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Old 05-10-2011, 05:44 AM   #1
TonyBKK OP
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Laugh North Thailand Best of the Best Tour!

Woohoo! What a tour! I think I'm going to call it "The Best of the Best" tour of Northern Thailand

May 1st Neil and I escaped from the Big Smoke bright and early and blasted up to Loei in record time to rendezvous with Sarge, Skateboard John and Marc at the King's Hotel-


Snapped a pic of this amazing Thai Disco Bus at a gas stop along the way-

All those speakers are real and you could hear this beastie coming from MILES away! It was around 9 in the morning but the passengers were dancing and I think more than a few were already on the sauce- Amazing Thailand!

The 203 from Lom Sak to Loei is an awesome road!


King's Hotel is an amazing deal for only 500 Baht with big clean rooms and free WiFi. The restaurant was closed for the holiday and unfortunately it seems the Queens Massage next door has gone out of business?

Amazing food and Erdinger on tap down the road at Chris's Steak House (I don't actually know what the real name is of that restaurant- but the food is amazing and very cheap!)

Sarge and I wandered about looking for some nightlife but Loei was very quiet, perhaps due to the holiday? After the Erdinger it was hard to go back to Thai beer but you gotta do what you gotta do!

May 2nd, Loei to Nan via 1295, 1268 and 1083- Amazing!!!



Parts of the 1295 along the Lao border were a bit rough but we made it through...


Skateboard John sporting his high tech head gear


Neil, Sarge and Marc-


1268 is a stunning road in perfect repair with barely any traffic that follows the Lao border and passes through some beautiful countryside.


The curves never end- what a road!


There is a beautiful park though I've already forgotten the name... Phu Soi Dao?



Unfortunately no food, but MacGuyver John busted out a big block of cheddar from a freezer bag which really hit the spot!

A couple pics of the waterfall-


There is a trail and you can hike to more falls higher up.


The 1083 is almost spooky- it's a BIG road with wide shoulders and completely deserted! You can ride for miles and miles without seeing another vehicle. What is the purpose of this road? I have no idea!

We were very lucky with the weather- a few spots of rain but nothing heavy.

Big muddy river-


Then up up up to this view point-


You can't tell because I'm using an old iPhone but the air quality this whole trip was just amazing- all the rains have really cleaned the air making for clear visibility and gorgeous views.




Blasted on to Nan where we met up with Luke, Hasse and Nikster who had arrived a bit earlier from Chiang Mai.

It was a very nice touch when we rolled in to the hotel / resort a pretty young thing with a lovely smile ran out to meet us with our keys - Amazing Thailand indeed!

TBC!
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Old 05-10-2011, 05:50 AM   #2
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As luck would have it our resort in Nan was stumbling distance from the Channel X Disco, Filth Club and some other night spots- wow, kudos to Skateboard John for finding this fantastic place!

A pleasure to meet Hasse and good fun catching up with Luke, West and Nikster as well. Luke knows Nan like the back of his hand and had some great ideas for a challenging and rewarding day ride the following day.

Here's what we ended up riding-


1168 - 1225 - 1257 - 1081 - 1256 = a solid day of road bike nirvana!

Snapped this pic at the junction of the 1168 and 1225-


The 1257 is crazy little roller coaster of a road, quite rough and very tight, but rewards you with spectacular views. Of course you can really only enjoy the views for a moment because if you mess up on that road you're likely to plunge off a cliff

Luke and West tore up that road on their motards while Nik and I gave chase on our Versys. (Versi?)

The 1257 is the type of road where you really notice and are grateful for the higher spec suspension of the Versys compared to the ER6n / Ninja 650R.

The crazy 1257 then dumps you onto one of the most fantastic sport bike roads in all of Thailand- the 1081:


Route 1081 in Nan, Thailand has to be seen and ridden to be believed!


I think Nik agrees


Totally deserted as usual- I was tempted to lie down and take a nap in the middle of the road

Nik, Luke and West:


Despite what some may think, this is the only "knee down" action I get on public roads


Wringing the poor Versys' neck but she's still going strong. What a view!


Chilling out while waiting for Sarge, Neil and Jungle John to catch up-


Enjoyed a fantastic lunch at a beautiful resort in Bo Klua


Then hammered up the 1256 through Doi Phu Kha National Park and on to Pua and finally back to Nan.

Exhausted and exhilarated and ready for more!!!

Dinner at Da Dario's then got a call from Johnny and Frank that they had arrived from CM so off to meet them in the parking lot of Channel X and then five of us partied until the wee hours at the Filth club- woohoo!

