Renting my way through Asia

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Doogle, Mar 3, 2017.

  1. prince666

    prince666 Adventurer

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    Yes a Honda CRF 250 L
    #41
  2. tbrew

    tbrew n00b

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    Stay safe. Interesting read and pictures. Hurry back, we have work to do on the Lefferson courts!. haha
    #42
  3. Doogle

    Doogle Do it while you can

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    Such encouragement. Let me see. Work or ride in foreign countries. I'll think that one over.......for about 5 weeks.
    #43
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  4. Doogle

    Doogle Do it while you can

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    I'll look this morning and try to get the same. Hope my knees aren't in my chest like the last one was.
    #44
  5. Doogle

    Doogle Do it while you can

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    2017-03-13 Renting a bike in Chiang Mai

    Had a great breakfast at the hotel.

    Then I went to rent a bike. About half the street front is bars.
    [​IMG]2017-03-13 Bars & bike in Chiang Mai 4 by


    And the other 2/3 is massage shops. I know. The math doesn't add up. But there are so many.
    "Hay lo, may sog for you". You hear that every 30 feet. Most are on lounge seats on the sidewalk. But the one I went to.. No, just kidding.
    I walked about a half mile to a rental shop. I will rent a Honda 250 CRF M. It has street wheels on it. They will put dual sport wheels on if I want. I'll wait till Stephen gets here and decide which type riding we will do. It cost $24 a day at C&P rentals.

    I walked back to the hotel and took another shower. It's that sticky.

    And a major happy. I finally got to to video Skype with Gayle. I think it's having better bandwidth that finally allowed the connection.
    -------------------------------------
    About 2 pm I hadn't heard from Stephen yet. I decided to go and rent the bike and have them put dual sport wheels on it.
    [​IMG]2017-03-13 Bars & bike in Chiang Mai 5 by

    When I got to the bike shop they said it would be about an hour to change the wheels. So I started back to the hotel. I looked up and saw a Honda CRF turning. I pointed at the guy, and he pointed back. It was Stephen just coming into town.

    We talked a bit and agreed to meet at the Roo bar in a while. I went and got my bike. They only charged me $21 a day. I took it back to the hotel. Then I met him and his riding group at the bar.
    [​IMG]DSCN3397 by

    A few things about Stephen that I had wrong. He used to live in Hainan. Now he lives 10 hours south east of Beijing. He lives near here in Chiang Rai several months out of the year. His wife is Chinese. And he has lived in China about 10 years.

    Last June he started a trip through northern Russia to Scandinavia and Europe. His trip isn't finished yet. He has a bike in Kunming, China that he will ride home. He has a flightbooked to Kunming on March 24.

    What's all that got to do with me? He doesn't think I will have much luck renting bikes in China. He says I should buy a new bike in Kunming for about $3000 and ride a scenic route back with him. Then sell it near Beijing. I've already blabbered too much to explain why a new bike. Tomorrow we'll start a loop ride with his group. So we'll talk more about it. I would save 3 or 4 air fares and rental costs-if they are even available. And I'd be riding where he says tour rides go.

    This evening I went out to eat near the hotel. My first no English experience. The food pictures they had didn't work. 5 young girls trying to figure out what I wanted. Everyone was laughing. I was making the pig noise and trying to say rice real slow. That always works. Several of us were using translators to finally order pork, rice, and noodle stir fry. When I was paying they wanted a picture of me. And I got one of most of them.
    [​IMG]DSCN3398 by
    #45
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  6. gavo

    gavo Slacker

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    Keep the street wheels and do Mae Hong Song loop lots of twisties:rayof
    #46
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  7. theoenhilde

    theoenhilde Adventurer

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    Hey Doug, nice to read your reports and see the beautiful pictures. You met nice people from Amsterdam.
    Hope you find sunblock otherwise more people think they see an alien with a white carpet under his chin.
    Drive safe and enjoy and find a bike with bit of comfort. And yes I can imagine your glad with such a faithfully travel agent. Your Dutch mother is also reading your reports
    #47
  8. Doogle

