Riding solo in Thailand

Trip Start Nov 11, 2003
Trip End Dec 10, 2003

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Flag of United States  , Kentucky
Monday, November 10, 2003

I rented a Yamaha TTR 250 in Feb. 2003 from Joe & Tom's Goodwill Motorcycle shop in CM. I rented from them again, mainly because they're reliable & would come rescue me if I ever had major mechanical problems I couldn't fix & both adorable men. I passed on the Yamaha & took the Honda 250. My male friend in US whom never been out of the country, came over for a few days & took the Yamaha he wanted to do some dirt bike riding. I admit, I straight street rider only. Although in Thailand, I would never rent a street bike.

Each morning in CM we ate at Bier Stube for breakfast, best omelets. Mainly drank at Rudy's Sax bar. After leaving on bike runs & finding your way back to camp isn't always easy. I always followed the moat until I found Thapae Gate. I knew I was close to bed. Quite funny, Joe said every one has a hard time finding their place. I always found Joe's place when riding trying to find my lodging. If I found Joe's place, I was only a street over & very close.

1st night we stayed at Sarah's GH (350bt). I wasn't happy, a source told us to stay at Veerachai Court (400bt), nice enough for me. I'll be staying here each time I make a pit stop in CM. We ate dinner at John's bar/restaurant (south a couple blocks from Rudy's Sax bar.) Met a sweet little 8yr old selling flowers named "Aye". She spoke English, Burma & Thai. I spent a 100bt & used the roses to do her hair & her friends. All the farangs telling me their beggars, well yaw & I know that, but what is a 100bt to make a few poor girls happy for the night. I told her to be here tomorrow night so I can take her to a show (Simon's Dream) & dinner w/my Thai girlfriends (whom works at PP Air Travel @ Airport/Thapae Rd. - Great Service!)

The following night "Aye" showed up on time waiting there in her nicest outfit with her sister & brother also. I laughed. My girlfriends said that Simon's Dream let the kids in free cas' they never met a farang bringing in uncleaned kids to the show. Something they will never see again, tis true. After the show we all ate at The Riverside. No matter how smart "Aye" is, my Thai friends thought same but told me she can't read. Whatever the fish my friends ordered was excellent. The little ones ate like it was going to be their last meal. I don't doubt it either. I returned them to John's restaurant, their Burma mother waiting to put the kids to work to sell flowers. She gave me 2 photos of her kids & had "Aye" tell me thank me for giving her children they never had before. Nice lady, I will miss them.

1st riding day we rode up to Doi Suthep. Easily done in half a day. This is a must to do ride for any visitor. You'll see a rail block crossing you'll think you have reached the end. Either you can ride around it (no security), go back the same way you came in or turn right & take the dirt roads. I remember doing this route in Feb. & I hate dirt roads but I wanted to see if I could do it this time around w/o falling down, I succeeded! At times, you'll seem like you are lost when the dirt roads come to a Y. Take your chances; you never know which one is right. We finally came out to Huai Tung Tao Reservoir. Aww, back to pavement. Neck & shoulder muscles are finally lightening up.

2nd day we rode around not really having a destination. We went to Tard Mork Falls (on David's map) real nice & quite romantic place. We rode on to Mae Sa Falls. Local picnic place it seems for Thais on a Sunday. Later we ate at Meow's place (Rim Viang Pub) where she sings. Beautiful voice she has. I wish I could have remembered from before but pass out from being jet legged. Wasn't a very pleasant sight that night where she sings!!

3rd day we took off to Pai. Took Routes 107 No. Turned left in Mae Rim towards Nong Pia Man a back road to 1095 & also to get away from fumes. On the way, we stopped at a place for soup only choice. What kind of noodle or rice do you want in it? After my friend took a few chews & swallows, I said; "do you like the white meatballs?" He said they're tasteless but the soup was excellent. I told him he was eating boar balls. He lost his appetite fast!

When we arrived in Pai, we stayed at Rim Pai Cottages, in Bungalow #8. My friend thought he was Alice in Wonderland. It is such a delightful place on the river. Ate at Pai Corner (not sure, but wasn't on the corner). Drank at The Golden Triangle Bar. They seated up on the bed as you walked in to the left. Have to admit it was very relaxing drinking alcoholic coffee drinks whilst lying down. I could tell they wanted to close up @ 11pm, so we went outside to finish up our drink. I met this 32yr old Thai cutie outside by the fire named Skai. He's opening up a new pub in Pai soon called "Popular." He has a great sense of humor along with speaking English.

Next morning before leaving, I went to get my 1st Thai massage at "Dam Thai" on the river road. Her name is Meow. I let her beat me up. She kept saying "ok?" I looked & said "ok." Whilst she was doing my right foot it cramped up & I showed her my toes twisting. (She didn't speak English). She saw what I meant & started slapping my foot around w/her hand. It worked!

4th day a short ride to Soppong so friend can go dirt bike riding. We stayed at Little Eden GH. A very unique place. I love everything they had to offer besides the hard mattress. I slept on the beautiful patio on the river that night. We ate dinner & breakfast there. Dirt roads we took after checking in were a road went to Ban Tham (on David's map). Friend went on so I didn't have to collect his dust in my face. I sat & drank water whilst the village people sat & stared at me. I just kept smiling trying to make conversation, but they kept laughing. Thinking he's far enough ahead of me, I hopped on my bike & the women pointed down the road he went & shook her head "no" at me. That told me, it isn't going to be very nice rode. I came to a steep downward hill. I had to stop and analyze how in the hell am I going to do this without falling down. If I hit just one rut, I'm done in. My holiday is just beginning & not wanting it to end so soon. In a deep trance, this Thai guy comes up next to me on a moped w/no tread on his tires & said; "chok dee ka" with a gleaming smile. Yeah right, I said. I watched him & thought I can't be that much of a whoosie! I went no faster than 10k but I balanced very good shaking on the way down, I was in desperate need for a pill to chill.

Met up with friend in Ya Pa Nae. I told him; I need a break. He went on to Huai Hang. Whilst I was waiting all these Thai dirt bikers came flying by me. They stopped to see if I was ok. I said yes & said told them this crapped scares the hell out of me. They laughed. Any hoot, they said there is much more dirt road past Saen Khum Lue on David's map. Very good dirt roads on map, but you'll find many more if you searched. It didn't matter to me. I had no intentions looking. (These Thai guys are very serious Dirt Bike Riders. Some live in Ban Tham, others in Huai Hang if you want to look them up. Fun guys! For the ones who love dirt, they said to follow David's route South of Mae Hong Son to Doi Pui to Huai Bong onto Mae Ruam down to Mae Hoi) Any way, my friend & I rode on to Mae Lana onto Route 1226. Map looks paved, but I think not!!! When we arrived back to Little Eden, I went straight to the bar for a Singha!!!!

Next morning, friend had issues to take care of back in the states. He was unsure returning to CM by himself but hey you have to learn sometime. I gave him my map & we said our good-byes.

