Ride invite - July 15 - 17 (or 18) - Mae Sot - Sukhothai - (Phitsanulok)

The Bigfella

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This is an invite to anyone who wants to join a Ulysses Club / Ride Asia trip next week.

It's stands up at Riders Corner at 8am Wed, July 15 - overnight at Mae Sot (via 108 and 105). Short ride Thursday via the reconstructed route 12 to Sukhothai. Some folks are heading to Phitsanulok on Friday, but the rest of us are heading up the 1048, 106, 1274, 1184 etc back to Chiang Mai in time for Friday night drinkies.

We're taking the full-time staff from Rider's Corner with us. Deere normally rides either lead or sweep on such rides and does the normal mechanical duties. He's always a delight to have along. Tum will be riding with me. Oi with Deere. Pim's secured a pillion seat on Andrea's cruiser.

It's not free - if you aren't a Ulysses Club paid-up member, we ask you to throw 100 baht in the donation tin. Ouch - so much. $3 for a three or four day ride.

It's not a race. We don't have many rules... basically, don't go beating up the other riders. If you stay between the lead and the sweep, you're on the ride and will be supported. If you want to overtake the lead, you are free to do so, but if you get lost, we're not coming looking for you.... so, wait at intersections please. We generally find the ride spreads out... sporties to the front, cruisers to the rear... but we regroup often and it seems to work well.

If we don't know you're coming, we can't co-ordinate accommodation... but we're also happy to do so... and it's always done commission-free. You pay your own bills and we pay ours.

The borders are always fun... and the roads on this less commonly done loop are great

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Captain_Slash

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Ian i was hoping to see some photos and a write up on last weeks offroad adventure that took place somewhere off the 106
 

The Bigfella

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KTM 950SER & EXC, BMW R90S & Dakar, MZ250, BSA B33, Norton 16H, Honda - 500 Fs & X, DRZs, XLs XRs CRFs CT110s etc
Ian i was hoping to see some photos and a write up on last weeks offroad adventure that took place somewhere off the 106
Lessee.... I did post one video, and then got distracted. We've been busy getting the new restaurant happening, and lots more... but I will get some shots up
 

The Bigfella

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Joined
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KTM 950SER & EXC, BMW R90S & Dakar, MZ250, BSA B33, Norton 16H, Honda - 500 Fs & X, DRZs, XLs XRs CRFs CT110s etc
Were all back, safe and sound. Eight bikes went to Mae Sot, but Ginger came back yesterday, as she had work last night.. The rest of us (ten on seven bikes) got back this afternoon and sank a few quiet ones at the corner, whilst watching free practice for the returning MotoGP.

We will update the road conditions report later, as there's plenty of roadworks out there. The most intrusive being about 20km of work in the gorge west of Hot, on the 108. Overall, the ride was fantastic. The 105 is fascinating, with sections that make you smile. The 12 from Mae Sot to Tak is just brilliant. The lower 106 is a mix of fantastic corners. The range section of the 1184, delightful, as always.

Until I get some photos and video sorted... here's a classic from yesterday. This lady didn't have a clue... and was oblivious to the blaring horns.

 

The Bigfella

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KTM 950SER & EXC, BMW R90S & Dakar, MZ250, BSA B33, Norton 16H, Honda - 500 Fs & X, DRZs, XLs XRs CRFs CT110s etc
So, the day before the ride, I finally got around to sticking the Ducati on the workbench. What with the food delivery program for the needy, the new toilet renovations, new ceiling, creating Tum's Kitchen and a few other things.... I hadn't gotten around to looking at why the Red Horse wouldn't start. I'd suspected a bad electrical connection somewhere.... and I think I may have been right

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Dropping that ramp on my foot didn't help... but hey, the new workshop is miles ahead of what we had before. I'd bought the stand about six months ago and this was the first time we'd gotten to use it. It goes a lot higher, but we didn't need that. We cleared the error code and fired her up... but as sunset approached, the fairings were still off and there was still the matter of an engine check light being on, despite the bike running OK, so we decided to take one of the rental fleet bikes. Deere was taking our cook, Aoy, on one of the 500Fs, Lachie and Ow were on one of the 500Xs, so we took a 500X

We also had Gordon and Paul on 500Xs, Andrea and Albert on Vulcans and Ginger on a Versys - for our 8am departure. Eleven of us on eight bikes

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We regrouped at the PTT on the Canal Rd, just after Suthep Rd, and headed down to the junction with the 108. Chom Thom brought a nice surprise. Lots of roadworks in the town centre.

I think we saw more heavy transports around there than we've ever seen in one area before.

