Two Weeks in Isaan - 2020

Heineken

Ol'Timer
Mar 2, 2019
145
221
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I have a bit of time to spare so I though I better start my trip report on our ride to Isaan :cool:


This trip was organized by Mike Gagne from Ubon Rachathani who I have toured with before, coincidentally this trip started exactly 1 year to the day from our ride to Northern Vietnam and return in 2019.


The meeting point for our Isaan Ride was in Phetchabun on the 22nd of November 2020, with the tour to start on the 23rd.


My 1st day on the road was riding from my place in Chiang Rai to Phetchabun, about 550km where we were meeting at a local hotel ;)





My Honda NC750X fueled, checked and packed ready to leave home on the 22nd of November..............


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Sunday 22/11/20


I left home around 730am for a casual ride to Phetchabun, came across a truck accident and stopped to take a photo, a local policeman came and talked with me, I said looks like truck go lil lil ?............NO this road no good.............but he go fast to make this happen ? ............No this road no good he said again.....................no rain, dry roads and mid morning clear skies, no other vehicles involved but its the roads fault :D


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I continued on my journey and stopped for a snack and fuel @ Den Chai................................carried on through the mountains and came across a cool looking coffee shop, ive ridden past this many times but always with a group of mates so have never stopped, I sometimes like riding alone as I can check out a few sites at my leisure :cool:.......................


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Back on the road heading towards Phetchabun and I came across another cool looking coffee shop, a quick stop and then back on the road...................


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I arrived at Phetchabun around 3pm and fueled the bike up and then checked into our hotel, I decided to go for a few pre dinner beers and walked around and found a great bar "Bangon Bar" run by an Englishman and his wife, great hosts and friendly people ;).............................stayed for a few hours and then the owner Mark took me on the back of his scooter around to the nearby restaurant where I was meeting the group @ 7pm for dinner................


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With all the preparation Mike does for these trips its hard to get an exact number of who is attending, at 1st there was about 15 odd blokes saying they were going to attend, Mike kept us all in contact via a messenger group chat, as soon as someone they could not attend for whatever reason they were removed from the group, which is a good idea as when there are big groups you lose track of alot of details with all the banter ;)


I met the team of 6 x riders at the restaurant, I already new 4 of the riders, and met the other 2 new faces....................sometimes smaller groups are easy to manage IMO


The team : Mike Gagne - Honda NC750X Dct

: Toby - Honda CB500X

: Patrick - Honda African Twin CRF1000 Dct

: Colin - BMW F800

: Frank - Triumph Street Triple 675

: Heineken - Honda NC750X Dct
 

Heineken

Ol'Timer
Mar 2, 2019
145
221
43
Monday 23/11/2020


Stands up at 730am and then we headed up into the Khao Kho mountains, my first time up there and it was awesome, lots of twists and turns on the bikes for an hour or so before we stopped at a coffee shop overlooking the valley, the weather was perfect this time of year and the skies are nice with clouds and blue skies :cool:


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Our next stop was the Khao Kho weapons museum ;).............................................


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From here we rode back down the mountains and were headed towards our lunch destination, with a stop on the highway to have a drink and take a photo or two of this curved bridge :eek:............


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Our next stop was lunch at the Hill Top Retreat, Mike had phoned ahead to make sure they were open, the location is quite remote and a dirt road to access the premises, the owners and staff were very welcoming, beautiful resort and views, be careful of the guard dogs, they looked well fed so I doubt they could run very fast :D


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Heineken

Ol'Timer
Mar 2, 2019
145
221
43
Monday 23/11/2020 continued


From our lunch spot we kept heading north, our next stop was The Grand Canyon :eek: ........................well thats what Mike called it, quite a different looking valley as it started with these rock walls before turning to vegetation as you look down the valley, I would say this would look great in the wet season as when we were there you can see lots of small waterfalls starting at the top and dropping down the face :eek:


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From here we kept heading north, Mike had a great coffee shop he wanted to show us, decorated superbly with great views aswell :cool:................


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We carried on heading north again heading towards Loei which was our destination for the night, we had to look out for the local wildlife on the roads :eek:...........................we stopped at a viewpoint for a look and cold drink on the way, must of been around 4pm by now ;)..........................


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From here we continued on to Loei, checked in our hotel unpacked and showered ready for a night out at The Saloon Bar :cool:........................................I went down to the What's Up Bar a bit later to have a few beers with Steve Coupland as well ;)


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Moto-Rex

Moderator
Jan 5, 2008
939
282
63
Don't you just love these coffee shops. This one is a real winner. Where do they get all this cool stuff from.
I gotta check this one out when I return. Is it on the main hwy?
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Cool report Heineken.... What a great part of the world to go riding don't you think?

Moto-Rex

 
Last edited:

Heineken

Ol'Timer
Mar 2, 2019
145
221
43
I gotta check this one out when I return. Is it on the main hwy?


Cool report Heineken.... What a great part of the world to go riding don't you think?

Moto-Rex



Its on Highway 11, heading to Den Chai it is on the lefthand side, I think according to google its called the V8 noodle house


Yeah great country side out that way, too many of us just ride from point A to B and miss the local attractions ;)
 

Heineken

Ol'Timer
Mar 2, 2019
145
221
43
Tuesday 24/11/2020


Loei to Nong Khai :cool:


After a night out in Loei it was again stands up at 730am, we had been invited to Chris's (Loei Saloon Owner) house for breakfast, so we took him up on his offer, he lives just out of town at the "Loei Loghome"....................................Beautiful home built on the side of a small hill, no nearby neighbors which would be great.