I started heading down to Mae Hong Son & stopped at a rocking pit stop area for a pee break. Sure enough the Thai Tourist Police stops. Two girls get out of the SUV & asked if I was ok + lots of questions about me being alone on big bike, do I feel safe, blah, blah. I told them how my friend was on his way back to CM that he's never been in Thai before. They put out a distressed call to the other Tourist Police if they see lost American on Yamaha help him out. We all laughed, they loved the fact I left a man. They shared their lunch with me, we talked, laughed some more until we were in tears. They spoke English good. Later I became good friends with Yae & Poom.

Now on my own to Mae Hong Son & beyond for the next 3 weeks, let the SANUK ka begin.....
P.S. (Thanks to David & Bob for helping my friend in CM & to the airport when he returned.)
Now that the weight of the heavy cross I was carrying was lifted off my shoulders I began my journey around Thailand.
From the many Thai girls & boys whom I have talked with said they have never seen a tall girl on BIG bike riding alone in Thailand. I'm starting to believe each mile I rode.
Everyone stares at you; some stop dead in their footsteps with hands on their hip to take a 2nd look. Some will yell & wave at you (even with their left hand) thumbs goes up, you'll see so many smiles each mile. Men will pucker their lips to send you a kiss. Always smile like it is your last, you'll never see so many smile with shining teeth. The Thai's are so very happy to see you. They know I am a Venus, I always have bright pink lips. Never feel like you are a freak. Thai's are amazed & very ecstatic to see you. You'll be asked at a fuel station to have a seat knowing that neither of us can converse due to language barriers. I don't have BLUE eyes, rather pale boring Grey. They are all so interested to look in my eyes. All they see is dull boring brown eyes in their town.
I have no apprehension riding in Northern Thailand on my own. I rather feel much safer here than in the States. No matter what back road you may take, always remember there is always somebody near. When you need to take a leak, someone maybe across the hill having a thrilling peak.

Always learn beginner's Thai language (free on Internet). They appreciate you know some Thai. Tones really aren't necessary, as long as you can pronounce a word close enough. They'll correct you either way if you are wrong & laugh that you tried. Most know English or even limited amounts. If neither understands one another use you hands in a soft way almost like sign language. (i.e. need hotel/GH put both hands together on the side of your head then bend your head. You'll hear "OK" & fingers start pointing). Never must you feel lost. If you stop for help, you not only get help from one, if he/she doesn't understand he/she will call everyone over. One will eventually understand you. I've learned I cannot look at the sun as I do in the States to lead me in the right direction. Siam sun can be very equivocal. If you don't make destination before dusk all the buggers come out.

If you ever get lost, never ask for directions to your destination city, only to the nearest city/village, which should be next on your designated route. I eventually figured out what "Ban" means. David's GT map says "Ban", thanks David. Once out from his map using another map you never see "Ban" again. Forget when the road sign may say "Ban Nam Phang", your map only says "Nam Phang". "Ban" I learned means "small/little" city/village. Explain later why I say this......I was totally off of planned route.

To me, whenever you arrive into your destination city it reminds me of NYC, all same/same. LOST!! By the time you figure out the roads & getting around, it's time to depart.
Mid-November, Thai's may call the season "winter" for them, but it is so dang "HOT" for me. I can't even imagine what hot season is for them. Has to be miserable. I asked the 2 Tourist Police girls they're opinion on dress attire for female in Thai & they replied it is "OK" not to wear bra, "OK" to wear tank top w/built in bra, "OK" to wear shorts, "OK" for a lot of things a girl is allowed to do. Thai's will not look down on you in a derogatory female way. They said to always carry T-shirt in case you may want to visit a temple.
So since the heat was too intense for me, I opted to ride w/o helmet & tank top; my choice, no regrets to this day; still in Thai. (Mae Sa Long @ moment). As long as my burned Disco CDs are blaring in my ears, the miles I can ride sometimes forgetting to check fuel. I did bring over a donut pillow from Walgreen's for $12.00. Saves my bum most of the time, not always.

From February to November 2003, I noticed the lack of tourists. Never any problem finding room, less people on roads, fabulous for me. Whenever I do return to Thai it will always be mid-Nov - Dec vs. Feb.

Time allotted, I can't stand the slowwwwwwwww Internet, and I'll type every route, G/H, restaurant, city to next. All the smiling faces saying to me "~SUAY!" Greeting me with joy in their eyes....

I forgot to add in last report, these Thai girls/ladies/boys/men said to me so many time in different places, no foreigners ever speaks to them. I cannot express enough to chat to them. They want to hear you talk. They rarely ever leave the city they live in. They love to hear about your life even though they only understand so much.

When I rode thru downtown Mae Hong Son I'm thinking I know where I want to stay, but where in the hell is the place. I printed off a picture of the place I stayed previously & asked a few Thai's; no one had a clue where on the river. I feel like I'm back in US small town city, all saying "I don't know". I think to myself; how long have they lived here? One Thai girl did know where. She was kind enough to let me follow to the location. It's called the "Rim Nam"-Glang Doi, So. of town it's on David's map, dah!! I love that place. This boy, well probably 25+ comes running & helps me w/bags off bike so delighted to see me again. Previously time, went across the river to put 16 candles across the river for me.

By the time everyone wants to talk to you & me unload it was apprx. 2:30pm when I set off to see the Long Necks family past Nai Soi. I did pretty good getting to Nai Soi, after that I definitely went the wrong way. Still on pavement, I do remember crossing a river. I see Thai sign going up a dirt road & figured well maybe that's the way. Very bad dirt road, well at least for me. I kept on riding thinking I'll find the river I remember I crossed before. A Thai man walks out from the heavily jungle area. I do my best in explaining & he understood. He drew a map in the dirt road which way to go. I'm thinking, NO, I don't want to go back down that dirt hill. Any ways, I made it back down only to realize after you ride thru Nai Soi there's a "Y". It obvious I can't read plan ENGLISH - Long Necks sign going the other way. I rode to the end, passing the river crossing. You'll sign in pay your 250 BT (which none goes to them) & I walked in to find the family I met in Feb. Sure enough I found the 18y old girl "Majon" & her mother "Maetay". Majon was up on her balcony & she ran down the stairs. We gave huge hugs & kisses. I was so very happy to see her once again. She took me in to see her mother whom wasn't feeling well. Majon speaks I think 5 languages. Her mother was sick. They have no means of medicine. I wasn't planning on staying another day in Mae Hong Son but told Majon I'll go back in town & get some penicillin & come back the next day. By the time I left it was getting dusk, no eyeglasses for nite hours. So I had to ride w/my prescription sunglasses.

Sure enough, I got lost back to Mae Hong Son. The cement road I taken was over grown w/jungle life. I knew this road had to go somewhere. Along that rode I see a large bird coming down towards me from a distance. The f*cker actually hit me on the side of my helmet, I couldn't believe it! I rode on finally came to a "T" in the road & ask; "Mae Hong Son", they point to the right direction.

I'm hungry so I stop @ Fern's Restaurant. Obviously, you can tell that's where all the buses take the tourist. Ate something small, 2 Singha's to go & left. I arrive back at GH around 10pm. The boy came running over to take my tank bag back to my bungalow.

