Hi Everyone, This Trip Report is From Our Friend Mark Rossi who is Running Adventure Motorcycle Trips. He is based in Chiang Mai and will be Running any Off Road and Super Motard Trips we get Booked for 1 or More Days. Trips are Planned to Suit what the Customers want to do or See!!! This particular Trip was for 6 Days around the Golden Triangle Area. Gives You an Insight of What You could expect if you wanted to Book for a Similar Trip with Your Friends. Fantastic Entertainment and Views. Well worth Reading the Entire Article and What Great Photo’s. Enjoy!!!
Mathew (Dirt Action mag Australia)
day 1- As the boys schedule was tight and they wouldn’t have time to explore Chiang Mai I thought it best to do a return loop to CNX today to show the boys around some of the local attractions before we headed up country.
our first destination was Samoeng via the 1269 from Samoeng we then looped out to Pong Kwao hot springs on the 6033 and back. The loop on the 6033 is fantastic on a small bike and the feeling is remote, almost all road is sealed but there is short section of dirt, as you may see at this time the dirt section was in great order
Now with 3hrs riding under our belts it was off down the 1096 to meet up with my girl and as some of you will recognize Toi and Nan from Angelina’s restaurant joined us for Maesa Elephant camp visit
Dtai my other half
anybody that has never been to Maesa Elephant camp i feel your really missing out, the rainforest setting, the show, the price, the infant elephants, i could really go on its fantastic
next stop Tiger Kingdom for some refreshments and play with the cubs, Tiger Kingdom has only been open a short while every time i go there it keeps improving as the tigers get use to all the attention and get more and more active.
this photo was taken from our dining table without zoom, all that separates us and the tiger is a electric fence, pretty awesome
Matt playing with the cubs
Dtai with a cub
After the Tiger Kingdom we left the girls and headed up to Doi Suthep, a 26km must do ride if you visit Chiang Mai.
Doi Suthep is the mountain that overlooks Chiang Mai where the sacred Wat Phrathat stand amongst the rainforest
this is the legend of Wat Phrathatif if you have not read this before.
The original founding of the temple remains a legend and there are a few varied versions. The temple is said to be founded in 1383 when the first chedi was built . Over time the temple has expanded, and been made to look more extravagant with many more holy shrines added. A road to the temple was first built in 1935.
According to legend, a monk named Sumanathera from Sukhothai had a dream; in this dream god told him to go to Pang Cha and look for a relic. Sumanathera ventured to Pang Cha and is said to have found a bone, which many claim was Buddha’s shoulder bone. The relic displayed magical powers; it glowed, it was able to vanish, it could move itself and replicate itself. Sumanathera took the relic to King Dharmmaraja who ruled the Sukhothai.
The eager Dharmmaraja made offerings and hosted a ceremony when Sumanathera arrived. However the relic displayed no abnormal characteristics, and the king, doubtful of the relic’s authenticity, told Sumanathera to keep it.
However, King Nu Naone of the Lanna Kingdom heard of the relic and offered the monk to take it to him instead. In 1368 with Dharmmaraja’s permission, Sumanathera took the relic to what is now Lamphun, in northern Thailand. The relic apparently split in two, one piece was the same size, the other was smaller than the original. The smaller piece of the relic was enshrined at a temple in Suandok. The other piece was placed by the King on the back of a white elephant which was released in the jungle. The elephant is said to have climbed up Doi Suthep, at the time called Doi Aoy Chang (Sugar Elephant Mountain), trumpeted three times before dying at the site. It was interpreted as a sign and King Nu Naone ordered the construction of a temple at the site.
Jason being well i guess you would say blessed at Wat Phrathat
This guy was grazing along the edge of the mountain road after a hard days work pleasing tourist at the temple, he must be the most sedate elephant i have seen in my time in Thailand
by the time we got back to the hotel it was dark but its my opinion to go to Wat Phrahat either very early in the morning or on dusk as most all the other tourist have gone home, and the monks have settled in for some meditation and chanting setting a amazing atmosphere
Day 2, was a massive day covering 350km, travel time of 5hrs while Matt was taking photo’s for DirtAction Motorcycle magazine back in Aus. We left CNX at 9am in the morning and didnt arrive to our destination Thaton until 7:30pm, passing through Wieng Haeng and Doi Ang Khang.
