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Northern Thailand and Laos on a CRF 250L

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  • Northern Thailand and Laos on a CRF 250L

    This trip was done in Dec 2014 and Jan 2015 and I would share it with likeminded people on here
    Sorting out the trip was not much of a problem as I had a lot of time on my hands whilst working in Iraq
    I booked the bike through Rider's Corner Bar & Restaurant - Chiang Mai Bikers Hotel Thailand they are on email [email protected]. All detail on the site
    Flights were booked direct with Emirates
    My train from BKK to CM was booked through Royal Exclusive Travel - Thailand Travel, Hotel Bangkok, Cambodia Travel and have an email address if anyone wants it. I found them really helpfull and my ticket was waiting for me at my hotel in BKK today

    The bike I have booked is a CRF250 L with a rack on the back. I intend on using straps/bungies to fasten my bergan to the back. I brought all my own riding gear with me as I know I can get on with it. I also brought my own tools as there are non provided. But only taking the basics.

    For photographing and videoing the trip I will be using my Nokia Lumia and my donated Apple 4s ( so I can use locals sim cards as well as keep my UK one going). I have also got the GoPro Hero 4 with I have used before on many occasions (quality I find to be good) but now I have the Apple I can remote operate it also, tried it and it was good.

    I have got the Thailand maps downloaded on my Nokia but can’t get any for Laos. I do have paper maps of Thailand, Laos and Cambodia (in case I go) and I will be taking my Silva compass so there will be a bit of old school navigation.
    Also got myself a Garmin Montana, using it with Free worldwide Garmin maps from OpenStreetMap which I have found to be great detail, time will tell when I am on the road.

    WP_20141103_001 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

    WP_20141103_002 by Wayne 66, on Flickr


    - - - - - - - u p d a t e d - - - - - - -

    Arrived at the Bangkok train station in good time as I need to get my ticket for the return journey back to Bangkok on the night of the 18 Jan 2015, managed to get the same type of compartment I have got for this journey. Whilst at the station I passed the time away talking to folk…as you do! Some German girls, but its been along time since I used any German and a couple from the UK. It was a good time and it passed the time.
    In typical Thai train times we set off late, but only by 20 mins so that was not too bad. The compartment was ok but a little cramped and there was no way to lock the door once you left. Once we set off I went to the restaurant car for some food and it was very nice, ‘seafood spicy platter’ had it with a coke and a smile. No beer allowed on the train due to an incident previous. If you need anymore info on trains in Thailand then I suggest The Man in Seat Sixty-One - the train travel guide...
    as the website to use, its very informative. I went to sleep at about 2230hrs and was awake again at 0230hrs shaking like a rabid dog, what with the temperature drop further up north and the aircon in the compartment I was freezing, I could not find a way to turn the aircon off so back on with the trousers and my fleece which I had on me with flying from the UK, problem sorted and eventually awoke again at 0650hrs. Coffee time!

    I am sat on the train still as I am typing this in note form ready to do an update as and when I can, using the time wisely, how long will that last?! Looking out the window the scenery is great and I am looking forward to getting the bike tomorrow and setting off.
    Arrived at Riderscorner, got my room 380Bht for one night with aircon
    Time to chill and sort out the kit ready for tomorrow.

    IMG_0248 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

    IMG_0250 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

    IMG_0251 by Wayne 66, on Flickr
    Hua Lamphong Station, BKK

    IMG_0252 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

    IMG_0253 by Wayne 66, on Flickr
    Japanese Rail carriage and my compartment

    IMG_0254 by Wayne 66, on Flickr


    IMG_0255 by Wayne 66, on Flickr
    Rider's Corner Bar & Restaurant - Chiang Mai Bikers Hotel Thailand
    Going home soon on leave
    268 days to retirement

  • #2
    I went to pick up the bike in the evening so I could get it ready for the morning and then I could get an earlyish start
    Its brand new, only of 500km on the clock.......Not a good idea just in case i drop it ...I can see the Baht signs now
    Got him to swap out the fairing for some older stuff so it won't matter if I scuff it little.
    Took the pics in the place where I got it from.
    Roll on the morning and I am setting off for Phrae on my first leg
    Also got all my paperwork to get into Laos

