Lost in Northern Thailand - Real Time Report

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Lost Cartographer, Nov 15, 2019.

  1. Lost Cartographer

    Lost Cartographer Been here awhile

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    (real time post)

    I'm in your 'hood now:

    IMG_20191124_131922.jpg
    #81
  2. Lost Cartographer

    Lost Cartographer Been here awhile

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    More scenery photos from along the road:

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    This little village on top of a hill was really pleasant. People were out walking and talking and just enjoying the early evening, although I'm not sure how I failed to include them in this photo. Subject matter photography failure:

    IMG_20191121_172101.jpg


    Mae Salong has had an interesting past, from Chinese refugee soldiers, to poppy harvesting, and now tea plantations and tourism:

    https://www.lonelyplanet.com/thailand/chiang-rai-province/mae-salong-santikhiri/history

    https://wikitravel.org/en/Mae_Salong

    IMG_20191121_173120.jpg

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    View from the hotel balcony:

    IMG_20191121_175642.jpg
    #82
  3. Traveler1

    Traveler1 Adventurer Supporter

    Joined:
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    Brilliant! Thanks. Your story and pics bring back some great memories of numerous trips in the area. Keep it coming.
    #83
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  4. Rabble

    Rabble mountain boy

    Joined:
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    Kootenay Lake, BC
    Lovely tantalizing photos, although a little tough for us snowbound Canadians.
    #84
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  5. Lost Cartographer

    Lost Cartographer Been here awhile

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    Mae Salong back to Chiang Mai:

    Sunrise and breakfast:

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    Uhhh, yeah:

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    More twisty road scenery:

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    Post burn:

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    This is what the main truck routes look like - oil drips down the center of the lane, especially on uphill sections when cylinder pressures are high and blowby is pushing oil past the seals:

    IMG_20191122_100626.jpg

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    As soon as you get off the main routes the roads are generally oil free, and the speeds are slower and you get to ride thru "small town" Thailand....
    #85
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  6. forgorin

    forgorin Stuck in Japan

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    AHA!! I'm heading to chiang mai in a few weeks for some dirt. How long will you be here in Japan? What are yur plans?
    #86
  7. Lost Cartographer

    Lost Cartographer Been here awhile

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    The days route took me from the mountainous tea plantations, down to the farming plains, then further west to the Myanmar border, then south again.

    Once I got off the main route (the oil stained roads above) the plains looked like this:

    More burning:

    IMG_20191122_101821.jpg

    Random small town:

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    Irrigation:

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    Heading back into the mountains that divide Thailand from Myanmar:

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    Then I came to a checkpoint gate that was down. The soldiers there asked where I was going (Doi Ang Khang mountain) and called ahead to see if they could let me pass. There was a bunch of chatter on the radio and then they told me that I would have to go around. Drat.

    IMG_20191122_114750.jpg

    I headed back down the mountain- time to use The Force and find a new route.
    #87
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  8. Lost Cartographer

    Lost Cartographer Been here awhile

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    Nice! Next time I go to Thailand I'll be renting a dirt bike for sure.

    I'll be here in Japan for about 4 or 5 more minutes:

    IMG_20191202_115901.jpg
    #88
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  9. Lost Cartographer

    Lost Cartographer Been here awhile

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    Intra-Asia flight:

    IMG_20191202_114002.jpg
    #89
  10. Bgunn

    Bgunn Posible maƱana

    Joined:
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    Rockford.Wa - Yuma.Az
    Great ride....Looks like you stayed healthy. You had some hot food too. I'm ready for another Thai adventure!
    #90
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  11. Lost Cartographer

    Lost Cartographer Been here awhile

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    (Day 7 continued)

    > I headed back down the mountain- time to use The Force and find a new route.

    You already know how The Force works, of course:

    I know roughly where I am at. I know roughly where I need to be. I know approx what time it is, where the sun should be at that approx time, and about how many hours I have left to get to where I think I need to be.


