Solo Long Way Up Chiang Rai~ SG-Malaysia-Thailand-Myanmar~19Apr-6May2013

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by lefert86, May 26, 2013.

  1. lefert86

    lefert86 Vararaider

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2011
    Oddometer:
    25
    Location:
    Singapore
    Its been awhile since I could get to ride up north from Singapore to Thailand. Bits of planning, research here & there over a couple of months, preparations, getting a bigger bike.....etc etc.

    Finally got my 2nd bike since i started riding 3 years ago and 1st big bike in Jan 13, a K5 DL1000. a couple of servicings, change parts from wear and tear, and getting used to it.

    The date was finally set in March: ETD 19 Apr 13 2300hrs from home in Singapore. Trip was intended 17-18days. My 3rd trip up Thailand, and my FIRST EVER SOLO RIDE.

    Bike: Suzuki DL1000K5
    Bike Gear: Alpinestars Long Range 2 jacket and pants set, Alpinestars Scout WP Boots, Shoei DS Hornet
    Camera: Nikon Coolpix 7MP , Tachyon XC HD
    GPS: Papago Thailand on Iphone 4


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    Gearing up again for the epic ride after meeting up fellow rider frens who came to send me off and accompanying me for the next 300++km before i'm on my own. Time was 0030hrs 20Apr

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    Many of my frens (riders and non-riders) said im crazy to go solo,or why not i join other groups or wait for the other kakis.....Well.... I tink most solo riders got stood up before.....LOL so i cant keep delaying the trip so why not just try for solo? if dont do now then do when...So **** it, Juz Ride. This trip report maybe abit boring...so my apologies first. This report will be more of Picture/Photo report then just words...I will let the pictures do the talking instead.....

    https://maps.google.com.sg/maps?saddr=Unknown+road&daddr=Lebuhraya+Hubungan+Kedua+Malaysia+-+Singapura+to:Sadao+Immigration+Office+Padangbesa+Songkhla+Thailand&hl=en&ll=4.214943,104.831543&spn=11.114546,21.643066&sll=1.163098,103.757629&sspn=0.697484,1.352692&geocode=FV_iFQAdtnovBg%3BFX1YFQAdzp0sBg%3BFTe7ZQAd3tr6BSHBwR_xEmXWhSnB_SkZ6sBMMDHBwR_xEmXWhQ&oq=sadao+&mra=ls&t=m&z=6

    1st leg was clearing the boring Malaysian North-South Highway. Petrol stops along the way every 150-200km for rest, water and ciggs for abt 20-40mins. Nothing much in particular happen. Reach the Thai border about 1030hrs 20 Apr.
    Head to Hatyai (a lively town) another 50km away for brunch and start hunting for accommodation.
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    Unpack and shower, relax abit....update facebook to let family and frens know I have arrived safely in Thailand. Still cant get to sleep so went out explore around the town on foot, thai massage, then dinner :dg. And back to hotel to pack & sleep . thats all for Day 1. Sorry Didnt get any pictures of the road and traffic...nothing special on the busy highway anyway :lol3
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    #1
  2. lefert86

    lefert86 Vararaider

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2011
    Oddometer:
    25
    Location:
    Singapore
    Start the ride for the day @ abt 0730hrs (+7 GMT Thailand Time). Rode from HatYai to Nakhon Si Thammarat along Route 4 then Route 41, stop for breakfast and petrol.
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    Continue ride....uneventful ride, scorching heat and lots of water parade till I finally saw the BIG BIRD or Chicken or Hua Hin's famous landmark. Stopped at roadside for photos and shoot off to a guesthouse i randomly select from my papago GPS app.
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    happen to chance upon this "Benchana Guesthouse"...and im too tired to carry on finding the randomly selected guesthouse from the app, so stopped for the day. abt 740Kms from Hat Yai to Hua Hin.
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    after shower and some laundry washing...went down for dinner.
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    continue upload some videos after dinner from the Tachyon HD Camcorder....then the owners invited me to join them for supper and drink...had conversation with them with my broken Thai, abit english and chinese...at least they can understand me, and i can understand them. just sharing experiences and stories.... well, Day 2 not much to talk either abt the trip so far...
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    some thai whiskey drink....

