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After leaving the Pikey Tour at the Orchid Guest House in Chiang Rai, I rode south down the 1 until the right turn to the unique temple development at Long Khun, which as with many rich temples, constantly develops and forever changes. Today was no exception, since my last visit here they have charmingly erected the monster at the foot of the bridge with the big set of ‘meat & 2 veg’ !

It was a dull start to the day with rain in the air. Indeed there was some rain on the trip between Chiang Rai & Phayao.

Down to Phayao was miserable as it was cold without any sun & the rain was disappointing. Rain = no photo’s !

I stopped for lunch at the Noodle Museum (a museum not of noodles but just about anything else) and checked out the latest collections. When I came here last, in October 2007 with Classic Cars of Lanna, I think there were more bikes on show at that time.

After lunch I continued a short distance down the 1 until reaching the 120 right turn to Wang Neur and Mae Kachan.

After a short while the sun came out & the road became far more enjoyable.

There were a few cars about but plenty of scope for riding the road as it begs to be ridden. Fast, wide & twisty.

I stopped at Wang Nua & refuelled and pressed on towards Mae Kachan.

In places they have renewed the surface but not necessarily removed the unevenness of it.

I turned left at the junction with the 118 and literally had the road to myself. The dual lane highway with concreted middle barrier and the total wastage of all trees through this once beautiful route appalled me. Gone are the shady spots, so too the beautiful blooms and centry old solid trunks with character full branches. I have driven this route approximately 120 times in the last 5 years and today I felt a deep pang of sadness. What a waste of nature and the environment.

After the hot springs tourist area, the road is just as it always is, fun to ride and very good condition.

Short of Doi Saket I took the left towards San Kampaeng and after a short distance, stopped to say hello to Khun Chai & his wife who not only greeted me by name but knew exactly what I wanted, amazing after just one visit a month ago. Great coffee and the dogs were pleased to see me for a doggy chew.

The ride back to Hang Dong from here is very straight forward, again, a brilliant road through San Khampaeng and then left onto the 121 Outer Ring Road.

Chiang Rai to Chiang Mai – Phayao – 120

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