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It didn't take long to clear it... being on bikes, and it was on to Hot and then the gorge. Hmmm. 20 kilometres of roadworks there, but it was hard-packed and despite being watered, we blasted through and on to Mae Sariang for lunch and refueling.

Some of us, who shall remain nameless, blasted those roadworks hard enough to catch the traffic control the right way and arrive in Mae Sariang almost 20 minutes ahead of the others.

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The 105 to Mae Sot was just delightful. Lovely road, great cultural differences, and just fun. We stopped at the waterfall for a quick break

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Here's the same waterfall when I came past in August 2012

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We got a little bit wet after that, but not enough to bother getting the wet weather gear out.

Deere organised a bit of a side-trip to a river crossing with Myanmar

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There wasn't much in the way of roadworks, but as with every other road we did, there was something happening

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I wanted to see if I could get into the refugee camp again, but we only made it about 10 metres in before being rousted by the guards

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The last 30km or so into Mae Sot saw us blasting into a headwind, which raised helmet noise levels, but then, we were there

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We all got rooms in the B2 Premier Hotel for 590-640 baht. Rooms were reasonable, but there were a few signs that occupancy had been sparse for a while

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Hmm - nice brown stain coming out from under the toilet lid

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The living room / kitchen and bathroom were reasonable sized, but the bedroom reminded me of New York hotels.... I bashed my shoulder on the tv as I walked past the end of the bed. A touch too squeezy

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View from the balcony

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Aoy chilling in the lobby

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We didn't get far from the hotel after a long day in the saddle. We found a Thai watering hole about 50 metres from the hotel and settled in for the duration

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I lashed out and had the 80 baht bowel dish with chicken feet and blood

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Mmmm

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The Bigfella

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KTM 950SER & EXC, BMW R90S & Dakar, MZ250, BSA B33, Norton 16H, Honda - 500 Fs & X, DRZs, XLs XRs CRFs CT110s etc
Thursday morning it was breakfast at the Canadian, near the police station. Like all who rely on tourism in Thailand, he's been quiet.

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Given our own recent introduction of Mexican food - I just had to try this (we've had a guest chef from California - formerly Mexico - giving the cooks lessons and it's getting good)

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Of course, whilst waiting, everyone was giving their phones a bash

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I've always liked Mae Sot

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Breakfast done, we headed down to the border market for a look. The border crossing is shut, the stalls along the border, deserted

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There was a bit of activity up in the market sheds 50 metres from the border... but they aren't the type of stalls we'd come to see

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This was as close to the Burmese traders we got, apart from one guy hiding under the stalls, offering to sell something to smoke

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The swamp has been drained

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This is pretty much the same spot as the above image, back in 2012

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And back to last Thursday. The army guy got a bit annoyed when we walked down here

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Not a single stall with products for sale. I think Deere wanted a leg in each country

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Another change. The army has upgraded it's vehicles at the border. Now

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Then

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and back then, they weren't the least bit touchy about being photographed with a rifle. Now... "no photo"

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But enough of markets. We were here to ride. We fueled up - which was interesting - Lachie and I had fueled half way down the 108 and in Mae Sot both bikes took exactly 130 baht of fuel. I guess we both thrash them equally well.

It was straight out of Mae Sot on the 12, which has been reconstructed since I last did it at Christmas 2013. It's a fabulous, five star, road now. We had a couple of kilometres of roadworks on the way up the hill, but the rest of it was clear. We saw sand on one corner - quite visible and with an easy path through at speed.... and on one corner, I had to adjust my line to avoid some broken glass jars that had fallen off a lorry. Someone lost some preserves... but the rest of the road was a joy

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This was coming down the hills on the Tak side of the range. We did manage to find that rain squall at the top and pulled up at a bus shelter to wait for the cruisers and have a bit of a rest

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Most of the road before that was a lovely concrete surface, although there was a longitudinal join just inside the fast lane that I found a bit annoying... sort of like not trusting an old oil line along the road. None of it gave us any real problems though

We were going to have a coffee in an Amazon, but with only half a dozen tables in there, each with one seat... we headed for a Thai noodle store and enjoyed their tucker. Here's an interesting disabled conveyance. Quite a lot of these down south

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We took in the park that remembers the old king - Taksin the Great. He's worth reading up about on wiki

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He was a bit of a lad. Fathered 30 children, before his best friend cut his head off.

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Then it was a boring 80 km blat down to Sukhothai...

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We checked in and did a bit of a less-than-ATGATT-attired run around some of the ruins in the old city before dusk.

