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Best day of my life

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Lopburi, Apr 27, 2018.

  1. Lopburi

    Lopburi Lost in paradise

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2016
    Oddometer:
    656
    Location:
    Thailand
    We made it to Luang Namtha early in the day. We had left early and the border crossing went well. We rode around the town a bit and I decided we should carry on to Oudom Xai. It would put us closer to tomorrow’s destination.

    The roads remained good but as it got later in the day it started to cool down. As we pulled into Oudom Xai I told Patty to keep an eye out for the three guys on bikes we met at the border crossing. I was watching traffic and looking for a room and Patty said she saw the three bikes. I pulled over and eyed up a couple of hotels and decided to go back to the hotel the other guys were at.

    At the hotel the guy that spoke good english asked if we had a room there. I said no I hadn’t booked anything. The hotel guy comes over and Patty goes to look at the rooms. She’s happy so I unload our gear. The Thai guy asks if I want a beer. That’s kind of a silly question actually. Patty wanted to go to the room so I got the boy to take our gear for her and sat and had a beer with the three guys. Turns out the Thai guy that spoke English was a partner in Ride Asia, the second Asian guy was his partner from Vietnam and the third western guy was a friend of theirs. They were on a exploration trip looking for new hotels and roads to lead tours on. Cool
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    We chatted for awhile then I took a beer and went to see how Patty was. The room was nice
    Diddly, Halen, MrKiwi and 1 other person like this.
  2. Lopburi

    Lopburi Lost in paradise

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2016
    Oddometer:
    656
    Location:
    Thailand
    We cleaned up and went down stairs to look for food. The Ride Asia guys were there discussing what they were going to eat. They invited us to go with them for Chinese food. The hotel had a nice outdoor sitting area and the manager said they had a good chief so we decided to eat at the hotel.

    The temperature was dropping. Rapidly. We had a nice dinner and headed to our room. It was getting colder. I looked in the closet and there was an extra blanket so I put it on the bed and we watched some tv. The room had very nice wood frame windows but the curtains were blowing from the cold air coming in through the cracks. Cement building with no heating system. Patty said hey they have a hair drier. So I used it to warm up under the blankets. I would do that throughout the night.

    In the morning it was way too cold in the room to have a shower so we just brushed our teeth and went for coffee and breakfast. We were fogged in.

    I talked to the Ride Asia guy and he said it had dropped to 4*C that night. He asked where we planned to go. I told him and he said you know it will be even colder there right? I asked if the road was as bad as I had read. He said yes. We had another cup of coffee

    About 10:00 am the fog was lifting and it was up to 9*C. I decided we should go. We doubled up our clothes under our bike gear and put on our rain jackets to break the wind and fog. I needed gas and an atm machine before we departed so that took a bit of time. I pointed the bike that way.

    When we started this trip I was sure I had my Laos gps in my gear. I couldn’t find it so I downloaded a OSM map from the internet. It wasn’t nearly as good as my other map but that’s what I had.

    We started going up a hill into the fog. It was cold. Visibility was poor. The road was simply awesome! Non stop corners on good pavement up a hill. No traffic due to the fog. I was thinking the Ride Asia guyshavent been up this road for awhile if they think it’s bad.

    We started to come out of the fog
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    I looked back in the side mirror and pulled off the road.

    Now we’re talking. This is what I came for
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    jlambo, Sidewaysxr, Armyguy and 7 others like this.
  3. borderlinebob

    borderlinebob Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2016
    Oddometer:
    339
    Location:
    CANADA-1/4 mile N of International Falls, MN
    Gotta say Lopburi, I am loving this RR. I don’t usually read too many reports out of North America but once I started reading yours, I feel I got to stay with ya wherever you take us.
    Just a comment in fun....
    That Patty, she sure eats a lot for a tiny gal:jack
    Safe travels—keep posting please
    MrKiwi likes this.
  4. Lopburi

    Lopburi Lost in paradise

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2016
    Oddometer:
    656
    Location:
    Thailand
    The sun was out and it was warming up so we took off our rain jackets and carried on. I was having a blast. The road was getting a bit rougher. Perfect.