    Doogle Do it while you can

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    2017-03-14 Mae Hong Son Loop
    I was supposed to meet Stephen at a restaurant at 9 am. I took my bags down to the bike and loaded up. Then I went and bought gas. Got a little lost on the way back. Eventually I found the restaurant.Stephen and I would be riding alone. There is a loop ride called the Mae Hong Son. We hadn't ridden 2 miles and we had a police check point. Mine went smooth with the International Drivers License. They gave Stephen a pretty hard time with his Chinese drivers license.
    [​IMG]2017-03-14 Mae Hong Son Loop 1 by

    Eventually we are off. 5 minutes later we hit another check point. It went better.

    We rode about 150 miles to the town, Mae Hong Son. I think someone said there were 1864 curves on the route.
    Stephen is a very good rider. And he really attacks the twistys. Keeping him within sight is a chore. He said it is one of the worst months of the year to be here. The rain hasn't come yet to turn the jungle green. In fact it is so dry, the leaves are falling. Visibility was worse than the Smokey Mountains. People are burning leaves and limbs. It's like LA on a heavy smog day.
    [​IMG]2017-03-15 WOT Fun3 by

    But the riding was great. I did have 2 rear wheel slips while passing a truck on a curve. It looked like there was some dirt/dust on a section of that lane.
    We stopped at what they call the Japanese Bridge. Locals were forced to build a wooden bridge during the war. When the Japanese were forced out of the area, they burned the bridge. This was built in the 1970's. Kind of a memorial bridge.
    [​IMG]2017-03-14 Mae Hong Son Loop 5 by

    We're staying at a place at the edge of town that Stephen has used before. It's called the Romtai House. It cost $15.
    [​IMG]2017-03-14 Mae Hong Son Loop 9 by

    [​IMG]2017-03-14 Mae Hong Son Loop 10 by

    Tomorrow will be a long day. It's the rest of the loop going back to Chiang Mai. It's longer than what we did today.
    #48
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  9. wera688

    wera688 V-Stromer

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    be sure to visit the long necked Karen tribe in the northern part of the Golden Triangle
    #49
  10. prince666

    prince666 Adventurer

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    Great riding with you Doogle we need to check your tyre pressures to see what is holding you up lol
    Hope to post a YouTube video soon of me and Doogle attacking the bends today.
    #50
  11. Doogle

    Doogle Do it while you can

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    I'll ask my tour guide if it's on the itinerary. I'd like to see them. Had that on my to do list.
    Stephen said Google is on a Chinese black list. Won't be able to use Google or Gmail in China. So I'm trying out Opera as a browser before I get there.
    #51
  12. Doogle

    Doogle Do it while you can

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    We did check the pressure today. 12 psi in the front and under 20 on the rear. While looking at the rear I saw a bunch of gravel between the rim and the bead. I guess when they switched the wheels out they didn't check them out. They must have been used by an off roader last.


    This is most of what we got out. I just hope none got inside and cut a hole into the tube.
    [​IMG]2017-03-15 WOT Fun4 by
    #52
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  13. Doogle

    Doogle Do it while you can

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    2017-03-15 WOT Fun

    Today we rode the rest of the Mae Hong Son Loop. Wiki says it is about 400 miles long. We rode about 10 hours. Stephen detoured some at the end to take a few more curves in. So we probably added a few more miles on. WOT (Wide Open Throttle) is necessary to keep Stephen within sight. And I have a lot more respect for the little 250cc machines than I used to. This is a great bike.

    It wasn't as smokey today as it was yesterday. But it still wasn't clear.

    An early stop.
    [​IMG]2017-03-15 WOT Fun1 by

    Some of the road.
    [​IMG]2017-03-17 Nan to Ban Sop Bong, Thailand 35 by

    We've been here for a week. We can't get out of HOT.
    [​IMG]2017-03-15 WOT Fun9 by

    Stopped for another drink and some strawberries.
    [​IMG]2017-03-15 WOT Fun18 by

    Today was great riding. The Tail of the Dragon is a great ride. But it's over in half an hour. This loop keeps going and going and going. And it doesn't get old. Anyone who has ridden the curves know you can't take a picture to show it. You have to ride to know.

