Northern Thailand Exploration

Northern Thailand Exploration 2017

(includes Angkor Wat of Cambodia)

3 Bikes 3 riders, no plans just head North of Thailand to enjoy the weather and scenery up north. Another seaon of riding to the north of Thailand just like any other riders who loved riding in Thailand. December and January is always the migratory periods to indulge the northern provinces of Thailand. You willbe greeted by greenery all around, the aftermath of the torrential rainy season of Thailand and the welcoming cool weather in the northern provinces during this time of the year. But do take note that due to the end of the rainy season, some road may remain impassable as a result of floods or landslides.

The Riders on this Overland Adventure

The 3 Amigos

Reza (Red Baron) - Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro

Udin Sudman - Suzuki Vstrom 1000

Hafidz - Honda Africa Twin CRF 1000

Suzuki Vstrom 1000

Honda CRF 1000. Africa Twin

Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro

Our Adventure in Videos

Watch all our Adventures on

Youtube Channel: Red Baron Diaries.

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Northern Thailand Exploration Ep 1

Northern Thailand Exploration Ep 2

Northern Thailand Exploration Ep 3

Northern Thailand Exploration Ep 4

Northern Thailand Exploration Ep 5

Northern Thailand Exploration Ep 6

Northern Thailand Exploration Ep 7 (finale)

Our Trip Blogs with Photos for your reading pleasure

Northern Thailand Exploration

Day 1

Singapore - Surat Thani

Approx 1200km

We started out the ride at 11pm the day before and planned to continue riding for the next 1400 kilometers to reach our destination/stopover for today that is the province of Surat Thani. The main idea as always for the first day is to cross the border with all the immigration paperwork done and to ride as far north as we could. Due to the fact that this is a first time on a long ride (stretch of riding) for Hafiz and Udin, I had reduced the distance and planned to hit the town of Surat Thani for day 1 of riding. We also chose to go via a different border than the usual Sadao border as it was a public holiday in Malaysia and we expect the main broder crossing between Malaysia and Thailand to be packed with holiday goers crossing into Thailand. So instead we have chosen to detour to Padang Besar Border Checkpoint. Althugh upon reaching the border, the traffic condition was not any much better, it was however easily accessible to get to the designated motorcycle lane and much shorter waiting time to clear. We heard news from friends who were at the Sadao border taking about 4 hours - 6 hours for people to clear the checkpoint. This is where it is always important to plan your timing of when you plan to arrive at the brder to avoid the massive crowds and save waiting time that could have gone on your riding miles.

VISA for Land Borders?

There was a time (roughly around 2015 - 2018) when Thailand implemented the rule of free entry for all land crossing for up to 2 visits per year. Beyond the two visits, overlanders would have to apply for a VISA from the Thailand embassy of the respective countries of origin.

As I had used up the VISA quota way during the first half of the year, I had to apply Visa for my entry into Thailand this time. However as we do have plans to get into Cambodia during this trip, it would mean that I will need another Visa to be able to reenter Thailand again from Cambodia. Due to this we had to go to the immigration office in Sadao to get the paperwork done and apply for a reentry visa in advance.

Payment for a reentry Visa is about 1000baht (40 SGD) when applied at the Thai immigration office in Thailand.

Route 41 Cafe

From the border we head straight for breakfast at one of my long time friend's restaurant Route 41 Phattalung. I had been friends with the owners since the first month that they opened shop along Route 41 highway in Phattalung District. Now their small cafe had developed into a popular joints by bikers who travel up north. They have now expanded with a restaurant onsite serving halal food and just recently opened up a motel within their premises. Looking at their walls, you can see numerous stickers by different groups donning the entrance of their cafe. We hope that the busines of Khun Jirajit (Ladyboss) will continue to prosper and we wish them well.

After having wasted time getting through customs today (around 2 hours) and getting the Visa done for my passport in Sadao Immigration Office, we just had time to enjoy lunch in Route 41 Cafe and now we have about 4 hours of daylight to arrive at our target destination for tonight, the Town of Surat Thani. We arrived at the hotel at sunset and crashed in our room. We then head out to look for some food around the area.

