Here we start. We checked into a small motel and are on our way to TBB Motorcycle Adventures shop where we booked the tour. We arrive and meet Jeff, who will be the our tour guide for the tour. We select our the bikes. We learn that we are a small group, which is of course great. Jeff, Jörg and myself, plus Yung from Singapore and Glenn from Australia.
The atmosphere is relaxed, Jeff is super nice and we’re looking forward to the tour.
Now it’s off to “Kate’s Kitchen” right next door for a papaya salad and a beer, then back to our little Motel. At the Motel we sit together with a few globetrotters for a chat and a drink before we make our way to the nocturnal food market in Chiang Mai.
From Chiang Mai to Nan
The next morning we start after a small breakfast, everything is packed and we are in the best of moods. Out of Chiang Mai, the wonderful roads begin immediately, as if they were made by bikers for bikers, good asphalt, hardly any traffic and a breathtaking landscape. Jeff drives ahead, good pace, not too sluggish and not too fast… perfect.
At noon we stop at a lake for lunch, Thai food is super good, then we continue towards Nan, where we check into a hotel. In the evening Jörg and I explore the city and eat with the locals.
The entire next day it’s about the streets around Nan. Beautiful landscape and fantastic roads…
Joining us today is Andy, a Canadian and friend of Jeff’s. He lives in Chiang Rai and will accompany us for the next few days. Super nice and drives an incredible line through the winding roads of northern Thailand, a real pleasure to have with him us.
From Nan to Chiang Khong
After a good breakfast, we depart for Road 1148. This road is legendary. One of the most beautiful roads I’ve ever been on. I can’t get the grin off my face. Everyone rides their own style and pace these days. The group quickly split up, Jeff, Andy, Jörg and I with a little more speed, Glenn and Young occasionally disappeared 😂
At a drinking stop we are all together again. There’s also a small snack and of course papaya salad. In the evening we arrive in Chiang Khong.
The hotel is located directly on the Mekong River, in a fantastic location. In the evening it’s off to the local bars for a drink or two
OK, three or four .😉
From Chiang Khong to Chiang Rai
From Chiang Khong we head towards the Golden Triangle. With the Mekong river for the next few kilometers on the right, the path is unique. We stop briefly at a viewpoint before arriving at the top of the triangle. This is where Myanmar, Laos and Thailand meet and the area is notorious for the opium trade.
We visit an opium museum before parking the bikes and boarding a boat. We cross the Mekong and dock in Laos. There we roam around a market before we drive back.
After a short time we continue with the bikes towards Chiang Rai.
During the day we drive first to Wat Rong Khun, the white temple, which is very extraordinary. We’ve already seen quite a few Wats and at some point that’s enough, but the white temple with its complex is particularly worth seeing.
Afterwards we continue to the Black House, also often called the Black Temple, but it is not actually a temple or wat.
It is actually the home of Thai artist Thawan Duchanee and his artist entourage. The complex is very impressive, partly reminiscent of a wat, but sometimes also of a Viking village…
In the evening we go back to Chiang Rai. It’s December 31st, which means New Year’s Eve, which is celebrated on every street here. After a hamburger and beer in a pub, it’s off until the early hours of the next day…
No pictures for evidence 😉
From Chiang Rai to Fang
Still a bit hung over we drive comfortably into the mountains. Lunch is in a small village inhabited by the Kuo Ming Tang, originally Chinese soldiers who fled Mao Tse Tung’s communist regime in the 1950s.
We also stopped at Karen Long Neck Village. A surreal place where the girls and women of the Karen Tribes wear rings around their necks, so many rings that the back of their necks can no longer support their heads.
Today’s health awareness has actually arrived here as well, but the Karen women are visited by many tourists who buy their handicrafts and so the impression naturally arises that the Karen women continue to wear these rings also for economic reasons. I refused to photograph the women.
In the evening we arrive in Fang.
It is the last stop before returning to Chiang Mai, where our tour began and ends tomorrow.
Here are a few more impressions of the penultimate day and the return journey
From Fang to Chiang Mai
It was a wonderful tour. Thank you again Jeff, the drivers at TBB Tours who always drove our luggage from one stop to the next and Andy for all making this tour a memorable one.
The organization was fantastic, can only be recommended.
Please visit TBB