We had a long day ahead of us so I hustled back to the hotel in Mae Sot, hooked up with Satonic for breakfast, and we hit the road! Normally you’d head east on the 105 to Tak to get back to Bangkok but I told Satonic I’d found a shortcut to the south that would shave off at least 30km. He’s so trusting! Southbound on the 1090 to Umphang!
Now, anyone familiar with this road will tell you that there’s no way to get from Umphang to Bangkok, and if you’re in a car or riding a road bike, they’d be telling you the truth, but on dirtbikes it can be done!
Here’s the GPS track showing our route across the mountains from Tak province to Kamphaeng Phet, via Mae Wong National Park:
And the .GPX file should anyone want to try this route: http://www.asianconnection71.com/2013-12-19%2008.24.53%20Auto.gpx
We cruised south a ways on the 1090 and turned off a bit past the small town of Phop Phra in Tambon Khirirat. Note to any who go this way- top up your fuel here- there isn’t any gas available again until you reach the small village of Ban Nam Phung on the other side of the mountains.
The bridge over the Mae Lamao river is the last “real” bridge until you reach Ban Nam Phung-
From here on it’s rough 4wd tracks; Satonic, on his D-tracker with 17″ wheels and road tires started giving me dirty looks right about this time
It didn’t much help that he got a puncture early on…
What a cute little Karen village. I forgot the name already. They were off the grid, with only some solar panels for power, but folks there were very friendly and they had a small shop with drinks and snacks, but no fuel. Note the TV / radio antenna in the background:
We got the puncture repaired in pretty good time, but it was already getting close to noon… Hmmmm, I’m starting to think it’s going to be a long day!
Shortly after this village you get into the National Park and this trail was very rough and challenging!
Somewhere in here is that crazy hill with all the boulders at the bottom and all the loose dirt and sand at the top that claimed a clutch when Brian, Rob, Mike and their amigos from the States went in the opposite direction a couple weeks later: