The Sensational Steep Huai Kuk - Pha Tang Loop

Discussion in 'Touring Northern Thailand - Trip Reports Forum' started by DavidFL, Aug 29, 2018.

  1. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    #1 DavidFL, Aug 29, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2018
    Wandering around the mountains with Lan & the CP Crew from Chiang Mai we split at Pha Tang, they headed along the ridge line towards Phu Chiu Fah & onward; my time was up, time to head back to Chiang Khong. Starting down the big hill I spotted what looked like a nice spanking new concrete road vanishing off into the distance. Curiosity got the better of me....so time for a meander....where the hell does that go?

    GTR - IMG_7915.JPG

    Each time you went around a corner it just seemed to wind on and on around the mountain
    GTR - IMG_7900.JPG

    Some of the sections were incredibly steep
    GTR - IMG_7908.JPG
    and when you're out there for the first time, not really knowing where you are going you sometimes wonder where it is going to end?

    GTR - IMG_7914.JPG

    The views are absolutely stunning
    GTR - IMG_7941B.JPG

    In the far distance you can catch glimpses of the Mekong
    GTR - IMG_7942.JPG

    View of the road ahead keep you going to wherever.
    GTR - IMG_7925.JPG

    In the middle of nowhere, a Chinese tomb for a couple.
    GTR - IMG_7905.JPG

    Suddenly the road drops down into a Hmong village Huai Kuk
    GTR - IMG_7946.JPG

    Stopped at a shop for a life saving bottle of sponsor, the locals tell me its only another 4 kms down & you should pop out on the highway R1155. It's easier & quicker going out that way, no need to go back up the mountain to Pha Tang. Whoopee, good news .

    I celebrated with a selfie with an old Hmong woman hanging out at the shop.
    40310761_10156920242223755_4779812891186429952_o.
    It's funny how it goes. Sometimes you can strike up an immediate friendly rapport with the locals somehow.
    This gal was a bit unsure, but yes it was ok to take a selfie photo. She loved the photo but didn't have a phone - now that's something for nowadays?
    So I swapped line contacts with the shopkeeper & sent her the two selfies I took with the old lady.
    As I left the old Hmong lady was sitting on her stool holding the shop keeper's mobile phone in her hand & laughing at the two photos! An absolute winner and a wonderful heart warming experience. Life is good when you can do such simple things to bring joy to poor people.

    From Huai Kuk, the road is was not supposed to be as steep, but I'm not really sure on that. It's one hell of a road & right up there with the best for a steep ride I think.
    GTR - IMG_7952.JPG
    The ride through the corn & hill rice fields is one of breath taking beauty today.

    GTR - IMG_7964.JPG

    GTR - IMG_7954.JPG

    GTR - IMG_7958.JPG

    GTR - IMG_7960.JPG

    Running along the ridge line
    GTR - IMG_7949.JPG

    then it suddenly drops off
    GTR - IMG_7948.JPG

    Comes to a road junction
    GTR - IMG_7988.JPG
    Right goes back up in the mountains
    GTR - IMG_7987.JPG

    left continues on down the hill gently on a bumpy dirt road to R1155 (& Wiang Kaen).
    GTR - IMG_7991.JPG

    1.5 kms later you're on the main road R1155
    GTR - IMG_7993.JPG

    An exhilarating steep steep 26 kms loop from the same point on R1155
    GPS-Map002.

    Check it out sometime.
    Here's how it looks in google Earth.
    GPS-Map001.

    and oh yeah, I've spotted another mountain road which should stupendous views as well.

    GTR - IMG_7982.JPG

    I never quite made it to the top at my first attempt. So it must be time for another look.
    Too many roads & not enough time.
     
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  2. ianyonok

    ianyonok Ol'Timer

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    Great Stuff, David. The country folk in the mountains are usually such nice people.
    Fantastic looking roads, must get over there soon.....
     
  3. Rod Page

    Rod Page Ol'Timer

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    Great ride; wonderful touch of humanity.
     
  4. paulhen

    paulhen Active Member

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    Thanks for your time and effort in posting the great trip report. I have ridden the area but never that road......on my list now!
     
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  5. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    Great. Let us know how you go.
     
  6. ianyonok

    ianyonok Ol'Timer

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    I went up that road, the opposite way, a few days ago.
    Turned left off the 1155 at this point;

    gtr-img_7993-.

    Also a beautiful day in rainy season, with some blue skies and showers around.
    2018-09-10 14.33.14. 2018-09-10 14.38.44-1. 2018-09-10 14.46.47-1. 2018-09-10 14.46.52-1. 2018-09-10 14.49.39-1. 2018-09-10 14.55.48. 2018-09-10 14.55.58.
    Its always fantastic when you come around a corner and see something like this....
    2018-09-10 14.59.10. 2018-09-10 15.04.17. 2018-09-10 15.13.47-1. 2018-09-10 15.14.00.

    Thanks for the tip, David. Nice one.
    After reaching Pha Tang, I headed south along the ridge to Pu Chee Fah and came across a bit of road slip;
    2018-09-10 15.51.32.
    Then back down on the 1155, at the southern end, the great leaning tree is still there.....
    2018-09-10 16.42.03-1.

    Although, the old communist battles commemoration sign, a bit further along, by the side of the road has now gone.
    A local told me it has been taken up to Phu Chee Fah somewhere.... plenty of old commies still up there apparently.
    This was the sign, as it was 8 years ago. I guess it doesn't suit with the current political climate......
    2012-09-24 15.00.53.
     
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  7. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    Great Ian. Happy to see you followed up on the Huai Kuk road - a rural beauty if it ever was.

    Now the missing sign intrigues me
    2012-09-24-15-00-53-.

    who's going to find it?
     
  8. ianyonok

    ianyonok Ol'Timer

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    Someone put some thought into making that sign.
    Actually, it doesn't appear to be glorifying communism, more like commemorating the fighting and the final victory over communism by the govt forces.
    The guy at the top left is holding the Thai flag, whereas the communist flag is on a bamboo stick behind a bush. That is behind the Democracy monument but in front of Phu Chee Fah. That indicates the communists were holding the ridge but the democratic govt forces won in the end. The opium plants/fields were no doubt part of the story, perhaps making money to buy arms. You do have to wonder though, why the govt soldiers on the bottom left are wearing gas masks..?
     

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