Next morning I went into Mae Hong Son & found the penicillin & Alka-seltzer the mother needed. I HATE SHOPPING!! Happened to see an optical shop to see if they had frames to fit my lenses. (Broke other ones) Sure enough they did ½ the cost in the States. Majon wanted blue eyes like me & I asked them if they had blue contacts w/o prescription, sure did.
No problem finding the refugee camp they live in this time around. Mother was very grateful & Majon was ever so happy she had blue eyes. The whole group (long necks) came over to see. I stayed there the whole day w/the family. They fixed me dinner rather good, but I couldn't eat the little fishes w/their eyes still looking at me. Met a 58yr old English Chap named Nicholas whilst there. We agreed to meet at Lakeside restaurant later that evening. Majon fell in love w/1 of my 3 sons & she wanted to keep his picture. She made him a video telling him how handsome he is for him to come see her. I could write a heck of a lot more regarding the truth of this camp what Majon & the mother told me, pitiful. Majon told me 4yrs ago she fell & needs a brain scan. She can't hear out of her left ear. They won't allow her out of the camp for help. They survive on their own. If you ever go out there, bring medications. I had a hard time leaving them. Thai police came in to get me. Majon walks me out wearing my sunglasses like she a movie star from Hollywood.

Once again it was dusk when I left & sure enough I found another mistaken route. As I rode into town I found Lakeside. Nicky wasn't there so I left & walked around. I was on the main drag road in MHS & all of a sudden I hear my name Jade being yelled. There were the 2 Tourist Police girls. They ran across the street & said to come with them to a bar named "Crossroads" (on David's map). They introduced me to the owner Mhoo, such a sharp dressed Thai guy. He's a smooth cool dude. One of the girls said; isn't that such a stupid name? She said she wants to kiss him. I couldn't believe how many TALL Thai guys where in there. Mhoo making us White Russians drinks & one of the girls said; Jade you share a bottle of whiskey w/us? I never drank whiskey but said ok. I didn't realize you have to buy a whole bottle a whiskey, not just a pour. Forgetting about Nicky, the girls used their mobile & called down at the Lakeside. Mhoo had one of his men ride me down to get my bike & Nicky. Nicky hopped on the back, moaning his legs aren't long enough to hop on.

English gent he was, I put my 2 hands together to give him a boost. He's never been a bike. He joined right in w/the crowd. He talked all night with Rudy's brother-in-law the whole time. Seems they had a lot in common. Mhoo played my disco for me for a while. Foreigners started coming in & Mhoo apologizes he has to stopped; he had good music either way.

Mhoo comes over to me & said; "Jade, you can have any of these Thai men for your boyfriend which one do you want?" Oh no I thought back I'm back in US for p/u bars....I said to him; "how much baht?" "Free" he said. They all started laughing. I pointed to the Thai boys & said; inee minnie, mynee, mow...I look @ Mhoo & said; "I want you". He said; ah, but I have girlfriend in Pai. Ok I said I want none, but kob khun ka.

Later Mr. Antonio Baneras w/slightly slanted eyes struts in. Mhoo said; you like him don't you. Lordy, can't I just look? After the cheap whisky & the ride I still had ahead of me to G/H, I said my good-byes. The girls didn't want me to leave & the boys gave me a hug & kiss good-bye. Mhoo kissed me on both cheeks then on my lips & "Yae" yells; Jade that kiss is for me! I tell ya, if my room was in town they'd all be walking me home that night. I had such a great time at Crossroads.

I arrived back @ Rim Nam around 1am. The boy was there again waiting for me. I told him no, no, not necessary to wait on me I'm ok; he said he wanted to make sure I was safe. He walks me down to room again & left. What a Gent!

Each night in Mae Hong Son I slept freezing, though the days were hot. I left all long sleeves in CM. In the morning, I had breakfast at GH & headed towards Doi Inthanon. It must have been 40 degrees riding. All the mutts were out in the streets sunbathing thinking they were on the beach of Phuket. Not one got up to move, they were enjoying the weather. When I turned on Route 1263, I decided not to go see the Sunflower as the girls told me to do so. I saw their pictures...Sunflowers to me so I rode on.

Out of nowhere, there was a mongrel mutt seemed to be a ½ brown Labrador but the face was an ugly Pug. I stopped & looked a little closer. So tempted to pull the string out in my bag & tie it around his nuts so they can drop later to stop the inbreeding in Thai. Knowing it was most probably somebody's best friend I rode on.

I didn't ride up to Doi Inthanon been there once, all in my head, same as temples. I do recommend most definitely seeing it & the temples, but the majority to me all looks the same as in Catholic Churches all around the world. I rode back to CM & same G/H. (This time around the only temple I was interested in seeing was the Grand Palace in BKK; which I did whilst in BKK.)

Left CM following morning to Nan for 2 days.
(in Internet room now, 1st Black man I seen, nice guy...Lordy, I hope he's not breeding over here....ooops, I'm wrong he has a beautiful Thai girlfriend). Yeah, I'm becoming an Expat, these Thai guys are at your beckon call over here & they're "free" if you're desperate for a man. Not like the demanding western men we know....Good Guys!!.....

There are no road rules here in Thailand, anything goes. In the States, I would have been ticketed enough for them to pull my license for life. Always heads up! Cars in CM I believe really look for you, form of habit for them. Just go with the flow. Best to follow the mopeds, they know what they're doing. If this was the US, plenty would be road kill by now. I wouldn't doubt these people could ride a bike a heck of a lot better than most in the US.

I have noticed the Mae Hong Son loop or East you have to keep more alert than West towards Nan. Trucks/cars come around the sharp corner directly in your lane for no apparent reason. At times, you have to move quickly within your 5 feet of space between you & them. I always give them the advantage but always thinking of me.

From MHS to Mae Chaem going around a sharp corner there was a huge head on w/2 trucks. I stopped & asked if they needed help, I could tell it just happened. They said no. I couldn't believe both trucks totaled, both windshields smashed & no body was bleeding...Simply amazing...Oh yes, riding thru Mae Chaem I saw the sh*t class Hotel I stayed passed Feb...why I rode on to CM.

On to Nan (NYC) the following day for 2 nights, I took Routes 11 / 1023 / 101. Stayed & ate @ Dhevaraj Hotel. I crashed for 11 hours. Nice soft bed for 400 BT including breakfast. Each morning the food was cold. My intended routes the next morning was to take 1168 / 1225 / 1169 / 1081 / 1080 back to Nan.

Somehow I got off track. I rode down 1168 / ? to Rom Klao. This is where you don't see the word "Ban" on map. I sort of knew something was wrong cas' the mile markers were all white w/no #s. It was a great road as I thought it was surely going to lead to somewhere. Nice pavement turned into cement, then gravel eventually I'm back on the dang dirt roads again. I noticed the electrical lines ended it seemed. I followed thinking I might as well check it out being this far out. The dirt road came to end. I felt as if I road into a cult compound. Not even a word from any kids laughing. I didn't feel scared. I said; "sawadee ka", no one said a word or any movement. I said; "Thailand", still nothing only gapes not even a smile. I said; "Laos", this one lady nodded slowly; no smiles the whole time. I said thank you in English turned around the road didn't seem to go any father either way.