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    steamed flower crabs, veg, and COCKLES.....raw cockles to be exact.....:eek1 I eat half cooked cockles, but nv tried raw ones.....so hope more whiskey to get over it......Great company and food anyway. Sabaai sabaai (chill and relax)
    Retire to the room and zzzzzzZZZZ
    #2
  3. lefert86

    lefert86 Vararaider

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2011
    Oddometer:
    25
    Location:
    Singapore
    Day 03, 22 Apr 13
    Hua Hin ~ Kanchanaburi ~ Nakhon Sawan~640++kms

    pack and loaded the bike....had breakfast. left the guesthouse at abt 0800hrs
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    lady boss wanna take photo with me just before I move off. Great place and food. I will drop by again next time
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    Continue the ride to Ratchaburi for petrol and coffee break. Met another tourer on the Concours 1400. short chat and we parted.

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    the thai tourer's bike

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    the SG tourer's bike (me)

    continue the ride to The Bridge @ River Kwai. There's a museum relating to the Death Railway.....but I didnt went in as its packed with tourists. so just abit of walkabout and shoot off

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    reached Kanhanaburi....

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    The Bridge @River Kwai. it was supposed the Death Railway was built nearby along this bridge(im not really sure, dont quote me 'cos i could be wrong or definitely wrong)

    stopover a highway foodstall from nowhere after missing a turn and make a U-turn back again, had beef rice noodles for lunch and rest from the scorching heat. and moved off after a short rest.

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    continue the lonely ride to Nakhon Sawan and find a guesthouse randomly selected from the GPS app, Santisuk Guesthouse.

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    went to nearby town 2km away on my bike after shower
    with my limited Thai speaking.....ordered the easiest..Fried rice
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    back to guesthouse and sleep....long ride :snore
    #3
  4. TinyTim

    TinyTim Noob

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2007
    Oddometer:
    60
    Location:
    Singapore
    Subscribed. Keep it coming. :lurk
    #4
  5. Rutabaga

    Rutabaga Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2012
    Oddometer:
    737
    Location:
    Southeast Lower Carolina
    Beautiful and interesting route.
    #5
  6. lefert86

    lefert86 Vararaider

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2011
    Oddometer:
    25
    Location:
    Singapore
    hahah thanks....just hope it wont get too boring....coz 1st time writing a long trip report....:D

    Day 4: Nakhon Sawan~Phitsanulok~Chiang Rai via Route 117, 11, 101, 103 & AH1

    Start off the day ride @0700hrs where there's lesser traffic. This became a habit for the rest of the days. Rode about 110km to the next town Phitsanulok for breakfast and a visit to one of the famous temples there, Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat or simply Wat Yai. encounter some light drizzling just before reaching, but still fair weather.
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    view of the temple just outside the compound.

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    took a quick bite and head off.
    highway traffic was light... and a few rest stops at the petrol kiosks for coffee and toilet break.
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    and finally reached.........Chiang Rai!!!!:clap:clap:clap:clap:clap
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    Head to the famous white temple Wat Rong Khun for some walkabout and pictures

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    left after a brief walkthrough of the temple. Head to guesthouse as i have already booked a room.

    Mileage from home in Singapore: 2706.8km
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    got the room. nice simple and clean.
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    dismount the panniers,
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    had dinner at a shophouse nearby actually walking distance, but i rode out to get dinner and thought it would be far before i could find food.
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    back to guesthouse do some light packing for tomorrow's trip into Myanmar and contacting my guide.
    #6
  7. phoenixdoglover

    phoenixdoglover Where to next?

    Joined:
    May 23, 2010
    Oddometer:
    153
    Location:
    Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
    I hope you took pictures of the mountains! Khop khun krap for the trip report. :clap
    #7
  8. AndytheElder

    AndytheElder Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2009
    Oddometer:
    44
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Keep the report coming. I was in Chiang Rai in 2011 (on foot as a tourist) and developed the fantasy of taking a trip like the one you have going. Interested in hearing your impressions and seeing your pictures.

    Andy
    #8
  9. lefert86

    lefert86 Vararaider

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2011
    Oddometer:
    25
    Location:
    Singapore
    Thanks all....till the next report entry for Myanmar its hard for me to take the roads by myself while riding...First ever solo and this far and 3rd road trip to Thailand....

    the 6th day onwards for 5days will be better:evil:evil
    #9
  10. lefert86

    lefert86 Vararaider

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2011
    Oddometer:
    25
    Location:
    Singapore
    Day 05 24 Apr 13

    Chiang Rai town to Mae Sai border~Tachileik, Myanmar:clap

    today was more of a free and easy day. left most of my luggage in guesthouse, only bringing spares and tools and the necessaries....

    left at abt 0800hrs (+7 GMT)...head for the border abt 60kms away. Some pictures with the landscape along the way as i got enough time to meet my guide at the border.

