Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 78
  1. #1
    Thailand Expat

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Last Online
    14-09-2014 @ 04:20 PM
    Location
    Bangkok, the City of Angels!
    Posts
    3,071

    The Missing Link- Riding from Sangkhlaburi to Umphang and back!

    Many people said this route couldn't be done, but through a chance meeting with a Karen guide several years ago a couple of friends did manage to ride from Sangklaburi to Umphang and it's become a dream trip for many a dirt biker-

    It's been on my short list ever since they first completed it a few years ago- finally we are on our way!!!


    Loaded up Banana Boy's van and escaped the Big Mango on Friday afternoon-


    Even though we hit the road fairly early we still got caught up in some Friday rush hour traffic but no worries, we were ready for the weekend!


    Bangkok to Sangkhlaburi is a haul! About 350km, but the road gets slower the closer you get to Sangkhlaburi. We pulled up at the P Guesthouse just after dark, ordered an awesome dinner and kept the beers flowing

    The P Guest House and Resort was a lot nicer than I was expecting.


    Front desk, reception and restaurant-


    This is what a 250 baht fan room looks like-


    The restaurant has excellent food and nice views out over the reservoir-


    The cheap fan rooms are only 250 baht and the nice big aircon rooms are 950. Free WiFi everywhere. Good value either way.

    Brian and Mike left Bangkok later and got held up in Friday night rush hour. They arrived at the resort after the kitchen had closed so we made a run into town to get them some food and flirt with the 7-11 girls

    Sangkhlaburi goes to sleep pretty early, so we did the same (-_-)Zzzz

  2. #2
    Thailand Expat

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Last Online
    14-09-2014 @ 04:20 PM
    Location
    Bangkok, the City of Angels!
    Posts
    3,071
    Saturday morning and it's time to get the adventure underway! Our guide Jack came to the guesthouse to collect us and it was a pleasure to finally meet him.

    Trent is ready to roll!


    And we're off!


    We hit up the 7-11 and morning market for snacks, water and other supplies. We meet Gene from Russia and his Japanese gf Miya at the 7-11. They are coming with us too. I question the wisdom of riding this trail two-up, but they don't seem too concerned. Hmmm, let's see how that works out

    Jack tells us we'll have lunch on the trail so we should carry that with us. Most of us load up on grilled chicken and sticky rice from the morning market.

    Then a quick pitstop to top off the tanks-

    (Mike's headlight got smashed the weekend before at the Khaomaikaew Charity Enduro Race and he didn't have time to replace it)

    We then met up with a bunch of Thai guys and finally we were off! We left the paved 323 and took a dirt road to the village of Laiwo, and from there the real adventure began!


    Jack, it turns out, is not afraid of testing our limits! Trent is doing great until a tree gets in his way Woohoo!
    Whacking up a rocky trail on Kawasaki KLX 250 in Sangkhlabu - YouTube



    Here comes Gene! (But where is his gf???) Poor thing spent a LOT of time walking on this ride and by the end of day 1 she was in tears and calling him a devil... Ah well, live and learn!


    Help! Gene's fallen and can't get up!


    5 minutes in to the single track and I think the reality of what this ride might entail is just sinking in---


    Here comes Somkid on his vintage Honda trials bike-


    I don't think he meant to do this...


    Trent gives him a helping hand-


    But it wasn't enough


    This fellow on the Honda CRF-L was quite a good rider-


    Here comes another KLX125


    This fellow was quite new to off road riding and was carrying a very heavy load and needed some help to get through the tough bits-


    Push!!!


    The first few kilometers were not only a test of the riders and bikes, but also a good test of our packing skills- if bags weren't properly lashed down the big bumps quickly bounced things loose-


    This fellow on the old Honda XR was also a very strong rider-




    "Chuai duai!" (Help me!) he cries!


    Getting by with a little help from friends


    Trent ended up riding his KLX125 through the trickiest bit-


    Mike picked a good vantage point from which to watch the mayhem unfold-


    Here comes Khun Nui, an experienced rider who knows these tracks almost as well as Jack-


    Whoops! Even the pros crash some times


    I can't remember this guy's name, he was really quiet, but a very good rider. Ever try riding a technical trail while balancing a helmet on your head? It's flippin hard!!


    Jack tested his own limits too! (But to be fair, he was carrying a very heavy load on the back of his KLX 125 and he is a little dude)-
    Our guide coming up a challenging trail in Sangkhlaburi, Th - YouTube

    One thing I really liked about this group is how helpful everyone was. There was nothing we couldn't get through, thanks to the help of our riding partners.

    Jack told us, with a twinkle in his eye, of the pudgy poser from Chiang Mai on a fancy KTM 2-stroke, who couldn't handle these single track trails, and had to do most of the ride to Umphang via the easier 4x4 track

    Much more to come!!