I was still in their village & I seen a hand made sign a few times that said 1241. I looked at my map & I knew damn well I wasn't that far down south. When I arrived back onto the cement road, I walked over to the electrical lines trying to figure out where I was. No clues on the post like in US.

Rode out the way I came in & made another mistake taking Route 1168 to Nam Pun. This I have to admit was a fabulous road to the end & back. Makes me wonder why they have this beautifully paved road leading to nowhere literally.

Finally figuring out where Route 1225 was then took Route 1257 to 1081. Route 1257 was a dream road across the ridge of hills/mtns. Between Na Kham & Bo Klua, I couldn't believe they still haven't finished the construction on this road. I remember this construction site from last time cas' I put on a show for the fellows falling down in the dirt. I succeeded this time not doing it once again.

Now 4pm, there was no way I could make it around the loop. I headed east on Route 1256 thru Doi Phukha Nat'l Park. My luck ½ way thru they threw down 4-6 inches of dirt spraying it with water. My 1st thought, I'm never going to get out of here in time before dusk. All tense up, thinking I'm on a poor guided tour to the Arctic Circle on the Dalton Highway they're paving I rode slowly thru the mud.

I eventually got the hell out of the mess w/o falling took 1080 back to Nan. That night I ate at the Da Darios Italian restaurant & it wasn't easy to find either David [I say Italy they say huh?] No more American food for me on this trip. It was ok, but I'm in Thai.

Another thing I want to point out is every town (besides CM) closes down by 6pm. It's dark no doubt, but sometimes you go w/o eating. I just let the Singha fill my belly.

Next morning I left for Chiang Khong. Routes 1080 to Huai Kon 1st & gassed up. These people in this town were so nice. If I had the time, I would have loved to stay there. (I would have done the whole loop to 1081 thru the Nat'l Park, I just couldn't deal w/the Alaska mud from yesterday. I went back to the Thai Border Police & asked in my best Thai if I could ride up to the border of Laos. They didn't seem to understand why I would want to do that. I pulled out my passport & gave it to them & said I be right back. All these Thai Police guys are so lovable. You never have to worry at any time. Got my passport back & one Police pointed his finger on his cheek for a kiss. So funny....I gave all 4 a kiss on the cheek & took off with smiles.

South on Route 1080, I planned to cross over onto Route 1097 but no luck finding it in Chiang Klang. Even back tracked on bypasses, no signs. I rode down the bypass to catch the Route 1148 North. Sure enough this route had a clear sign that read "Route 1097". This is another must do road both ways! Wonderful ridge riding & the views are brilliant. When I arrived in Chiang Klang, I wander No. & So. No signs whatsoever for the 1097. If there are, I missed them. On the way back I stopped at the Tad Man waterfall, yep it looks like a waterfall, last one I plan on seeing during this trip.

Back on Route 1148 to Route 1021 in Chiang Kham, I was stopped by police cas' a parade was about to begin. I have no idea what it was for. The whole city seemed to be in it (300+). All eyes looking at me as they walked by & I thought I have to get off this bike, less attraction for them. I stood in a corner up a few steps up from the bike & one of the girls/ladies said "hello America!" I smiled & waved, they all started waving. How she knew I was from US, I don't know. I wasn't wearing Red, White & Blue stripes.

I could see they were passing words down the rows of the parade. This man yelled; "marry me." I took off my sunglasses & they all started blowing me Argentina kisses & I in return. I was smiling so much; my upper lip was sticking to my gums. Another man said; "wait for me". Yeah sure dude, I'm out of here as soon as police says I can go. This parade lasted 45 mins. I felt like a freak, but not. I remembered Majon (Long Neck) telling me it doesn't bother her tourist coming in & looking at her. I had to think the same.

It was now 5pm, not good for me. I planned on taking Route 1155 but had to take Route 1020 to make good timing. Full throttle to Chiang Khong, in Chom Phu I passed a Patrol Police on a moped & I'm going 120ks. I thought utoh, but then he couldn't catch me even if he wanted to.

Arrived in CK, city looks same/same again. I asked 3 times & finally found David's #1 favorite Bungalow # 7 at Tam Mi La G/H & it was available. (I notice right next door to this G/H is the Huanthai Sophaphan "Teak House" Resort I stayed last Feb. Fond memories of this place, recommend this G/H as well.)

The lady owner & her sister wanted to talk & I only wanted to hit the sack. (You ride all day, bum tired & as always, only hard chairs to sit on when you get off) I told her David recommended her place on his website & she said; "Oh the Map man. He wants me to sell his Laos maps". She also said for me to tell David she has 10 rooms & not only Bungalow #7, blah, blah....(FUNNY!)

Here I am with no alcoholic beverage in me, while one in hand to be opened. It's dark carrying bags & I'm thinking how in the hell does David with drink in him make it down the stairs, his footsteps crossing the cobblestones & back up the stairs to Bungalow #7 without stumbling or falling down. GOOD BALANCING ACT DAVID!! I had to find my Coleman's flashlight to find the light switch.

It is an exquisite sexy bungalow with mighty fine porch with burned candles telling me someone has been having séances, right on the Mekong river. Inside 3/4 of the walls were window with silk curtains. I had a very hard time undressing. I didn't want to put on a show for the onlookers outside. I turned my small lantern on instead.

After shower, I searched for porch light & turned on, I didn't scream, but I didn't expect these buggers. My heart stopped. There were 2 - 10in + lizards on the wall. We all didn't move. I didn't mind the camellians @ Veerachai Court in CM, this was a startling matter. They should be in an aquarium @ the pet shop. I turned the light off & tried not to think of them.
Still on the porch, I'm brushing my hair out & this cat brings up a rat & lies under the bench by my door. 1st thought, I have no plans on smelling the odor in the morning so I chased the cat away. He out there in the garden actually playing the cat & mouse game. Poor rat was still alive.

All emotions drained around 7:30pm, I drag my behind up to the main road to find this Findley man pub. I walked up & down, no luck. No food being served...Large Singha please....

I went back & sat on the porch to watch the lights in Laos to go off @ 10pm. By 10:45pm, lights still on I went under my net. The owner said she wanted to come in & check if I was still alive following afternoon. She said I need to rest & stay another night which I did...It was passed 1pm.

I have to admit typing this is the last thing I want to do after riding all day. I take small notes then sometimes forget to add on here. Excuse any errors, I'm tired every time I type, humor sometimes leaves me. Sorry if any of this is boring. I hope you appreciate my time & efforts David!!

I neglected to point out a few things. All these roads are great riding roads. The men posting their opinions on gt-rider.com are exactly what they said. I copied and pasted a lot into MS Word for routes to take when I came over to Thailand. Why I don't go so much into details of roads besides when it comes to dirt.

Neglected to mention in Pua; this town is little more than a place to fill your stomach and fuel but is nearby to Ban Pa Klang. Situated by a scenic lake it is a great place to buy excellent silver at wholesale prices. Expect to pay 40 - 50% less than you would in CM. To reach Ban Pa Klang from Pua take the turn-off to the Nat'l Park in Ban Hua Doi. You will take a sharp right turn after which there is a concrete road off to the right and slightly up hill. Take this road appr. 2-3 ks and you will come to a pretty lake. The silver shops are around the far side of the lake.