Mathew was reluctant to have good luck wished upon by a Monk the day before in Wat Phrathat but the nights rest seem to have eased his christian stronghold and he was open today to having this monk wish him good luck. we met and shared fruit with the holy one at the beginning of the 1322. The blessing also was given to the motorcycles and it was stated to us we may ride as fast as we like today as the monk had passed his merits and good kharmer on to us, and no danger would come our way, well it must have been true as the boys let it all hang out up the 1322 leaving old happyfeet in the wake, trying to run them down to retake the lead and slow them up.
some of the 16km dirt section between Wieng Haeng and Doi Ang Khang
Matt taking some shots, its a pity i can not use a lot of mat’s photo’s to spice up the post, but its off the cards until he print a article
We basically put our heads down a rolled in a couple of good hours riding to get to Norlae a Palong hill tribe village in the Doi Ang Khang area. It was a great couple of hours riding for me not worrying about photo stops and just enjoying what i love to do.
When we reach the village of Norlae it was 6pm and a hive of activity as all had returned from school and well i think the Palong are known for growing of tanatep for burmese cigars so i guess the adults had returned from farming for a nights rest.
this guy was not from the Palong village, but was infact a travelling salesman selling ice to the village, he was so drunk he fell into the village chilli’s and couldnt get up.
on every visit Norlae has always been a friendly happy village to me
if you where to belief your g.p.s looking at the village of Norlae the left side of the road is Burma and the right side Thailand
this Burmese army camp is situated 500m from the village and our destination road travels straight past.
its riding in areas and views like these that have me hooked on riding motorcycles in the G.T.
After D.A.K it was heads down racing the light to get to our destination, these bungalows on the bank of the Kok river where our home for 1 night
Day 3 Thaton-Doi Mae Saloeng-Doi Tung-MaiSai-Chiang Rai
The previous night before bed I had told the boys how beautiful the temples of Thaton are at sunrise overlooking the Kok river, but it seemed i was going to have to enjoy the Thaton sunrise myself as my compatriots we a little weary, Matt still a little jet lagged and Jason was still catching up on some rest from some party days in Bangkok
i had seen the temples here many times but there beauty still makes me rise for a sunrise session.
Today was a really enjoyable day of riding for me, Matt had thought he had ample photo’s for the mag article and wanted to just enjoy his holiday
So we mostly got to enjoy the views,riding and the history that Doi Mae Saloeng has to offer.
We thought the steep road into Maesaloeng was soaking up the power of our 400cc look at these ladies
This gentleman is one of the people i have been lucky enough to get to know in the Maesaoloeng area, he and his family own a small fuel pump house, When he saw me pull up he came rushing out of the house to serve us and waved his daughter aside, he is now 90 years old and fought against the Japanese in Burma, i sure he see’s us a his western comm rad’s and always re mind’s me of his proud past as a captain in the K.M.T army
this is what i call Maesaelong’s roller coaster
as you may recognize this photo of Chedi Boromathat was not taken on the same ride,it was taken earlier in dry season, i took mat to this point to photograph, but cannot use all his photo’s as yet
After Mae Saloeng we road through the narrow sealed rainforest roads around Doi Tung visiting some Akha hill tribe.
Then dropped out of the mountain to Mae Sai a border trading post between Thailand and Myanmar(Burma)
Jason on the way down the mountain into MaeSai
While the boys entered into Myanmar to experience the Tachilek markets i reminded myself i was working and washed the suzuki’s
crossing the bridge between the 2 countries
fruit market stands Mae Sai Thailand as you’ll see later i have a thing for photoing fruit and vege stalls it must be my family’s horticultural background that brings the appeal
A quick discussion with the troops, and i informed them our longest days of riding had been forfilled, it was then made as a group decision we should adventure into Chiang Rai and see what the night festivities may bring us, first stop my favourite hotel in the world, and now after letting the cat out of the bag it seems to be alot of other gt-rider’s preffered accommodation.
