Route 1081 from Pua to Ban Huai Kon

Traveling in Thailand

In my series special road in Thailand this time route 1081 in Nan province. Route 1081 is 155 km long and begins at the intersection with route 101 in Pua and end with the intersection of route 101 in Ban Huai Kon. As you can see on Google Maps it is a bit weird route, you would think it was created before route 1256 became a real road to Bo Klua. Route 1081 is again a roller coaster thru the mountains of Doi Phu Kha and you will be passing some points of interest. Let's keep following route 1081 and find out! Photo's and text continue under the screen-shot of Route 1081 in Nan province.

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Route 1081 in Nan province

Route 1081 begins in Huai Kon at the intersection of route 101. And route 101 goes from there south to Pua or 2 km north to the Huai Kon International Border Crossing between Thailand and Laos, where is every Sunday a local border market. Although Huai Kon is nowadays nothing more as the first town in Thailand if you come from Laos, in the old days it was a battlefields between the so called Communists of Thailand and the army of Thailand. A bit behind the hospital is a museum and you can see what is said to be the remains of a battlefield.

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International Border Crossing Huai Kon 

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Remains of battlefield in Huai Kon 

Route 1081 starts in the mountains and will continue thru the mountains for the next 27 km where route 1081 meets route 1307 to Phu Phayak, what used to be a communist stronghold and where is a Communist Memorial. You can visit here Mountain 307 and an old communist shelter. Be aware that it is about 17 km to Phu Phayak and that at the end the roads become very narrow and sometimes steep.

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Intersection to Phu Phayak

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Valley of Phu Phayak

Continuing Route 1081 for another 15 km in the mountains and you will get to a valley of the Nan River. A beautiful valley full of rice paddies. Route 1081 partly goes parallel with the Nan River and at a few points you will be able to walk to the Nan River, point of interest 1.

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Nan River

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Route 1081

Traveling in Thailand
Route 1081

Traveling in Thailand
Route 1081

Traveling in Thailand
Route 1081

Traveling in Thailand
Route 1081

Along the way you will be passing the next POI (2) at Ban Wen, there is a viewpoint from where you have a stunning view over the rice fields in the valley of the Nan River. In Ban Wen is some accommodation and from Ban Wen you can go to Piengsor along the Thai-Lao border.

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Ban Wen

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Viewpoint at Ban Wen

Continuing Route 1081 for another 32 km until an intersection with a road going to the village Ban Sapan, what has become a major tourist destination with many boutique resorts, coffee shops and a few restaurants. Personally for me the POI (3) is Namtok Sapan, not a spectacular waterfall but a nice walk thru the forest to get there (no entrance fee). For other people the coffee shops and accommodations are a point of interest.

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Overlooking Ban Sapan

Continuing Route 1081 for another 7 km and you will be passing Khun Nan National Park, POI (4). And then get to the intersection with route 1256 and Bo Klua where are the famous Ancient Salt Pits (Sin Thao), POI (5).

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Khun Nan National Park

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Ancient Salt Pits in Bo Klua

Continuing Route 1081 for another 8 km and you will be passing the intersection with route 1333 that goes to Phu Fa Pattana Palace and Ban Sop Man where you can go rafting in the Wa River.

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Phu Fa Pattana

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Wa River at Ban Sop Man

Continuing Route 1081 for another 24 km and you will be passing the intersection with route 1257 what is a nice upcountry bypass to Santisuk. Along this part of Route 1081 you will be passing POI (6), at the village Ban Huai Hat is a beautiful shrine. 

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A shrine along route 1081

And continuing Route 1081 for another 4 km to POI (7), the famous Road 3. Because the road looks like the number 3 and this has become a huge tourist attraction or should I say selfie attraction?

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Road 3 in Route 1081

Continuing Route 1081 for another 13 km over the ridge of the mountains. You will be passing a few coffee shops and camping site's. You will be passing the intersection with route 1169 to Nan town and Ban Nam Yao. From here on route 1081 is going back to Pua thru vallies along the mountains of Doi Phu Kha.

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Atlas Coffee Shop

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Route 1081

Traveling in Thailand
Route 1081

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Route 1081

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Route 1081

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Intersection with route 1169 at Route 1081

Continuing Route 1081 for another 6 km to POI (8), Namtok Tat Luang. The waterfall itself is about 2 km from the main road, after about 1.500m is a parking. Then you will have to cross the river and walk about 200m for the first level of the waterfall that is located in the jungle of the mountains. 

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Namtok Tat Luang

Continuing Route 1081 for another 9 km to POI (9), Namtok Sila Phet. The waterfall itself is about 1.500m from the main road. There is parking, toilets and some places to buy food. After the parking you will have to walk about 100m to the first level of the waterfall. This waterfall is very popular for the local young people.

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Namtok Sila Phet

Continuing Route 1081 for another 5 km you will be passing a road going to the village Ban Hua Nam where you will find the famous Mushroom Farm Restaurant, POI (10). And next to the Mushroom Farm is Wang Sila Leang, POI (11).

Continuing Route 1081 for another 6 km and you will reach the end of Route 1081 at the intersection with route 101 in Pua. Along this part of Route 1081 you will be passing the famous Ban Tai Lue Coffee Shop, POI (12). And a bit further is the Wat Phuket (about 1 km from the main road), POI (13). And just before the end you will be passing the beginning of route 1256 to Bo Klua, what you also passed in Bo Klua.

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Ban Tai Lue Coffee Shop

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View from Wat Phuket

Traveling in Thailand
Wat Phuket


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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!