never did get to see the real view.
     
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  10. Moto-Rex

    Moto-Rex Moderator

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    Great write up Steve,

    There's a lot of good riding in and around Fang, and this loop is one Ill be checking out next time I'm up that way.

    Thanks for update on this road.

    Moto-Rex
     

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