Mae Hong Son Loop

Discussion in 'Northern Thailand - Road Trip Reports' started by chris malaysia, Aug 29, 2014.

  1. chris malaysia

    chris malaysia New Member

    Good day,

    Me and my friends (Experienced riders from Malaysia) will be landing in Chiang Mai Airport on November 2014. We would like to complete the Mae Hong Son Loop and our itinerary as per below. Since this trip is paid by our company, we will be renting our bike. We would like to know the best hotels to stay in Mae Sariang, Mae Hong Son and Pai. Also please recommend where should we stop, sight seing visiting whilst we ride these 4 days. I would really appreciate your replies. Thanks in advance. Chris.

    - Day 1 - Chiang Mai to Mae Sariang
    Distance is approx 180km and journey time approx 4hrs.

    - Day 2 - Mae Sariang to Mae Hong Son
    Distance is approx 166km and journey time approx 3.5hrs.

    - Day 3 - Mae Hong Son to Pai
    Distance is approx 109 km and journey time approx 2hrs

    - Day 4 - Pai to Chiang Mai
    Distance is approx 128 km and journey time approx 2hrs
     
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  3. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

  4. Deano747

    Deano747 Ol'Timer

    What dates in November?

    If it is around the 7th, it won't be a matter of which is the best, it will be a matter of where has accommodation. I have only been able to get limited rooms in all of those places for my group for that weekend, and I booked 3 months ago.

    Otherwise, as per David's post and depending on the level of accommodation you want, and how many people, Tripadvisor or Booking.com. 1 or 2 of you can just pitch up and find basic rooms, if your group is bigger or want a higher level of accommodation, then you will have to prebook.

    Have fun up there
     
  5. caveman

    caveman Member

    Chris.....you want to know the best places to stay in those cities? Given the fact that you will be riding so little each day, this will leave you beaucoup free time to explore hotels in the areas you visit. There are many hotels in the places you mention; except maybe for Mae Sariang, where you wills still find some decent and cheap accommodation. There is no use hunting for the "best place" in any of these areas, as there is so much to choose from and nothing can really be called the "best". I'd say you should just cruise around the cities and find accommodation where the action is......or where the action is NOT if that's what you prefer. It being the rainy season, prices will be low anywhere you go with no need to book ahead of time. The only possible exception to this guidance would be Chiang Mai, as there is so much available accommodation, but it depends on what part of the city you want to stay in. Feel free to email me if you like at cromagnon9669@gmail.com. A final note.....some folks may disagree with me, but you may not find the part of the trip from Mae Hong Son through Pai to Chiang Mai so pleasant. The twists and turns are TORTUOUS to say the least.....to the point where it's not fun. You are always stuck behind slow moving trucks which belch smoke in your face the entire time. People in the opposite lane will be trying to bypass vehicles in front of them and this many times causes life-threatening situations. Just not fun! I will NEVER take that route again as long as I live. Rt 108 is the way to go between Chiang Mai and Mae Hong Son.....a spectacular ride it seems MADE for motorcycles.
     
  6. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Caveman
    I disagree with you on Mae Sarieng accommodation - there are loads of good places on Laeng Phanit road beside the river.
    Some of them are listed here
    http://www.gt-rider.com/thailand-motorcycle-forum/showthread.php/33008-Mae-Sariang-Accommodation

    Re R1095 Pai - Mae Malai, yeah the roads gets bumpy every year & then patched up at again. It has its good & bad days, but with knowledge & experience you will note that it is only on the Chiang Mai provincial side of the border where it aint so good. The MHs side is quite ok for that blast down into Pai from the ridgeline & provincial border. But it will get patched up again, cheaply & then deteriorate again because of the traffic. But with experience you get used to the traffic & road conditions & know how to handle it.

    I'm not sure what bike your riding, but there's a thread for you
    http://www.gt-rider.com/thailand-motorcycle-forum/showthread.php/31000-What-bike%28s%29-are-you-actually-riding
    if you want to post a photo of yourself & bike.

    For more info requests, please post on here, rather than emails for inexperienced info; because GTR has probably been there long before & knows from years of experience.
    Check these out
    http://www.gt-rider.com/thailand-motorcycle-forum/forumdisplay.php/42-Golden-Oldies
     
  7. Johpa

    Johpa Ol'Timer

    If you want to avoid the busy section between Pai and Chiang Mai (1095) then there is indeed the alternative route up to Wat Chan and then down to Samoeng. The first section heading east out of Wat Chan is unpaved, a bit bumpy, and may not be for every rider and every bike, but I think there is only one somewhat short technical section remaining. Then you get to new asphalt until you get closer to Samoeng and older asphalt that will have some rougher sections just before Mae Saap. After Mae Saap it is smooth riding. But then again, if you have never rode the complete MHS loop then doing the ride on the 1095 once is worth the effort, and it is a bit of an effort.
     
  8. caveman

    caveman Member

    Interesting opinions posted after I put in my 2 cents a couple days ago. I reiterate that my biggest argument against the northern route (Rt 1095) between Chiang Mai and Maehongson, although it's worth doing once just for the experience, is that.......drumroll please......it's just not fun! The danger can be minimized by taking your time of course, and is entirely acceptable; my biggest argument against this route being just the torture involved. Just don't be in an extreme hurry to make as quick a time as you possibly can. Leave early enough so you don't have to rush. But you'll see....the danger is real and sometimes sneaks up on you and comes out of nowhere. I took this route once and was about 50 feet behind a scooter rider when he went down right in front of me after riding into one of the 3,478,883.5 potholes and was lucky the truck in opposing traffic didn't run him over as he tumbled across the concrete, battering and bloodying himself up nicely. The truck, however, run over his rented scooter, which was totaled. I wound up taking this young Dutchman on my cycle to the hospital in Chiang Mai for treatment, as he had no other transportation. One approach......a logical one for sure.....if you've never done the northern route between Chiang Mai and Maehongson, is to try it once just for the adventure and experience, since it's famous.....or infamous if you prefer. My opinion is that as you compare it to the other route (Rt 108 all the way....the southern route), you will never take the northern route again. Yes it's beautiful but again, just not fun, whereas the Rt 108 enables not only beauty but nice cruising speeds all the way. My idea of great motorcycle riding is not going 40 kph through twists and turns for 5 hours having smoke belched into my face the whole time. Rt 108 to Maehongson is KING.
     

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