    IMG_0257 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

    IMG_0258 by Wayne 66, on Flickr
    Going home soon on leave
    268 days to retirement

    Comment


    • #3
      Day 1 Chiang Mai to Phrae
      Well, had a good if not long day today, although I did more miles than I had planned to do. Scenery was great and I travelled down some narrow roads through a National park. I got to the Ghost Canyon at about 1530hrs so it gave me time to look around before it closed at 1800hrs
      Got to the hotel at about 1830hrs, showerd and out for some food, Hotel not too bad although it was 490 Bht which was more than I intended to pay. The hotel is the Namthong in the middle of Phrae, wouldn't say they were bike friendly as I had to leave it in the carpark with the rest of the cars, they did assure me that there is security on all night, we will see!
      The Canyon was quite good, the rock formation are a bit weird as you can see by the photos below
      Only had about 6 near misses today so thats not too bad for a starter
      You need eyes in the back of your head

      Screen Shot 2014-12-13 at 17.35.28 by Wayne 66, on Flickr
      The route taken from the Garmin Montana 600

      IMG_0261 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

      IMG_0262 by Wayne 66, on Flickr


      IMG_0272 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

      IMG_0277 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

      IMG_0281 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

      IMG_0285 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

      IMG_0278 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

      IMG_0286 by Wayne 66, on Flickr
      Ghost Canyon, Phrae
      Going home soon on leave
      268 days to retirement

      Comment


      • #4
        Very interesting, look forwzrd to reading more.
        'Tis me

        Comment


        • #5
          As caller said, interesting read and looking forward to more.
          When will I see you again
          When Thai Air give me my money back

          Comment


          • #6
            Great photo s , really appreciate your trip report as im off to Phrae / Phae Mueang Phi Forrest Park ... but from Lamphun and through Lampang ..... After we ve been to Mae Hong Son City and Pai ...
            bangkok mags

            Comment


            • #7
              Thanks for the interest guys

              - - - - - - - u p d a t e d - - - - - - -

              Day 2, Phrae to Sukhothai Part 1
              Got an early start today, up at 0600 and on the road for 0700 thanks to a bus load of Chinese tourists that were making a noise in the hotel I stayed in as I was close to the dining area I could not help but hear them, never mind it gave me an excuse to get up and get going. Phrae to Sukhothai

              Screen Shot 2014-12-14 at 17.13.54 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

              It was a good trip and very scenic, I didn’t have breakfast, thought I would get some miles under the belt before I stopped to eat. Riding from one village to the next was good and all the smells of food which was cooking at that time in the morning was making me really peckish. So I decide to pull in, I was also thinking about fuel and lucky the place I decided to pull in to was also selling fuel, so what with the little bit of Thai I have managed to learn and a lot of pointing and gestures I got fuel for the bike and fuel for me….sorted.

              IMG_0288 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

              IMG_0290 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

              IMG_0292 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

              IMG_0295 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

              IMG_0296 by Wayne 66, on Flickr
              Breakfast

              Time to hit the road again and get to Sukhothai, on the route I kept stopping to play with the Gopro and try and get used to using the app I have for my iPhone, it allows me the use it wirelessly. I eventully got it to work and took a bit of video on the route.

              The route I took was a mixture of rolling hills and flat rice paddy fields with a few villages (towns) thrown in for good measure, so all in all it was a good journey

              IMG_0297 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

              IMG_0300 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

              IMG_0301 by Wayne 66, on Flickr
              Going home soon on leave
              268 days to retirement

              Comment


              • #8
                Day 2, Phrae to Sukhothai Part 2
                I got to Sukhothai for lunchtime, about 1200 and stopped at a coffee house with wifi so I could look at Rideasia.net and the HUBB to try and find some recommended digs. Found the Garden house..coords N17.00484 E99.48989, very nice little bungalows, paid 300 Bht with a fan, you could pay extra for aircon…but being a Yorkshire man….