    Stephen took some videos today and yesterday. I hope he will post them on this thread. I don't think advrider wants others adding pictures and videos to someone else's threads. But I hope the moderator will allow it here. I want it on my thread.
    #53
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  14. Doogle

    Doogle Do it while you can

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  15. theoenhilde

    theoenhilde Adventurer

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    Mandalay, Myanmar. Nice stay in the Mama Guesthouse. Near the centrum,quite place.
    In the morning the singing monks coming for food in the street. You can eat on the roof in the restaurant.
    If there is time visit Bagan with its thousend of ancient temples. Its a 4.5 hours drive.
    #55
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  16. Doogle

    Doogle Do it while you can

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    I'll try to remember Mama when I get there.
    I've not researched the sites in Burma very well. Wasn't sure I would go. Got the visa just in case.
    #56
  17. Doogle

    Doogle Do it while you can

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    2017-03-17 Bad breaks going to Ban Sop Bong 225 miles

    The good news- it wasn't as hot today, the riding was the best, and we had breakfast at KFC at 4 pm.
    The bad news- my camera fell out of my pocket at 40 mph and 5 minutes later my sunglasses fell apart. The camera still works, kinda. The menu button and the delete button aren't all there anymore. I can see shiny things that I would rather be hidden again. Tomorrow we will try some JB Weld to stabilize it's condition. If that doesn't work I might be forced to use duct tape.

    We saw roads needing repair occasionally.
    [​IMG]2017-03-17 Nan to Ban Sop Bong, Thailand 01 by

    But most of the roads were in great condition.

    And the occasional construction.




    We stopped at a small town where they extract salt. I saw the boiling pots. But I don't know if they started with salty water or mined dirt.

    [​IMG]2017-03-17 Nan to Ban Sop Bong, Thailand 24 by

    [​IMG]2017-03-17 Nan to Ban Sop Bong, Thailand 26 by

    [​IMG]2017-03-17 Nan to Ban Sop Bong, Thailand 25 by

    And there was a guy smashing up some coffee beans.

    We walked out on to a flimsy suspension bridge. Neither of us would ride across it. It swayed way to much, even just on foot. But we rode across the creek below to clean our wheels.

    [​IMG]2017-03-17 Nan to Ban Sop Bong, Thailand 28 by

    [​IMG]2017-03-17 Nan to Ban Sop Bong, Thailand 30 by


    There are a lot of these small structures along the road through out the country. They dry crops here. Beans, corn, whatever. Then they bag it up and truck it off to sell. Below are the left over corn cobs.

    [​IMG]2017-03-17 Nan to Ban Sop Bong, Thailand 16 by


    Then we rode up to the Thailand/Laos border crossing at Huaykon.

    [​IMG]2017-03-17 Nan to Ban Sop Bong, Thailand 43 by

    Tonight we are staying at the Phumeangkeaw Resort in Ban Sop Bong. $12. And a translation error calling it a resort. But it's decent enough.


    I guess no pictures tonight. I've spent over an hour trying to upload pictures to Photobucket. I need to find another source to handle my pictures. Too much wasted time again. Sorry.
    Edit: At 4am I can upload. Maybe I have a local bandwidth problem.
    #57
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  18. Doogle

    Doogle Do it while you can

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    2017-03-18 Golden Triangle

    Today we started at 6:15 am. I think it was about 220 miles again. Our first stop was the Pho Sang Waterfalls. It's not a big waterfall. But worth the stop. And it was right on our route.

    A little later we stopped at Phu Chi Fa. It was a half mile walk up to a rock formation. At the top there was a marker for the border between Laos and Thailand.
    [​IMG]2017-03-18 Golden Triangle 15 by

    [​IMG]2017-03-18 Golden Triangle 18 by

    [​IMG]2017-03-18 Golden Triangle 21 by


    On the way back down I passed 3 girls dressed in traditional clothes.

