On the motorbike from Nan to Chiang Rai
After days of rain the weather forecast did look acceptable and I took the bike for a ride into the mountains of Nan province. Nowadays my rides start at the PTT gasoline station in Tha Wang Pha as that is the nearest gasoline station. From there I took route 1148 into the mountains of Phu Langka in direction of Chiang Rai. A stunning route to ride with your motorbike! For more motorbike trip reports click on the label Motorbike-trips.
Route 1148 goes thru a beautiful area of mountains an green forrest. If you enjoy the scenery & riding (or driving) then it is a stunning way of going from Nan to Chiang Rai. Starting from Song Khwae the road starts to be curve after curve after curve. And goes high into the mountains. You will be passing a few small villages but no gasoline stations or 7/11. Only 1 restaurant / coffee-shop / hotel at Pa Chang Noi. From here you have a stunning view over the valley you just came from.
At Song Khwae I made a little side trip to the Thai Lao Border market, see Another Thai Lao Border Crossing
I arrived for a late lunch with my friend at "Da Vinci Ristorante" for a delicious pizza and a nice chat. I had not been in Chiang Rai for many years so I did ride a bit thru town to see not much has changed. While doing this I did also look for a place to sleep and passed a few places I used to stay in the old days when I was in Chiang Rai. All a bit too old now. But at Yetjod road I did pass a place I did visit once before so I did choose "Kanlaya Place". A small place with simple rooms. But not expensive and I could park my motorbike on their premises. In the evening a walked around the Night Bazar at the bus-station and at a cup of hot chocolate at "Cat 'n' a Cup" where you can enjoy your drink or food together with about 20 cats. The cats are the main attraction here!
As it had been a long day I did go sleep early and left the next day at 6:30 in direction of Nan. This time a bit different route. A bit shorter and easier to ride. Once you go a bit south of Chiang Rai there is a mountain range between you and Nan. So you have to take the route north (1148) or the route south (1091). And the latter is the route I did choose. The morning started great with sunshine but it came clouded and after about 30km it started to rain, rain and rain. So for the next 80km it was riding in the rain. No fun! And a bit sad because you are actually passing some great scenery. A bit after Pong the rain stopped. So I stopped for a kind of late breakfast (Khao Phad) and continued by ride to Chiang Muan where there is a lovely brand new Coffee Shop (opposite the Bangchak gasoline station). I enjoyed the sun (drying my cloths a bit) and 2 lovely Hot Chocolate (very good). From there it was a easy ride back to Nan city and from there back home. But ... I will have to go this route again because there were a few things I would like to explore. Like the small town of Pong, full of beautiful old teak wooden houses. Big ones, amazing!