What fabulous weather we have right now in Chiang Mai. And to know there are so many roads out there, just begging to be ridden, I couldn’t wait to make another excursion.
If you want fast, curvy, mountains, views, railway station and a 350km loop from Chiang Mai, this ride is a real treat.
Setting out at 09:30 from Hang Dong and travelling down the tree lined 106 to Lamphun, I couldn’t help but think about this road 100 years ago. Has it changed that much? Apart from the tarmac and the electricity and paint, I doubt it very much.
When you get into Lamphun, it’s a little confusing but if you know where the 106 enters and exits, 12:00 and 19:00 respectively, you just keep circling the town until you find this junction.
The 106 south of Lamphun is a wonderful road in it’s own right, all the way down to Li but today I wanted to ride the 1184.
At Mae Ao, I took the left onto the 1184 and finally free of any traffic, I enjoyed every straight & every curve. It is a fast road and a very good surface.
At the bottom of the 1184, Ban Puang T junction, I took the left, towards Soem Ngam.
I stopped for a break at Mae Fok Reservoir and watched this lady fishing. A tranquil setting, only my tinnitus to listen to, along with bird songs and the lapping water on the shore. After the last hour, this road surface was a pain but with care it was still enjoyable.
After lunch & refuel at Soem Ngam (175 km’s from Chiang Mai), I continued north towards Lampang Luang. On arrival I saw how this area has now degenerated into a tourist spot, I didn’t bother stopping for a look at this fine temple, let alone take a photo of street vendors sqwarking around a carcus (sorry, just my cynicism). I now took the 1034 to Hang Chat and stopped at the Shell coffee shop and sampled their Americano with a Brownie.
Here I met Ake, who arrived at the coffee shop at the same time. We got chatting and it turns out he is a real entrepreneur, a couple of restaurants and a gym in Nakorn Sawan and a website [url=http://www.akespringer.com]www.akespringer.com[/url] which includes bikes, merchandise and would seem well linked with Harley Davidson in Thailand and a jolly nice chap too.
Next it was west on the 11 to Mae Tha and then a U turn & left onto the 2031.
My last trip down here a year ago was very disappointing, the road works rally messed the bike up. Well on joining the road I was smiling ear to ear but all that changed after about 5km’s. Between wet and spongy and dry and gravely, the road through to Tha Pla Duk was just like the lower half of the road I travelled last year.
I took the right to join the 3003 up to Khun Tan National Park and visited the Railway Station.
By now it was 16:00 and after giving kanom’s to as many of the dogs as possible and enjoying the walk amongst what seemed an old world place, frozen in time.
The 16:15 from Lamphun was late and after waiting for a super snap of it trundling off into the tunnel, at 16:45 I gave up hope and continued my journey back to the 2031 and north to the 1230.
I turned onto the 1229 and rode through to Mae On and finally back towards Chiang Mai & Hang Dong with the sun just hitting the horizon at 17:55 with another 181 km’s totalling 356 km’s.