  3. #3
    Thailand Expat

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Last Online
    14-09-2014 @ 04:20 PM
    Location
    Bangkok, the City of Angels!
    Posts
    3,071
    What comes up must come down!

    Anyone who thought that the tough climb at the beginning was the end of the challenging stuff was in for a big surprise when they say how steep the descent was on the other side!

    Trent, Brian, Mike and I went first and made it out without any drama, then grabbed our camera to see how the rest of the group would do. Here comes Gene (he lost his gf again!)


    Ooops!


    He's ok!


    Ah, his gf has caught up, why not walk down together


    The CRF-L seems to have it under control-


    Until he runs head first into a stand of bamboo... (Brian got it on video!)


    Khun Nui brought down one of his friends bikes before hiking all the way back up to get his own- now that is a helpful dude!

  4. #4
    Thailand Expat

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Last Online
    14-09-2014 @ 04:20 PM
    Location
    Bangkok, the City of Angels!
    Posts
    3,071
    Khun Nui is providing coaching and encouragement to the other guys as he hikes back to the top to collect his bike-


    The old Honda XR makes it look so easy-


    The old trials bike has drum brakes front and rear...


    Still balancing his helmet on his head- he made it!


    Got the big fella just as he was going over the handlebars!


    Khun Nui rode sweeper for most of the tour and came down last on his KLX 125


    Yay! Everyone made it this far! (But we've only gone 5 or 6km!) I can't imagine how we'll ever reach Umphang at this snails pace...

  5. #5
    Thailand Expat
    beerlaodrinker's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Last Online
    Today @ 10:03 AM
    Location
    vientiane
    Posts
    6,518
    You certainly get around tony, awesome trip Thanks, keep em coming

  6. #6
    Thailand Expat
    Eliminator's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Last Online
    Today @ 12:20 PM
    Location
    Thailand
    Posts
    3,779
    Great pics, I'm sure it was fun.

  7. #7
    Thailand Expat

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Last Online
    14-09-2014 @ 04:20 PM
    Location
    Bangkok, the City of Angels!
    Posts
    3,071
    The challenging single track from Laiwo up over the mountain beings us to the 4x4 track to Tilaipa and helps us bypass the main National Park checkpoint. We make pretty good time from here-


    Lots and lots of water crossings! Some have bridges and some don't. I dig these hand made bamboo bridges-
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=mw9beKDDbgY

    We all pick up the pace and Gene and Miya are making pretty good progress on 4x4 track-
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=sIfBW92Xi7k

    This track is a piece of cake in the dry season, but can be a nightmare of bottomless mud in the rainy season-
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=jqxpt0QyBcM

    A noisy wooden slat bridge-
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=YoKD7uM28pw

    Oooh, I thought they were going to lose it in this section, but Gene's got long legs and kept his gf dry, more or less
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=1uFafCYLa30

    As we approach another checkpoint Jack tells all the foreigners to go first, keep our heads down, and don't stop. Fortunately it's easy to duck under the gate A gentle reminder that we aren't really supposed to be here
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=L34iUi4YxAI

    Unfortunately a couple bikes get dropped in deep water. I think Mike caught it on video. The Kwackers seem ok, but the CRF managed to suck water into the engine Pulled the plug and airfilter and drained it as best they could but the oil was full of water. They managed to get it to Tilaipa where they could change the oil-

  8. #8
    Fuck it
    Satonic's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    The city of angels, the great city, the eternal jewel city, the impregnable city of God Indra, etc..
    Posts
    3,113
    Wow what an excellent trip report and loads still to come I'm sure!

    Gutted I couldn't join you but looking forward to the rainy season attempt.

    Thanks for taking the time to share the photos with us

  9. #9
    Thailand Expat
    beerlaodrinker's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Last Online
    Today @ 10:03 AM
    Location
    vientiane
    Posts
    6,518
    Quote Originally Posted by xanax
    Mildly interesting but far too many pics. Driving with one hand while smoking a joint and drinking is not to be recommended.
    Did you get all those reds by being a negative kunt on peoples threads ?

    Very interesting but not enough pics, keep em coming please

  10. #10
    Thailand Expat terry57's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Last Online
    Today @ 09:21 AM
    Posts
    26,069
    Bloody awesome positive stuff. Great real life thread and story.

    Cheers.

  11. #11
    Thailand Expat
    Phuketrichard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Last Online
    Today @ 08:55 AM
    Location
    Phuket
    Posts
    1,277
    Now that's a bike trip!!!!
    thanks,

    Used to do lots of trails and off road riding ( on an old trusty BSA victor 441) back when i was younger an found going up easier than coming down!!!