    Doi Mae Sa Long in the background
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    then reached the border at 0900hrs as targeted. waited for guide to clear his paperwork and got across with quite little hassle then i expected:clap

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    the Thai border at Mae Sai.

    and.......tah-tah.....MYANMAR!
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    Entering Myanmar (on bike) was actually not in my agenda for this trip,as i've heard of the restrictions, paperwork hassle etc etc..... I only planned a "border run" to extend my entry for another 15days since my total planned trip was maximum 18days initially. One of my riding fren Mr YemPaul (one of his reports is here, from SG to Yunan, China if some of u had read before just the year before, Dec11-Jan12) tickled the idea of riding into Myanmar :D. He gave me his guide's contact and keep urging me to ride in instead of just walking in. So there u have it.....

    just chatting with my guide at the open air cafe just after the border, then followed by some sightseeing in Tachileik town , temple visits and just riding!
    got in just 16kms and we hit the toll. That was the limit bikes are allow legally into Myanmar without any further escort or problems.

    1st stop just relax coffee session with my guide Mr "Slim". Nice guy. had a conversation about the town, the country and other things pertaining to Tachileik. then off we go to "More Nyin Pagoda Temple"...

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    my guide, Mr "Slim"

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    scenery of the area around the temple

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    the toll station behind...in blue. 138kms to the next major town i tink.

    then continued to the Tachileik Shwedagon Temple,
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    someone mounted my bike while I'm entering this temple. He was taking pictures with HER without asking permission 1st. The feeling was like.....:kboom nevermind....at least he could ask when I'M AROUND....bastard. well, i held my temper............since im in foreign land.....

    when walking back to the bike....someone else asked me permission to take photo sitting on the bike....so i say "sure!" at least this guy got manners to ask permission......
    then I decided i have enjoyed the short tour into Tachileik by my guide, we headed back to the border. I enjoyed the experience riding and seeing abit of Myanmar...the bike incident was just a moment's anger thats all....it didnt spoil the trip :wink:

    Heading back into Thailand was hell of a time under the immense heat. finally got thru and all the paperwork for the bike in 30mins...since its just 1500hrs...so i headed to the famous Golden Triangle, just some 27kms away. took some photos along the way.

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    the chinese characters meant " Welcome to the Golden Triangle Economic Trading Zone"

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    could get a good photo with the bike and this display post...so heck it......

    got back the same way i came....some more photo taking...and a small incident, low speed slide on some gravel. nothing serious just a bent pillion footrest bracket......and a hole on the road :lol3:lol3:lol3

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    Back to guesthouse safely in one piece. met my missus for dinner later in Chiang Rai town and chill out later with her frens......the next 5 days of riding will followup soon....
    #10
  11. WhicheverAnyWayCan

    WhicheverAnyWayCan Deaf Biker

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,426
    Location:
    Seven Springs NC
    Nice report!!

    What was the requirement to enter Myanmar? And was it easy for you because you are Asian and is native of Singapore?

    I asked because I think it may be difficult for American to enter, but if I am wrong then can you please share with us the legitimate procedure of entering Myanmar? Is it allowed to ride through Myanmar to Bangladesh/India?

    Thanks in advance for your answer.

    -Ken
    #11
  12. yokesman

    yokesman Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2008
    Oddometer:
    838
    Location:
    Idapotatoe
    Also could you include the "guide's" info ,if not a PM for it?
    #12
  13. Balanda

