Thoed Thai To The Nazarene & Beyond

bsacbob

Administrator
Joined
Jul 1, 2012
Location
Chiang Rai
Bikes
Honda CRM-AR 250, Honda CRF 250-L, Suzuki V Strom XT 650 Honda XR250 Baja BMW F650GS
After a bitterly cold night in Thoed Thai it was time to head home, the journey is relatively short even with a few detours along the way its till only 100 km or so, but jammed packed with fun.

First stop was to visit the impressive bronze Buddha at Wat Wiang Kham which sites proudly overlooking the tow,

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There are many large temple complexes in town all with a different theme, but all with a Chinese twist.

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Looks great when it's all illuminated.

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Making the turn just after the police station it was onward to Mae Salong, the Buddha in the distance.

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The route 100km or so.

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Relatively short dirt trail with some magnificent views.

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You name it they grow it along this trail latex in full flow here.

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Its relatively flat until the last long cliff so not too many ruts to worry about.

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Terraced tea plantations all around.

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You will pass through a couple of small villages all mainly coffee growers or tea pickers, this being one of the nicer villages.

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The trail in the far distance and Mae Salong beyond.

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Pretty steep descent to the small stream marking the start of the climb.

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That's where i'm heading.

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A very sharp turn at the bridge and the greasy trail climbs forever.

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The would be slippy as hell in the early morning as it's shaded most of the day, the 30 metres I almost lost all traction on the slippy clay surface.

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At the summit and onto the concrete, the local church in full swing, with all the locals in their Sunday best.

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Not sure of the significance of the plastic baby, but he was proud to show it to me.

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Kids enjoying biscuits given by the priest.

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As you would expect a missionary priest looking after his flock.

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From there into town and a nice 7-Eleven breakfast sat on the wall, an old lady came around begging and relieved me of a burger and a bottle of orange in the process she was very grateful, across are several pictures taken during the communist struggles i had not seen before.

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With a full tummy (well almost) it was back tot he trail to get to the 1095.

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Colourful landscapes all around.

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Again several remote villages on the paved road.

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Soon back onto dirt at the Ja Bu Si village.

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Almost reaching the end and the 1089 ahead of me.

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The last steep pretty sketchy section to the road can easily catch you out with bamboo leaves hiding a lot of the ruts.

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Once on the 1089 it east to the next dirt turn a few km's away, some grading has been done at the beginning making the approach a lot easier to the series of hills.

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There are a couple of streams still having water but the levels are very low.

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By the look this cluster of large stones is home for somebody.


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A couple of very poor villages along here all Lahu i believe.

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This ceremonial arch I presume to bless the water for the coming dry season drought, best of luck with that.

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The countryside around Chiang Rai is truly amazing.

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Since i was making good time i had the brainwave to go up to the abandoned Nazarene church, it would turn out not to be one of my best decisions.

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As you head to the church you come through a couple of pretty horrible looking villages and equally unfriendly faces the last village gives me the creeps.

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Not sure the history of this church but i guess the scary village had something to do with its demise, either way, the termites are slowly stripping the place.



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Now please note from here on the trail became pretty brutal single track, many of the trails on this side of the river are in a pretty bad state and care should be taken if you follow my GPX file. I'm no Graham Javis but I was at my limit and foolish to be riding these alone.

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Small Lahu village came to view and turned out to be another dead end village the ladies of the village gave me directions (of sorts).

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The wise monkeys

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Aside from it being difficult, there are some beautiful forest area's giving a little respite between the gnarly shit.

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Its like a spider web up here some trails well travelled some hardly used.


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Carpet of bamboo leaves

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The trail getting skinnier.

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Then nothing, I know you thinking well that looks a piece of piss, well maybe but the worst bits I didn't take pictures as I was otherwise busy.

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Seeing the trail again briefly.

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This looked innocent enough but turned sharply and steep I laid the bike 3 times trying to climb here, forth attempt was all or nothing and I would have to go back through all the shit behind me, I desperately clawed my way up with some relief.

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I thought i was through the worst I was wrong, more steep rocky climbs.

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Remote, very remote dwelling, no neighbours here.

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At last, it began to level off in some leafy forest sections and to the graded dirt with a huge sigh of relief.

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Now on familiar territory and the track down to the eh Elephant camp on the Kok river.

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Back home and headed to Craig's bar to enjoy a few cold ones, it had been a longer day than I expected but enjoyable in many ways, until next time.



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Cycle Wallah

Member
Joined
Jul 26, 2016
Location
Mae Sariang
Bikes
Merida Big Nine Lite Team Issue mountain bike.
Great report. I remember doing some of that route. Was steep after that small to village. I had to push a few hundred metres.
 
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