The route 105, 3004, 1194, 4077
Total distance 138 km
A shot of the Mae Yuam heading south along the 105
At Sop Moei I take a right onto the 3004 to hopefully ride across to Mae Sam Laep
As I stop for a photo I hear an air gun go off a couple of times then spot the shooter
I have seen pump up air rifles before but not one that looks like its got a bicycle pump attached to it
Good shooting that man, after a few shots his prize falls and hes happy
Quite a few Army guys come past me along the 3004
This road has had the paved surface extended since I last rode here a few years ago and some steep hairpins along here now
I didnt expect to see this at the top, theres a restaurant here too
Sadly its a very cloudy overcast day and visibility for photos is quite poor
After 14 km the road turns to dirt at N17.54.657 E097.53.628 and just past here I have three directions to go in
The middle track was the correct one
Theres a lot of loose bulldust and its slow progress
This ambulance passed me where I stopped at the three way junction and I waited to let it get ahead as the dust being kicked up was not nice, this is about 5 km after the dirt starts and fuel is available here
I ride on and it starts raining slightly, hopefully its nothing much as the sign said 50 km of dirt until Mae Sam Laep and as its steep and loose bulldust heavy rain would make it treacherous going.
I attempted to ride this way six years ago two up on the Bm, as we were heading up from Mae Sot and saw the signs for Mae Sam Laep we gave it a go but turned back in deep loose dust.
After riding it today I am glad we never carried on back then but I often wondered if the road did go through or not, today I finally found out
I stop in a larger village for a look
Just past the village theres a fork, the ESRI shows the track going on to the left but then it shows it heading south and going in the wrong direction.
A truck comes along and the driver tells me to take the right fork, I am now riding blind as this doesnt show on my GPS map
The odd sign of civilisation along this bumpy dusty track but thankfully the rain has stopped now
Progress is slow riding in this and I am beginning to wonder how long its going to be before I reach Mae Sam Laep
A few buildings going up here
Another village in the distance and I can see a dirt track showing on the ESRI leading out from this village
There are more pigs here than anything else so until I know otherwise this place is pig village, or Ban Moo
Everywhere you look there are pigs
The ESRI shows that as the track I need to be on, but I dont think so somehow
I discovered two things here in Ban Moo, English is not the main language spoken and theres no fuel here either.
I am not worried about the fuel as I will have only rode about 90 km from Mae Sariang by the time I reach Mae Sam Laep and I will get back to Mae Sariang on a tankful anyway.
Ban Moo is at N17.52.948 E097.47.695, the trusty old bilingual Thinknet map came in handy here as they were able to read it and point me in the right direction for Mae Sam Laep
My one and only minor water crossing today
A couple of km past Ban Moo the surface turns to solid and I can now make much better progress
The track has now disappeared again from the ESRI map and I reach another T junction, luckily enough once again there are people there to show me the correct way to go
The track has now reappeared on the ESRI and I am nearing Mae Sam Laep so no worries now
I need to take the right fork but am intrigued as to where the left one goes so as I have plenty of time I try it out
Rather a major obstacle to the waters flow and it looks like fires have taken place on the tree trunk
Its a stony dusty track thats also concrete in places but appears to head south rather than going to the border so after 2 km I turn back, plus its started raining hard now and I want to get off the dirt if its going to carry on raining
Thankfully the rain was short lived and I ride on reaching a checkpoint, someone says Burma pointing the way I am going and I think oh no thats all I need to be told this is a prohibited area.
I know full well that the Salween is the border and quickly ride off before I get asked questions
The Salween, I now know exactly where I am as I have rode to this point many times before and its now only 2 km back to the asphalt of the 1194
I started to ride this dirt track past the Salween on my Honda Wave seven years ago but gave up as it was so bumpy and often wondered where it went, today thanks to the KLX I found out this plus also whether the 3004 looped round as well
I reach the paved surface of the 1194 at N17.58.645 E097.44.394 after only about 36.6 km of dirt rather than the 50 the sign said when it first turned to dirt.
I guess its because there are some new dirt shortcuts that I used which were not on the ESRI map
I say I reached the paved surface of the 1194 but for about 16 km its in the worst state that I have ever known it to be
There were even worse spots than this, deeper longer stretches in places
Thankfully the surface improves and its a pleasant ride back
I take a right onto the 4077 to see for myself the damaged bridge that Phil found last week.
I wonder if thats going to be fixed this dry season
One final shot of the Mae Yuam then its back to the guesthouse after a brilliant fun day exploring new routes that were not on the map, GPS or paper
Sausage, fries, onion rings and onions for 200 Baht at the Sawaddee