Gaspipe goes to Thailand......

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by gaspipe, Dec 29, 2006.

  1. gaspipe

    gaspipe Wandering Soul

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    11,438
    Location:
    Pickwick Lake, Tennessippi
    This trip report will be unlike anything else I've done before - that's a disclaimer.

    A couple or three years ago, in a happenstance manner, GypsyRider and I crossed paths deep in the heart of Mexico. After a few days riding together, Gypsyrider decided to join the BAR 2006 and take a ride with the gang. We had such a great time on the BAR '06 trip, several of us decided to make a trip to visit GypsyRider in Thailand and recon the area. Leewildwater, lasvegasrider and I (with wives!) were to travel to Chiang Mai and rent some XR250's and fool around for a few days.

    As the logistics of six lives will do, unforeseen circumstances prevented lasvegasrider and his wife from going, and Leewildwater and wife elected to circumnavigate the globe (!!!) on their trip. So we'd all be there (or not be there, as the case may be) at different times. No worries, but having a significant chunk of the Pandilla in Thailand at the same time would have been interesting for sure.

    Getting to northern Thailand is an epic journey all by itself. Getting there from rural Tennessee proved to rack up about 11,000 air miles, and take over 40 hours to complete, including five different flights, retrieving and rechecking bags twice, and catching a few winks here and there. Anyone ever in the service or on 24/7 knows that drill.

    I left from casa Gaspipe at 0230 on 12 December, and arrived at Memphis at 0500. We boarded the rat rocket and went to Atlanta - ironically the wrong direction - to get our connection to Los Angeles. We traced our bags and hauled ourselves over to the international terminal, and rechecked the bags to Bangkok. By 1500 local time, we were eating lo mein at LAX, awaiting boarding on the big 747-400 to Taipei, Taiwan.

    The long haul flights across the Pacific suck. There's no way else to describe it. A horrendous jetstream headwind forced the big Boeing to fly a more southerly route across Hawaii rather then the normal route in close proximity to the Aleutians. It's all about fuel economy. A quick look at my 276C revealed we were making only 530MPH groundspeed. Sitting in a seat made for a 130lb person for 13 hours while being brainwashed by subtitled B movies was an exercise in mind control. Isometrics and and endless supply of complimentary sukiyaki kept me from cracking.

    We arrived at Taipei late - but the connecting carrier waited for us. We were whisked through Taiwan's airport in 15 minutes, and were plopped onto an airbus to take us to Bangkok. How long have I been awake? The time change, the international date line and lack of sleep conspired against me - I had no idea what time it was or how long I'd been awake. Four hours later, at 0200 local time, we arrived in Bangkok, and then cleared immigration and customs. We had a four hour wait until our next connection would take us to Chiang Mai. The airport was deadly quiet - just piles of weary travelers stacked like cordwood on the few bench spaces available.

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    I pulled out the iPod and called up Dark Side of the Moon and the Wall - and sat there in the surreal architectural landscape of Bangkok's International Airport, bathed in the half light of predawn - just another traveler in a foreign land.

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    Wickedly tired - I had been awake for nearly two days already. "Almost there," I thought to myself, as David Gilmour crooned the lyrics of Time into my inner ears.....

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    [more later]
    #1
  2. GA. DUALSPORT WANTAB

    GA. DUALSPORT WANTAB Long timer

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    :lurk I love a Gaspipe Adventure!:thumb
    #2
  3. GB

    GB . Administrator Super Moderator Super Supporter

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    Sounds like a great adventure!! :thumb

    Ticking away moments that make up a dull day...
    :lurk
    #3
  4. cavebiker

    cavebiker Old School Adventurer

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    Super! I attended a HorizionsUnlimited event in Creel Mexico a few years back and one couple gave a presentation of touring Thailand on rental bikes. Great presentation and from that moment I added Thailand as a must do on a motorcycle place. I’m really looking forward to your report. Give it all gaspipe!
    #4
  5. k7

    k7 Retired or retarded. You decide.

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    GP - you suck. I ended up on the beach in Brazil and you get to go to Thailand to ride motorcycles. I think you got the better deal but occasionally, a dental-floss covered gal walks by that almost makes me change my mind. :lol3
    #5
  6. Vinnie the Snake

    Vinnie the Snake Long timer

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    Lived it traveling to Africa, Loved it, and can not wait to hear more.:clap :clap
    #6
  7. Nata Harli

    Nata Harli Accidental Tourista

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    Of course, all Gaspipe reports are good.

    Just my luck, though, that he will be having his exciting adventure in Thailand while I'm only going to be in Central America :D. Now, when I stop to update MY trip report I'm going to have to spend time reading HIS trip report :clap.

    But, I promise to finish MY trip report :lol3.

