Separate names with a comma.
Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Lost Cartographer, Nov 15, 2019.
don't skip a meal...i like the food shots.
Ask and you shall receive:
Mitch. thanks for the inspiration....doing Thai lunch this week. the closest i could get a Thai experience. no massage.....
Thank you for report, keep it going please...............
Day 2 Continued
Flowers that match the bike:
(There used to be powerwires in this photo, but my buddy Mark photoshopped them out)
I came around a corner and saw this- looks just like northern Vietnam:
(Day 2 cont)
Nice view from the washout tho:
Sweet build. Mud tires and a winch aren't just for show here:
The next leg of the trip was my favorite section of the day. North thru a valley, then west along a ridgeline, to some incredibly steep switchbacks down to the next valley to hook up with the 108 (the 108 is the main North/South route).
Lots of farms in the valley:
(Skipping ahead to real-time)
This is in my bucket for SURE
Awesome. You're going the best way to MHS! Well done. When you get there, hit up the Fern Restaurant in MHS town. Great food. ALSO in the market they have "khao poat krua" -- basically half popped popcorn. It is the best thing in the world to snack on while drinking a cold beer. The vendor is usually in the front row facing the road.
(Day 2 cont)
Heading up the valley, there was a puppy saying hello:
And another appeared:
And a reservoir:
From this point the route headed west-ish along a ridgeline. Views from the ridge, you can see a fire in the distance:
From the ridegeline the road dropped down into the valley, via a series of steep switchbacks. 1st and 2nd gear engine braking steep. I've never been on paved switchbacks that were as steep as these.
I tried to figure out how to capture a photo of how steep they were, but they just came out as 'flat'.
I wasn't alone on the road:
Made it to MHS just as the sun was setting. Checked into the hotel then walked to Bia Fern restaurant for dinner and a beer:
You're supposed to take food photos BEFORE you devour 3/4 of your dinner. This is (was) the northern Thai curry, as recommend by Matt who I met at Riders Corner.
Taste Test: Leo vs Chang.
Leo wins, no comparison.
It was a long day, but outstanding sights and riding:
That road surface red? What is it? Spectacular pictures!
Day 3 - Mae Hong Son area
Breakfast (stir fried pork and egg with rice, tea, toast, and a banana) set me back 40 bhat (about $1.30 usd):
Went up to the Wat overlooking the town, timed it to watch the flight in from Chiang Mai:
The guys at Riders Corner, RideAsia forums, and the trip planning forum here gave me a ton of things to do on this trip. Everyone recommended visiting the Chinese town of Ban Rak Thai up on the Burmese border.
If those last 11 words don't make sense to you, you're not alone. Had to look it up myself:
The road north is beautiful:
Stopped at a bamboo grove and a palace turned agricultural research center on the way:
The palace wasn't so busy:
The grounds of the palace were immaculate. Not a single gopher hole:
And he says, "Oh, uh, there won't be any money, but when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness." So I got that goin' for me, which is nice:
More info on the Pang Tong Palace:
More photos of the agricultural research center:
More info on Caddyshack:
Back on the road towards Ban Rak Thai:
Drove a little ways beyond the town and took a little detour:
A lady leaned out of her little restaurant as I was riding back into town and yelled "Tea?" as I rode by. Tea sounded good, so I flipped a 180 and went back. My heart sank a little when I saw the signs in english, but I was committed to a cup of tea.
There were a few other people at the restaurant, and everyone who rode by would stop to chat with the owner or at least say "howdy" as they rode by. At least I assume that's what they were saying.
Everyone was having the soup, so I pointed and asked for some. There was no need to point, as she knew a bunch of english words including soup and pork and chicken and the most important -- "how spicy?".
The soup showed up and it was awesome:
We chatted a bit in broken english and google translate. As near as I can tell, she hosted a couple of english teachers while they were doing volunteer teaching at the local school. Ahh that explains her english skills and the signs too. Also she is on the "wrong end" of town to get tourist traffic, the tour buses dump off people at the southwest corner of the lake. I left a google review letting people know to make the 200m walk, it's worth it.
Great report. I will be arriving Sukhothai in a little over two weeks for a four week holiday. A few days to get my Ducati Desert Sled prepared,(New exhaust and few things) And I too will be heading up north with the wife for a few days, followed by a week to ten days with my mate along the Burma border (Yes I know its not Burma any longer but I am British)
Looking forward to the rest of your report, be safe my friend.
And BigFella, also looking forward to hopefully meet you in person before Christmas. Your place will be the first port of call to try out one of those breakfasts.
After lunch I tooled around town some more, stopped at a roadside stand on the southeast side and bought a bottle of water and a coke. Sat there enjoying the view and the proprietor brought out a couple of different teas for me to try - one was ginseng and the other was a mystery tea (he only knew the chinese word for it). We used the google to determine that it was sweet osmanthus tea.
Sweet osmanthus tea is used as an appetite suppressant. I'm hoping that his internal dialog went something like "Hey fat american, you should be drinking this instead of that coke!"
The view from the lakeside:
After tea time I headed south out of town. A kid frantically waved me down so I stopped and he immediately jumped onto the back of the bike and pointed to the top of the hill, so I gave him a ride up to the top.
Turns out he didn't actually want to go to the top of the hill, he just wanted a motorcycle ride. He pointed back down the hill towards his farm, so I flipped a 180 and took him back to where I picked him up. Then he pointed back up the hill. I was getting bored with this game so I wheeled him over to some old ladies working in the field nearby and they yelled at him to get off the gringo's bike. He hopped off and bowed and ran off.
More scenes from the ride back towards MHS:
I had a little more time than I expected, so I went exploring. Google maps showed a road that headed west towards the Burma border, so away I went.
I looked, but I didn't see any elephants:
Rode thru a little town, then the road turned to dirt and got steep and rutted in some areas.
In the steepest places they had put down concrete "tracks":
Going up was a ton of fun, but I wasn't looking forward to going back down in 1st gear.
I made it about 1/2 way to the border and stopped and looked at the map. 7km more to go, and google was predicting 31 more minutes. That's 60 minutes to get back to where I was standing, plus another 30 minutes of steep downhill from where I was standing to get back to the pavement. It was 4pm, the sun sets around 530ish on the plains, a lot earlier here in the mountains.
Best case scenario was going down that steep stuff at dusk. Any delay and I'd be going down in the dark. Time to turn tail.
No real way of showing how steep it is besides looking at the trees relative to the road surface:
I'm guessing a 20% grade or higher - it was quite steep.
Anyways I got to the pavement without incident and headed back thru the little town and onto Mae Hong Son.
I violated my rule of 'never eat at the same place twice' and went back to Bia Fern to get the other dish recommended by Matt- the chicken wrapped in banana leaves. It was great:
Challenging road for a stock CBX with road tires! I'm hoping to get back there in January and planning to rent one of Ian's CRF250Ls. If you are heading back north on the loop then I highly recommend Cave Lodge north of Pang Mapha.
(back to real time)
Having a nice slow lunch at a fancy restaurant
OMFG my mouth is on fire.
Fuka3mileCherFuckingNoble levels of spice.
Look at all the peppers that I plucked out of that one tiny serving!
I'm going to be so lucky if I don't shit myself on the 3 hour ride to the hotel...