Biking to Phu Toei National Park

(My one and only ever reliable Iron Lady)

On the advice of Steve, here I am at My name’s Charlie (from Belgium) and currently living and working in the small town of Suphanburi. My favorite hobby is biking and before coming to Thailand I’d already biked a lot of kilometers back in Belgium and Europe. Here in Suphanburi, I commute every day to my work and forth with my “IRON lady”. The first time I visited Thailand, my second love to my Iron Lady, was nearly 19 years ago and since then Thailand has never left me. This time around, I’ve been staying here 15 months…. and I do like it. Thailand is a real undiscovered biker’s paradise. Besides the cheap decent hotels everywhere, there are also good roads, restaurants and food stalls which are widely spread all over the country.

My “IRON LADY” is a self modified Yamaha Spark RX 135 cc . She always obeys me , and is a lot less thirstier than my ex-wife .I am 1m86 cm . The Thai bikes are really too small for me, so I lifted her up by 10 cm, I did it by extending the rear shock absorber .At The front , I replaced heavier and longer legs . I own her, since September 11th 2007.I rode 45000 kilometers on and off road together without any problems.

Last Saturday, 22 Nov, in the early morning, I was excited to be on my Iron lady again and all ready to kick off, for a full day of adventure at Phi Toei National Park. The plan for the today was to visit Tapern Khee Noi waterfall and Angel Mountain in Suphanburi province. Measuring at 1123 m high, Angel Mountain is the highest mountain in Suphanburi,. I had heard that there were breathtaking views at the top and some friends told me Tapern Khee Noy waterfall was also really worth a visit.
Phu Toei National Park is about 2 hours from Suphanburi and the main roads towards Phu Toei were excellent. At about 10.30, I made a short stop to eat something at some local restaurant and only had to pay 60 Baht for a full meal which was more than enough for me. So far so good.

(Tackling the final road up to Angel Mountain (Khao Thevada) is no easy task)

With my belly full, I kicked my iron lady again into action (she loves it ) for the final stage off the trip towards Phu Toei National park. This leg was the most adventurous part of the day. The next 20 kilometers where on paved roads without any road sings at all, saying where Phu Toei was.

Luckily, I can speak some Thai, but I still had to stop three times before a local could explain me the right direction!. Finally I found it, a narrow dirt road in between two houses .Without any help a foreigner would never be able to find it. The 16 kilometers long dirt road was covered with rocks and full of holes some 50 cm deep. Half way there was a river crossing (road as seen in the picture). At about 50 cm deep, a bit of caution is advised here – any help available far away.

I arrived at about 11.00 AM at Phu Toei and was met by a friendly ranger who advised me to visit the Tapern Khee Noy waterfall first. It was only a 500 meters walk away from the dirt road. The waterfall is in the middle of the jungle with a nice steep descent on very slippery paths. With my aging sandals it was a mistake on my part. However, I did manage to finally reach the waterfall. The waterfall isn’t so high, only 20-25 meters but the surrounding forest was amazing to see. The smooth sound of the waterfall with some birds playing as backing vocals was the most relaxing moment of the day. I listened to the waterfall’s symphony for nearly 30 minutes.

(Breath-taking view from Angel Mountain)

The final stage off the day was the climb to the summit of Angel Mountain on foot. No vehicles are allowed up Angel Mountain which is great to maintain the unspoiled nature. The climb took me about one hour to reach the top of the mountain. This gave me a breathtaking view over the three provinces , Kanchanaburi, Uthai Thani and last but not least Suphanburi. Very satisfied about my day so far I went back down to return to my Iron lady. You know, she gets lonely when I leave her alone for a certain period of time.

On my way back I was about to went to pop into the Karen Village near the mountain, but I decided against it because I am not keen on riding in the dark in Thailand. This real problem for bikers in Thailand are the nightly stray dogs which can be very unpredictable, I’ve witnessed many accidents caused by stray dogs.

Back in Dan Chang town center, I stayed at the Sri Suphan Hotel which is a clean and very quiet hotel. Actually, I only paid 300 baht for an air conditioned room. The room was furnished with a good bed, night table and satellite television. Not bad value at all.

I finished my day at a local restaurant near my hotel with a good meal consisting of fresh tilapia fried with garlic. I quite fancied the hot looking waitress too but from the looks of things she was married to the cook. Not wanting him to poison my dinner, I remained a ‘good boy’.

Steve’s also written a blog on Phu Toei but he stayed in a different area of the park and overnight: Truly Unseen: Phu Toei National Park

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