Chiang Muan to Phrae - Day 5 of Riding 135 kms
A huge day with approx 65kms of hill climbing followed by 70kms of highway cycling. A great aerobic workout climbing hills for a big part of the day in the humidity, getting the heart rate elevated then down to a lower rate when descending, commonly known as interval training.
Riding through the Doi Phu Nang national park we were able to listen to some of the animal life in their habitat, smell the scent of wild flowers and dodge the odd snake crossing in our path as we meandered through some of the most beautiful parts of Northern Thailand.
Located in two mountain chains of the Phi Pan Nam Range, Mae Yom and Nampi, with a not-protected area in between. There are both mixed evergreen forests, dipterocarp forest and dry deciduous forests in the park area.
Doi Phu Nang, the mountain that gives its name to the park, with an altitude of 1,202 m, is the highest peak in the area. The sources of two tributaries of the Yom River are in this mountain. The park also has scenic rock formations and two impressive waterfalls, Namtok Than Sawan and Namtok Huai Ton Phueng.
Trees in the protected area include Malabar ironwood, Afzelia xylocarpa, Lagerstroemia calyculata, Mangifera caloneura, Ailanthus triphysa, Michelia alba, Berrya ammonilla, Schleichera oleosa, Vitex pinnata and Pterocarpus macrocarpus.
A variety of birds are found, especially the rare green peafowls, threatened by habitat destruction, which come to the park area for breeding from January to March. Among the other animals, the fishing cat, Asiatic black bear, muntjac, masked palm civet, bamboo rat, tree shrews, the Asiatic softshell turtle and the Bengal monitor deserve mention.
A bit of relief for the aching quad muscles after breaking out onto the flat into the small town of Sawng for a well earned chicken and rice lunch.
After 435 kilometers and 5 days of riding, mostly mountains since leaving the Golden Triangle near Chiang Rai we were looking forward to a well earned rest day in the big country town of Phrae.
Truck Sams and crew on The Long Ride Home Northern Thailand