Chiang Rai to Thoeng by bicycle – 70 km
Wanting to see some hidden secrets in the Chiang Rai region we decided to visit the mountains along the Thai-Laos border and so headed to the not so known, Phu Chi Fa. We were then able to carry on to the border crossing at Chiang Kong.
We did an additional cycle to and from White Temple in the morning adding on an extra 30 km to the day. See journey Wiang Pa Pao to Chiang Rai
Easy, flat and beautiful. Plenty of small coffee shops and options for eating. Several choices consisting of roads; 1232 out of the city, then splitting into other routes 1173, 1299, 1152. Only one sleeping option in the town of Phaya Mengrai (44km from Chiang Rai) and a couple more in the slightly larger town of Thoeng.
After making a return trip to the White Temple from Chiang Rai, we headed East into the sun along the 1232. With roadside eateries offering there best lunchtime noodle soups, giving us an early break. The road is gentle, well paved and has plenty to see in the way of local life. You will also pass this beautiful limestone pinnacle in the centre of a paddy field which is a great excuse to pull over and take the camera out.
The town of Phaya Mengrai, has a sweet little market offering a chance to replenish supplies plus one visible accommodation. However the day had been easy riding and we continued to push onto our eventual destination of Thoeng. This section again, is beautiful and in great condition. On the day we road along here, 21/10/15, there were huge celebrations in small villages with loud music and drunk waves, being our support on the road.
Finally arriving in Thoeng after sunset, we wandered a little lost in the slightly disappointing town in search of a bed. Disappointing is maybe a strong word but it was really just a junction town and we always enjoy the quiet of a rural village. Anyway we found a bed and then headed into the unknown to find some reasonable street food, a 7/11 offering other necessary amenities and ice cream! The accommodation we stayed in was clean, large and comfortable, we were also able to put our bikes inside. An early bed for us, after another 100km day (including the white temple in the morning in Chiang Rai).