K, back to 2nd day in CK. During breakfast @ G/H sister told me to go get a Thai massage at "Chiang Khong Thai Msg" right up the alley from G/H & across the street to the right. Their names are Gonya & Nai. We loved trying to talked to one another....fun girls too. Nai said in her broken English, you need to stop going "room-room" all over Thai, why my right shoulder/neck all tight from holding grip, they even didn't mind doing my bum either, nor did I ever have feeling I'm turning BI. They said to come back tomorrow morning & they take care of my neck & bum before I leave for Mae Salong, which I did.

It was so hot I could barely walk around CK. I went back & took a power nap waking up early enough to get eats before they close up for the night. I ate at 71 House, very good food. (Next to Bamboo Riverside Mexicano restaurant.) I always let the Thais pick my food for me. I only tell them not spicy hot & no curry. Every time all-excellent. Never order glass noodles. I did that 2nd night in CM & my whole body was on fire. I had to drink 2 Singha in 15 mins before my body cooled down.

I was still trying to find the Findley guy's pub but no success. I walked down to the Bamboo Riverside & the man told me he sold the pub to some Thais & went back to Findley leaving his Thai wife behind, that figures. (You'll see so many abandoned Thai girls w/kid(s), no father luding around.)

I don't like walking in bars by myself nor do I go to bars in US. There were some Thai guys playing pool (snooker) [up alley to the left on main road - outside pool hall] I asked if I could play & they were thrilled I even asked. I haven't played pool in a long time; use to have a caliber eye. They couldn't believe when I kicked their arse 2 times. The owner was laughing. He speaks very good English & said these boys are here every night playing. So I taught them how to play Screw your neighbor, 9 ball, call ball (only way to play) & how Americans girls rack the balls.

I had so much fun that night. One of the players named Bek said you have chopper in America? (I had a rhinestone HD emblem on my shirt). He said he be right back. He came back with his chopper & showing me his colours (patches for his jacket) He gave me a sliver HD eagle pin he made & put it on my shirt. He owns a silver shop No. up the road. I'm sitting on the bench saying I need to go to sleep & Bek comes over gets down on his knees & lays his head side ways on my lap. I looked @ the owner & he said, Bek is saying he doesn't want you to leave. I rub his head & said I'll be back sometime soon. Awww so sweet. They all pointed their finger to their cheeks for a kiss good-bye. This has to be a NE Thai thing, I'm thinking.

On they way back to my G/H I grabbed a Singha from the frig. (They have an honour system here) & did my very best not to fall stumbling to Bungalow #7. Another heart stopper was when I turned on my Coleman's lantern there was the largest cockroach in my glass finishing off the leftover Singha I left behind. Oh sh*t, I'm back in Louisiana!! I dreaded the walk back to get another glass at the G/H eatery. In the morning, the fricking cocks woke me up @ 5:30am telling me it's time to wake up, and no it's not I'm thinking. I went in my bag & got my earplugs & fell right back to sleep.

Left CK around 11:30am after my Thai massage to Mae Sa Long. I took the parallel road from main in CK to fuel up & couldn't believe there was a Catholic Church off one of the side roads. I walked in & there was no priest I can repent my sins too....so I blessed my own self with Holy Water & left.

I took the route around the Mekong river, real nice. Jumped on Route 1129. Looking at map not sure of Routes, but rode thru Chiang Saen up to the Golden Triangle. Went up the road next to the Opium Museum to see the view & onto Rong to Mai Sai. (I didn't get off bike for pics or any souvenirs, been there before + all the tourists.)

I stopped at the Mai Sai GH to say hello & to tell the father, "it wasn't me" who did the damage back in Feb. 2003. I offered him 500bt to make amends but he didn't take it only laughed. He asked where my man is & I said, don't know. I here all by myself. The daughter made dinner for all of us & I left around 4:30pm. He & his 2 sons are now coming to CMBKWK. I was going to take a different route to Mae Sa Long but she said I wouldn't make it before dark. I believed her & took her Routes 1 / 1130 / 1234. Route 1234 was real fun with hardly any sun.

I stayed at Mae Sa Long Resort. 600 bt vs. 1000 bt back in Feb. for same room. The monkey was still there as I rode by, I'm thinking, I not walking over there. The monkey attacked a Chinese boy last time, he's screaming & I couldn't stop crying tears of laughter it was so funny. The bellboy remembered me. His friend comes over on his moped to help w/my bags. He could speak some English. I told him my name & he said his name is Foo. I said how do you spell Foo. He said, "FU". I said in America "FU" means & I gave him the middle finger.....They both understood what that meant & we all cracked up laughing. Fu said he needs to change his nickname, we couldn't stop laughing.

Fu said how much Thai you speak, I said very little w/my index & thumb, but I know Chinese. Their eyes turned huge..then I said naw...only joking. (Mae Sa Long mainly Chinese) They took my bags up to my room & Fu asked if I wanted him to bring me whiskey or beer. I told him to go buy 6 large Singhas & we all drank out on the porch over looking MSL for a couple hours. No eats again this night, too late.

The next time I go to Mae Sa Long, I plan on staying at the Golden Dragon Inn. 300bt a night. She showed me her rooms & I thought they were very nice. She has a restaurant & Internet. All very convenient.

Riding into Mae Sa Long east to west you will see a huge Wat. It's at the top of the hill behind central MSL or turn right before MSL Resort. It offers spectacular views of the surrounding area. Winding steep roads though circular taking approx. 10 to 15 mins to get to the top. The view is particularly worthwhile in the early morning when the mist often fills the valley. This Wat itself if far from spectacular.

Next morning did a short ride to Tha Ton to drop my luggage off before I did this certain ride. I stayed at Garden Home Resort, 600 bt. Including breakfast. I LOVE this place.
I copied this route someone posted on David's board to see if I could earn some baht since it was a guaranteed excellent ride. I rode So. on 1089 took bypassed to Fang & No. on Route 1178 / 1322. I saw the G/H he wrote in Ban Chong & I thought to myself, I wonder how many people actually comes to stay here for the night. I turn on the dirt road going to Kae Noi. Bumping as hell. If you like dirt roads I totally agree with him. Hardly anyone is on this road; you can haul arse, but not me in dirt. No ruts like some of the other back roads I've been on, but enough thick dust for me to turn bike over if I went fast. The road really fools you, you think you're back on pave road & sure enough back to dirt. This went on for a long time. Very good road for the dirt bikers like he said.

This is the 1st time the border police asked me to stop but with smiles. (why I took my bags off before I left. I didn't want them searching around my bags for drugs; nor do I do them) One asked; "where you come from?" I said; "Tha Ton". (said that on purpose to get them to laugh; which they did) No, no he said what country, America I said. More he said pointing down the road I came from & I shook my head no & I point to me only. One he said, yes one. Me only. All the Police started laughing & shaking their heads. Theses police were tall ones too. They said chok dee ka & I road on to Doi Ang Khang. Since I'm sooooooooo slow in dirt I couldn't do the full route around the Burma border it was 4pm. I had to get on Route 1249 to make back to Tha Ton before dark.