Summary of Day 1

1243km done today

2am to 9.30 am

Ride SG to Msia/Thai border

9.30 am to 12 noon

Settling all required paperwork (Padang Besar / Sadao)

1.30pm to 7.00pm

Ride Sadao to Surat Thani

Todays main agenda is to cover distance and get paperwork done. Lots of time wasted in getting immigration n paperwork done.

North Thailand Exploration

Day 2

Surat Thani - Bangkok


Started the day early so that we can push on further north. We planned to bypass Bangkok today and perhaps spend the night in the town of Pak Chong/Khao Yai. that is in Nakhon Ratchasima province. However early morning one of the riders complained of stomach upset and along the way we had to make plenty of toilet breaks so that he can relieve himself. This do affect the momentum of the trip in wanting to push the distance today to get more time in the north. However it is also important to be able to accomodate other riders especially on that is not feeling well. Safety and health should be the utmost importance in any trip. However it was good of Udin to be able to bear with the discomfort and carry on with the trip. Although our pace may be slower but it would still be a progress each time we clocked the mileage (at least we are not stranded and losing out the day).

Kromluang Chumphon Shrine

Upon entering the province of Chumphon, we detoured to a site that honour the Prince of Chumphon as the father of the Thai Navy. This is situated in Lang Suan district.

The shrine is a model of HTMS Chakri Naruebet an aircraft carrier. It is 29 meters wide, 79 meters long, and 6 meters tall. The design came naturally as Chumphon is known to be Thailand centre of Naval excellence.

It was built by the faith of the local people who donated both their money and labor. The construction budget was 12 million Baht.

Year 1922, the Prince of Chumphon saw that Sattahip Bay was a strategic place for the establishment a naval base and offered royal land in Sattahip in order to build naval facilities which included the new home of the naval academy. In honor of his contributions, the Prince was proclaimed “The Father of Royal Thai Navy”. The Royal Prince Admiral went to England to personally negotiate the purchase of the Phra Ruang destroyer, one of the early ships of the Royal Thai Navy and command the ship during its subsequent voyage from England to Thailand. He served at the Minister of the Royal Siamese Navy from October 1922 until his death from influenza on May 19, 1923.

The Big BIrd of Prachuap.

Completing Route 4 for the first time...

Always there to greet riders and always a sight where riders will stop for a photo opportunity. To most this signify the (almost) completion of the Route 4 highway in the South. Route 4 is the main highway that link the South to the capital of Thailand, Bangkok. Therefore Route 4 is the most used highway transporting people up north. The big bird is a symbol for riders and it is always a welcome sight after riding the borig straights of Route 4 highway for the past 800km and knowing that it is coming to an end.

Early dinner today courtesy of Hafidz who is celebrating his 38th birthday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY HAFIDZ!

So here we are in the seaside town of Cha Am... a much more quieter and peaceful places as compared to its neighbouring town of Hua Hin that is bursting wth tourist. So Hafidz wanted to treat us to a seafood meal and i knew just the right place. This is my favourite halal seafood restaurant in this area... a place that I will not miss every time that I am in town. Normally we do not indulge in a lot of food during our ride especially if we still have a distance to go. However since the day is comming to a close and we can obtain some really good food, we decided that a good meal should be the priority. As for the distance, we definitely could not make it pass Bangkok to Khao Yai so we had decided to try our luck and go through the traffic of Bangkok where we would spend the night in one of the areas outside of the main city centre.

Pushed into Krung Thep (old name for Bangkok) in the dead of night at around 11pm...but guess what, traffic is still a killer. We had to weave through traffics and making sure we were in the right lane. Also we could just just weave through traffic as I had to ensure that Udin and Hafidz are all in visible distance from me and they are able to see if I do make any turns. We settled into a mid range hotel for the night, paying more than we normally would but we were too tired after the ride through the traffic to consider any other hotels. In any case the cost is shared by all three riders so it was not that bad for what we are getting.

Summary of Day 2

Shorter than planned ride but long day today. It was a slow and relaxing ride with lots of pit stops ( not for site visits though) so that one of the rider can go to relieve himself. He has been having stomach cramps since last night.

Planned to stay the night in Khao Yai but decided to spend the night in Krung Thep instead. As usual traffic is a killer within Bangkok (unless you taking the tuk2 driven for Mr Brosnan).

Weather has been great so far....let us see what tomorrow brings.

