Distance – 392kms
This ride was the first time out in a couple of weeks, as I have been otherwise occupied. Champing at the bit and desperate to get a ride in before Songkran closes down the opportunities for decent rides for a week, I wanted to do something a bit special.
I fancied seeing Doi Ang Khang after reading other peoples experiences of this area and knew that I would be smiling a lot with the roads & the views. I didn’t know that I would find half of what I found and arrived home after 9 hours of a ride out that I would like to do again, again & again.
On the road by 08:30 meant that I could get out of town and up north for an early start on decent roads. I took the Canal road (121) up to Mae Rim and joined the 107.
I can report that the 107 now has tarmac on it’s length between Mae Rim & Chiang Dao, albeit narrow for 2 way traffic at times, all except for a 2 metre strip of joining gravel at one point. So this road just got even more enjoyable too.
A fast blast on the Chiang Dao Bypass reminded me a little of the GTR Christmas ride, when I followed Kenyam along here doing 150 in the rain!
At Ping Khong traffic lights I took a left onto the 1178. I noted the left turning along here where many riders have posted about, the 1322 but that’s for another day.
On up the 1178 I reach Na Wai and the Pa Dang National Park, signposted Srisungwan Waterfall.
Here I enter the park & pay the (local) money after a discussion and as usual it is 20 baht for the bike & 10 baht for me.
I don’t think I have ever been to a park that is so well signposted.
Lovely waterfall, the grounds are well laid out & immaculately maintained. The fern & Herb garden are almost manicured and the entire visit was a pleasure.
Back on the 1178 and onto Lin Luang junction, where the 1178 forks 2 ways ! I go right to Arunothai where I take a break & lunch.
I am now on the 1340 and heading for Sinchai. At the control point I continue on straight and after a brilliant ride, I find Thomn Gob Inn, one of General Lee’s residences and in fact his eldest daughter Pauranee Chaisai greeted me and was pleased to show me around the Generals home.
The views from the crest of this ride ride through Mae Fang National Park are spectacular. Words & even photos cannot capture the experience of scents, panorama and the feeling of enormity as everything is dwarfed by the massive mountains across the valley.
At the eventual junction which suggests that Doi Ang Khang is up the mountain to the right and is the 1249, I take the left and pass through a very busy but very humble village. After another good stretch of ride, I finally reach the end of the 1340.
Here I find the Doi Ang Khang Nature Resort and after a look around, put a deposit down for a 3 night stay next week, for a romantic retreat over Songkran. This place will do just fine, to chill out and relax.
After a refuel at the supermarket with a few old Sangsom bottles, I retraced my path up the mountain to the road junction that is missing on my gps map.
The earlier junction I noted of the 1249 going right, goes up to the crest of this mountain but from where I am now riding, there is another road (3rd side of the triangle) which takes you up to the crest of the mountain by another route and joins the 1249 at a control post.
I take the left towards Chai Prakan and descend the mountain in a very respectable 1st & 2nd gear.
This is steep and the Dragstar feels like a battle cruiser with unstoppable momentum. No brake fade for me today, I have learned an awful lot about using the gears on this bikes descent now, I hardly touch the brake since the last instance of brake fade in January and I feel more in control of the bike now. Not the other way round !
At the 107 junction just north of Chai Prakan, I turn left and then after a few kms I do left onto the 1346 at the ‘hong pak’.
This road is part of the “Chai Prakan Loop” and is a brilliant ride. The last time I rode it was 26 December last year and it was wet & horrible. Today in the warm afternoon sun and post burn off (still burning in places!) the road can be enjoyed & the scenery too.
At the end of the 1346, I take a left onto the 1150, there is road surface work going on along here too and on into Phrao where I stop at the 7/11.
I take the 1001 out of Phrao and now I am on the homeward stretch, there are no more photos but what I can say is that the 1001 is now resurfaced from Long Khot right down to the 1323 junction to Mae Ngat and is very smooth.
I follow the 1001 down into Chiang Mai and as it’s now getting on for 17:30, the markets along here are busy. At the 121 I do a left and home.