Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Fort Carnot Huay Xai

Huay Xai doesn't have very much to offer in terms of tourist features, most people are hastily passing through back to Thailand or into Laos. Fort Carnot is a remnant of the old French Colonial days since their passing in 1954, like most reminders of those days little has been done to preserve this site, although various grants have been put in place but the funds did little to improve the site.
Little information to be found on the internet, a brief mention in wiki
With the exception of Luang Prabang very few of these old French structures remain intact and this being one of the only military posts left and another in Muang Sing.
The main entrance gate is now permanently locked, although access can be made through the opening to the right of the picture.

With a commanding view of the town it is located at N20.27182° E100.41530° pin pointed by a large Lao telecom tower.

The only sign i have seen of any improvement is this totally out of place aluminium doorset which was supposed to be a ticket office.

The main soldiers barracks the most preserved building but securely locked up, i don't know of anyone who has seen the interior.

The roof of the officers area now completely gone.

The main tower although in disrepair can easily be climbed via the metal stair put in place several years ago.

View back down to the entrance gate and the telecom tower.

Fort Carnot has some commanding views over town, giving soldiers clear views to protect the Mekong river from hostile intentions.

Obviously well manicured gardens at one time now being left to overgrow.

Pill boxes on all four corners would have made it very difficult for assault by enemy troops.

Each pill box giving 180 degree views and soldiers well protected by it's three feet thick walls.

Soffit and terracotta floor of the main barracks.

Pill box and tunnel to the old hospital, long gone and the tunnel now sealed.

Tunnel entrance.

presumably the old mess area.

Water trough which i presume was for horses from back in the day.

The main watch tower has been fitted with a new roof in recent years.

The tiled roof of the barracks badly in need of repairs or it will also collapse and be lost.

Main watchtower and rifle slits giving 360 degree protection.

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Doi Mae Salong Loop

Nice ride out in between the rain storms around 320 km's covered.

First job was to get off highway 1 which is a horrible stretch of road. nice riding through the villages and time to get a shot of the Chinese buddha at Wat Muen.

Choui Fong Tea Plantation gets bigger each time i pass.

We had intended to head for the border route at Mae Sai, but a huge storm ahead had us double back on the 1009, then onto the 1130 and take in the views.

The 1130 is a great road and hardly gets used, always guaranteed to bring a smile.

The ride down into the valley.

Abandoned market.

Yari was hungry so a quick dash in Mae Salong for lunch.

The 1089 leaving Mae Salong.

Grass cutting teams are always kept busy in the rainy season.

School bus, Thai style.

From here onto another seldom used road the 3037.

Time to regroup at the bridge over the Kok river.

Very swollen Kok river.

The 3037 is now in pretty good order with just a few spots of broken surface.

Three quarters of the way on the 3037, we turned into a huge storm approaching, so we decided to double back and get some shelter.

Still smiling, well almost.

30 minutes or so later the roads drying out and off we go.

Just had enough daylight left to grab some shots overlooking Mae Suai dam.

 Soon onto the 118 as darkness fell and a sprint back home, another great days riding in Norther Thailand.