It's apprx. 6:30pm, small quiet town Tha Ton. I was looking for another restaurant then eating at G/H as I did before. I see nothing & asked some foreigners & they say the best place to eat is at my G/H....figures. I walked back, but glad to get blood running in my bum. Back in my bungalow by 8pm ready to take a shower & all the lights go out....couldn't believe it. So I bathed with my baby wipes, went outside on the riverbank, and drank some more Singhas to make me pass out. I notice the balcony they had once before in Feb is now gone. I remember my gentleman friend almost fell over in the river last time when one of the bamboo railings broke, funny. They could have fixed it, although I guess easier for them to tear it down. Such a bummer for me. Oh yes, they gave me 200 bt back for the inconvenience.

You must go see the 2 Wats across the river up the hill whilst there. Beautiful, but like I said before, been there, done that.

Next day plan was to stay in Phayao. I took Route 1089 So riding thru Fang (NYC also); I was totally baffled I actually saw the sign for "Cheers". I thought about going down that alley to ckout the Famous Red Head, but thought, naww....Someone thinks he figured out the truth, which I really doubt.

Road on down 1089 to 109 / 118 / 120 / 1193 / 1. It was only 1pm & I wasn't ready to stop riding. It was Thursday & I knew Joe & Tom wanted to change my front tire out before my ride with the North Comets. I decided to ride back to CM so they can change out on Friday...giving them a break having not to work on the weekend. I started heading toward CM.
I took Route 120 to Wang Nua & headed So. on Route 1035. I cut across in Khuang Kom to 1157. These 2 roads aren't any thing to write about, but you can be speed racer. No one is on these roads till you get closer to Lampang. So many people waving at me, I was stunned when 2 monks around 30yrs waved & smiled at me for the 1st time beside the others ones looking. I cut across 1093 to catch Route 11 to CM. Awww...the fumes...throat closing up, back on penicillin.

Stayed at Veerachai for the weekend. Went to Rudy's pub that night. Friday morning was the 1st time I woke up w/a hangover. It must be that delicious Weihenstephan German beer. Went to Joe's & Tom's place by 1pm & laid on the bench with a HUGE headache & talked to Gonya. She a wonderful lady that works at Joe's Goodwill. If you talk, she'll talk to you. She became a very good friend of mine. (More to come regarding our disco night out)......Early to bed that night.

Next morning Lek, Secretary of North Comets came & picked me up @ 8am...I'm thinking why so early!!! Best looking man I've seen in Thailand, forget Antonio Baneras in MHS. Lek's a heart throbber, every girl dream man come true!! I'm thinking to myself, control yourself....I mistakenly found him via e-mail on Internet. We e-mailed a few times previous, I could tell he is a decent man.

To help their CMBKWK event I volunteered to collect donations for them to sell/auction. "Harley Davidson of Cincinnati" gave me over $3,000.00 (retail) worth of donations to support their event to donate the Baht earned to go to a abused wimmims shelter in CM. I dropped the huge luggage + mine @ his office, he was in BKK at the time. I couldn't believe he never opened it. He waited for me to open it in front of him.

He took me to his home...I'm thought to myself; "yes, Lek is the real Mastiff", if I might add; he owns 2 pedigrees. 1st time I seen a live Mastiff besides in pictures. I could tell he couldn't believe how much "Harley of Cincinnati" donated. He already sent a thank you card to HD of Sin City & he said that was not enough. He introduced me to another member, uhm...I think Tu, nice guy. They gave me so many Ts, pins, patches + planning to give me more when it comes in to take back to "Harley of Cincinnati". We all leave Monday, Dec 1-5 for the ride to Mae Sot to meet up with the groups coming to CMBKWK. I am looking very forward to ride with them. I already told Lek, no laughs that I'm on a Honda, not a Harley...

After he took me back to my motel. I decided to ride up to Phrae. Routes 11 / 1001 / 1150. I remember some fellow posted on David's site to stop by this wine place called Chiang Dao Hill Farm. I asked the Police Checkers where it is at & they pointed me in the right direction. I missed my wine, getting tired of Singha beers. I bought 2 bottles, ate lunch/dinner upstairs & had 2 glasses of "Red Wine". I could have drunk a whole bottle, but I still needed to ride to CM. I concur with him, a place you need to stop at. I had the best meal here in Thailand or maybe I was just in lala land sipping my wine I missed whilst looking down on the spectacular grounds below.

I have so much to type for latest report w/the Ride I took w/the SE Asian riders. To all the rest, I had the best time in my young life with all these men. They are far from any USA HD men. Good guys. They took care of me the whole time for hotel/eats & drink expenses. They were so delighted to have an American girl to actually do the ride with them even though I wasn't on a Harley.

Gonja knew I wanted to go to the Discos since I was neglected last time in February. She took me to "Nice Illusion" on Muang Wang Road. All Thais, no farangs. They put on a great live Disco show. Different solo singers & dancers. We danced the night away. A lot of fun there if you like to dance. I thank Gonja so much for taking me. Please tell her Tom for me thanks!!

Of course there's never no time to rest in the early morning hours. Lek came by @ 8am so I can follow him to meet up with the other North Comets at a fuel station in CM. He knew I'd never find it.

I was introduced to few other No. Comets. Thum, Ooan (One), Poon & his girlfriend Pong whom is our back-up drivers following in Lek's truck in case of any breakdowns along the way.

Lek was riding his BMW RT100, One on his newest & greatest Suzuki Skywave 650, looks like a large moped to me, Thum on his custom wantabee Harley. You couldn't really tell it wasn't a Harley. Me of course, on my Honda 250 dirt bike. We all got along great! All very nice guys.

We rode down Routes 116 / 106 / 1 & stopped @ Tak Steak house on Route 1. No. of Tak. (I wouldn't recommend this place for steaks. The cows are breed especially by the government, though it's not the best steak; though I'm in Thailand.) During lunch, I asked Lek why is all the grass burned in the mediums between the highway, people throwing out smokes still lit? He said; "they burn the grass so they don't have to cut it" & they all started laughing. Sounds reasonable to me. Maybe I should do the same to my yard back in the States; though my neighbors, the Jones' may not like it.

We left & took off to meet the others (approx. 40 bikes) at another Tak restaurant. They were coming from Singapore, Malaysia, Bangkok & I'm sure from another few SE Asia locations. I felt totally isolated on my dirt bike. I was pouting for my Harley so bad.
Majority (98%) had custom Harley Road Kings, couple of Fat boys, Softails, 1 Honda Goldwing & another BMW. All solo riders besides 4-6 had a mate on back. They said they thought it was rather unique, having an American female rider. I still thinking I needed my Harley. I felt like a fool, totally misfit on the Honda. Everyone was so kind introducing him or herself to me. I no longer felt out of place after their kindness.