    [​IMG]2017-03-18 Golden Triangle 24 by

    Our next stop was Doi Pha Tang. It's another location that is right by the Laos border. And there was a Buddha next to the view point. You can see the Mekhong River if it isn't too cloudy.

    [​IMG]2017-03-18 Golden Triangle 39 by

    [​IMG]2017-03-18 Golden Triangle 37 by


    The last place we stopped at was the Golden Triangle. Famous for it being where Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar meet. It's also on the Mekhong River. There was a big Buddha there also.

    [​IMG]2017-03-18 Golden Triangle 50 by

    [​IMG]2017-03-18 Golden Triangle 43 by

    [​IMG]2017-03-18 Golden Triangle 47 by

    [​IMG]2017-03-18 Golden Triangle 53 by

    Myanmar is on the left. Laos on the right. And I'm standing in Thailand.

    [​IMG]2017-03-18 Golden Triangle 56 by

    Most of the day we were riding up in the mountains and near the border of either Laos or Myanmar. We rode to 2 different border crossings going to Laos. Chaingkhong and the other one.

    [​IMG]2017-03-18 Golden Triangle 61 by

    Phu Chi Tang and Doi Pha Tang were cooler riding because they are at about 5000 feet of elevation.

    I'm staying at the Golden House Hotel in Chiang Rai tonight. It's big and clean. $14. Stephen is staying at his place.
    #58
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  19. Doogle

    Doogle Do it while you can

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    2017-03-19 Wat Rong Khun-The White Temple & Chiang Mai

    I left Stephen's city and rode about 110 miles back to Chiang Mai. On the way back, I was passing a slow string of traffic on the shoulder. As I passed the big truck that I assumed was the whole problem, I went between 2 steel posts. 2 seconds later I realized I just ran a police check point. Did they see me? Will they chase me? I guess not. Yesterday Stephen and I went through a check point just as 2 cops ran and jumped on to a motorcycle. They took off and chased a guy down. I don't know what he did. I was nervous. I thought Stephen was going to pass them before they stopped their victim.

    I arrived and checked in to the Duangtawan Hotel before noon. I'll be here 2 nights @ $54 a night. Very upscale place. I'm on the 12th floor.

    Just on the south side of Chiang Rai I stopped at Wat Rong Khun- the white temple. It's not very old. And it is very different from any other temples I've seen. It's almost modern. I think it's the first religious site I've ever visited that I didn't feel religious at all. To me, it seemed totally built for tourism. There wasn't a charge to enter. But it just seemed like a display to me.
    [​IMG]2017-03-19 Wat Rong Khun7 by

    [​IMG]2017-03-19 Wat Rong Khun10 by

    [​IMG]2017-03-19 Wat Rong Khun6 by
    [​IMG]2017-03-19 Wat Rong Khun5 by
    [​IMG]2017-03-19 Wat Rong Khun1 by
    [​IMG]2017-03-19 Wat Rong Khun2 by

    And these evil do not park signs.
    [​IMG]2017-03-19 Wat Rong Khun12 by


    I'll be here until Tuesday. Then I fly to Mandalay, Myanmar for 3 days. I need the time to do laundry in a machine, decide where I will stay, and find a bike rental company.

    Stephen said he doesn't think I could have rented a motorcycle in China without being on a tour. So my half baked plan for China may have crumbled when I arrived. Buying a bike isn't without it's problems either. Pairing up with him was just luck. If things work out, it may make it easier for others to follow. Stephen may want to start a guide business. His wife is Chinese and will take care of things that he couldn't.
    #59
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  20. prince666

    prince666 Adventurer

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    Both me and Doogle riding Honda CRF 250L.
    Road is a section of the Mae Hong Son loop (1095}
    Can you see Doogle rear end sliding out at times?
    After checking his tyre pressures found both the front and back to have only 12 PSI.
    View Video on full HD by changing the video resolution in setting.

    #60
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