Reposting from 2016. After 2 days in Nan city it was time to explore the northern part of Nan province, so I made a detour ride to Thung Chang via Santisuk, to stay a few days at Siam Garden Bungalows with the wonderful hosts Marco & Dao. The resort is located along the Doi Phu Ka mountain range where the Hmong hill-tribes are still living at Mani Pruek high in the mountains. The area of Thung Chang is a great place for hiking, bicycle rides and off-road motorbiking. After a day exploring the stunning local area I made a ride to Bo Klua on the other side of the mountain range. For more motorbike trip reports in Thailand see MOTORBIKE TRIP REPORTS. For more information about Nan province see Destination Travel Guide Nan.
So first I took route 101 to Huai Kon where is the Thai-Lao International Border Crossing, from where you can travel to Luang Prabang in Laos. I made a kind of breakfast stop at "Huay Kon Coffee Shop". From there I followed route 1081 until you can go to the left to "Phu Phayak" what was the last stronghold of the Communist Party of Thailand (CPT). Nowadays there is a "Communist Memorial". To support the local hill-tribe people there is a Royal Project. To go there is only 17-km but due to the road condition it will take you about 45-min to 1-hour. But the valley of Phu Phayak is worth the effort of going there. After the Communist Memorial I did continue a few km more to the Royal Project, where was just a small kind of meeting going on. And I was invited for a drink .... of local made rice-wine ... well whisky called "Lao Khao". Luckily I was also offered a class of water and later a freshly made expresso from the local coffee beans.
After visiting Phu Phayak and did ride back to road 1081 and continued to Bo Klua, where are the famous ancient salt pits of Nan province. I did stay here overnight at Bo Klua Kong Dang Resort. Bo Klua is located between 2 mountain ranges and with on one side "Doi Phu Kha National Park" and on the other side "Khun Nan National Park". A stunning beautiful area and it still feels like you are at one of the last frontiers of Thailand. But that feeling will be gone in the next few years. The next day I did ride back to Nan via the Santisuk route (instead of Pua). Wow what an amazing road to ride on the ridge of the mountain tops! Motorbike riding paradise! Be aware that between Santisuk and Nan city there are road constructions going on at the moment.