The Magical roads tour Oct 11

Discussion in 'Northern Thailand - General Discussion Forum' started by ianyonok, Oct 9, 2011.

  1. Just got back from a cracking ride. Ranks up there with the best short rides I ever had.
    I felt a bit guilty, we were having such a great time, while much of the country is suffering in the flooding.
    This is a great time for riding; before the tourists and tour buses are around, the countryside is green after the rains and the air is clear before the burning starts. Only drawback is the potholes haven’t been worked on yet. These are the rides that make you appreciate the fact that you’re in the best country in the world.
    The Thunderbird performed faultlessly although the brakes don’t inspire me with confidence on the steep mountain downhills……
    3 Days – 540 miles (the Thunderbird Smiths chronometric speedo reads in miles).

    Day 1; Viang Yonok – Chiang Khong – Pu Chee Fah. The 1129 out of Chiang Saen is getting badly potholed, due to trucks and rainy season till you get to the mountain at Khiu Kan. Then, past the viewpoint and down the other side and alongside the river into Chiang Khong is all good, recently resurfaced, smooth tarmac twisties, good ride.

    The Mekong Explorer heading downriver from Chiang Saen to Vientiane.

    Met up with Gary and Nong at Chiang Khong. They were on his Yamaha Midnight Star cruiser. Headed down the 1020, then a shortcut, poor road across to the 1156 at Pak Ing. Great ride alongside the Kong river, good surface, past Wiang Kaen and then took the first left on 1093 up the mountains to Pu Chee Fah. Great scenery, average B road.




    Pu Chee Fah village is a bit tacky, so went past to Pu Sawan. Found Phu Fah Sawan, a good little resort, bungalows, with tremendous views west, but no-one there (hard to find anyone around at 16:00, they’re all farming in the fields, cause off season). Continued to Lao U and then Pu Chom Dao. Stayed in the wrong guest house on the left (concrete mattress and brick pillows) but there is a better place on the right here with great views across the valley. Lots of Hmong people up there. They must have just come over the top of the mountain into Thailand to escape the communists years ago.


  2. Day 2; Pu Chee Fah – Bo Luang. Back down the mountain on 1093 through National Park, beautiful, to Pusang waterfall… very nice… Good coffee break spot.

    A room with a view...



    Two machines 50 years apart

    sense of humour

    On to 1021 and through Chiang Kham for breakfast. Then south on 1148 through Fai Kwang when the road starts turning into a dream.



    Took a side trip up Pu Langka mountain and National Park (marked as Tham Luang and Doi Chi on the B & B map). Great scenery again, views for miles across valleys. Some steep roads here.






    Returned to the magical twisty 1148, hairpins and sweeping bends up and down mountains, all good tarmac, great sporting road. Must be one of the best roads in Thailand alright. Through Song Kwae then turned left onto 1097. This road has great views and scenery too, but is slow and potholed up to where it’s marked as dirt track on the map. Visited Tad Man waterfall, quite remote. Then it’s new sweeping tarmac instead of dirt, very nice, down to Chiang Klang.





    Down the 1080 to Pua, then left and up over Doi Pukha National Park. Great ride, not fast, but big jungle country, lots of landslides, roads fallen away etc. At one point there was an 8m deep hole in the road, but all passable, through the clouds.



    Saw a few of these on the route...





    Down into Bo Luang and stayed at a very nice place run by an Aussie guy, the Bo Klua View Inn, bungalows at 1200 Baht a day, lovely area, like a hidden valley.




  3. Day 3; Bo Luang – Viang Yonok. Today I left Gary and Nong and set out early at 06:10 and arrived home at 13:30. The hotel was getting busy so I needed to get back. Headed south on 1081. Another brilliant road like 1148, good new tarmac for most of it, no traffic, sweepers and hairpins along mountain ridges, really enjoyable. They are still resurfacing this heading west. Great stuff.


    This is what the trip was about...........!

    Up the 1080 through Tha Wang Pla and 1148 from the south side. More ecstacy heading all the way back through to Chiang Kham. Then home via Thoeng (spelt Thoen on the GTR map) and up the 1020 to Boonruang. Road is ok, but a bit of traffic. Turned left at Boonruang to Kaen Nua, slow road a bit potholed. Then 1098 to Doi Luang, also potholed and on past Tha Ko Bong and turned right up the lovely little 4004 back home.

    Didn’t go over 50 mph very often. The bike seems happy like that and doesn’t leak too much oil. Tank only dropped ½” I would guess during the trip… pretty good….. Vibes not a problem, seat comfy enough. Lacks a little power up the mountains and really only good for one person and one bag touring. She did very well for a 50 plus year old machine and managed a lot of steep mountains, no problem. Now, it’ll be time to change the chaincase oil as the clutch is dragging a bit and a general check, adjust chains etc.
    What a great country this is. Gary thought he’d gone to heaven……

    Best wishes
  4. Glad you enjoyed it Ian. Good photos. Hopefully next time........
  5. Great report, great photos...great stuff!
  6. Nice travel report, looks like fun.
  7. Thanks guys.

    I'm already looking forward to heading down that way again.

    Colin, just reading one of your reports, looks like I'll have to do the 1155 all the way down next trip.

  8. Ian
    thanks for a cracking report.
    Good to read of rides in spite of the deluge.
    The Trumpet looks in smashing nick, congrats on finishing her and taking her out on adventures - no matter what the conditions are. :clap:
    Looking forward to catching up when next in your neck of the woods.
    All the best.
  9. 2wheels,

    Thanks for that. Wiang Khaen is not so far from me, so I'll be back there pretty soon I reckon. Great photos....:shock:


    I quite often find myself up dirt tracks or stuck in mud. Bikes are built to ride so, it's a shame most classics here are hidden away in garages. This is probably one of the best countries to break down in too... happened a few times..... there is always someone around with a pick-up....!
    Great to see you when you're next passing through here.

    Best wishes
  10. Ian

    Really impresive that you are using the triumph like this. I have a 78 Bonnie as well as my main sports bike and use it a lot and my AA membership, but it is not the most reliable bike in the world but great fun. I started on Triumphs so really like the old ones and your looks nice. I am over soon can,t wait to get back on the roads
    Safe riding

  11. Hi Paul,

    When I bought the bike, 18 years ago, it was running but not in great shape and full of bodges. I later spent 3 1/2 years restoring it and the next 10 years fettling it.......
    It's an ongoing project really. I have been stuck occasionally due to silly breakdowns; coil meltdown at the top of Doi Tung, because I had mounted it under the tank, below the engine (now it's under the seat). Then the clutch unscrewed itself coming back from Chiang Khong, due to excessive radial play on the clutch centre spider.
    But breakdowns here are usually not a big deal, there is always someone around with a pick-up and willing to help for a small fee. Much easier than in the UK, I'm sure.

    Back in 1979 I bought a new '78 Bonnie. I loved that bike, Real Class. Must be the most beautiful bike tank every made. Candy apple red and black with hand painted coach lines. This photo is too faded to show it properly.


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