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The road to Thoen


I took the only road available: the road to Thoen and from there I would cycle to Sukothai. I was expecting hills, especially in the first part of the day to Mae Tan. After that it would be a blast, or so I thought. I was wrong.

On the road to Mae Tan, 23 from Doi Tao

On the road from Doi Tao to Mae Tan, 23 km further on

I had spend a night at Doi Tao lake. Thoen was just over 100km away and no form of accommodation in between. The first stage of the day would be crossing the hills and go to Mae Tan.

I was expecting quite a bit of climbing to Mae Tan. There were some minor climbs here and there. The scenery was like the road to Doi Tao. It looked more like a autumn landscape in Europe than a tropical rainforest.

It took me about an hour and a half or so to reach Mae Tan where the 1103 ended on a junction with road #106, the road that connects Chiang Mai with Lamphun and which would also lead me to Thoen.

Crossing the hills to Mae Tan on the road to Thoen
Crossing the hills to Mae Tan on the road to Thoen

Exotissimo: Individually customized & unforgettable travel experiences in ThailandComing through the hills I first needed to refill my water. I saw a shop that might sell me some water. It turned out to be a garage.

The owner however gave me some bananas and 2 bottles of water. He didn't want me to pay so I just gave him a little more than I normally would have paid in a shop.

I was ready for the next 85 km to Thoen and soon I would be there. That was what I thought. I turned out to be different.

Just before Li I took a look at Wat Phrathat Ha Duang, a temple that in building reminded me of Bhutanese temples I had seen before. It was dedicated to an important monk who had died some time ago.

In Li I took another short rest but now it seemed it became more hilly. To my left I could see the flat lands, rough and sometimes farmland but mostly it seemed just bare lost land.

Wat Phrathat Ha Duang
Hoover your mouse over the photos of
Wat Phrathat Ha Duang near Li to get a better view

Wat Phrathat Ha Duang Wat Phrathat Ha Duang Wat Phrathat Ha Duang Wat Phrathat Ha Duang

After Li the road slowly swindled up and I started to ask myself why I had to climb but never really went down. And soon I was in a more serious climb. The road swindled through the hills up to just over 630 meter.

Looking back in the climb after Li to just over 630 meter
Looking back in the climb after Li.
This was just before the top at just over 630 meter

It had been a reasonable pleasant and easy ride uphill and I was expecting something similar now going down.

It turned out the way down was far easier than I expected. The decent was almost 13 km! And although the road was in excellent condition, the curves easy manageable there was a problem: bushfires!

Bushfires along the descending
Bushfires along the descending

Fortunately I had speed on my side but I could feel the heat of the flames which at some points was directly next to me at the roadside. When went further down I could see flames further from the road going much higher.

Quickly going down the hills back to the lowlands of north Thailand
Quickly going down the hills back to the lowlands of north Thailand

By the time I was back in the lowlands at Pak Kong, I also had left the bushfires behind me. All that left was another 15 km to Thoen.

Out of the hills and back in the lowlands on the road to Thoen, now nearby
Out of the hills and back in the lowlands on the road to Thoen, now nearby

Road #106 ends here in Thoen. But Thoen didn't seem to have a hotel. And it didn't seem to be at the highway 1 junction too. I asked in the 7-Eleven shop. It turned out I had to cycle to the other side of town, where the highway passed and I would find 2 hotels. Nothing fancy, but clean and comfortable enough and good food opposite of the street. The road to Thoen ended right here at Highway 1.

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Doi Tao

Doi Tao, about 150km south to south west of Chiang Mai is a little known but beautiful lake side. You will enjoy the peace and quietness after the busy Chiang Mai city. Wonderful place.

Doi Tao

Doi Tao lake, north Thailand


Kamphaeng Phet

Central Thailand offers more UNESCO World Heritage: on a day's cycling you will find Kamphaeng Phet. It's lesser known but offers another beautiful insight into Thailand's turbulent past.

Kamphaeng Phet

Kamphaeng Phet art


Chiang Mai

The gateway to north Thailand and one of the major tourist attractions in Thailand, that is Chiang Mai. I've been here several times and every time I find something new to explore.

Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai, gateway to north Thailand


Sukhothai

A very pleasant and inspiring bike ride from Thoen to Sukhothai. Further a great visit to the countryside and the continuing road south to Kamphaeng Phet