                IMG_0302 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                IMG_0303 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                IMG_0308 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                Once I was sorted out and had chilled for a bit it was time to do a bit of sight seeing. I went a visited the Sukhothai Historical Park…coords N17.01816° E99.70673°, it was a really nice place and in my mind well worth a visit. It cost 100 Bht to get in and an extra 20 Bht if you want to ride round on your bike…so guess what?….The bike it was!
                IMG_0313 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                IMG_0317 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                IMG_0322 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                IMG_0326 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                IMG_0343 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                IMG_0345 by Wayne 66, on Flickr
                Spent a bit of time talking to this lady using ThaiEnglish and gestures

                IMG_0348 by Wayne 66, on Flickr
                Going home soon on leave
                268 days to retirement

                Comment


                • #9
                  Day 3 Sukhothai to Tha Song Yang
                  Yet another early start today, was on the road for about for about 0745, stopped off at a petrol station which had a 7/11 shop, got a 6 litre of water and filled up my CamelBak and binned the rest so I could fill it up with petrol. Only got a 7 litre tank and was crossing some big hills today.
                  So better to be safe than sorry, as it happens I didn’t need it.
                  The route to start off with was pretty long and mundane although the scenery was fine the road was not, then I got on to the 1175, now that was fun

                  Day 3 Sukhothai to Tha Song Yang by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                  Google Earth Elevation shot by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                  I did about 80 odd K’s then decided that I needed food so I stopped in Tak, food was great and cheap. That was the boring bit of the road done also.

                  IMG_0384 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                  IMG_0385 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                  Next up was Tak to Ban Mae la, don’t know why I went there? It was up near the Myanmar Border and it gave me a good route to do over the mountains on some more interesting roads, just what the Doctor ordered.
                  Saw some great sights/scenery on route and had some good roads to ride on. About 2 thirds in to the 1175 I was in need of a break so I just stopped off at the next little village I came across and went to the little shop, had a cold Nescafe out of a tin and a Red Bull type drink, what a pick me up

                  IMG_0415 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                  IMG_0417 by Wayne 66, on Flickr
                  Refreshments

                  During the very early stages of the 1175 I saw a big white budda, had to go check it out, although when I got up there I could not find a way to get to the front to take a pic so had to make do with one from a distance but I got the Temple close up instead.
                  Even managed to get in a traffic jam of cows and a lone woman trying to keep them in check

                  IMG_0392 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                  IMG_0386 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                  IMG_0393 by Wayne 66, on Flickr
                  Went over those mountains in the distance

                  IMG_0396 by Wayne 66, on Flickr
                  Going home soon on leave
                  268 days to retirement

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Day 3 Sukhothai to Tha Song Yang Part 2

                    IMG_0398 by Wayne 66, on Flickr
                    The temple where the White Budda was

                    IMG_0404 by Wayne 66, on Flickr
                    White Budda in the distance


                    IMG_0410 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                    IMG_0419 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                    IMG_0424 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                    IMG_0427 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                    IMG_0429 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                    Eventually made I it to Ban Mae la and decide that I had been and seen and it was time to move on, nowt much happening. So I re-joined the 105 and headed for Tha Song Yang. Only a small town but had a 7/11 and some local eateries. Stopped off in one of the eateries and in my best Thai for hotel I was pointed in the direction of the place where I will lay my head tonight, which is the BP Resort, coords N17.24866° E98.21464°. Nice little bungalows, 400 Bht with aircon…because boy I needed it and the bike is parked right outside, sorted

                    IMG_0432 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                    IMG_0433 by Wayne 66, on Flickr
                    The room for the night

                    Popped back into Tha Song Yang for evening meal and now to plan for tomorrow, a long boring route up to Mae Hong Son where I think I am going to stay of a couple of days and do a ride out.

                    Up to now I am averaging about 1000 Bht a day, give or take a bit, so about 20 quid, not too bad for fuel, food and bed.
                    Still got another 13 days or so before I head in to Laos
                    Going home soon on leave
                    268 days to retirement

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Really enjoyable thread, plus I learn lots reading posts like these.

                      Remind's me of the time I travelled from BKK up through Phitsanulok (but didn't see the big Buddha there much to a locals astonishment) to Chiang Mai by ... ordinary bus (I have moments where I'd make a Yorkshire man look extravagant). I think it cost me about £25

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by marshall View Post
                        Really enjoyable thread, plus I learn lots reading posts like these.