After breakfast we went the backroads to Chiang Khan, Chris decided to join us for 1/2 the day and led the way, he was riding his Honda CB500X, with a quick stop at a very scenic reservoir on the way, we then continued onto Chiang Khan to visit the recently opened Glass Skybridge which was fantastic, its a beautiful looking structure overlooking Laos and the Mekong River.


I will admit I was a bit nervous walking on the glass, everytime I looked down I had to grab the handrails, being twice the weight of an average Thai doesnt help :p


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The reservoir we visited just near Loei...........................................


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DavidFL

Administrator
Staff member
Jan 16, 2003
12,330
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Chiang Khong
www.thegtrider.com
That's a good mix of bikes on the trip, with 500X as the winner?
1612283513191.png


That Skywalk looks bloody impressive, I was out there in the early stages of construction & always wondered how it would look. I should go & take a look sometime. I can also relate nicely to "I was a bit nervous walking on the glass, every time I looked down I had to grab the handrail," because I'm not good with heights either. Or caving or sailing. I get sea sick on the Swan river. 55
 

Heineken

Ol'Timer
Mar 2, 2019
145
221
43
Tuesday 24/11/2020 (continued)


From Chiang Khan we headed to our lunch location which was just down the road from our next destination, The Wat Pa Phu Kon Temple, which is also called the blue roof temple, even though it looks green to me ;)


After lunch Chris left us and returned to Loei as he has been to this temple before and had to get back to work, we rode up the side of this mountain until we reached the Temple, 1st impression was this is huge :eek:


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After leaving the Temple we rode to our overnight destination, Nong Khai, we did stop on the way at a coffee shop overlooking Laos and the Mekong River, weather was perfect for riding with very clear blue skies :cool:


Our hotel in Nong Khai was in the middle of the bar area, what a great location for a bit of R & R, we had a great night out, or morning for some of us :D


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DKT Dave

Ol'Timer
Sep 25, 2019
55
62
18
I have a bit of time to spare so I though I better start my trip report on our ride to Isaan :cool:


This trip was organized by Mike Gagne from Ubon Rachathani who I have toured with before, coincidentally this trip started exactly 1 year to the day from our ride to Northern Vietnam and return in 2019.


The meeting point for our Isaan Ride was in Phetchabun on the 22nd of November 2020, with the tour to start on the 23rd.


My 1st day on the road was riding from my place in Chiang Rai to Phetchabun, about 550km where we were meeting at a local hotel ;)





My Honda NC750X fueled, checked and packed ready to leave home on the 22nd of November..............


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Sunday 22/11/20


I left home around 730am for a casual ride to Phetchabun, came across a truck accident and stopped to take a photo, a local policeman came and talked with me, I said looks like truck go lil lil ?............NO this road no good.............but he go fast to make this happen ? ............No this road no good he said again.....................no rain, dry roads and mid morning clear skies, no other vehicles involved but its the roads fault :D


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I continued on my journey and stopped for a snack and fuel @ Den Chai................................carried on through the mountains and came across a cool looking coffee shop, ive ridden past this many times but always with a group of mates so have never stopped, I sometimes like riding alone as I can check out a few sites at my leisure :cool:.......................


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Back on the road heading towards Phetchabun and I came across another cool looking coffee shop, a quick stop and then back on the road...................


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I arrived at Phetchabun around 3pm and fueled the bike up and then checked into our hotel, I decided to go for a few pre dinner beers and walked around and found a great bar "Bangon Bar" run by an Englishman and his wife, great hosts and friendly people ;).............................stayed for a few hours and then the owner Mark took me on the back of his scooter around to the nearby restaurant where I was meeting the group @ 7pm for dinner................


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With all the preparation Mike does for these trips its hard to get an exact number of who is attending, at 1st there was about 15 odd blokes saying they were going to attend, Mike kept us all in contact via a messenger group chat, as soon as someone they could not attend for whatever reason they were removed from the group, which is a good idea as when there are big groups you lose track of alot of details with all the banter ;)


I met the team of 6 x riders at the restaurant, I already new 4 of the riders, and met the other 2 new faces....................sometimes smaller groups are easy to manage IMO


The team : Mike Gagne - Honda NC750X Dct

: Toby - Honda CB500X

: Patrick - Honda African Twin CRF1000 Dct

: Colin - BMW F800

: Frank - Triumph Street Triple 675

: Heineken - Honda NC750X Dct

An incredible cafe indeed Gav. Great write up, and awesome photos. Thanks for sharing.
 

Heineken

Ol'Timer
Mar 2, 2019
145
221
43
An incredible cafe indeed Gav. Great write up, and awesome photos. Thanks for sharing.



No worries Dave, alot more to come yet ;)


My friends have probably seen most of these photos from my facebook when I did this trip, I agree with David Unk and what he told me once about facebook, your posts are looked at for a few days, you get a few likes and then forgotten, on the forum they are here for alot longer and may be of interest to another forum member :cool:
 

DavidFL

Administrator
Staff member
Jan 16, 2003
12,330
2,717
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Chiang Khong
www.thegtrider.com
No worries Dave, alot more to come yet ;)


My friends have probably seen most of these photos from my facebook when I did this trip, I agree with David Unk and what he told me once about facebook, your posts are looked at for a few days, you get a few likes and then forgotten, on the forum they are here for alot longer and may be of interest to another forum member :cool:

Great to have your trips posted on GTR.
They become a nice record of your adventures & will inspire other people to come and ride.
Many thanks again for contributing.