    Balanda on any sunday

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2013
    Oddometer:
    213
    Location:
    Australia
    Man , just loving your report and pic's. Not that often we get a RR from this part of the world. And the food photo's, driving me nuts! You've sure covered some kilometres so far. Great bike the V-Strom, I had a K2 and loved it. You must be a big guy coz I'm 193cm and the Strom was just about the right size for me. Keep it coming.
    #13
  14. lefert86

    lefert86 Vararaider

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2011
    Oddometer:
    25
    Location:
    Singapore
    Hi all, i try my best to answer with my best limited knowledge about entering Myanmar, paperworks...etc

    actually like i mention earlier...this is my 1st ever solo trip. entering Thailand requires u to temporary "import" the bike into thailand...something like Carnet if i remb the correct name for it. u need to apply it when entering the customs(after settling ur passports), then at another counter produce ur bike's documents(info, registration details, etc to show u are the owner of the vehicle). Then u will be issued with a import slip which u MUST return when u exit Thailand, failing which u will incur a 2000Bhat fine when u enter with the same vehicle next time. U will need to purchase vehicle insurance for the bike to ride in the country, normally at a nearby shop available just after the customs.

    For entering Myanmar into Tachileik thru Mae Sai, Chiang Rai in northern thailand, u just have to return the import slip, get across, a fee of 500bht for visa and 40bht toll, I cant remb the insurance was how much but quite cheap. Your passport will be kept and u will be issued with a piece of white card with ur photo and details (they take ur photo in the office). U need this card to collect back ur passport when u exit Myanmar thru THIS SAME BORDER. pls remb. Actually Im not really quite sure abt riding thru Myanmar as its actually not really ilegal to ride beyond the Tachiliek town. There is still alot of restriction to ride legally in other parts of Myanmar, but i heard the country is opening up more in the near future. I dont think its possible to ride thru Myanmar at the moment, im not sure.

    My guide name Muslim aka Mr "Slim" can be reached from his mobiles +66873056754 or +66888021004. He is a nice guy, speaks good english so u wont have any problems in communicating. really GOOD english like a radio DJ :lol3:lol3:lol3
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    ya, and Balanda, im no big guy. I'm only 1.66m :D
    #14
  15. lefert86

    lefert86 Vararaider

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2011
    Oddometer:
    25
    Location:
    Singapore
    Day 6, 25 Apr 13

    Chiang Rai to Chiang Mai 200kms via Route 118

    Left guesthouse to pickup my GF @0900hrs, off we go to Chiang Mai. stopped after the 1st 60kms for petrol and also to check on her to make sure she ok, as its her 1st time pillion on my bike for such long distance, everything seems well and we continued.
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    WE REACHED CHIANG MAI!!!:clap
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    Then headed straight to the temple Wat Chedi Luang inside Chiang Mai city. Heavy traffic...temp gg up up UP.......a few de-tours and u-turns, and one against traffic direction in a small street :rofl ... and we reached the temple safely.

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    had our lunch and went off to find hotel to stay....a few more detours here and there and we found one....

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    abit of walk around the town at the night baazaar after dinner....and back to hotel for rest.....
    #15
  16. lefert86

    lefert86 Vararaider

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2011
    Oddometer:
    25
    Location:
    Singapore
    Day 7, 26 Apr 13
    Chiang Mai to Doi Inthanon via Route 108, 1009, to Mae Hong Son (MHS) via Route 1192, 1088, 1263. Distance 303kms

    Left for breakfast at a Central Plaza along Route 108 from Chiang Mai. Then enter Route 1009 for Doi Inthanon.

    Some photos along the way.....
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    and it gets more twisty.....some big nice bends...
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    then reach the entrance of Doi Inthanon National Park. An entrance fee for both of us, and one for the bike.....she was walking back from the ticketing office with the tickets. I got to pay only local price after my GF shooed me away from the booth, as the officer was doubting whether I'm foreigner :lol3 as the could see my bike plate no. indicating my bike wasnt Thai-registered.
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    Some random shoots
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    inside one of the temples
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    Road to MHS was even more twisty, many HAIRPIN turns, inclining and descending.....no photos for the road as my GF was :eek1 by the turns. Its was also my 1st ever attempt on these unknown roads and bends. I'm not a speed person, neither do i really attempt corners at speed...so safety first.....
    Slow never mind...just enjoy the sceneries....reached MHS at abt 1830hrs when theres still light...check in RomThai Guesthouse, shower and went out for dinner...and a little stroll around the streets nearby...