North Thailand Exploration

Day 3

Bangkok - Buriram


Started the day early leaving Bangkok to avoid the morning rush hour. From Bangkok we headed to Pak Chong/ Khao Yai where we shall bve riding through the national park. We do not intend to spend a long time in the park as we have done it before in our previous rides. It is merely a way to cut through from Prachin Buri to Buriram to save some time. At the veery least the sights of Khao Yai is always a beuty to behold. Along the way we had planned to visit the Bamboo park in Prachin Buri and also the Hobbit Town in Korat.

Good morning Bangkok

A rare occasion when I would ride my bike into Bangkok. An early start today to avoid the traffic build up as the residents starts their daily business.

Bamboo Park Prachin Buri

Sadly its dry season...was hoping to feel ala japan bamboo forest. This bamboo park is located in Prachin Buri. Again it is not one of those places that appears on the tourist maps. This is basically a bamboo sanctuary where farmers grow bamboo for a living. The bamboos are then crafted into furniture or other uses and may be exported for sale. To get to this site you will need to ride through offroad through the plantation roads.

Khao Yai National Park

Established in 1962 as Thailand's first national park, it is the third largest national park in Thailand. Situated mainly in Nakhon Ratchasima Province, Khao Yai extends into Prachinburi, Saraburi and Nakhon Nayok provinces. Khao Yai is just 3 hours away from Bangkok.

The park covers an area of 2,168 square kilometres, including rain/evergreen forests and grasslands. 1,351 m high Khao Rom is the highest mountain within the park. The average altitude of the national park ranges from 400 to 1000 m above the sea level.

Khao Yai is part of Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai Forest Complex, a World Heritage Site declared by UNESCO, covering 5 protected areas from Khao Yai to Cambodian border. The other protected areas are; Pang Sida National Park, Thap Lan National Park, Ta Phraya National Park and Dong Yai Wildlife Sanctuary.

We dropped by at a strawberry farm at the foot of the Khao Yai Mountain to enjoy some frwsh strawberry drinks and then left to hang around at the lake of Pak Chong.

Elephants of Khao Yai

Just a warning for those entering Khao Yai with vehicles.

Khao Yai has many resident elephants in the national park. When you do encounter the elephants along the way...please observe the Do's and Dont's for your safety. Do not panic and definitely do not try to intimidate them.

Baan Hobbit

For all JR Tolkien fans.

Just off the main highway 2 in the province of Korat (Nakhon Ratchasima) lies a small development based on the theme of the famous JRR Tolkien movie set of Lord of The Rings. Here the development is created to depict a scene of Hobbit town. There is also accommodation available to stay in one of the hobbit houses.

Summary of Day 3

Arrived in Buriram for the night. We are back on track to our planned itinerary and we shall be entering Cambodia tomorrow as long as there is nothing wrong with the paperwork. We spent the night making sure that our paper work are in order. We also spent the time discussion the route that we shall be taking via google map so that everyone knows and are clear on what to expect of the conditions of traffic in Cambodia since it is the first time for Hafidz and Udin. For me I had to make sure my Visa and othe rpaperwork are in order so that there is no problem for me to enter back in Thailand.

At the end of the day, the most important thing is to charge all our handphone, gps and camera and video equipment so that they may last us for the next very day.

North Thailand Exploration

Day 4

Buriram - Siem Reap


Good morning from Buriram.

Home of Buriram United

The plan for today was to spend the morning in Buriram exploring here and there around the city of Buriram. There are some nice places of interest that we can visit here. Then from Buriram we plan to head into Cambodia through the O'smach border and head to the City of Angkor Wat, Siem Reap.

Buriram Castle & Stadium

Buriram United Football Club is a professional football club based in Buriram, Thailand. The club has played at the top level of Thai football for the majority of their existence and is competing in the Thai League 1. The club is one of the best in the Thai league.

Chang International Circuit Buriram

This international standard circuit will be hosting its first MotoGP race next year in 2018. This will be the first time that MotoGP races has come to Thailand and Thailand has secured the rights to host the races for the next 5 years on this particular racetrack. So we will be seeing the likes of Valentino Rossi, Marc Marquewz, Jorge Lorenzo in years to come. We were very lucky that when we arrived at the venue, we were allowed to enter the premises and given a short tour of the circuit. It is going to be truly impressive when this circuit starts to host MotoGP.

