Village rides

Discussion in 'N.E. Thailand Motorcycle Trip Report Forums' started by ray23, Oct 26, 2006.

  1. I take these rides often trust me yuo want so many farrangs if any, I just pick a road and go.

    This is a response to a P/M about the rides. I thought I would share it with other if they have desire to get in to the real Issan, but as always remember the author possesses a sick mind proceed at your own risk

    The ride was about five hours. ( 200 K )

    What I do is take a main road a bit further out each time when I see a paved road that looks in fair condition I turn and go. They don’t always stay in good condition so realistic speeds are a very good idea conditions can change in heart beat.

    Security conditions are much better in the villages, even if there was a guy with a bad thought in his head, he doesn't know your coming and no time to put a plan together. I don't usually leave the bike anywhere, if I stop I stop someplace fro something to eat or drink and the bike is in site. So don't really know how to answer your question. Just slow down when you drive through and enjoy the sites. Anyone who speaks any English will be yelling hello at you and you will get lots of cat calls. It's the norm and part of the fun, not to worry.

    I would caution about a few things unless you speak really good Thai limit your turn a bouts so you can find way back out. Look for prominent buildings ECT. Keep a good since of direction to where the main road is, you end up on very curvy roads and it's easy to lose your since of direction. Most of the main roads will loop and go back to the main road in one form or another, if you know what direction that is. But you may have to back track also goes with the experience.

    I have only had two instances where I felt uncomfortable one was an old man insisting that I buy him whiskey, pack up your ditty bag and leave politely.

    The other I stumble into a huge village party in the middle of the week. It seemed like the entire village was drunk I stopped for a bit and had some water, but fights started breaking out in the crowd, time to get the ditty bag again.

    These are very enjoyable experiences, but you have to keep your wits about you. These are not places where people really care about your thoughts of ethics or political correctness. Unless something is very unusual a in the two incidents I described your a welcome change to the boredom. I don't drink very much at all and I never drink when I ride, but in these excursions I would avoid booze completely, you can always have a beer when you get back to the big city where people are used to farrangs.

    Gas stations there is always fuel around, they call it benzene here. If you don't see a station Benzene Tee Nai will find he local fuel deposit. Many times it is nothing more then a small store with glass bottles of gas sitting in a small rack.

    I ride an old restored Yamaha four cylinder 750 CC with four carbs. It eats a lot of fuel, so as a general rule I fill it up every 150K. But in any event the villagers need fuel to so it's around, just may not have big signs telling you it's a gas station.

    If you really want to know what Issan really is I think this is one of the best ways to do it. You cell phone should work just about anywhere you go. Although I have no idea how you would tell someone where you are. Sometimes there are signs as you enter village the village may or may not be in English. On the main roads most are in English in the villages roads signs don't exist, just remember the loop system and you will be able back to the point entered fairly easily.

    If you have trouble the villagers are very helpful people for the most part, communicating with them is where the problem is going to lie.

    I recommend long pants and long sleeved shirts, the sun is really intense here even in the cool season. I forgot them yesterday as it was a spur of the moment thing, nice sunburn and I have lived here for over three years.

    Just do what you are comfortable with and you should be OK.


  2. Ray,

    I also enjoy what I call "Road Discovery", ie; Whatever Road to see what I can Discover"... If I know that I am going to be traveling "Off the Beaten Track" I will bring along my old GPS device to show me the way home.. NOthing fancy, old, non-color screen and very few roads / villages are even shown, but it can lead you back to roads / routes that you know or have riden before....

  3. The area around Udon is easy eveything loops back into one of the four main roads, so eventually you will hit one of the four main highways. But more then once I have gotten turned around and had to ask directions. Which in itself can be interesting. When you ask a villager they are going to give you the way they go, which can include flooded dirt roads.

    I wish there was a good GP for the Issan area, but I have not heard of one with accurate maps as of yet.
  4. Have you looked at the Map Magic map of Thailand, it comes on a cd and when you zoom in even shows gas stations. Whist you are moving your mouse over the map, it gives you a lat and long.

    I plan many trips like this, just entering in way points from map onto my GPS. You could enter road junctions around the area you intend travelling, so at least if you get lost, can see which direction is closest juction.

  5. Thanks John I see if I can find a source for it here in Udon.

  6. Ray most of the big chain book shops sell them. There is 1 map and cd covering Thailand, and 1 map and cd covering bangkok, I think 299 baht. Have used them both, and its great to plan your trip from the lounge chair, being able to zoom right in everywhere and seeing where landmarks are, Big C, gas stations etc. You can also display map to only show, what you like, i.e. only show roads, or only train stations etc.

    good luck

  7. I e-mailed them for distributor here in Udon no respnse yet, but I haven't checked out the book stores yet. Just out curoisty is it useable in Englsih?
  8. Yes dead easy in English as you click on either English or Thai so no poblems

    If you have problems email me off post, and I can send a copy up
    [email [email protected]][email protected][/email]


  9. Well Thanks I may take you on that if can't find one here.

  10. Found it, now to learn how to use Its was at a book store in Robinsons 299 baht


  11. Good luck Ray, just spend a bit of time with it and it will all come together, see how long it takes you to add your own favouries onto the map, it uses the drawing pin symbol, and its great being able to zoom in and see gas stations etc.

  12. I read this in preparation for my possible continuation into the Isaan. Very helpful.
    I have been using my Garmin GPS first time coming up from Phuket. An old knowledge was confirmed= I am a lazy bum.
    To enter all these way points lets me forget the riding. What i do instead I use the tracking methode to know where I am plus if need be were I am coming from. I dont think I will go the same route again, consequently my way points are places important to me, accomodation , if outstanding,, assuming I dont want to enjoy the risk of another place. Not system yet. Have been deleting a lot of tracks, and way points, my total is under 30 on a total trip of close to 3000 km. Otherwise I enjoy reading maps and enjoy changing anything, anywhere , anytime, to make unexpected U-turns . My wife asks me every morning = where are we going . My Answer = dont know.
    But never a dull moment

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