The Roads They Are A-changin'

Discussion in 'Touring Northern Thailand - Trip Reports Forum' started by ianyonok, Sep 14, 2018.

  1. ianyonok

    ianyonok Ol'Timer

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    Come gather round bikers, wherever you roam
    And admit that the highways around you have grown
    And accept it that soon you won't ride on your own
    Cause the dirt roads are rapidly fadin...... etc etc...

    Not strictly true. But it seems many of the old dirt roads are indeed getting paved. But new dirt roads appearing for theose intrepid enough to find them.

    First, I was at Sakoen, just off the good old 1148. The reservoir there was overflowing, as the Mae Nam Ngin.

    2018-09-11 09.58.19.

    2018-09-11 09.58.25-1.

    2018-09-11 09.58.37-1.

    A little further along, where the Mae Nam Yot crosses the 1148, at Bahn Pa Lak, I went up north and a recently paved little road.
    2018-09-11 10.58.40.
    2018-09-11 11.01.00.

    To Bahn Pang San.
    2018-09-11 11.02.31-1.
    Then found a dirt road that is still a dirt road, heading east. Turning right here......
    2018-09-11 11.04.17-1.
    lovely little detour..,...
    2018-09-11 11.10.30.

    country scenes....
    2018-09-11 11.18.23-1. 2018-09-11 11.24.16-1. 2018-09-11 11.33.51.
    a technical section down, but not too steep.
    2018-09-11 11.40.33.
    The dirt road pops out at Bahn Bannasophit on 1279. This road goes up north to the Laos border crossing.
    GPS track;
    Track_Loop north 1148.gpx

    2018-09-11 11.57.01.

    Riding further on east and south, I finally ended up in Wiang Sa, south of Nan city, for the night. An old style Thai town on the Nan river, that appears to be a dragon boat racing centre. But could not find any bars or restaurants, so ended up eating dinner at stalls in the temple.

    Next day, headed out to an old favourite; the 1243 eastern border road from Bahn Sali to 1123. Marked on my map as dirt road, but recently tarmac'd. I'd been here about a year ago, but now the tarmac was starting to break up in places, as it was laid pretty thin (no photos, camera battery flat)...
    2018-09-14 15.55.22.

    It used to look like this in 2014;
    2014-03-06 11.15.53.

    It is a really quiet remote area. No-one around this time in 2018, either.

    But I did manage one photo, from a viewpoint on this road. Wow, super Talay Hmork at about 08:40.
    2018-09-12 07.37.14.

    Then, it was down through Bahn Kok and the 1268, 1239 to Nam Pat, for lunch.
    Across to Tha Pla and up 1163 & 1341. More quiet roads and a new reservoir being constructed on the west side of that road and west of the Sirikit dam.
    2018-09-12 14.47.54.

    Then looking for the dirt road over to Phrae. Found this, but... no way.... too steep and slippery..
    2018-09-12 14.53.33. 2018-09-12 14.55.40.

    ........ more later...................

     

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  2. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    Looks like you've had a great trip out exploring. Nice one.
     
  3. ianyonok

    ianyonok Ol'Timer

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    The windy tarmac road 1341, west of the Sirikit reservoir, came to an end in a village and then onto a fantastic dirt road over the mountains. A total distance of about 50klms.
    2018-09-12 18.06.37.

    2018-09-12 15.38.52. 2018-09-12 15.41.38. 2018-09-12 15.52.58.
    I stopped to pay respects at the Sala Phaya Por.
    2018-09-12 15.53.27.
    Some beautiful tree ferns in this area.
    2018-09-12 16.03.20. 2018-09-12 16.04.58.
    There was an army checkpoint somewhere here. About 15 soldiers came out to see who the farang was coming over this road. One of the officers was quite drunk, at about 2 o clock in the afternoon, asking if I had any "wine" in my bags....
    2018-09-12 16.15.57. 2018-09-12 16.26.46. 2018-09-12 16.42.32.
    Finally popped back out on to the taramc near this terrapin statue, with about 15klm ride into Phrae city.
    2018-09-12 16.54.54.

    Next day, headed back north through Chiang Muan to Pong. Then east to 1188. Another road marked as loose surface, but I guessed may have been tarmac'd.
    2018-09-14 11.20.55.

    Yes, it was new blacktop and a cracking little road of twisties, too.
    I recalled distinctly, some years ago, being stuck here, when it was a dirt road, riding my 50 year old Triumph cafe racer, in the pouring rain. I struggled for about an hour here, trying to get up this slippery slope, on the old bike, clip-on handlebars, not what was needed....
    2018-09-13 12.11.41. 2018-09-13 12.12.27.
    An abandoned new temple site. The Buddha images were in some disrepair and monk's retreats had not been used for a long time.
    2018-09-13 12.16.34. 2018-09-13 12.19.06.
    This little road is great, worth a detour to ride, about 30klms long.
    2018-09-13 12.19.19. 2018-09-13 12.21.13. 2018-09-13 12.23.05.
    It comes out onto the 1148 just past this army checkpoint.
    2018-09-13 12.34.25.

    A great little ride for a few days, on some fantastic little roads. The dirt roads are great, but so are the newly tarmac'd roads.
     
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  4. ianyonok

    ianyonok Ol'Timer

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  5. Ian Bungy

    Ian Bungy Ol'Timer

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    Great Stuff, well done! There are certainly lots of Road works going on everywhere I go!
     
  6. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    Fantastic news on R1188. Last time I was out there it was dirt too.

    That's going to be a wonderful loop ride from Chiang Khong for me.
    2018-09-13-12-12-27-.

    2018-09-13-12-23-05-.

    We are getting spoiled with even more choices. Love it!
     
  7. ianyonok

    ianyonok Ol'Timer

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    Combined with the Phu Arnmah loop, it makes the 1148 area even better.
     

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