We all rode Route 105 on our way to Mae Sot. We stopped at a viewpoint, I didn't write down, but I think it was Taksin Maharat Nat'l Park. From there we rode onto Mae Sot & arrived at "Central Mae Sot Hotel". After finding out the cost @ hotel was 1,200BT for the night. I walked out to my bike to find me a cheaper place. One of the riders came out & he said; "Jade where are you going?" I said; "this place isn't on my budget, I need to find a less expensive place in town. He was sweet & said; "no, no, don't worry about it. We all agreed to help pitch in to pay for your cost for room/food/drinks during the ride. You need to stay with the group." I didn't like the idea being a taker, but he made it clear not to worry about it.

After checking into my room, this was the 1st time I ever saw a box of condoms in the room for sale for 100bt. I had to take the box for a sovereign for my sons. We all rode to Khaomao Khaofang restaurant for dinner. I couldn't believe how heavenly this place is. Most definitely going back for my honeymoon if I ever remarry. They ordered the food, & all was too good to eat.

After eating, this Indian looking man from Malaysia named Archim, asked if he could ride my bike & he give me his Fatboy to ride. I didn't have any hesitations saying "no". We rode through the streets of Mae Sot town. I'm in my shorts & high heels sandals riding this Fatboy. The other riders had to take a 2nd look to see who I was. I just smiled.

Later we were all out in the Beer Garden @ the hotel drinking, wine, cheap whiskey & beer. Every time they filled their glass w/the cheap whiskey they toasted "Happy Birthday" before taking a sip. It wasn't anybody birthday another form of saying "cheers". I just followed the program & went along. I was having too much fun w/them & didn't want to say no to the cheap whiskey. What harm can 40% do?

They wanted to know who wanted to wake up @ 6am to ride to "Magic Mountain" the following morning. I said; "Magic Mountain is in Disneyland". They started laughing. It is suppose to be an optical illusion your bike is going down hill, but bikes feels it is going up. (Help me on this one David) It sounded interesting but for me, I'd rather sleep in; so I did.

Later that night, they're eating again inside. No can do I said. They said I had to eat the rice & etc. to help the alcohol digest. Belly too full from dinner, still no can do. I told them I rather dance to the solo singer. Some men got up to dance with me. We were having so a splendid time. I saw across in the other room they had a pianist playing alone. I asked who wants to come w/me. Some did. The pianist was glad we came in. He's playing any requests, them it came down to the guys asking if they can karaoke to his playing, so they did. They started singing country & I was teaching the men how to do the Texas 2-step. A lot of toes were being stepped on. It was 3:30am, we all decided to hit the sack.

The following morning, Lek called me @ 9am & told me to get up everyone is outside waiting for me. I was soooooooooo hung over from the booze, mainly the cheap 40% whiskey. I told Lek to go on, I'll catch up with them. He said well turnout of the hotel towards the restaurant we ate at the following night & follow that rode. Yeah, yeah, sure, sure, I remember.....unlikely. I need my beauty sleep.

I finally rose from my bed went downstairs for breakfast & I felt like sh*t. This was a really bad hangover. Lek sends back a Poon to the hotel to make sure I'm up & I told him to go away, promising, I'll catch up. Getting on the correct road to MHS Route 105 was not easy in my condition. I'd stop & ask; "Mae Hong Son?" 3 different times people pointed me to the Burma border crossing. I made it to the border, stopped to think, then my head really started to pound. Knowing I wasn't that stupid that MHS isn't in Burma. My mistake was I should have asked where is Mae Sariang, not MHS. I know I killed a few brain cells in the previous early hours, not looking good.

Finally someone knew what I meant. Riding up Route 105 the group didn't get far maybe 10 miles @ the most. Someone was having bike problems. First thought to the brain, I could have slept another hour!!!

All were asking if I was ok. No, I not ok, I need to lie down on this bench. No more cheap whiskey for me. Thum comes over & said; "Jade you made it!" I said; "NO MORE HAPPY BIRTHDAYS!!" This other man comes over & asked what were the condoms on my hotel checkout receipt. I was so embarrassed!! For my sons I said. I'm thinking, yeah, yeah, laugh all you want. I'll explain myself later. I wasn't in a laughing mood yet, still dehydrated from the cheap whiskey.

We took off & stopped somewhere for fuel. One (No. Comet), Zack (30y) from Singapore on a 95th special edition Road King telling me how fast he is & they wanted to race me. Sure boys, I'm totally up to it with a hangover. We left the group & went out racing up the 105. Route 105 is nice & easy for awhile eventually the jungle was taking over the road, more sharp curves & I'm thinking, I'm going at my pace...I'll catch up to them later.
Whilst riding, I'm thinking how in the hell are these Road Kings + other big bikes going to make it thru without hitting all the dirt & gravel. Hell I wouldn't do it with my Harley.

I finally caught up to Zack it wasn't good. His bike was down. I got off my bike to help him pick his bike up. He missed going over the cliff by 2 ft. He told me a monkey came out in front of him. I didn't say a word. (I'm thinking monkey my arse.) His bike looked totaled to me. I was so tempted to pull out my camera, but couldn't do it to him. I asked if he needed any of my 1st aid & he said he was ok. He didn't have hard pads on but soft pads. He slid at least 20 feet. No broken bones, no blood, unbelievable I'm thinking. He basically took the corner too fast, hitting gravel & turned bike down. We let other riders ride by, & I couldn't believe they couldn't see his bike smashed! He said; don't say a word.

I could see in his eyes he wasn't looking forward to stop his father (David) coming around the corner, + a few others & the truck. All 6 of us lifted his bike onto the small bed truck. I told Zack to take my bike & I'll ride behind his father on his HD 1550cc Custom Road King, it's purple too! I knew Zack had to get back on a bike. He was shook up even if he didn't want to admit it. It didn't bother me riding on the back of his fathers', this way I can take more pictures.

I have to say the Singapore group, all had easy USA names to remember versus all the nicknames the others had.

After Zach's crash, (many miles before the huge refugee camp on the left) him with no bike for the remaining time, I gave him my Honda 250. I couldn't see his trip ruined for the remaining time riding b*tch behind some male. His father, David concurred I could ride behind him after disappointed looks at his son for crashing, which is reasonably understandable.

David (Singapore) & I really didn't know each other. I hopped on the back of his stunning Purple Flames HD 1550cc Road King. (I'm thinking, if I have to ride the remaining trip w/him, I brought plenty of Purple outfits to match his bike [my bike is purple in the States]). I'm a couple inches taller than him or it could be my boots, but approx. same weight. It was funny to watch Zach's serious facial expression waiting for his father to lead & he follow behind on my bike. I bet he knew his papa wanted to put him over his knee.

I didn't want to say too much whilst David was riding, cas' I didn't know how he was feeling at the time in regards to his son Zach just crashing. After so many miles, no music playing in my ears incase he wanted to say something. I was going slightly frenzied not able to take it any longer, so I broke the ice by speaking first. I said I was so happy Zach's being blessed not going over the cliff; otherwise, I would have never of known passing he was down there. Nobody would have. I know he was grateful I stayed with his son; then again I'm thinking he may be thinking if I hadn't raced him this wouldn't have happened. Like I said, I don't know what he was thinking.