    Great report and trip!!!

    as to the upset GF, guess she wont be asking to go on the next run !!!
    "I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol or insanity, but they've always worked for me" HST

    View my pics

  12. #12
    Member
    stevefarang's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Last Online
    06-07-2017 @ 01:57 AM
    Location
    Seattle, WA, USA
    Posts
    935
    This is great to read, see the pics and watch the video clips.

    I wish I could do this, but don't think I can. Between a messed up left shoulder, due to a motorcycle accident 5 years ago and my general age, I'll leave it to you "young'uns" to play. I will just enjoy the posts and dream I was there.

    Thanks for posting !!
    Last edited by stevefarang; 15-04-2013 at 10:31 AM.

  13. #13
    Fuck it
    Satonic's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    The city of angels, the great city, the eternal jewel city, the impregnable city of God Indra, etc..
    Posts
    3,113
    Edit. Double post
    Last edited by Satonic; 15-04-2013 at 10:14 AM.

  14. #14
    Thailand Expat Jesus Jones's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Last Online
    22-09-2017 @ 11:00 AM
    Posts
    6,952
    good stuff!

  15. #15
    splendid and tremendous
    somtamslap's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Last Online
    Today @ 12:33 AM
    Location
    Down on the farm
    Posts
    13,608
    I like the way you always manage to fit a bit of biking into your piss-ups..

  16. #16
    Thailand Expat

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Last Online
    14-09-2014 @ 04:20 PM
    Location
    Bangkok, the City of Angels!
    Posts
    3,071
    After Thilaipa we stopped at another very small village on the Burmese border, name unknown, to catch our breath and grab some water.

    It was HOT HOT HOT this weekend, forecast highs in the low 40's, and staying well hydrated was a priority!

    This little dude took a shine to my Doraemon squirt gun-


    He was a brave little dude, not even scared of Trent!




    There was a three way junction as we entered this village and we needed to go right towards Ja Kae, then left onto a small track to continue north in the direction of Laytongku, but we lost some folks at this junction and Jack had to go chasing after them... Combined with the slow pace earlier in the day it meant we could not reach the Suriya river before dark, where Jack had planned to camp...

    Instead we stopped at another camp on a small creek some distance south of the Suriya. I didn't take any pictures that evening, but it wasn't a bad spot. There was a bamboo shack of sorts that we farang grabbed so at least we were off the ground and had a rood over our heads.

    We enjoyed a shockingly good dinner that evening- I was amazed at all the food the Thai guys had brought, including pork and beef steaks, curry, jasmine and sticky rice, and a huge fish that someone had stashed in their luggage! Someone cooked up some tasty larb and there was even ice for our drinks! I didn't bring much food, but I did contribute a bottle of whiskey. (Priorities, you know?)

    After the sun went down the temperature dropped quickly. Brian and Mike had sleeping bags, but no mattresses, I had a nice Thermarest camping mattress but only a very light weight silk sleeping bag liner, and Trent... well, he had nothing at all and spent a sleepless night in his rain gear!

    Here we are in the morning after a wonderful night's sleep

  17. #17
    Thailand Expat

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Last Online
    14-09-2014 @ 04:20 PM
    Location
    Bangkok, the City of Angels!
    Posts
    3,071
    Trent decided to, um, cook his underwear for breakfast...


    Waiting for the coffee to kick in!


    Mio got her smile back, but said she didn't sleep at all on account of having a tent but no sleeping bag... Had I known I'd have offered to keep her warm


    Love the way these guys cook-


    Breakfast is served! Never expected to eat so well!


    The KLX is looking well rested and ready for another day of abuse


    A happy GT Rider ready to ride to Umphang!


    Packed up and ready to roll!

  18. #18
    Thailand Expat

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Last Online
    14-09-2014 @ 04:20 PM
    Location
    Bangkok, the City of Angels!
    Posts
    3,071
    I'd wondered the evening before why we didn't push on to the Suriya river, this morning it all made sense, and once again I am reminded of the value of an experienced guide like Jack!


    Mt Nui explains to us how to navigate in a Thai jungle- just look at the trees. As you can see above, many trees are marked with place names and arrows, so if you can read Thai, you can navigate.

    Of course, for those of us who can't navigate, best to hire a good guide!


    Wow! Ok, now I understand why we didn't try to do this last night in the dark!


    This is another trail that was too tough for the pudgy picture thief from Chiang Mai, Jack told us he had to turn around and go on the 4x4 track


    A steep rocky ascent and an equally steep descent on the other side. Good fun (if you're not a pu$$y)


    Brian managed to curly-q his shift pedal on a rock here, but at least it didn't snap off like so often happens on the CRF-L-


    Coming down the other side was tricky too, steep and rocky and fun!


