Monday, October 8, 2012

Laos Solo Ride Day 2: Ayutthaya - Boten, Laos (Part I)


Heyya..

I woke up early in the morning at Ayotthaya Hotel.. I was feeling excited as I planned to ride to Chiang Khong, North of Thailand.. Chiang Khong is one of the Mekong River points with Immigration and Customs Checkpoint, where I could cross the Mekong River to reach Huay Xai, Laos.. the distance is merely 820 km from Ayutthaya town..

The initial plan was to ride to Chiang Khong BUT i ended up riding up to Boten, Laos.. therefore the total distance i did on Day 2, from Ayutthaya to Boten, Laos is nearly 1,100 km.. another iron butt ride..
I didn’t feel any muscle pain and aching that morning although I have covered 1,660 km from Kuala Lumpur to Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya town in 13 hours a day before.. maybe because of the high adrenaline of my body and strong mental which kept the muscle from aching..

Alright, it was 5.00 am local time (Malaysia’s time 6.00 am).. I started to have my morning breakfast in the room.. Bananas, buns with red bean paste and 2 cans of Nescafe Lattes.. Took shower and put my gears on..
The 30 Years Anniversary GS Adventure was parked right in front of the room.. The bike had been re-fueled a night before as I after I had dinner in Ayutthaya town.. Warmed up the engine, tank was full and checked out from the Ayotthaya Hotel..

Thrilled.. Now, I was really ready for the ride to North of Thailand..
I exited the Ayutthaya town and took Highway 32 towards the North Bound which led to Highway 1..
At 5.30 am, the Highway was busy with big trucks, heading to the north.. they were trying to escape from the traffic, just like me.. Thanon Phahonyothin Highway (Route 1) / Highway 32 has 3 wide lanes and there are lots of petrol stations along the highway with colourful and bright florescent light displays to attract customers/drivers..

Passing Ang Thong, Chaiyo, Phrom Buri and Sing Buri districts, I finally reached In-Buri district..
Upon reaching In-Buri, 90 km from Ayutthaya, I took a different route instead of Highway 1.. The reason is, I have used the Thanon Phahonyothin Highway (Route 1) for 4 times before when I covered Mae Hong Son / Chiang Rai / Golden Triangle rides previously and the route is pretty boring for me.. I wanted to use a different route so I get to see hilly side of Thailand and less road users.. I wanna explore Thailand as much as I can..
The new route for me to explore is Thanon Vijaravudh Damnoen of Route 11 at In-Buri.. The Route 11 begins at In-Buri and it ends at Lampang, Chiang Mai distict.. The Route 11 road is a dual-carriage way and it was pretty quiet at 6.15 in the morning.. The road was slippery, foggy and the visibility was nearly 50 meters.. Therefore, I could not push it hard.. Patience is the key.. I could only ride at 120 km/h and ride faster when the sunlight appeared..

Two hours later, I reached a small town before Phitsanulok, called Wang Thong.. With a poor visibility, I could only ride between 100-120 km/h although the road was pretty straight and empty..
In Wang Thong, the route was a bit confusing.. The Route 11 will be joint with Route 12, all the way from Khon Kaen, East of Thailand and goes to Savannakhet, South of Laos..
Road signs were very crucial at this point.. I had to follow the Route 12 (West), heading to Phitsanulok to get back to Route 11.. Wang Thong and Phitsanulok are not a big cities, therefore, the road signs are not as visible as major highways such as Highway 1 and others.. Clearly, common sense and logics are needed..

With a distance of 12 km approaching Phitsanulok town, along Route 12, there is interchange back to Route 11 with a signage stating Uttaradit and Nam Ang..
The ride from Phitsanulok to Uttaradit was absolutely breathtaking during a bright day.. it had long sweep corners between the hills along the dual-carriage way, which was empty and the road had no debris at all.. it seems the road had been re-surfaced not for long ago.. I was really enjoying the ride until I didn’t stop to snap photos of the breathtaking sceneries..
The breathtaking sceneries continued along the Route 11 from Uttaradit to Lampang in Chiang Mai district for 140 km..
At Lampang, I re-joined the Thanon Phahonyothin Highway Route 1 and continued riding North bound towards Mae Tam in Phayao district., passing through University of Phayao, where most of pretty college girls study.. Hehee..


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