A quick update on the Elephant Trail that runs between Samoeng and Mae Hong Son.

Discussion in 'Northern Thailand - Road Trip Reports' started by Moto-Rex, Jan 31, 2015.

  1. Moto-Rex

    Moto-Rex Ol'Timer

    A quick update on the Elephant Trail that runs between Samoeng and Mae Hong Son.

    The tarmac surface from Samoeng to Wat Chan is in good condition, with most sections that were breaking up with big sharp edged potholes being resurfaced. There’s still about 12kms of dirt south of Wat Chan, but there working on that section now, and it shouldn’t be to long before its tarmac all the way to Wat Chan. There’s really only a 300 metre section that would be difficult on a road bike.

    Once it’s finished, it should be a good road ride from Chiang Mai to Pai.

    Fortunately, for us dirt riders, the track from Wat Chan to Mae Hong Son is still pretty much the same as it was 5 years ago. And apart from a few concrete sections, its dirt all the way, and in my opinion one of the best rides in Thailand.

    This is the dirt track from Wat Chan to Mae Hong Son.
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    Its 77km and takes around 2 hours 40 mins when its dry…when it’s wet it could take 2 or 3 times longer.

    The same with the vertical profile, Wat Chan to Mae Hong Son. I didn’t bother with the Tar road.
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    It was the first trip for the new KLX, and it was a good feeling being back on the road.
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    After a pit stop at Wat Chan, it was time to get a bit of red dirt on the new green machine.
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    It really is a great ride, nothing difficult, shade from the trees all the way, and hardly another person to be seen.
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    Cool ride.
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    I did this ride late December 2014

    Moto-Rex
     
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  3. Ian Bungy

    Ian Bungy Ol'Timer

    I agree a Great Ride through there! Very Scenic. Not sure how much longer as I have seen how much more land has been Cleared by HillTribe Squatters! When I first went through there was a lot of Jungle and the Track was Overgrown and fairly Narrow! There is a lot less Jungle now and the Road has widened Considerably!
     
  4. brian_bkk

    brian_bkk Ol'Timer Staff Member

    Nice one Rex..

    Cheers
    Brian
     
  5. Johpa

    Johpa Ol'Timer

    Given that you would be hard pressed to find an ethnic Thai between Wat Chan and the Fern Resort, it is rather problematic as to who are the squatters. But still the road remains one of the great dirt rides of the north, for at least a few more years as even the now paved road by my house was once a narrow technical dirt track under the canopy. Once they finish the paving from Samoeng to Wat Chan I believe they will focus on paving the elephant trail to MHS. And then the Bangkok folks will show up with title deeds to land that currently have no titles, the modern Thai version of squatting.
     
  6. Ian Bungy

    Ian Bungy Ol'Timer

    Love Your Explanation Randy! I think they will have to Fix the Stretch from Wat Chan to Pai first before they head to MHS! On the Squatting Deal, Normal Process is the Government give Title to the Hill Tribe, Thai Yai or Who ever is Squatting at the Present Time! Of Course they Immediately Sell it to the People from Bangkok or who ever has Money actually? Then they move on to another bit of non titled land and start the Process all over again whilst complaining of Persecution and Racism? Lets not forget they Don't Pay any Taxes and get Aid for most things? And Don't mention the Drugs Trade!
    Anyway back on Subject it is also a Nice Ride to Khun Yuam from What Chan!
     
  7. Ian Bungy

    Ian Bungy Ol'Timer

    There are quite a few Cross roads which You could take Wrong so best to get a GPS Map with the Trail marked or the GT-Rider Map You could follow?
     
  8. Oddvar

    Oddvar Ol'Timer

    Thanks for sharing.
    I will agree that the Elephant trail is one of the better rides in the North. But once in Wat Chan, there is a multiple choice of trails leading in all directions.

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  9. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Should be no trouble. Its clearly marked on the GTR MHS Loop map.
    Loads of village names & kms to help guide you along the way.
     
  10. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    I've been sitting on this pic for awhile. Its supposed to be a road in MHS that I'm not sure about, but I've been told it is the "Huai Pu Ling road," MHs - Wat Chan; however I'm not convinced. What do you guys say now - yes or no?

    [​IMG]

    Is his the ascent / descent from just after Fern Resort or....?
     
  11. Javawa

    Javawa Guest

    Yes it is. A quick look at Google Earth will confirm that.
     

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