To Be Continued
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Old 05-10-2011, 06:24 AM   #3
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Gorgeous ride! Thanks for the report and pics

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Old 05-10-2011, 07:54 AM   #4
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Old 05-11-2011, 11:13 AM   #5
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North Thailand Tour- May 4th

May 4th some of us woke up with pounding heads and for a while it seemed we might lose a rider or two

Nothing like some good coffee and excellent food at Nan's HOT BREAD to get the day started


Nik and Luke above, Elvis erm, I mean, Johnny and Neil below


Quick gas stop-


And we're off! Today's route would take us to Chiang Rai via the fantastic 1148 to Chiang Kham and a detour to amazing Phu Chi Fa-


Luke, Nik and West left us at Chiang Kham and headed home to Chiang Mai while Johnny Elvis , Frank, Neil, Sarge and I continued on to Phu Chi Fa and Chiang Rai. Skateboard John was in desperate need of a new tire and had one sent to Chiang Rai so he headed out well before us and headed straight to Chiang Rai.

See why I call this tour the Best of the Best?


Frank let me take his KTM 690 SMR for a spin through some of the twisties- wow! what a weapon! I didn't really want to give it back...



The road to Phu Chi Fa-


Original plan had called for a night in Mae Salong, but upon hearing that there is ZERO nightlife there we quickly agreed to overnight in Chiang Rai instead, (but we forgot to tell Skateboad John, so he ended up in Mae Salong by himself... Oooops! SORRY John! )

CR was a good choice as we did indeed find some entertainment and kept the Lamyai bar open until 3am


TBC
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Old 05-11-2011, 11:24 AM   #6
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If you guys can stand in the middle of the road to take pictures, there must not be many cars at all.

Nice route!
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Old 05-22-2011, 07:45 PM   #7
TonyBKK OP
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Sorry, I never finished this trip report!


Riding Phu Chi Fa was fantastic but we did get caught by a passing storm-


Fortunately found a nice spot with friendly locals where we could hang out until the rain passed.


Overall we were very lucky with the weather on this trip. The only really wet day was our ride from Chiang Rai to Chiang Mai where we had to battle through heavy cold rain all the way from Fang to Mae Rim. No pics, but we were all looking and feeling like drowned rats by the time we rolled in to Ian Bungy's X-Centre. The rain was so heavy that parts of the 107 north of Chiang Mai were flooded and closed.

Original plan had been to do the route below plus a loop of Doi Ang Kang, but with the weather we skipped the mountain and continued on to Chiang Mai-


Highway 109 between Mae Suai and Fang is an awesome road:


But we were about half way through there fantastic twisties when the skies opened up and we took refuge beneath a roadside shelter.

Day of rest and relaxation and more rain in CM-


Some of the fellows were suffering from a bit of cabin fever? Ha ha ha!


Franz, always known for his amazing hospitality invited us all over to his place for a fantastic breakfast- THANK YOU FRANZ!

Original plan was to ride from Chiang Mai to Mae Sot via Mae Sariang-


Neil and Sarge were worried about bad weather on the deserted and sometimes rough roads between Mae Sariang and Mae Sot and therefore decided to ride to Petchabun via Pitsanulok, but I still wanted to hit the 108 to Mae Sariang and the 105 to Mae Sot so I twisted Franz's arm (I didn't have to twist hard ) and he agreed to join me as far a Mae Sariang on his Super Tenere. Wow- what a BEAST that bike is! It doesn't look so big in pictures but when you stand next to it you realize just how huge it is. Fits Franz perfectly!

The 108 to Mae Sariang was fantastic! What a road!


Great to catch up with Franz over a fantastic lunch at a riverside restaurant in Mae Sariang, but the clock was ticking and soon we had to be on our way or risk getting caught out in the dark. So I headed south to Mae Sot and Franz headed north to Mae Hong Song. Thank you again for everything Franz!

The 105 was in better shape than the last time I rode it.


In some places you feel like you are completely alone-




A few spots of rain but nothing too bad.


Some roadworks as well, but again, nothing the Versys couldn't handle-


I reckon in another 2-3 years when they finish all the road work that the 105 will be yet another addition to Thailand's long list of fantastic sport bike roads.


Rolled in to Mae Sot right around sunset and checked in to the good old Pornthep Hotel- secure off street covered parking for the bike and big room with AC for 300 Baht! Then wandered over to Bai Fern for a fantastic Paneng Curry and then across to street to Aiya for some great live music. Awesome!
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