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Had to laugh... we were riding down a back road through the rice paddies and a damn snake came across the road at us. Tum and I both wearing shorts and sandals.... and both with out right legs high in the air as we went past the snake.
 

The Bigfella

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KTM 950SER & EXC, BMW R90S & Dakar, MZ250, BSA B33, Norton 16H, Honda - 500 Fs & X, DRZs, XLs XRs CRFs CT110s etc
Old Sukhothai is interesting - everywhere you go, there's ruins from the Sukhothai Kingdom in the 13th and 14th centuries. The name Sukhothai means 'dawn of happiness'.

The city's walls form a rectangle about 2 km (1.2 mi) east-west by 1.6 km (0.99 mi) north-south. There are 193 ruins on 70 km2 (27 sq mi) of land. There is a gate in the centre of each wall. Inside are the remains of the royal palace and twenty-six temples, the largest being Wat Mahathat. The heritage park has been declared a World Heritage Site.

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We took in Wat Si Chum in the evening

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Wiki: - Wat Si Chum (Thai: วัดศรีชุม) has a massive mandapa in the middle of the complex which was built in the late 14th century by King Maha Thammaracha II. Inside the mandapa, there is a huge 11 meters wide and 15 meters high seated Buddha image called "Phra Achana", which was mentioned in Ramkhamhaeng stele. The Mandapa has a square base of 32 meters on each side and 15 meters high, and its walls are three feet thick. In the south wall there is a narrow staircase passage which can be used to reach the roof. In this passage more than 50 slates were discovered on which images from the life of Buddha (Jataka) are engraved. These slates are the oldest surviving examples of Thai art of drawing. East of mandapa are the ruins of vihara with column fragments and three Buddha image pedestals. North of the Mandapa are the ruins of another small vihara and another smaller mandapa with a Buddha image. The entire complex is surrounded by a moat. There is a legend that to boost morale of the ancient soldiers and people, the kings went through the hidden passageway and address the people through a hole, making them believed the voice they were hearing was actually the Buddha's.

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Deere

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Tum and I

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Paul

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The site had been subjected to some nasty treatment over the years, and the Buddha was restored during 1953-56

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We stayed at the SakSuk Smile Resort, a new development. Damn good, spacious rooms. 690 baht. Offstreet parking


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500Xs are a dime a dozen, eh?

We dined at a large local restaurant, the Sinvana, which was largely empty. Beer consumption was about half that of the preceding night.

Most of the breakfast places were still closed, as there weren't many tourists in town. We dined at a local noodles shop, which was fine. I had to laugh at this guy....

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After breakfast, it was a quick blat through the historic park, using the electric tuktuks - at 200 baht per cart.

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It's a great time to see places like this

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Still some restoration works going on

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It was great to see how it looked, back in the day

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Some of the crew. Deere and Oi had been up here earlier - and were interviewed by a Japanese documentary film team

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You'd reckon he'd wear a work logo shirt for a tv interview, eh?

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Followed by more of the ride team

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Even the cops were happy to see us. I suspect their eagerness to take our photos might have had other purposes... but what the hell.

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A bit of Cambodia come to town....

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We headed for home via new Sukhothai, up the 1048, straight across the 1 to the lower section of the 106, up to Li for lunch at our usual noodles shop, 1274, 1184, back onto the 106 and then up the SuperHighway to home.... with a bit of fun on the way.

New bridge on the 1048 -

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It's a pleasant enough rural road, with a few kilometres of nice corners just before it ends

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As with pretty much every road we traveled on, there were some roadworks going on

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Lachie had some fun at the roadworks on the 106. He didn't see some slight handsignal from a road worker and he hit a large patch of fresh cement powder. I was directly behind him and the road appeared to explode. The dust was so thick, I had to stop... visibility was zero. The wheel tracks he left were over 150mm deep. I near pissed myself laughing, but I was also kicking myself for not having had the video camera running. We call him Puff now.... for the huge puff of cement dust he created

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Check the boots

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Those photos were taken 30km up the road and he'd been doing his best to blow the dust off.

Of course, with him and the bike being covered in cement powder... it had to rain, and it did

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Lachie missed the first few post-ride beers... whilst he pressure washed the now-setting cement off the bike and himself.

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Postscript - I noticed a bit of feathering on my bike's rear tyre. I'll have to look into that. We'd checked all tyres before departure (we have an air-point and good gauge out front now) but at the lunch stop on the first day, this tyre seemed a bit low. I'd hit a nasty bump at one stage... and that's all that we could point to. I stopped at a servo to get air... and was told to backtrack 9km to find air. We kept at it and I wasn't encountering any handling problems. We upped the pressure in the morning... but here's the feathering at the end of the trip

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There's more video to come. I posted this one a couple of days ago on FB... but I'll include it and future clips here

 

2wheels

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Location
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Thursday morning it was breakfast at the Canadian, near the police station. Like all who rely on tourism in Thailand, he's been quiet.