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    Mae Hong Son Town Entrance.

    walking out of guesthouse for dinner..and lucky enough to snap photos of this temple Wat Chong Kham
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    quiet streets of Mae Hong Son...not the tourist season yet :clap
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    DINNER!!!!
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    a little stroll back to guesthouse....and we rest for the day
    #16
  17. lefert86

    lefert86 Vararaider

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2011
    Oddometer:
    25
    Location:
    Singapore
    Day 8, 27 Apr 13
    Mae Hong Son to Pai. 105km

    One of the reasons for attempting the road from Chiang Mai to MHS, to Pai and back to Chiang Mai, is for its famous Route 108 or the MHS Loop of 1864 Bends.....im noob at cornering so i take my time as mentioned in the previous post....I took a slightly different loop, but nevertheless, i get more experience in riding bends and corners with this Vstrom.....now i know this bike could go REAL LOW during corners..but im not pushing my luck either :D:D:D

    so rise and shine, pack and took some photos of the guesthouse before leaving. Nice place to stay. I will definitely stay here again......

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    the missus loading up the gears......:evil
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    first went to the nearby pharmacy to get some med for her... then breakfast
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    after which.....the important task reminded time and again by my riding frens...to go to the Chamber of Commerce office to get my certification of riding the MHS 1864 bends :clap:clap:clap

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    :deal:deal:deal just wanna get that sticker :lol3:lol3:lol3

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    then we left MHS @1000hrs for the next place, Pai. photos along the way....and the strangest thing i heard from the missus since the last 2 days :huh : "Faster, faster at the turn!" :huh :lol3:lol3:lol3 now she's hooked.....

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    good road ahead to Pai, a stopover at this attraction I tink i saw somewhere online about some "heavenly fish" in the cave of smthg. Missus and I didnt tink its worth paying for this "heavenly fish" and so we carried on the journey
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    the heavenly fish is somewhere after that bridge at the foot of mountain I tink...
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    next at Pang Ma Pha Viewpoint...
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    reached Pai just after 1300hrs...search for some guesthouses...then check in this Pai Highlands Resort
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    the room
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    then late lunch at a stall in town...
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    Grilled Chicken.....BEST :thumb:thumb:thumb:thumb
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    then ride to a small waterfall nearby town....
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    then back to guesthouse in the late afternoon for short rest before we go out for a walk around Pai Walking Street with some light shopping

    some stickers for my riding frens back home in Sg...
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    then late dinner
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    and back to sleep....tomorrow gonna be a long day.....
    #17
  18. lefert86

    lefert86 Vararaider

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2011
    Oddometer:
    25
    Location:
    Singapore
    Day 9, 28 Apr 13

    Pai to Chiang Mai via Route 1095, to Chiang Rai via Route 118

    start off the day with breakfast somewhere nearby....then some photo taking before we left Pai
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    Continue the journey back to Chiang Rai...nothing much...jsut road after road, bend after bend..........
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    after some 380kms from Pai....finally reached her village in Huai So, Chiang Khong, Chiang Rai.
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    I got to sleep at a guesthouse nearby within 2km from her house since her house was undergoing some renovation.... surrounding was rustic countryside....NICE....but forget to take photo of the scenery around the guesthouse on hilltop.....:baldy:baldy:baldy:baldy:baldy:baldy
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    had dinner at her house with her dad in another hour plus later after i had unpack and showered.... shared with him our road trip photos.....:D then i returned back to guesthouse for my rest....
    #18
  19. lefert86

    lefert86 Vararaider

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2011
    Oddometer:
    25
    Location:
    Singapore
    The day's plan was to get around Chiang Khong. Not thinking of crossing the Mekong River to Laos. gonna save it for the next trip. Afterall, if i attempt Laos this time round, wad anticipation & excitement is left for next trip :lol3?

    So after breakfast we took a slow & much relaxed pace to the subdistrict town of Chiang Khong. Happen to drop by this cafe...so went in for a drink
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    continue along the mekong river...overlooking Laos
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    quite a bit of fun twisty roads....but moderate speed if not the missus behind will scream and pinch the hell out of me:lol3:lol3.......let the pictures earlier do the talking.....

    arrive a temple named Wat Phrathat Pha Ngao...went in
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    moved on after half an hour in the temple....stopped at the riverside looking over Laos....we were near Golden Triangle in Chiang Saen.

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    Laos on the opposite...
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    a short stopover and we proceed to golden triangle....walk around the place
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    King Seanphu
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    Late lunch at a restaurant by the riverside overlooking Laos
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    Plan to visit the Opium House Musuem, but we were too late...so proceed the long way back to her house.......
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    #19