Travel Tips : Suggested Motorbike Routes in North-East Thailand

Latest update 17 June 2019
Motorbike riding in Thailand, especially in North Thailand (Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Nan) and North-East Thailand is becoming popular. Not only for Big Motorbikes but also for scooters and even some people do the same routes by bicycle! So in a serie Suggested Motorbike Routes I will show you some great routes to ride. Some people will ride routes like this in 1 day but you could also do it slow and take 2 or 3 days (you will see much more). I am now I think motorbike riding for more as 10 years in Thailand, to read my reports of motorbike riding click on Motorbike Trip Reports. This posting is again under construction to get more information and more routes. And will be updated in the following weeks.

The North-East of Thailand is for motorbike touring and for tourisme in general a bit under-visited area. Although it is a wonderful area with mountains, the mighty Mekong River, ancient Khmer history and lovely small villages and some bigger cities. The routes…

Travel Tips : Suggested motorbike routes in Nan province

Latest update : 17 June 2019
Motorbike riding in Thailand, especially in North Thailand (Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Nan) is becoming popular. Not only for Big Motorbikes but also for scooters and even some people do the same routes by bicycle! So in a serie Suggested Motorbike Routes I will show you some great routes to ride. Some people will ride routes like this in 1 day but you could also do it slow and take 2 or 3 days (you will see much more). I am now I think motorbike riding for more as 10 years in Thailand, to read my reports of motorbike riding click on Motorbike Trip Reports.

And of course I start this serie with Nan province, one of Thailand's last remote provinces with stunning mountains, waterfalls and National Parks. And paradise for motorbike riding. And because Nan province is so remote the roads are not busy and relatively safe to ride. All trips start in Nan town, a lovely small town with many beautiful temples, nice hotels and some good restaurants. But a but limit…

Preparring for the boat race on the Mekong River in That Phanom

At That Phanom, people from all over the area come together for the annual long boat race at the Mekong River. About 45 people in a 80 cm wide and 12 m long boat at high speed over the Mekong River. In the meanwhile there is a market with food, music and morlam girls going on on the riverside boulevard. And in the evening the many restaurants along the banks of the Mekong are filling up with Lao & Thai. This kind of boat races are normally held at the end of the Buddhist Lent and is mostly in October or November.

A coffee stop along route 12 near Phitsanulok

While travelling from Phitsanulok to Lomsak via route 12 we stopped a few times along the road. The first stop was at one of the "coffee shops / restaurants" along the Khek River (Mae Nam Khek). There are many rapids and waterfalls in this area. You can even do wild-water rafting, if there is enough water. The forest / jungle along route 12 is home to Hmong hill-tribes, although also they now live a modern life. But they still respect their heritage. So our next stop was at a view point where used to be a hill-tribe market about 15 years ago. There are still some Hmong people selling local food. And the view is great!

The beautiful Wat Tha Fa Tai in Chiang Muan

A small temple in a small village in the middle of nowhere, not worth to stop for? Well there are not many temples like this (build in this style), and just because of the sheer beauty of this ... yes worth to stop for. Not overrun by tourist, not destroyed by modernisation. The style is Tai Lue and is said to be  build in 1767 by the local Tai Lue community who came here from China. If you are traveling from Nan to Phayao then this beautiful little temple will be on your route.

My Good Old MG Midget MK3

While living in Thailand I sometimes think about my life in my home country and also about my lovely MG Midget MK3. It all began with failing to get my driver license for my motorbike (although I did ride a Honda CB400four for 2 years). On a summer day full of sunshine I thought "What the heck I am going to drive a old-timer cabriolet". And I did! I started to look around and as I always did like small cars I did totally fall in love with the orange MG Midget MK3 from 1973 that was for sale at a small "car shop" in Den Haag. After some talking about the price and about things that had to be done on the car the deal was made and the next week I drove home in my own little Midget. And so I opened a box of Pandora unknown to me before. I had always liked to work on cars and as I started to learn that I could buy almost all parts for this car a Do-It-Yourself restoration project of the Midget began.

First I did trow out the ugly black interior and replaced it by what I…

Stone carved lintel at Prasat Phanom Rung in Buriram

What a beautiful piece of ancient art! As the Greater Khmer Kingdom once stretched out over what we now call Thailand there are many ancient Khmer ruins to be found in North-East Thailand. And they are an example of the high standard of cultivation and technical knowledge that was in South-East Asia already hundreds of years ago. Imagine how they build those temples out of huge rocks that had to be transported many km's. Imagine the art and hard work to make this kind of lintel's. Prasat Hin Phanom Rung is located about 60 km south of Buriram town. For more postings about ancient ruins / temples click below on the label Ancient-Temples. Also have a look at Ruins in Thailand and Khmer ruins in Isan.

Yaklom Lake at Ban Lung, Cambodia

While living & traveling in Thailand I also sometimes go to Laos or Cambodia. And in May 2013 I did travel for about 10 days in Cambodia. I did stay for a few days in the area of Ban Lung (Ratanakiri) in North-East Cambodia. In a area that once was a tense and remote jungle, but demand for wood is changing the landscape fast. So I explored the nearby area of Ban Lung and one of the amazing places to visit is Yakom Lake in a old volcano crater and surrounded by beautiful big & old trees. It is just a few km's east of Ban Lung and is a perfect place to spend the afternoon swimming in the fresh water or just watching the locals enjoying a pick nick. Be aware of the fact that you will have to pay entrance fee, 500 riel for Cambodian people and 6.000 riel for tourists. And 2000 riel for your motorbike.

Chinese heritage in Bangkok

Charoen Krung Road is one of the oldest roads of Bangkok, although it was (and sometimes still is) called "New Road". When walking along Charoen Krung Road in Bangkok, you are passing a part of the old days of Bangkok. Or better said "Krungthep" the Thai name for Bangkok. Just get lost in the small soi's between the Chao Phraya River and Charoen Krung Road, and find the real Bangkok beyond the facade of modern Bangkok.

The pros & cons of living between rice fields in Thailand

So we are living now right in between rice field, no neighbours. The nearest neighbours are a temple 300 m to the left, a temple 500 m in front and a few houses 300 m to the right. And of course my wife (and friends) did warn us (and especially me) about living between the rice fields. The pros are simple .... I love country life and even in the dry season it looks great. But of course there are a few disadvantages :
In the dry season the farmers will burn the left over of the crops. Now here locally not everybody is doing the burning and they burn quick & reasonable clean. But still you better close your windows!When farming rice or other crops the farmers will use all kind of chemicals. Again locally here not everybody is using chemicals or only a little bit. Unfortunately one of our direct neighbours farmer is using a lot of chemicals (but only a small plot of land).In the raining season you will hear frogs (1000's) doing a live concert at night. Good we have a reasonable s…

Traveling in Nan province in North Thailand

Last year I did make a posting about counting all the provinces I had been in Thailand. And I saw I have been to (stayed in) 48 provinces out of the 76. So in the coming months I will travel via my postings from the most southern province I have been to the most northern province, with some photos and information about each province. And as last my home town province Nan and this is part 47 of the 47 (out of the 77) provinces where I have at least stayed overnight once. Nan province in North Thailand is in the north & east bordered by Laos, in the south by Uttaradit province and Phrae province. And in the west to Phayao province. Nan province is a bit isolated and off the beaten track province of Thailand. But full of mountains, National Parks, Rivers, Waterfalls and minority hill-tribe people from Southern China.

For me personally it was in 2012 that I made my first motorbike trip to Nan (all your fault Mark) and I started to come back to explore the all province with places lik…