While Hafidz and Udin waits for the Buriram United fans store to open, I went onto discover the Khao Kradeng National Forest park. It is interesting that this area actually develop around a volcanic crater. the way up to the top can be steep at times but nothing an adventure bike cannot handle.

Khao Kradeng Forest Park

Ancient Volcano

Only six kilometres from the city, this extinct volcano that rises 265 meters high, was previously known as Khmer Phanom Kradong, meaning turtle shell because of its half-moon shape. The surrounding forest is home to squirrels, wild rabbits, various bird species and indigenous plants and trees like the Devil Yoni Tree found only in volcanic areas. Visitors can either drive up the massif or walk up the 297 Naga raj steps, which have Buddha statues in various poses along the way. The pool halfway at the top is said to be the mouth of the volcano and features a suspension bridge across it, while the lava rocks are proof of volcanic activity at one time. The top offers scenic views of the surrounding countryside and is also home to a large Buddha image, Phra Suphattharabophit, considered to be the symbol of Buri Ram. The ancient stupa houses a replica of the Buddha’s footprint. A nice outing for families, couples, or a group of friends.

Ducati Buriram

A ducati agent here in the city of Buriram. We had a look at the Panigale 1199S that was fitted with a specially designed paintwork for the support of Buriram United.

Entry in Cambodia

In the mid afternoon we entered Cambodia through the O'smach-Chom Chom Boundary Post. Getting through this immigration was a of the easiest to pass through that I would recommend to anyone. We did our paperwork to exit Thailand and went on to the Cambodia side. As we were not familiar with the Cambodian procedure at this border control, I had engage a fixer to help us with the proceeding. In no time we were in Cambodia. Just a note of caution for travellers into Cambodia, make sure you declare or tell them which border you will be exiting by. This is because if you were to exit through the same border again, they will just log your bike number and details into their logbook and will not issue and import permit (redflag). Do always ask for an import permit no matter what so that if you are stopped by the Cambodian police you are able to prove that your bike entered the country you some hassle. Similar to my previous experience, a health checkup fee of 1 USD to be paid and also imigration fee of 5USD to be paid as well. We gave a tip to the fixer at the end of the procedure and off we went onto the tarmac of Cambodia.

A case of bad petrol in Cambodia

Thankfully for the Japanese bikes they were all handling okay. However the Ducati is very sensitive to bad petrol. The bike system had detected that the petrol was not clean (probably traces of water with low octane fuel combination). Therefore it triggered the safety system into a Safe mode...engine check light came on. My throttle response and power was cut and feel limited. The bike does all this to preserve the engine from further harm. Note to self: Got to get this bike's sensors cleaned and checked.

We headed into Siem Reap in the late afternoon. We wanted to seee Angkor Wat tomorrow so that means that we had to purchase the tickets today before the counters closed (tickets to be purchased one day in advance). Also do take note that the tickets for Angkor Temples are nott sold at the entrance to the complex. They are sold around 10km away at a central ticket repository. We arrived in time before they closed and managed to get our tickets. Getting the tickets a day before entitle us to go for the Sunrise tour of Angkor.

Reflection for Day 4

It is really nice to be able to have the time and ability(health and money) to travel to another country and experience the culture and the way of life of those in a different country. but as we look , we as Singaporean are so lucky that we are much more advanced in terms of our systems and capability due to our strong government belief in investing in the people.

Cambodia is still perhaps 20 years backward in this aspect due to their long time civil wars and/or corruption of the country. There is still a long way for the Cambodian to go. However it is god to see children in Cambodia being able to move ahead and are thirsty for education.

Just a reminder of what it could have been had we been born in Cambodia. Be thankful for what we have and never complain or what could have been. There are always others who are less fortunate.