    If my girlfriend Wafer was with me, this is how the conversation would have gone:

    Wafer: Now what do we do?
    Me: We go around.
    Wafer: How long will it take?
    Me: Dunno. A long time probably. Doesn't really matter.
    Wafer: Why don't we just go back the way we came?
    Me: Nope, that is admitting defeat.
    Wafer: Can we at least look at a map this time?
    Me: No way, that's cheating. We'll just use The Force.
    Wafer: Ugggh I hate it when you say that.
    Me: The Force is strong with me.
    Wafer: Can *I* look at a map?
    Me: If you use a map you'll never learn the ways of The Force.
    Wafer: You told me last time that I'll never be able to navigate because I don't have a penis!!
    Me: That's 100pct true.
    Wafer: You're an asshole.
    Me: That's true too. Let's go!

    But she wasn't there, so I saved at least 30 seconds this time.

    Also since she wasn't there I stopped at a really sketchy roadside restuarant and had a bowl of soup. $1. I also took a pepto, because sometimes The Darkside in my bowels is much stronger than The Force.

    [​IMG]

    Instead of going back down the mountain to the main road and taking that to Doi Ang Khang I just paralleled the base of the mountains thru small town after small town:

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    One town had a lake with a bunch of floating houses:

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    One town had a mural painted on the bridge:

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    One town (maybe the one with the bridge mural) had a sign that said "Pong Nam Dung Waterfall":

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    Well I can't pass up the chance to see a waterfall of dung, so off I went into the jungle to find the poo waterfall.

    Hmmmm, I wonder what this sign says:

    [​IMG]



    Google translate wasn't very helpful:

    Screenshot_20191122-132309.jpg

    Getting warmer:

    [​IMG]


    It was just another Wat on top of the hill (forgot to photo it), so I turned around and explored some more.
    #91
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  12. Lost Cartographer

    Lost Cartographer Been here awhile

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    More scenery and fires, but no waterfall:

    [​IMG]

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    Ah ha, this looks official, and there is a stream with a path next to it. Probably the waterfall. Time for a quick hike:


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    Still walking:

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    Cool dead millipede:

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    To give some sense of scale, that's the toe of my riding boot:

    [​IMG]
    #92
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  13. Lost Cartographer

    Lost Cartographer Been here awhile

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    What you can't see in the photos is how sweaty I'm becoming, since I'm a hairy overweight gringo wearing riding pants and boots and trying to hike an uphill path in a 90 degree / 90 pct humidity jungle in southeast asia.

    You also can't see the clouds of mosquitoes gathering about me. A shit ton of mosquito. I would try to sprint ahead and that would shake them off for a few seconds then they would return.

    Also the cloud was gathering more mosquitoes every step I took. I couldn't outrun the existing mosquitoes, and more kept joining them.


    On sale $0.59 a pound:

    [​IMG]


    You can go ahead and try to chop a tree down here, but it is just going to grow right back:

    [​IMG]


    So I had come a long way, but I had no idea where this damn waterfall was actually at. I was more than ready to turn around when I came across a sign that said 300m.

    300 meters to what? 300 more meters to the waterfall? 300 meters to the start of the trail to the waterfall? It seemed like I had already gone at least 1/2 mile, so it couldn't have been the 300m from the parking lot to that point sign.

    Turns out that was a motivational sign. You're only 300m away, keep going! I know this because from that point forward the trail got a lot steeper and I kept saying/sweating to myself "why the hell am I hiking in the jungle? at least I'm almost there..."

    If it weren't for that sign I would have lost motivation and turned around and missed this sight:

    [​IMG]

    A crappy crappy waterfall. "Dung Waterfall" is the perfect name for it.


    I made sure to hold the phone tightly in my sweaty hands while I took the precious photo, surrounded by billions of mosquitoes.

    Then I hauled ass back to the bike.

    In the meantime a sweet Honda Super Cub had parked alongside me. No idea where the owner was. Maybe he took a different path to a different waterfall that didn't suck.

    [​IMG]
    #93
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  14. Lost Cartographer

    Lost Cartographer Been here awhile

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    Back on the bike, back on the road working my way towards Doi Ang Khang. At some point I actually found myself back at the main road, so I turned around and committed myself yet again to finding the way there using the backroads.

    Saw this insanity on the way:

    [​IMG]

    Eventually I found the road and headed up the mountain to Doi Ang Khang. It had taken about 3 hours to get there. I just looked it up on google maps, it would have taken 25 minutes from the checkpoint to the Doi Ang Khang if they would have let me pass, and I wouldn't have malaria from the mosquitoes.

    It was getting late, and I needed to make up some time, so instead of taking the logical route back to civilization I did the opposite and went exploring along the border some more.

    There were a few small towns on the west side of Doi Ang Khang that did NOT look like Thai villages.

    Thai villages are neat, tidy, and well kept.

    These were not. There was junk lying about, litter, horses and donkeys, and things were a bit dilapidated.

    [​IMG]
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    Also some corn:
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    One hell of a view tho:

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    My last stop in the area was a little roadside stand to get a Coke. They didn't have coca cola, so I just bought a water.

    There was a ridiculous pink Mini there as well:

    [​IMG]

    And this sweet thing:

    [​IMG]
    #94
  15. Lost Cartographer

    Lost Cartographer Been here awhile

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    I hit the road and hauled ass south to Wat Si Don Chai Pa Tung Ngam, aka the most f*ck*d up place I've ever visited.

    It's a Wat, like many others, but they have made a giant garden of hell showing what happens to you if you are a bad person.

    It was almost 6pm when I rolled in, and it was way too dark to get any good photos, so here is one that I pulled off of the internet.

    Wat The Fuck:

    [​IMG]

    Here are a couple of links, none of them are safe for work:

    https://roadsandkingdoms.com/2015/nsfw-the-hell-temple-of-chiang-mai/

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/...st-monk-warn-tourists-locals-against-sin.html


    After wandering thru the place I hit the road back to Chiang Mai:

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    40 minutes of heavy but chill traffic later I arrived at my hotel:

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    If you've never experienced a durian, allow this guy to explain:




    Showered up, went out for dinner. Went to a Pakistani place. I've never had Pakistani food before, but it is pretty much like Indian food, but with beef. You know how to make Indian food even more delicious than it already is? Just add beef.

    Forgot to take food photos, but it looked like Indian food.

    Saw a bar with a street sign advertising Belgian beers, so I swung in. They had a good taplist, and an incredible selection in bottles in the cooler. Sometime around the 2nd beer one of the guys I met at Riders Corner the previous Saturday walked in with his wife, so we had a few more beers before calling it a night:

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    My bar tab was $30. That was more than the previous 4 days of meals put together.
    #95
  16. markinthailand

    markinthailand Long timer

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    Which bar was that?
    #96
  17. Lost Cartographer

    Lost Cartographer Been here awhile

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    "Number 1 Cafe Bistro" just east of the old town.

    Tons of great beers in the cooler, including lots of barrel aged stuff.
    #97
  18. markinthailand

    markinthailand Long timer

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    Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand
    Thanks! Only 5 minutes from my house, so will have to check it out. I've driven by a number of times but never stopped in.
    #98
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  19. Kyron

    Kyron Oncler Inds

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    HEY!!! you posted these same pictures back on Nov 22 ............ where are you really ? hahaha
    #99
  20. Lost Cartographer

    Lost Cartographer Been here awhile

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    Yeah thats the problem with trying to do reports in real time - at the beginning of the trip it goes smoothly but as time goes by I fall behind and everything becomes discombobulated. It goes from a 30 second delay to a 1 day delay to a 1 week delay...

    When I'm done with the report I'll go back and clean it up so it becomes properly sequential...
    Kyron likes this.