Riding the Thailand-Myanmar Border

Day 5 of the Golden Triangle Motorcycle Tour and we were back in the saddle at 8.00am, after enjoying a day off in Mae Sai yesterday. Today’s riding saw us heading in a generally western direction, staying fairly close to the border with Myanmar.

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In fact, at one point, the road that we were riding was exactly on the border. Whilst the road itself was in Thailand, the off-side grassed verge was part of Myanmar. There is one spot where the Thai power company inadvertently placed a power pole on the Myanmar side of the road. The Myanmar Army responded by building an army post around the pole and now the Thai power company has to seek formal permission in order to gain access to the pole.

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Army base built around an electricity pole

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As we pulled up and started taking photographs of the electrical pole and the surrounding base, the soldiers were clearly not happy and began shouting and pointing at us. However, they were in Myanmar and we were in Thailand, so there was nothing that they could do – except shoot us!

The reception was the polar opposite when we reached the Thai army post. We were allowed to freely roam around the base and take whatever photographs we wanted.

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Thai Army Post
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At the army post
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Trenches overlooking Myanmar
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Looking down at the Myanmar army post (electricity pole) from the Thai army post
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View of Myanmar from the Thai army post

The next stop was the Wat Phrataat Doi Tung (temple) where the guys tried to guarantee their passage into heaven by ringing the 100 bells.

Video: Ringing the bells

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After the temple, we rode to the old headquarters of Khun Sa, the opium war-lord who ruled the Golden Triangle region for many years.

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Statue of Khun Sa

On the way to lunch, we passed a tea plantation where girls from the Lisu hill tribe were selling souvenirs, so we stopped to take photos and buy a few trinkets. Martin even managed to get one of the girls to sit on his bike for a photo.

 

We had a lovely lunch at a Chinese restaurant and then rode up the mountain to a couple of shrines and a temple.

 

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Group photo in front of a dragon

 

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The rope with flags on it that crosses the river is the border between Thailand and Myanmar

By 3.40pm, we had arrived at the Maekok River Village Resort, our home for the night. It is a beautiful location with lovely rooms.

We covered just over 150km today. A lot of it was on tight winding roads with bad road surfaces. There was also some faster riding on decent quality tarmac.

 

A cold weather front was moving into the area as we arrived at the resort. The forecast for tomorrow is 10 degrees C (50F) with rain showers. That’s cold for a Bermudian! And rain was not part of the plans for this tour, at this time of the year. I’ve been wearing four layers of clothing for the past couple of mornings. Tomorrow, it looks like it might have to be six layers!

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Trying to stay warm around the fire in the hotel bar

 

 

2 Comments

  1. The landscape photos of views from Thailand into Myanmar seem to show such beautiful and subtle colours in the air. It is easy to overlook the purpose of the trenches when they are so organic in their construction- the rounded moss? covered stone, the winding path etc. I am so impressed by the incredible colours and combinations of colour in the Thai fabrics they wear and the brilliant unabashed colours they adorn their buildings with… such a colourful place. Full of such happy colours! Glad the riding is going well.

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