North Thailand Exploration

Day 5

Siem Reap

Visit to the Temples of Angkor

Spending the day today visiting the temples of Angkor. This would be my second time within the complex of the Angkor Temples...the first being the Cambodia terip I did with my wife in 2013 under Angkor Adventure 2013 (do check out the blog for that). This would be Hafidz and Udin first visit to the complex and I hope to make it a good visit for them. This time our plan was to try and ride our bike into the complex itself. If we were to do it, we would try to get it done as quickly as possible moving from one temple to the next with the exceptionof Angkor Wat. Also during the time that we park within the complex, we need to ensure that we keep it out sight as it may be an invitation for the guards to seize them...A gamble that we are taking. Normally you are only allowed to take a horsedrawn carriage or a tuk tuk run by the complex or hotel to get around the complex. The place was heavily stationed with workers and security guards but we did however found a way in during our recce late yesterday evening. We hope that once we are in the complex there shoud be lesser guards within.

Nothing much was planned for the rest of the day as our main ai to enter Cambodia was to drop by Angkor Wat.

Angkor Adventure 2013

Recall in 2013, we had found a back entrance to Angkor Wat..more so like a service entrance. Ww hope to be able to utilise it this time for our bikes.

North Thailand Exploration

Day 5

Siem Reap - Phetchabun


Today I will be leaving earlier than Hafidz and Udin as I intend to get my bikes checked at a Ducati dealership. I chose to go to one that woud be along the way instead of backtracking to Buriram (although that would be nearer). So early morning I head out to Nakhon Ratchasima after clearing the Cambodia and Thailand custom...i headed straight there. It would definitely take some time for my bikes to be checked and fixed and I do not want to trouble the guys to accompany me in getting the problem fixed. Let them have enough rest at the hotel and they can joined up with me along the way. Told them to check out by noon and I gave them the routes that I took and where they should be heading via sharing of google maps and photos. That is one thing about travelling in groups, at times we need to be flexible and brave enough to travel on our own so that we do not burden the rest of the group. We can always meet up at a later time or at a designated place at the end of the day. In that way, the trip gets to carry on with less hiccups or deviation.

Ducati Nakhon Ratchasima

Came out of Cambodia with some dirty fuel...affected the knock sensor and engine warning light appeared.

Thank you to Ducati Korat for the fuss free bike check up and all. Thanks so much to the lady boss for the gift as well.

Great Ducati support all over Thailand.

Spent the day playing cat and mouse with the other two and I kept on sending my location for them to catch up on.

Spent the last 200km riding in pitch darkness to make up for loss time due to the vsit to the Ducati dealership. Also Udin and Hafidz ended up exiting Cambodia a little later than expected due to some unexpected inconvenience. So this is a photo of what it looks like riding on a trunk road at night. Do note the foglight is switched on. Arrived at the hotel that we were supposed to rendezvous at around 9pm (3 hours after dark) and checked in. The other two rolled in about half an hour later and we were reunited.

North Thailand Exploration

Day 6

Phetchabun - Nan


Cafe Hopping - Pino Latte & Route 12 Cafe

Spent the morning cafe hopping in the beautiful mountainous region of Phetchabun. The cool weather is a welcome change compared to the arid plains of Angkor.Rode up to Khao Kho to have breakfast at Pino Latte and then a stop over at the famous biker cafe Route 12. We are enroute to head to Nan Province today hoping to dross over the Sirikit Dam into Nan while there is still barge service going on. In case we do miss the barge, we plan to find a village and ask around for some kind souls to provide us shelters. One thing about Thai people they are very homely and helpful especially to foreigners. As such I really hope these carry on and that foreigner do not take advantage of the kindness of the Thai people.

Phu Doon Border Checkpoint

As we go along the twisties along the backroad of Phrae, we passed by a border used by locals only..No foreigners may cross at this moment in time.

We headed on to the Sirikit Dam and managed to get there in time for a barge to take us across. However due to it being the low season wwe had to wait for quite some time for the barge to depart as they hope to be able to cut down the number of trips by getting more vehicles on board. So this is our Sirikit Dam barge crossing. Notice the changes in the vegetation as more temperate plants can be found and the clear blue skies.

By the time we hit Nan it was after sunset. So we had to slowly navigate the corners of Nan in the dark. We looked for a reasonable accommodation with proper place to park our big bikes. We managed to find one reasonably priced accommodation and the owner let us have a bog room for the night. There were easily 10 queen size beds in the room. So choose your beds!

North Thailand Exploration

Day 7

Nan - Chiang Rai - Chiang Mai - Pai


A cold morning start ..the bike takes a few cranks before they start to fire up. Today we around riding the hills of Nan. Today we shall be cutting across the mountain range of Phayao as we head towards the most romantic town in Thailand. It is situated high up in the province of Mae Hong Son.

Doi Samer Dao

Popular camping site overlooking a valley, known for its views of the sunrise & night skies. Doi Samer-Dao in Thai words it means "Mountain in the same level of stars" It's top point of Srinan National Park in Nan. It's far from Nan city

As we play the corners of the mountain passes, we managed a few stop along the way for a rest and some drinks. The view at most of the stop were breathtaking.

Thaweesin Hotspring

Thaweesin Natural Hot Springs Tallest and most beautiful in the North Open for service: Every day from 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. Service fee: Free Entrance!!! Activities in attractions - Sightseeing and taking pictures of natural hot springs for free - Free natural mineral water boiled egg pond - Free natural spring foot bath - Soak in fish spa, 99 baht per person - Bathing in natural mineral springs, 200 baht per person

Arrived in Mae Hong Son province just before dark. As we made our way up 764 curves to the town of Pai. We reached Pai just as darkness falls. We headed to a hotel, freshen up and walked the streets of Pai. We have dedicated tomorrow as a day that I shall bring Udin and Hafidz to go around Pai and Mae Hong Son to explore the area. It is their first time visiting so I hope to let them fall in love with Pai as I have. Pai is my favourite town in Thailand and I will make it an effort to visit at least once every two years just to spend a few days here.

North Thailand Exploration

Day 8

Around Mae Hong Son

Spending the day today bringing Hafidz and Udin exploring my favourite town in Thailand. Pai and Mae Hong Son are one of the loveliest place to ride in Thailand with good winding road, cool weather and some nice scenery. pai as it is known as the New Zeland of Thailand boost a few attraction that will leave you in awe and MHS has luvly unique places to visit for visitors. Since we have covered 764 curves of Pai yesterday means we have about another 1000+ curves to knee down as we ride to te town of Mae Hong Son. We will be doing a day ride to Mae Hong Son and hope to come back to Pai for the night. Mae Hong SOn is a dead town at night and difficult to find Halal food. It is a contrast when compared to Pai.

There are just so many places that you could visit in these region but we do not have time for them therefore we have to pick and choose the places that we should visit. I planned all the places that I have not visited before and proposed to the group so it shall be a first time for all of us. For the other sites, Udin and Hafidz can always return again as they too have fallen in love with Pai.

Good morning from Pai

This is the river just outside of our room. A natural river flowing downstream with cool water and a backdrop of a mountain. Not to forget the mist in the early morning

Long Neck Village

The Kayan Long Neck tribe (Kayan Lahwi or Padaung) are a sub-group of the red Karenni group. They are a Tibeto-Burman ethnic minority of Myanmar mainly found in the Shan and Kayah state in Myanmar. In the late 1980’s, due to increasing conflict between this minority group and the military regime in Myanmar, they started to flee and cross over into Mae Hong Son (north west Thailand).

It’s important to note that Long Necks are not native to Thailand, they are all refugees here, who have fled persecution from their homeland of Myanmar. With refugee status, their freedom is restricted, employment is largely prohibited, and opportunities bleak. However, many Long Necks are happy for tourists to visit them, because life in Thailand (albeit with restrictions in a Long Neck village), is a much better alternative than returning to Myanmar.

Mae Hong Son Chamber of Commerce

This is a stop for most bikers who would love to get their hands on a certificate indicating they have completed the 1864 curves of MHS (note 1864 curve coming from Chiang Mai counter clockwise loop) as a momento. Brought Udin and Hafidz here to collect their first MHS certificate for them to remember this ride. Although I have been to MHS for the fifth time I had only made 3 certificates so far. Many a time I did not even bother to step beyond Pai. I have always prefered just to spend my time in Pai.

Pang Oun Lake

Situated 1200 meters above sea level, Pang Oung Lake is a spectacular, beautiful area, some 40 km away from the city of Mae Hong Son, very close to the authentic Chinese village Ban Rak Thai. Pang Oung is one of the hidden treasures of Mae Hong Son province, and those who visit here find it hard to believe they are in Thailand. To get here you will have to divert away from the Mae Hong Son loop and go into Route 2010 which will take you into rural road. For a close 30km there are steep 60/70 degrees slopes with cirves and switchback that you have to manoeuvre through. Veering through Hmong villages you are able to see them at their lifestyle. Once up there the view is terrific.located nearby is a Chinese town.