    The WP suspension on my Triumph has about 12 feet of travel but was weak when I got around 60,000 km on it. I couldn’t find anyone in thailand that could rebuild it. Not even Triumph. I was not happy with this so I went with a custom set up Wilbers rear shock and Wilbers springs in the forks. Now the bike has 12 feet of travel but I can set it to ride like a Cadillac or Ferrari or anything in between solo or heavily load two up.

    I decided I should see where we are at so slowed down and looked at the gps. Hmm that doesn’t make sense. I pulled into a gas station parking lot to look at my map. Crap! Wrong road. Ok there should be another way to reconnect to the proper road. Not according to my map or OSM map
    MrKiwi likes this.
  5. Lopburi

    Lopburi Lost in paradise

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2016
    Oddometer:
    656
    Location:
    Thailand
    Ok, we need to make a decision. It’s noon. If we turn around it will be 1:30 or later when we get back to Oudom Xai. No way to make it north today so another frozen night in a hotel. Or we can carry on into Luang Prabang. It will be warm there and I wanted to spend Christmas there anyway. We’d just be a day early. Patty likes Luang Prabang and said Tong Pai
    Drybones and Diddly like this.
  6. Lopburi

    Lopburi Lost in paradise

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2016
    Oddometer:
    656
    Location:
    Thailand
    We carried on towards Luang Prabang. It gets more built up outside the city and the roads get more like real Laos.

    We pull into a village and Patty asks why is everything broken? This is what I wanted to see. The Laos government is rapidly destroying the country. They are putting massive dams on the Mekong river and most of the power will be sent to China. China is also funding a high speed rail link thru Laos and Thailand into Malaysia. In the process of doing this they are relocating entire villages to clear the way. The people’s traditional way of life is being ripped away from them and they are destroying the environment.

    I pull over to get a picture. A security truck pulls up behind us. Hmm, that was quick. I carry on. Patty asks why they are taking down all the houses? I tell her wait. We round a corner and theres the dam. I pull over to get a picture. A security truck pulls up behind us. I explain to Patty that at this time next year this whole area will be under water. She ask where will the people go? Exactly. The security was watching us like a hawk so I didn’t get a photo as I didn’t want a confrontation with Patty on the back.
  7. Lopburi

    Lopburi Lost in paradise

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2016
    Oddometer:
    656
    Location:
    Thailand
    We pulled into Luang Prabang and I knew I would have to feed the machine before she bit my head off. I know a nice place. And of course it’s being renovated. We head to the center area and I see a funky little place but there’s no parking so I pull the bike up on the sidewalk. We had a late lunch and I used the free wifi to figure out a hotel. This is our fourth time to Luang Prabang so I’m familiar with the area. I remembered a place from the last time we were here but wasn’t sure exactly where it was. We rode around and looked at a couple of places and I eventually found the one I had in mind. Patty went to look at the rooms and I walked across the road and bought a can of beer. I was 99% sure Patty would like it. She did so I unloaded the bike put it up on the Center stand and lubed the chain on the street so it wouldn’t make a mess in the small parking area. The room was nice. After a shower I went to move the bike into the parking area and then Patty wanted to go for a walk.

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    MrKiwi and OR_Rider like this.
  8. Lopburi

    Lopburi Lost in paradise

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2016
    Oddometer:
    656
    Location:
    Thailand
    I wasn’t so concerned about security for the bike here because they had a guard dog

    Grrrr
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    jlambo, xr-nut, Diddly and 4 others like this.
  9. MrKiwi

    MrKiwi old enough that I should know better Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2009
    Oddometer:
    15,038
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Ankle biters, those hurt the most. DAMHIK!
  10. Lopburi

    Lopburi Lost in paradise

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2016
    Oddometer:
    656
    Location:
    Thailand
    My plan was to park the bike in Luang Prabang for two days and relax for Christmas. Because I screwed up the road we had an extra day to relax. And we did.

    Luang Prabang is a cool little town. Lots of funky shops and cafes. Some cool old buildings from the French era, markets, good people watching and you can pretty much walk everywhere. There were cerimonies (weddings?) going on everywhere. The dancers and band would show up to a house do the performance then carry on to the next place

    I walked over to this one to have a closer look and they offered me food
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    This isn’t a very good photo but it sums up the situation. Fancy ceremony, kids playing bare foot in the street and a dog sleeping on the table
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    Diddly likes this.
  11. Lopburi

    Lopburi Lost in paradise

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2016
    Oddometer:
    656
    Location:
    Thailand
    Laos dog are kind of like Thai dogs. They are used to getting kicked and don’t give a shit about nothing
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    Diddly and twflybum like this.
  12. Lopburi

    Lopburi Lost in paradise

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2016
    Oddometer:
    656
    Location:
    Thailand
    Christmas day we went for a late breakfast.

    Patty said she wanted to take a boat ride on the Mekong. I’m not into the package tour crap so wasn’t so keen. We walked over to the ferry/boat launch area. I pointed at a fancy boat and said to Patty, I wonder what it would cost to hire that for a couple hours? I guy turns to Patty and gives her a price.

    Umm, actually I just wanted to know if I could get my big bike on one of the small boats to the other side of the river because I hadn’t been down that road before...

    The guy said he could take us right now because he had another trip booked in the afternoon. I said to Patty I’ll need beer. The guy pointed at the shop across the road and offered Patty a discount. Beer, water and a bag of chips in hand and off we go.

    The guy asked if we wanted to see temples and blah blah blah. Told him I want to see how people live on the river

    We got the small one
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    Probably big enough for two people
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    The captain was very smooth and got us right up close to the shore where he could so we could get some photos
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  13. Lopburi

    Lopburi Lost in paradise

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2016
    Oddometer:
    656
    Location:
    Thailand
    Kind of have to zoom this one to see the kids fishing with bamboo poles
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    On the way back I asked the guy to drop us on the beach instead of the ferry area so we could walk a bit
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    MrKiwi likes this.
  14. ExplorerFrog

    ExplorerFrog Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2016
    Oddometer:
    218
    Location:
    Wyoming
    Just curious and don't know if I missed it, but did you buy the Tiger in Thailand? I know there's a Triumph dealer in Chiang Rai now.
  15. Lopburi

    Lopburi Lost in paradise

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2016
    Oddometer:
    656
    Location:
    Thailand
    It wasn’t covered. I bought the bike in Bangkok. It’s a 2015 model I preordered before they were out. It’s assembled in Thailand so no import tax. Great bike for Thailand but it’s a bit top heaven so it does take a nap now and then. I’ve put around 70,000km on it but I don’t get out as much as I would like
    ExplorerFrog likes this.
  16. ExplorerFrog

    ExplorerFrog Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2016
    Oddometer:
    218
    Location:
    Wyoming
    That's a fair amount of kms on a 2015. Nice to not have import tax. I have a bike I'd like to bring over when I come to live full time, but I know the process and cost will be prohibitive. Oh well. And yes, Tiger's tend to be top heavy especially when you fill up. :lol3
  17. Lopburi

    Lopburi Lost in paradise

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2016
    Oddometer:
    656
    Location:
    Thailand
    After the boat ride we walked around for a bit and found some bamboo bridges

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    These bridges get washed away every rainy season when the river floods and they rebuild them after.

    Bamboo fish traps
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    It was a lovely day for a walk
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    Diddly and MrKiwi like this.
  18. Lopburi

    Lopburi Lost in paradise

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2016
    Oddometer:
    656
    Location:
    Thailand
    We walked a fair bit then decided we should stop for a coffee because, well sometimes you should just stop
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  19. Lopburi

    Lopburi Lost in paradise

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2016
    Oddometer:
    656
    Location:
    Thailand
    Patty is Buddhist and I believe in myself. Christmas doesn’t mean much to us but it’s a good excuse to take time out and enjoy life. For dinner we opted for a traditional pizza and bottle of wine

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    Tomorrow we would get an early start
    twflybum and MrKiwi like this.
  20. Lopburi

    Lopburi Lost in paradise

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2016
    Oddometer:
    656
    Location:
    Thailand
    Boxing Day. Time to head back to Thailand and buy Patty some land. But we would have to make one stop along the way.

    The road south from Luang Prabang is a nice ride.
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    slacker1965 and OR_Rider like this.