Quick ride to Tha Ton

WarProfiteer

Senior Member
Joined
May 17, 2013
Bikes
currently renting & deciding
Another ride around the countryside... not too far this time, just up the 107 & 1089 to Tha Ton, then a few hours around the area thee next morning, then the 107-109-118-1001 route back home (the first loop listed on this site). Took some time to just explore an area I'd previously only ridden through at speed. I also just needed to wander somewhere as it had been about 3 weeks since I'd ridden. I apologize in advance for the quality of the pix, but all we brought was an older smartphone.

The trip started out as usual... load up the bike, then hit a gas station to fill the tank & take one last whiz before jumping out on the road. Note the she-wok's new American Flag helmet... had to special order it from the states as they didnt carry anything like that locally (not in full-face). I too was riding for the first time with a new helmet I'd ordered from the states... way better than the Thai made POS I'd been using. Also, we tried a tank bag this time instead of a backpack... worked way better as last time with the backpack, even though it was fairly light, the she-wok complained about her back being tired for days afterward. The magnetic tank bag worked out so much better.



After we made our way up the busy part of the 107 and made it to about Chiang Dao, it was the usual scenic run of mountain twisties, dotted every 20-30 minutes by some small village in the middle of nowhere... good places to stop for a water and a chat with the locals...





At one stop, we met these two hill tribe gals selling trinkets by the side of the road near Doi Ang Kang... further research has found them to be Dara-Ang, which is one the groups that had it pretty hard for the last few generations... when it wasn't the Burmese central govt burning their villages, raping their women and forcing the young men into military service, it was local drug lords terrorizing them & forcing them to work the poppy fields. Supposedly in the early 80's the king was visiting Doi Ang Kang and a few hundred people went to him to beg for the right to become Thai, swear loyalty to the govt and ask to live in peace in the hills around Mae Ai, Fang & Chang Dao. Today there's supposedly about 6000 of them in that area.

The one on my right was unusually tall for a hill tribe gal... probably 5'7 or so... most hover around the 5 foot mark (or less), like the gal on my left. They both seemed nice and the taller, younger one spoke Thai well enough to converse with the gf. We bought a little silver bracelet and thanked them. Looking back, I kinda wish I'd have spent more... a few hundred baht probably goes a long way for them.



Finally made it to the hotel (Apple Resort) and a nice cold one (or two) was enjoyed in the restaurant by the river. Price for the airccon rooms right on the river were 1300 baht, which I thought was just a tad steep considering it's low season and they're a small town in the middle of nowhere. I tend to judge these things by a 1000 baht yard stick. When on the road, I expect to pay around 1000 baht and I dont expect much beyond a warm shower, a western toilet and a bed. I asked if they had other rooms and sure enough they had some fan bungalows that werent on the water... they were just 500 baht/night. So that was a very fair price, imo... decent room too... big bathroom, tv had one english news channel (BBC, I think) and one english movie channel, and the on site restaurant turned out to be really great.



The she-wok, being ever practical and on the lookout for a bargain, was fascinated that the hotel owners had so many fruit trees planted that the guests were allowed to pick and take home as much as they wanted. I made her stop at half a shopping bag full. Hahaa...



Also, for those who have seen pictures or met her before, she had to die her hair black (she usually keeps it reddish-brown) as she plans on starting nursing school soon and they only allow black hair. Racist, says I! But them's the rules, haha. So she's looking a little goth right now as she just had it done a few days ago... maybe mixed with some asian Betty Paige. It'll look more natural as time goes on she was told.

(to be continued...)
 

WarProfiteer

Senior Member
Joined
May 17, 2013
Bikes
currently renting & deciding
The next day was some riding on a few particular roads I wanted to explore, then the big temple complex in town, then an alternate (longer) route home.

Out on the roads, early in the day... maybe 0900-ish...



The road leading up to the local temple up on the hillside... pretty nice temple for a small town. It was truly beautiful. There's 8 steps leading up the the main temple, each with it's own Buddha statue or building or designated site, with number 8 being a museum-like temple at the top of the hill. On the left of the pic you can see the river that runs through town.



First things first... remove the riding boots. I was going to skip the main temple as they are a bit of a pain to take on and off, but I'm glad I was gently persuaded to proceed... we ended up spending almost an hour walking around and looking at all the curious things displayed there.



Some of the things inside...











While I was up on the roof level, two of the local monks took an interest in the motorcycle & helmets... we talked to them later and they were both at about the 10 year point in their chosen life. Both chose that life as teens and their families are quite proud of them. Interesting guys... not often you get to actually chat with the monks here. Funny enough, they're often as curious about us farangs as we might be about them.



After that we headed home. It took quite a while as we were forced to duck off the road multiple times to avoid showers. We had several stops, but they rarely lasted more than 20-30 minutes. When we couldnt find a proper covered bus stop or roadside shelter, I'd look for large enough trees.



Anyway, just wanted to share yet another road trip... only a couple of days, but it's always nice to get away from the apartment and the job search and just be out wandering... as usual, ended the trip with a few celebratory cider's at Phil's... it's a tradition at this point...
 

KTMphil

Senior member
Joined
Jan 11, 2011
Location
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Bikes
2007 KTM 990 Adventure Suzuki DRZ 400
Look how green everywhere is (I wonder why). You're really getting around and making the most of your time here, good on you and thanks for documenting it all so well.
 
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