Ban Rak Thai

Ban Rak Thai (literally "the Thai-loving village"), also known as Mae Aw in many guide books and some maps, is a village near Mae Hong Son. It was settled by former Kuo Min Tang (Nationalist) fighters

Su Tong Pae Bridge

Used daily by villagers and monks, the name of the bridge translates as ‘successful prayer’ in the Tai Yai language and Su Tong Pae is a source of pride amongst the local community. Rice plantation owners donated the land and the villagers came together to construct the bridge using interwoven strips of bamboo for the walkway and wooden supports to elevate the bridge above the rice fields.

We spent the night back in Pai

North Thailand Exploration

Day 9

Pai - Chiang Mai


We shall be heding doqwn from the mountains in the city of Chiang Mai which is situated about 100 km away. Chiang Mai is one of the big city of Thailand with an international airport that accept many flights from all over the world. Chiang Mai is a city in mountainous northern Thailand. Founded in 1296, it was capital of the independent Lanna Kingdom until 1558. Its Old City area still retains vestiges of walls and moats from its history as a cultural and religious center. It’s also home to hundreds of elaborate Buddhist temples, including 14th-century Wat Phra Singh and 15th-century Wat Chedi Luang, adorned with carved serpents.

We had our breakfast along the way down at the Witches cafe, a road side cafe that is a good rest stop especially if you get giddy from all the twist and turns. Before we head into Chiang Mai, we will be stopping by another interesting place to visit. Do carry on and read to find out.

Mae Wang National Park

Our place of visit for today will be Mae Wang National Park before we head into Chiang Mai.

Pha Chor

Pha Chor is a cliff located in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and is managed by Mae Wong National Park. Pha Chor is natural phenomena caused by an uplift of one of the Earth’s plates and also by erosion of wind and rain. Apart from a visit to Pha Chor Cliffs, there is nothing recommended in Mae Wang National Park. Our recommendation is to combine a trip to Pha Chor Cliffs with a visit to the nearby Doi Inthanon National Park, perhaps visiting Mae Ya Waterfall or other attraction further inside the park. Most attractions claimed to be inside Mae Wang National Park by various websites are actually not within the park boundaries, like Mae Wang Waterfall with a number of others, Khun Wang Royal Project, Mae Wang River and a number of trails. There is only one single accessible waterfall inside the park which is Man Fa Waterfall, quite a insignificant waterfall in comparison to many waterfalls in the nearby areas. A couple of other smaller waterfalls are located in the remote locations of the park, not open for tourists.

Take note that you will need to be fit to hike up and down the cliff.

Reached Chiang Mai safely after visited a few places of interests along the way before check in into our hotel and out for early dinner & send our dirty clothes to the laundry.

North Thailand Exploration

Day 10

Chiang Mai

Spent the morning visiting local friends in Chiang Mai. Did not plan for anything today as it is our rest day...a day where we just chill and sit back as the world pass by. We are also expecting another group of rider who will be meeting up with us. They have just exit from Laos and Vietnam. We could plan to ride dow south together as a group.

Our friends rolled into town almost mid noon. We caught up with one another to share stories and hand around together chilling the rest of the afternoon for meals and coffee. Among them include my old time riding kakis (friends) Fahmy Mahony and Yempaul (Ibrahim)

North Thailand Exploration

Day 11

Chiang Mai - Kamphaeng Phet


Today we will start our ride south, together with some of the riders from the Vietnam group. Along the way I have proposed my itinerary of places to visit since the other group have have no fixed itinerary in mind. They are ok to tag along with the plan and together we rode south and explore new places where all of us have not been to (even I have not been...good to check out new places)

We arrived in Kamphaeng Phet just before sunset. While the other group prefer to head in to a hotel straight., the three of us went to recce part of the historical site. The historical site is dispersed around the district and consist of many different locations.

Kamphaeng Phet historical Park

Kamphaeng Phet Historical Park is an archeological site in Kamphaeng Phet, Thailand. Along with Sukhothai Historical Park and Si Satchanalai historical park, it is a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Historic Town of Sukhothai and Associated Historic Towns.