    Oh dear, Gene seems to have lost his gf again


    Everyone made it through in one piece! There was a nice water crossing waiting for us at the bottom

  19. #19
    Thailand Expat

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Last Online
    14-09-2014 @ 04:20 PM
    Location
    Bangkok, the City of Angels!
    Posts
    3,071
    There was a "bridge" of sorts here, but nobody wanted to try it


    The water crossing was shallow and looks easy enough but the far bank is steep and muddy and harder than it looks. We end up throwing a bunch of rocks down to make a ramp of sorts.

    Of course, Trent decides to go the "hard" way
    - YouTube

    Jack goes big


    Brian makes easy work of it-


    Next time I come out this way I'll put on proper off-road knobblies like this fellow-


    Here comes Gene, minus Mio
    http://youtube/watch?v=QgmEMset1XA

    Trent drinks more water than anyone I know and was already running low, so decided to try Brian's "Life Straw"-

    A seriously cool little piece of kit that claims to be able to filter 1000 liters of water.

    LifeStraw - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    It got passed around to many riders during the trip and so far everyone is still healthy!
    Last edited by TonyBKK; 15-04-2013 at 07:01 PM.

  20. #20
    Thailand Expat

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Last Online
    14-09-2014 @ 04:20 PM
    Location
    Bangkok, the City of Angels!
    Posts
    3,071
    This little water crossing above was the warm-up for the Main Event- crossing the Suriya river!

    Mike finds us a bridge...


    Hmmmm, I don't think so!


    The river is pretty deep (and very beautiful) here and I doubt anyone would be able to ride across at this point-


    We back track upstream a bit until we find a spot that looks doable. Trent goes first and I get him on video-


    I go next and muddle my way through. Next comes Mike-




    Trent tries to give Mike a helping hand and end up in the drink himself


    I think Mike is one of the few who didn't fall over crossing the Suriya river-


    Even Jack needs a hand; Trent and Mike are happy to oblige-


    Here comes Brian-




    Slippery rocks and lots of holes- when you put your foot down you never know what you'll find!


    Best seats in the house?


    Trent is providing directions




    Honda CRF-L gets a helping hand-


    Where's Jack? (This is why TeakDoor needs bigger pics!)


    Jack and Trent cooling down in the Suriya river near the Thai-Myanmar border-


    As always, we get by with some help from our friends-






    Trent trying to drink the river dry with Brian's Life Straw-


    Jack tried out Brian's Life Straw too-


    Brian takes "ATGATT" to the extreme


    Reckon it's pretty tough to swim in full off-road gear. Are you ok Brian??


    Two thumbs up from Khun 20!








    After a challenging crossing-


    Chillaxing in the Suriya river


    Even proper off-road knobblies are no guarantee of a safe passage


    This river crossing was mayhem of the best kind! Here comes Mr Nui on his KLX 125-




    Mr Nui reminds us again that even the pros crash sometimes-


    Here comes Gene! Gf crosses on foot; probably a good idea!


    Trent and Mio relaxing on the bank of the Suriya river-

  21. #21
    Fuck it
    Satonic's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    The city of angels, the great city, the eternal jewel city, the impregnable city of God Indra, etc..
    Posts
    3,113
    Pudgy picture thief

    Great update Tony, keep it coming

  22. #22
    Thailand Expat

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Last Online
    14-09-2014 @ 04:20 PM
    Location
    Bangkok, the City of Angels!
    Posts
    3,071
    As much as I think we'd all love to spend the rest of the day on the Suriya river, we still have some distance to cover, so back on the bikes and off we go!


    Fantastic single track riding through jungle and forest before some steep hill climbs up and over the mountains to the village of Laytongku!



    Once we're up in the recently burned hills it's so dry and I can't help but wonder what would happen if this all went up in flames as we're riding through it---


    Pretty cool views from the summit. I turn off the engine and coast down the steep bits.

    Good fun following Mike through this tall tall grass-


    Finally the single track reaches a dusty 4x4 track and after a few more water crossings we finally reach the village of Laytongku in Umphang province-


    Dusty and tired, but we made it!


    Looking a bit shattered, aren't we?


    Very cute village kids-


    Laytongku, as I understand it, is famous for their unique culture and religion.


    Despite the efforts of missionaries, most villagers are neither Buddhist nor Christian but "Ruessie" (sp?) I think it is, but I've been unable to find any information about them, probably because I'm spelling it wrong.


    Time to press on to Beung Kleung for lunch! Bye kids!

  23. #23
    Banned
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Last Online
    30-04-2016 @ 12:12 AM
    Location
    The great white north
    Posts
    1,160
    Looks like quite an adventure and fun times! Wonderful pictures.

  24. #24
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Last Online
    20-08-2016 @ 06:00 AM
    Posts
    91
    Great Stuff TonyBKK!

    Thanks for taking the time to share your adventures>

  25. #25
    Member
    pescator's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Last Online
    05-08-2019 @ 09:48 PM
    Location
    Scandia
    Posts
    524
    Cracking thread. Love every minute of it. Thnx for sharing.

Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •