What's That Route Number - R1130 & The Mystery Of The Doi Mae Salong Routes.

DavidFL

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The constant upgrading of roads in the North over the last few decades has often had people, myself included, confused on what the exact route numbers are for planning your trips.

The Chiang Saen - Chiang Khong road is a nice example. It used to be R1129, now it's R1290.
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But back to Doi Mae Salong & the roads thereabouts, there are a couple of ways to get there
1. From Tha Ton
2. From Mae Chan
3. From Thoed Thai.

R1089 starts from Fang & runs north through Tha Ton towards Doi Mae Salong / Mae Chan.
R1130 starts from North of Mae Chan & runs westwards towards Doi Mae Salong and goes to ...
Then in Doi Mae Salong we have R1234 that starts by the school & evening market & goes to....

And then there's a route R107 sign between Kio Satai & Mae Chan on the THa Ton - Mae Chan road.
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R107 what the hell is that I thought?

I checked out some of kms markers beside the road and sure enough they say R107.
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And then I remembered Chiang Mai - Fang is R107, and these are really old km markers. So........to hypothesize a bit once upon a time......R107 started from Chiang Mai, went to Fang & stopped. It was a dirt road from Fang to Tha Ton then. Meanwhile they started a road from Mae Chan to link up with Fang via Tha Ton, but the money ran out & it never got completed? Eventually in better times with more funding the road from Fang to Tha Ton was completed, but this was only R1089, a four digit road & not up to the spec of R107 from Chiang Mai to Fang?? Even more money came along & a company got the contract to build a link up from Tha Ton to Doi Mae Salong & Mae Chan. A R1089 extension?

The original Tha Ton - Mae Salong trail
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Building the Tha Ton - Mae Salong road.
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The massive cut through the mountains
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How it looks today
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more to come...
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DavidFL

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So 1089 it is from Tha Ton north.
GPS-Map000.jpg

31 kms north of Tha Ton is the police checkpoint at Kio Satai.

Turn left & it goes to Doi Mae Salong, or go straight on & it goes to Mae Chan.
Both routes are signposted as R1089. Work that one out.

Follow the let turn & go up the mountains on a spectacular rode & it is 15 kms to Doi Mae Salong
GPS-Map001.jpg


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In Doi Mae Salong at the south end / evening market end of town, there's a giant km marker & you are on R1234
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You follow this road down all then all the way to route 1, but half way down on the flat it changes to route 1130!

It is 36 kms from Doi Mae Salong down to Pasang & R1
GPS-Map004.jpg


Work that one out.changing road numbers mid route on the same road.??
GPS-Map005.jpg


24.5 kms from Doi Mae Salong is another army check point Akha Sam Yaek & the turn off to Thoed Thai.

There's been a bit confusion over this route number too now, but at the junction the km marker says it is R4052
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From Akha Sam Yaek it is 13 kms downhill to Thoed Thai
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A spectacular ride if it ever was
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Your options from Thoed Thai are
1. HUa Mae Kham
2. Mae Moh
both these are out on the Burma border.
3. Is to link up with Doi Tung via R1334.

More to come R1130 & the big hill..
GPS-Map008.jpg
 

DavidFL

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So that leaves the "mystery route" R1130.
R1130 starts from highway one, 2 kms north of Mae Chan & runs west towards Doi Mae Salong.

It goes for 27 kms & the elevation profile looks like this
GPS-Map000.jpg

an amazing hill climb up & down the mountain if it ever was.
Once upon a time it was dirt & looked like this
IMAGE0014-XL.jpg

years later it looks like this. We had a bit of trouble getting up the rutted hill that day on the old Honda Wing 125, but were let down on the day.

GTR - IMG_6149B.JPG


So where is it?
Here's how R1130 looks in Google Earth.
GPS-Map001B.jpg


So what happens. R1130 runs in from Pasang / R1 for 15.2ckms, then turns left to head south, then go up over the mountains. There's one Yao hilltribe village up on the ridge line close to the summit.

Here's how it looks again in Google Earth going over the mountain.
GPS-Map002B.jpg

On the left is R1089 the Tha Ton - Mae Chan road, on the right is the Mae Chan Doi Mae Salong road R1130 / 1234.
From the turn left at R1234 it is 11.8 kms up & over the mountain.

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Some images from up on the ridgeline on the north side.
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the road surface is all good & there is no traffic.
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Check it out sometime it is an amazing road with spectacular views & it makes for a nice option going to / from Doi Mae Salong.

And it is on the GTR Golden Triangle map if you still unsure
GTR-DoiMaeSalongB.jpg


The GTR Guide Maps
GTR Touring Maps
 
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ianyonok

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Dec 9, 2008
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Yes, the 1130 is a fave. If going to Mae Salong from Mae Chan, I always go on the 1089, then turn right on 1130, up over the Doi Mae Salong NP mountains. Some great views to the north from a couple of parking spots on the ridge. There is rarely any traffic on that road and it's good tarmac all the way.
On 1130 there is a Yao village on the north side of the ridge and 2 Akha village on the way down to 1234. The Akha village at the bottom near 1234 is attactive. It has a central road that goes steeply up the mountainside. It used to be one of the few villages around with only grass roofs and and wood/bamboo walls. But last time I went past there was a first non-grass roof.
Further west there is another road over the mountains from Pangsa on 108 to Bahn Klang on the 1234. Also a great road but the tarmac was laid rather thin so it is broken up a bit.
Also there is a lovely dirt road along the mountains running roughly east - west, that connects those 2 tarmac roads. It runs through the forest and has some steep sections, difficult in the rainy season.
 

ianyonok

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Dec 9, 2008
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Everywhere looks so much greener in the north now, compared to those old pics. In fact completely different.
 

ianyonok

Ol'Timer
Dec 9, 2008
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David, I can imagine the countryside looks browner in all your old photos, compared to now. According to NASA (April 2016) the earth has greened hugely in the last 35 years, due to increased levels of CO2 in the atmosphere. Thailand looks like it has benefitted greatly and wonderful that is for all of us riding around now.
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