Captain Matt takes a look of the bow for any dazzles in distress
The infamous boxing room about to get its bell rung
Matt giving his dazzle distress
Jason giving the Trans-Moto-Sport shirt a good representation
I think night time reports belong on a whole different message board so lets just leave it at this.
We had met up with Snail The D.C Rider for a few brews in 1 of Chiang Rai’s friendlier areas, a pact between myself and Snail stops me from revealing any more on this night, sorry fellows but that’s the way the panties fall.
After a short nap in a late night restaurant i rounded up the troops and headed for the docks and boarded the h.m.a.s sinful for a great night’s sleep
Day 4 Chiang Rai-Golden Triangle-Chiang Khong
Today we had a planned sleep in, but the troops where rearing to go and assembled me at 9:30am instead of 10am.
this morning we would follow the Kok river Down stream toward Laos then via of to Chiang Saen then Follow the Mekong river 9km up stream to the meeting point of the 3 countries Thailand, Myanmar and Laos.
try doing this in a western country
rice farmers on the way to work
The Mekong River in all her Glory
Sitting Budha at The Golden Triangle
We where lucky enough today to see the golden triangle when it was not swamped by bus’s of tourist, on other occasion’s when i have brought people through here and it has been busy, my group has found it a little overbearing after being in remote mountain area’s, so if this is you, opt to slip downstream a little to Chiang Saen and take a massage over looking the Mekong River and the ships trading from china unloading and loading in the custom’s port.
After a short Photo session at the G.T. we followed the Mekong over to Chiang khong for our night stopover, the city of Chiang Khong is a Mekong River Ferry border crossing point into Laos.
i warned you of my fruit and veg markets picture fetish so here it comes, these markets where in a village by the road on the way to Chiang Khong.
The most fantastic thing about traveling in the north of Thailand is the local village people, they are the salt of the earth. Thai people are super spontaneous and a small smile is often returned with a big smile, then the fun rolls on, if you are coming on a holiday i suggest bring small gifts to give, i carry small gold kangaroo stick pendants that cost me $1 a piece in Australia,the rewards far exceed the cost.
The Mekong coming into Chiang Khong if you notice the G.P.S L.H.S of the river is Thailand R.H.S is Laos
Day 5 Chiang Khong-Pu.Chi.Fa-Sala View-Chiam Kham-Pha Yao
we are now heading south skirting the Laos border in the north east of Thailand as we make our way back to Chiang Mai, first following the Mekong River then we climb the Luang Praubang Range. The area is filled breathtaking landscape great motorcycle roads, hilltribes and views over Laos.
Our sleep over destination was to be Pha Yao tonight, a small bustling traditional Thai city placed on the bank of a huge Lake, but before sleep there was some socializing to do,I had made plans the night before to meet up with some good friends and Gt-riders, Honda Honky and Big and Tall who had been out on dirt grip traveling a similar path but by trails
Jason, Big and Tall, Honda Honky,Mat
Big and Balls settling account with Justin
Pha Yao was a early night for myself,B&G and Jason, but the younger lads Honda Honky and Matt took the girls from the restaurant(i must stress the word girls) out dancing at a distant nightclub
Day 6 A short 2hr stroll down hwy 120 then the 118 back to Chiang Mai today.
Getting back to Chiang Mai Jason had plans to fly out to Bangkok this night, however Matt was able to join us as well as some gt-riders at my home for a shin dig and karaoke night for one of my better half’s friends B’day
Snail and Justin sharing some laughs
Miss Gung cutting her 25th birthday cake.
yous truly and Matt obviously intoxicated by beautiful woman and alcohol
All in all i had a fantastic time with 2 great guy’s,Jason and Matt, i’d suggest to anybody wishing to ride the G.T. the more time you have the better, it becomes very addictive.