View attachment 88033

Given our own recent introduction of Mexican food - I just had to try this (we've had a guest chef from California - formerly Mexico - giving the cooks lessons and it's getting good)

View attachment 88034

View attachment 88035

Of course, whilst waiting, everyone was giving their phones a bash

View attachment 88036

I've always liked Mae Sot

View attachment 88038

Breakfast done, we headed down to the border market for a look. The border crossing is shut, the stalls along the border, deserted

View attachment 88039

View attachment 88040

There was a bit of activity up in the market sheds 50 metres from the border... but they aren't the type of stalls we'd come to see

View attachment 88041

This was as close to the Burmese traders we got, apart from one guy hiding under the stalls, offering to sell something to smoke

View attachment 88042

The swamp has been drained

View attachment 88043

This is pretty much the same spot as the above image, back in 2012

View attachment 88044

View attachment 88045

View attachment 88046

And back to last Thursday. The army guy got a bit annoyed when we walked down here

View attachment 88047

Not a single stall with products for sale. I think Deere wanted a leg in each country

View attachment 88048

Another change. The army has upgraded it's vehicles at the border. Now

View attachment 88049

Then

View attachment 88050

and back then, they weren't the least bit touchy about being photographed with a rifle. Now... "no photo"

View attachment 88051

But enough of markets. We were here to ride. We fueled up - which was interesting - Lachie and I had fueled half way down the 108 and in Mae Sot both bikes took exactly 130 baht of fuel. I guess we both thrash them equally well.

It was straight out of Mae Sot on the 12, which has been reconstructed since I last did it at Christmas 2013. It's a fabulous, five star, road now. We had a couple of kilometres of roadworks on the way up the hill, but the rest of it was clear. We saw sand on one corner - quite visible and with an easy path through at speed.... and on one corner, I had to adjust my line to avoid some broken glass jars that had fallen off a lorry. Someone lost some preserves... but the rest of the road was a joy

View attachment 88052

This was coming down the hills on the Tak side of the range. We did manage to find that rain squall at the top and pulled up at a bus shelter to wait for the cruisers and have a bit of a rest

View attachment 88053

Most of the road before that was a lovely concrete surface, although there was a longitudinal join just inside the fast lane that I found a bit annoying... sort of like not trusting an old oil line along the road. None of it gave us any real problems though

We were going to have a coffee in an Amazon, but with only half a dozen tables in there, each with one seat... we headed for a Thai noodle store and enjoyed their tucker. Here's an interesting disabled conveyance. Quite a lot of these down south

View attachment 88054

We took in the park that remembers the old king - Taksin the Great. He's worth reading up about on wiki

View attachment 88056

He was a bit of a lad. Fathered 30 children, before his best friend cut his head off.

View attachment 88057

View attachment 88055

Then it was a boring 80 km blat down to Sukhothai...

View attachment 88058

We checked in and did a bit of a less-than-ATGATT-attired run around some of the ruins in the old city before dusk.

View attachment 88059

Had to laugh... we were riding down a back road through the rice paddies and a damn snake came across the road at us. Tum and I both wearing shorts and sandals.... and both with out right legs high in the air as we went past the snake.
The 'joe blakes' seems to like Khun Tum riding by.!
 

2wheels

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Location
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Ah, Sukhothai. Love it and I am so glad you all stopped and took in the historical sites.
What an era.
Electric tuk-tuks, wow.
I used to rent a bicycle from opposite the park for about 30 baht a day and do the ruins.
Such a picturesque place, especially just before dusk.

Was there an entrance fee to the Historical Park?
If so, same fee for all visitors?
 

The Bigfella

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Staff member
Joined
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Bikes
KTM 950SER & EXC, BMW R90S & Dakar, MZ250, BSA B33, Norton 16H, Honda - 500 Fs & X, DRZs, XLs XRs CRFs CT110s etc
Yes, the fee is differential. I voiced my disgust, but a solution was found. A Thai friend bought a ticket for me, I paid for the tuktuk.
 

2wheels

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Location
Chiang Mai
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Honda Rebel 500
Ah, "differential", a polite way of saying discriminatory.
Interesting how this disgusting policy is still in play when the nation is begging for tourists.

This article is interesting.
Note the website 2pricethailand.com

 
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