It was light chatting, I know he had to watch the road + my extra weight behind him for added per caution. After I was feeling a little more comfortable, I was telling him how Zach said a monkey came out in from of him & he tried to dodge it. That's when David opened up his wall of silence & said; "He's the monkey! There wasn't any monkey! (He can't see me in the back laughing my arse off) I looked at the marks on the road; he took the corner too fast. He also said, there is something about how Harleys are made; you can't take a curve to the right as you can to the left. I told him I understand exactly what he meant. For some odd reason I can't do a right turn as I can a left turn on my 1200 Sportster & I don't know why. I thinking wow, I have an intelligent man in front of me. Never thought of that logical reasoning.

We talked & we laughed. I pulled out my camera & started taking pictures of him & me whilst he riding. Turning around & taking pictures of Zach on my bike, laughing away...Zach was laughing too. For Zach to see, I pretended I was putting my hands all over his father's body, kissing him, acting like I'm laying my head on his back & so on. I needed to make this ride much more enjoyable for all of us. David said what are you doing I can feel you moving all over the place. Oh sorry I said, I'm pretending...blah, blah....he started laughing & patted me on my left leg. He loved it.

David did become my ride for the remaining days. You know when you get behind a rider, you have no control over his ability of riding. It's all a matter of trust & I felt totally comfortable riding behind him not even knowing how he rides. I think he was going the average speed to make me feel more relax or maybe for him to get use to me in the back, don't know.

It's too bad Zach crashed, although I can honestly say, fortunate for me to find such a "genuine fine dazzling riding partner"; his father, David. He is an amazing dignified man; I have a high regard for him to this day. Our personalities clicked quite fast & we savored ever ride we rode together every day after. Well then again, you almost have to become close, not intimately, when you're together on one bike for 8-10 hours, then again in the evening before bed. In the end, we became very good friends. When I say "Friends", that is exactly what I mean. (Less what some "below the gutter minds" may think.)

Back to the ride, I kept turning around to Zach making hand emotions for him to pass us & put full throttle on. There was no reason for him to stay behind us, doubt he'll do anything silly + it's my rental bike; though I don't know the up bringing rules in Singapore. He wouldn't go around his father.

By now, David & I are both comfortable with one another on bike & each other. Then came the 3 horrific sections of dirt. The whole time I'm thinking I'm glad I'm not on my bike even though it's a dirt bike. I saw ahead of us the other riders had they're passenger get off the bike & walk. I asked David if he wanted me to get off & he said "no, no, I don't want you to walk". (Me, I'm evaluating the dirt I'm about to kiss at any time.) He actually rode thru the mess with me on back with no hesitation. He received a pat on the back from me; REAL MAN!! Each time, I'm waving/filming the others on bike or the females on foot, smiling away as David road thru it each time. They thought it was humorous.

We stopped for a brief break after we passed the dirt sections before Mae Sariang. I asked David if it's ok for Zach to ride ahead of us. He didn't care, so it must have been Zach's guilt, and he finally did after I told him his father didn't care.

Now some of you whom read this may think what's the BIG "D"eal on dirt? You have to remember; these SE Asian men were on heavy bikes (i.e., Road Kings, Fat Boys, Gold Wing, etc.) What they rode thru on their bike, I'm very proud of them. They are like no other I have ever seen in the States. I went around & told each & every one how proud I was of them. Day later, I even put a posting on US HOG, how these SE Asian men have more balls than any HD American. Harley of Cincinnati watched the videos & couldn't believe it either.

The group stopped in Mae Sariang for lunch, (sorry David overlooked to take note of eatery). The group at my table did the ordering every time. They always ordered food items for all to share. They told what I'd like or not or even try it. No complaints from me either. Sometimes I had to forget my etiquettes & eat with my fingers unable to use chopsticks. How they eat with a fork & using their spoon as a knife, don't know.

On our way to Mae Hong Son, I told David we are never going to make it by dark. He just said don't worry about it. Easy enough for him to say, but I have no control of the handlebars either. Sure enough it was dark & we were 100+ ks So. away from MHS & all the twisty curves ahead. I told David I was scared to ride in the dark in Thai, again all he said, don't worry about it. I'm watching from behind every move he is making. Out of the blue, David said to me, "You ok?" "I'm ok, are you ok?" He said yes & he took off like a bolt of lightning.

Here I am on a back of his Road King in the dark in Magic Mountain wanting to scream. My stomach didn't drop but I most definitely know my heart likely stopped a couple of times. He gave me natural rushes than any roller coaster I'd ever been on. There was times I wanted to put my hand over my eyes not to even look but had to watch to make sure he doesn't make a mistake & I can hopefully speak up soon enough that he can react! I sense that as if death was soon to be near. I looked over his shoulder to look at his speedometer, couldn't believe he was doing 60-80 Ks around the "S" curves, 30-40 Ks around the "L"s. Every so often his floor board pegs or tailpipes would hit the pavement flying sparks, he say "oops", like whoopee doo!! He passing all the other riders, as if to say to them, "hey you're riding much too slow for me." As soon as I had time when he was on a straight section of the road, I said; "I need my wine now, not later." He just giggled, patted me on my left knee, & back to the racetrack.

Before we arrived at the Imperial Tara Mae Hong Son Hotel in MHS where they would be staying, I told David to drop me off @ my G/H. I've always cherished. (Rim Nam) He asked why & I told him cas' I love that place & I don't need all this fancy style of living or eating. He said; "no". Then I asked if at least can we go by there so I can show him the place & also so I can get a drink to calm my nerves; he agreed.

As we passed the Imperial Hotel some of the others were there telling us to turn left & we rode on. David said; you know they're all going to wondering what were doing, gossip is going to start. I said; I don't care, do you? (People he knows, not me) He got a kick out of it & said "no". When we arrived at Rim Nam, here comes my little 25+ boy smiling with glee I came back. Previously, he thought my bike was cool by far until he looked at David's bike. He asked in questioned where's my bike & told him in my limited Thai that David's luuuk chie (son) crashed his bike & has mine now. David looked @ me & said; I didn't know you know you spoke Thai. I smile & said; I don't, only some.

The boy took us up to the eatery on the river (on same grounds as G/H). The mother wanted to know if I wanted a room. (None really speaks any English here). I had to explain I only wanted to get 2 Singhas & show David her lovely place; which she allowed. David like the place but said I'm still coming back with him.

Whilst we sat at the table drinking our Singahs, this is when we really began chatting to get to know one another. We began on the Hell ride he took me thru. He said after a little while he could tell I knew how to be a passenger on a bike by my movements. Oh great I thought!!! Why he asked if I was "ok". He said in his younger years, he use to be a professional racer. I said; what the hell do you mean your younger years, are you an old man now?....He laughed, saying you know what I mean by the idiom...Yes in my younger years, I was a teenager; I said. We both laughed. I asked him if he was a Roman Catholic since Zach told me he was. David said; "Zach's a 'Romantic' Catholic." I never heard that line before; I'll use that in the future for myself. We were there approx. for an hour & he said we need to get back before we're the last ones to arrive. Then the inquiry minds would really be wondering what mischief we're up to. The boy walked me out & asked when he would see me again. Real sad I thought, here's someone who can't wait to see me again. I told him maybe in a couple of years. He was happy then & I kissed him good-bye.
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