                        Remind's me of the time I travelled from BKK up through Phitsanulok (but didn't see the big Buddha there much to a locals astonishment) to Chiang Mai by ... ordinary bus (I have moments where I'd make a Yorkshire man look extravagant). I think it cost me about £25
                        Glad you are enjoying it
                        25 quid....cheapskate hahaha


                        Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk whilst drinking a cold beer
                        Going home soon on leave
                        268 days to retirement

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Well, sat in Savannakhet, passport in, hopefully another 60 days tomorrow, fingers crossed

                          - - - - - - - u p d a t e d - - - - - - -

                          Day 4 Tha Song Yang to Mae Hong Son Part 1
                          Wow what a day, long but great. So much for me saying that the road was going going to be long and boring….far from it. It was a brilliant ride, it was 200 mile of so off twists with a bit of loose stuff thrown in for good measure, it would be worth doing again another time.

                          Tha Song Yang to Mae Hong Son by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                          Tha Song Yang to Mae Hong Son1 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                          Set off again at about 0745hrs and decide to stop on route for breakfast as per the norm. It was really misty for the first couple of hours and I was forever wiping my goggles so I could see where I was going. Also got to a point where i was thinking I needed some fuel and doing the gravel dirt road and going up and down the hills/mountains was zapping the juice. Came across a construction team who were working on the road (loosely speaking of course) and point at the tank, they looked blank at first then cottoned on, they pointed back the way I had came, Ummmm not a good move going backwards when you need fuel, anyway it was only about 2 k’s back down the road, I didn’t see it the first time due to mist and a lorry.
                          Some scenes from the day, although didn't stop much for photos, I was enjoying the road

                          IMG_0447 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                          IMG_0449 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                          IMG_0450 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                          IMG_0452 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                          IMG_0454 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                          IMG_0455 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                          IMG_0457 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                          IMG_0464 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                          Going home soon on leave
                          268 days to retirement

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Day 4 Tha Song Yang to Mae Hong Son Part 2
                            Breakfast came about 1000 at a place called Sobmoei, food was the usual, fried rice with pork and veg, 'I will soon look like a bit of rice’, but hey if you are eating local!
                            IMG_0456 by Wayne 66, on Flickr
                            Breakfast spot

                            The scenery was great, the road awesome, and after a couple more stops to refuel the bike and me I finally got the MHS at about 1415hrs
                            Found a coffee house with wifi, sat with a Expresso Frappe and looked for a place to stay.
                            Found the Friends House, coords..N19.30019° E97.96727°, talk about basic haha but at least its a bed, 300 Bht for the night, 6 quid so can’t grumble.


                            IMG_0465 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                            IMG_0466 by Wayne 66, on Flickr
                            The room for a couple of nights

                            Going home soon on leave
                            268 days to retirement

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Day 5 Mae Hong Son to Ban Rak Thai, staying local Part 1
                              Decided to stay local to Mae Hong Son today and visit a village I had planned to do and what people on here had said go visit. So off I went...
                              Thought I might get a lay in but the Cockerels were making a right racket at 0600 this morning...not amused haha


                              Day 5 Mae Hong Son to Ban Rak Thai by Wayne 66, on Flickr
                              It was a good climb, glad i was on the bike, phew!

                              But it was still around 1000hrs when I set off, I just chilled in my 5* accommodation till then.
                              It was a good ride to the village of Ban Rak Thai which I a village of Chinese Decendents I think and they grow and do their own tea, very nice it was too, I tried the Ging Sing and the morning tea, all free which was nice, also had some grub. I purposely didn't order any rice but it came with it any way
                              But it was very nice, I had Yunnan style fried pork done in Chinese herbs and honey

                              IMG_0480 by Wayne 66, on Flickr
                              Tea and roasted almonds, Ging Sing on left

                              IMG_0481 by Wayne 66, on Flickr
                              Good Food

                              IMG_0484 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                              IMG_0486 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                              IMG_0487 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                              IMG_0488 by Wayne 66, on Flickr
                              The village market area

                              IMG_0490 by Wayne 66, on Flickr
                              Were I had food

                              Stayed at the village for a while and on the way back I stopped of at the Pha Sua Waterfall, quite disappointed actually as there was not much water.

                              IMG_0500 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                              IMG_0503 by Wayne 66, on Flickr
                              Think you can just see the water

                              Going home soon on leave
                              268 days to retirement

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