    Good luck on your new adventure, Gaspipe. I really am looking forward to reading it while I'm in Central America.
    #7
  8. Bimble

    Bimble In giro in moto

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    Apple Valley, MN
    gaspipe report

    :wings

    I'm still grooving from the TAT ride dood. :D
    #8
  9. ta2240

    ta2240 Adventurer

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    Magnolia, Texas
    Damn You Gaspipe! I read all you ridereports, I am a big fan of anything you do but I must say,:dizave ! I have been in rehab for crack and meth. and replaced both with your damn reports. I cross the border Friday morning(1/5/07) on a trip from Texas to Los Mochis and back. I will be gone for 10 days. There is no way you will be done with this report by then and that will take away from my trip. There is no possible way I can have a good time knowing that there are parts of your report waiting for me to read them.

    I hope your damn computer crashes.


    You could at least add some pics :lurk
    #9
  10. Tennktm

    Tennktm Been here awhile

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    Gaspipe.....you are going to love Thailand....for sure. I went there in the early 90's...back when they still allowed smoking on international flights.....those were long flights but they were a little more loose with the booze back then.......I assume that you are flying from Bangkok to C. Mai? The boats with the turbo diesels running up and down the river are awesome....you must take a ride or two on one of those.....and get some "alone" time and walk through the district de rojo in Bangkok....it is really something to see.....

    Have fun, Tennktm
    #10
  11. Steve1962

    Steve1962 Been here awhile

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    Blighty
    Nice,
    Have a great time , and take some photos please ........... also if you go to Koh Samui , let me know ...my mum and dad live there .

    Safe riding
    Steve
    #11
  12. ADK

    ADK .

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    Post pics please :nod :eek1
    #12
  13. NAVIGATOR

    NAVIGATOR Wanderer

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    Merry Xmas and happy NY GP This report of course should be gooooood!!!!!!:clap
    #13
  14. noshoes

    noshoes soñando con México

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    K7 you suck. You're on a beach in Brazil, and I'm changing tires in AZ.:becca Sure wish I had some winning lotto numbers.

    GP, :lurk
    #14
  15. gaspipe

    gaspipe Wandering Soul

    Joined:
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    As the clock incessantly ticked away the seconds, the minutes and then hours passed. About the time Brain Damage was playing on the iPod...
    "...And if the cloud bursts, thunder in your ear
    You shout and no one seems to hear
    And if the band you're in starts playing different tunes
    I'll see you on the dark side of the moon...."

    ...the beautiful architecture of the Bangkok airport began to come back to life, as hordes of Asian workers dutifully began their work day. Before long, the airport was teeming with life once again, and we finally checked our bags for the last sortie - to take us to Chiang Mai.

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    Brain damage? I've been awake forever. Lack of sleep can doe peculiar things to your psyche, especially when you've been listening to Pink Floyd for the past few hours.

    Thai Air carried us on that last leg into Chiang Mai, and we finally arrived at about 0830 local time on Thursday - 43 hours of traveling and no sleep. The trick now is to stay awake until evening to get my biological clock in synch and to minimize the jetlag. GypsyRider graciously accomodated us in a rental apartment in perhaps the swankiest building in town. The view was amazing, and the location was quiet - a rare commodity in a third world country.

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    A shower to wash off the funk of 43 hours of travel felt good, and now we're ready to expore - halfway around the world from home!

    [more later]
    #15
  16. StihlRigg

    StihlRigg Dog Farkler

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    Sweet, this looks like fun.

    :freaky:freaky
    #16
  17. Rusty Rocket

    Rusty Rocket Life behind "Bars"

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    more please
    #17
  18. ganshert

    ganshert not sleeping

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    you're my f#$%ing hero!
    #18
  19. Hayduke

    Hayduke ///SAFETY THIRD/// Supporter

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    Excellent so far, Bruce. :thumb I'll think of you while I shovel some snow...:bluduh
    #19
  20. gaspipe

    gaspipe Wandering Soul

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2004
    Oddometer:
    11,438
    Location:
    Pickwick Lake, Tennessippi
    It was approaching noon before we got underway to explore around the fringes of Chiang Mai. Stopping in at one of many local markets, I was looking for some cheap t-shirts and flip flops.

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    As it turns out, there's enough cloth in one of my existing shirts to make perhaps two or three XXL shirts, Thai size. The flip flops were the same story. I guess sneakers were going to be my thing on this trip - and they would become a hassle as time went on.

    Fresh coconut in hand, I check out the local bike scene around the markets. Check out this sidecar rig....

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    Note the heavy duty swingarm (1" rebar) and the use of auxilliary automobile shocks to augment long ago faded OEM dampers.

    Thailand revolves around the markets - it is quite uncommon to buy more food than you'd consume that same day. Perhaps a tradition that started due to lack of refrigeration, it makes for a diet rich in fresh food. Prepackaged frozen processed crap is not what it's about. Spicy and fresh.

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    After wandering the markets of Chiang Mai and the neighboring town of Hang Dong, we visited GypsyRider's hacienda - still under construction. A tour reveals some ingenious scaffolding fabricated from rope and bamboo poles.

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    The "lunch wagon" came by to feed the hungry workers. You guys think you load heavy on an 1150 Adventure? This entreprenuerial woman is on a 100cc scooter.

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    [more later]
    #20