North Thailand Exploration

Day 12

Kamphaeng Phet - Ratchaburi


We shall be spending the morning exploring the historical park and then ride down to Ratchaburi province.So far we have been planning a ride of about 400km southbound each day so that everyone is able to keep pace and to prevent overexhaustion after having been riding for many couple of days.

Unesco World Heritage Site, the Kamphaeng Phet Historical Park features the ruins of structures dating back to the 14th century, roughly the same time as the better-known kingdom of Sukhothai. Kamphaeng Phet’s Buddhist monuments continued to be built up until the Ayuthaya period, nearly 200 years later, and thus possess elements of both Sukhothai and Ayuthaya styles, resulting in a school of Buddhist art quite unlike anywhere else in Thailand.

Wat Tha Sung

Located in the province of Uthai Thani, this one is a hard one to find as it is just an ordinary temple, not a tourist attraction or anything. We have heards about a temple made of glass or crystals and we hope to get a view of it.

We had to take a ferry across to head back onto route 1 heading down toward Ratchaburi. Arrived in Ratchaburi in late evening and look around for a place to stay and bunked for the night. Dinneer for tonight comes from the 7-11...simple microwavable food.

North Thailand Exploration

Day 12

Kamphaeng Phet - Ranong


Still hoping to cover at least 400km before our next destination for the day. This is to maximise our mileage of riding as we attempt to ride south as much as we could but of course with few places to visit. Todays journey takes us down south the penisula and a slight detour away from Route 4 towards the Andaman sea. We shall look to spend the night in Ranong.

Today we are also hoping to get joined up by a pair of brothers who has just came back from Pattaya. We hope to meet them along the way in Phetchhaburi.

Phra Nakhon Khiri

"Khao Wang" is a hill located in the heart of Phetchaburi city, it is the location of frist hill palace of Thailand. "Phra Nakhon Khiri" palace was built by King Chomklao (Mongkut), or the Rama IV reign, in 1859, with Chao Phaya Sri Suriyawong (Chuang Bunnag) was the chief architect. It was builtl with a palace temple, Wat Phra Keo Noi, a stupa, to contain the relics of Lord Buddha named by the Kings as Chompetch relics and planted temple trees on both sides connecting the three hills and the group of the throne halls.

Phra Nakhon Khiri is a main tourist attraction of Phetchaburi with importance in history, culture and natural beauty. In 1935 it was registered as a historical place and in 1979 was declared as a national museum of the monument type. every year from Febuary through April the temple trees on Khao Wang hill almost 200 years old numbering 1,263 trees all showed off more than one million flowers.

From here , the two brothers joined us Eddy and Amin and will be withh us for the journey home. There are also some from the Vietnam group who have split up with us and went on the own either to continue riding elsewhere or to rush back to Singapore. We are heading to Ranong along the Andaman coast for the night.

North Thailand Exploration

Day 13

Ranong - Hatyai


As we near the end of our trip we headed south on the 13th day for our last push to the last frontier in Thailand before we exit and head home. Today journey covers about 600km and we hope to be ableto reach Hatyai in time before darkness. Therefore it is a day of riding today.

Rattanarangsan Palace (Replica)

Modern replica of a 19th-century palace with Ranong history exhibits & paths in tree-filled gardens.

Passed through Khao Sok National Park

We arrived in Thailand by late afternoon. Here again we met up with another set of our friends, Faz Effect and his wife who are doing a ride to Hatyai. We went around Hatyai together with them.

North Thailand Exploration

Day 14

Hatyai - Singapore


Today marks our last day in Thailand as we head out of Thailand into Malaysia and down the penisula to SIngapore. A journey of 880km has to be made by all bikers if they wish to visit Thailand on their motorbikes. After a while it becomes a norm for many and they are able to do this journey in 1 stretch (within 6 to 18 hours depending) .

While Udin and Hafidz stay on for another day in Hatyai and will leave with the other s tomorrow, I have started to miss my children and decided to leave a day earlier.

As mentioned when riding alone it is easy to be able to keep to the timing.

Time check

Depart Petronas Changloon 7.40am

Arrive Gelang Patah Shell 2.15pm

Total riding time: 6hr 35mins.

AS shown are the petrol receipt depicting the punching in and out of time at the petrol kiosk


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