Traveling over the Asian Highway 1 from Mukdahan to Mae Sot

Traveling in Thailand

In my serie about Highways in Thailand this is Route 12 (yes it is not a major highway), also called the Asian Highway 1, part of the Asian Highway Network that goes from Tokyo in Japan to Lisbon in Portugal. In Thailand the Asian Highway 1 (AH1) is called route 12 and begins in Mukdahan along the Mekong River at the border with Laos. And goes all the way (805 km) from East Thailand to Mae Sot at the Burmese border in West Thailand. And along the way passing Kalasin, Khon Kaen, Phitsanulok, Sukhothai and Tak.

The Asian Highway 1 and the Asian Highway 2 cross each other in Tak. But as each border town claims to be the gateway to/from, there are also more Asian Highways in Thailand that are sometimes just a slightly different. Like Asian Highway 13, what is basically Asian Highway 2 except that it goes via Uttaradit, Phrae and Nan. So there are more Asian Highway intersections in Thailand.

The Asian Highway 1 starts a bit weird at the Thai-Lao Friendship bridge crossing the Mekong River just north of Mukdahan. Coming from the bridge you enter a T-intersection with a small road (rout 212) and you have to take the ring road around Mukdahan and then you are really on route 12. Then following route 12 to Kalasin you will be passing again a few small intersections and the bypass road of Kalasin. Then following route 12 it finally becomes a real Thai Highway to Khon Kaen. Officially route 12 goes straight thru Khon Kaen city, so you better take the ring road (north or south) around Khon Kaen. Just after Khon Kaen you will be passing Ubolratana Lake.

Then following route 12 as an almost straight highway to Chumpae. A bit after Chumpae route 12 goes into the mountains of Nam Nao (some steep & curvy parts) to the valley of Lomsak. Following route 12 to Phitsanulok and passing the mountains of Khao Kho with some sweeping 4 lane parts. Where you will be also passing the famous Wat Phasorn Kaew. Route 12 goes actually right thru Phitsanulok city, so better take the northern ring road (route 126). Although going thru town you could visit the Wat Phra Sri Ratana.

Then following route 12 going to Sukhothai, where route 12 also goes right thru Sukhothai town so better take the bypass (route 125). Here you will be passing Sukhothai Historical Park. After Sukhothai it is a straight highway to Tak where you will be crossing the Ping River. After Tak route 12 goes into the mountains to Mae Sot along the Moei River. Following are some photos made along route 12 and as last a map of the full route.

Traveling in Thailand
Temple near Kalasin in North-East Thailand


Traveling in Thailand
View over Nam Nao National Park in Thailand

Traveling in Thailand
Wat Prasatorn Kaew in Thailand


Traveling in Thailand
View over Ubolratana Lake in North-East Thailand


Traveling in Thailand
Famous buddha image in Phitsanulok, Thailand


Traveling in Thailand
Sukhothai Historical Park in Thailand


Traveling in Thailand
Route 12 in Thailand


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One night in Bangkok and the world is your oyster

The journey of Traveling 2 Thailand did begin with One Night in Bangkok in 1985 and since 2009 it became a personal non-commercial travel blog as inspiration for traveling & motorbike riding in Thailand. Made just for the sheer love of traveling and sharing experience about traveling in South-East Asia. To travel beyond the beaten track & highlights. Enjoy!