Day Rides Via Phrao;

Discussion in 'Northern Thailand - Road Trip Reports' started by bigal, Aug 17, 2012.

  1. bigal

    bigal Ol'Timer

    I always find a ride up to and around Phrao fun. I have put 3 manageable day rides as loops on the BigAl website as a sort of series, to be honest I didn't quite know how to write them up here so here is the one I did (again) most recently. All are starting from and ending in ChiangMai.
    There is a map of these rides on Google but I still don;t know how to embed it on here so here is the link;
    The "Key" is; ChiangMai, ChiangDao, Phrao Loop. Blue on the map out to Phrao, Purple on the map back.
    ChiangMai, 118 ChiangRai Hot Springs, Phrao Loop. Red on the map out to Phrao, Purple on the map back.
    A combination of the 2; ChiangMai, Chiang Dao, Phrao, ChiangRai Hot Springs Loop. Blue on the map out to Phrao, red on the route back.
    All of these can be done in either direction even though I describe only 1 direction.

    ChiangMai ChiangDao, Phrao, ChiangMai.

    This has to be one of my most enjoyable rides when going out for a day or less. It is an all road route with the only bit of dirt being the track down to ChiangDao Nest which I guess is optional.
    It doesn't require an early start and I wanted to include breakfast at the afore mentioned Chiang Dao Nest. They do a good breafast there, one of the best with some pretty good sausages that are made by a lady in Chiang Mai. If you like them and want to know where to get them I have the details...
    The route I take is from Don Chan (which is my start point but anywhere will do) I take the 700 year road all the way to the junction with Highway 107 where I turn north. I don't stay on H107 for long, I turn off to follow the klong thus largely bypassing Mae Rim. I turn right at the crossroad with road 1096 and rejoin H107 again going north.
    H107 is a nice road, the colourful town houses at Mae Tang and the windy bit that goes over the hills to Chiang Dao. The still to be completed stretch coming into Chiang Dao before branching to the left to take the bypass. On this particular day it was pretty cloudy and I got my first bit of rain going over the hills towards Chiang Dao but to be honest it wasn't much. Just enough to keep the camera covered so not many pictures.
    At the top of the bypass (not sure how else to descibe it) there is a road left, well signposted to Chiang Dao Cave and Chiang Dao Nest.
    The view in the area is wonderful even on cloudy days.
    I like eating at Chiang Dao Nest, to be honest it doesn't matter if it is for breakfast or a later meal. I have yet to be disappointed and I doubt that I will. If you are just after coffee you can of course get that and very good coffee it is too but, there is also a Doi Chaang coffee on H107 not not far past the cave junction.
    The rain really started to come down just as I was eating breakfast and I was invited to stay until it was over. I gambled on the rain being very localised and so it proved, by the time I was back on H107 it had cleared. Of course the obvious question is did I stop at Chiang Dao cave? The honest answer is no, not on this occasion, for 2 reasons; 1 it was raining, fairly hard in that area and 2, I have been there many times before. It is definitely worth a visit though so if the weather is OK it is a good thing to include if you have never been.
    Back going north on H107 it isn't long before the junction with road 1150. R1150 to me is a road of 2 halves, from H107 to Phrao it is a good easy going rural road with nice scenery. The section from Phrao to H108 not only has great scenery but more than its fair share of mountain sections with tight bends and curves. On this ride I only did the H107 to Phrao section. Needles to say it enjoyed it a lot.
    Once in Phrao I called to fill the tank before joining another of my favourite roads, R1001 which is simply a great way to ride back to Chiang Mai.
    A nice optional addition is to take Road 1323 to the Mae Ngat Dam which is worth seeing on a nice day. I've included a photo from a different trip as an example.
    Was it a good day? Absolutely! The showers kept the camera out of use for the large part but with cooler temperatures what a good day.
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  3. Olaf Jass

    Olaf Jass New Member

    Hi big Al,

    Great trip. I have done this loop on several occasions, and would recommend it to anyone searching for a great day out. My question is, since I have a very irregular work shedule ( offshore ), I always ride on my own. Never with a riding buddy. It would be fun, to hook up with other bikers for a change. Any suggestions of Bike clubs here in CM, or others who might feel the same?

    Cheers Oli
  4. bigal

    bigal Ol'Timer

    Hi Oli
    Thanks for the comments. Appreciated. I am not much help on bike clubs but the first thing I would do is just check out this website to see what is happening, I know a few of the guys are off to Phrae next weekend 25th/26th August. Also check out the following venues, "the cafe" "number 1 bar and bistro" "Euro diner" and or the X centre.
    If you don't mind rides with fat slow riders then by all means get in touch with me, I enjoy a ride and a number of my riding mates have gone back to their original homes. You can message me here or via my website listed below or email



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