Mae Hong Song 50% tarmac, 50% dirt, 4-5 days?

Discussion in 'Northern Thailand - Road Trip Reports' started by Matthias87, Dec 21, 2013.

  1. Matthias87

    Matthias87 Member

    Hello there all adventurers!

    Me and my girlfriend are going to Chiang Mai in late March next year, and planning to do the Mae Hong Song loop, but with some dirt riding to. We will be on the same bike as she has no riding experience, so wont be doing the gnarliest stuff, just nice to get off the road for some while.

    Does anyone have some good tips about fun dirt roads and cool things to see? We have the GT riders map, so I guess we could plan a route from that.

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  3. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    The GT-Rider map is an excellent resource to plan a mixed on/off-road ride as it shows you the different types of dirt roads you will encounter. Riding 2-up I think it's safe to say you might want to avoid the more technical single track trails and stick to the all season dirt roads.

    One popular route to Mae Hong Song that's mostly off-road but pretty easy and very beautiful is on the old "Elephant Trail" that goes from Samoeng (just west of Chiang Mai) to Ban Wat Chan to Mae Hong Song. Here's the Ban Wat Chan to Mae Hong Song part:

    If it's too much to do 2-up in a day you could overnight in Wat Chan or Pai.

    If you're lucky, you might even see some elephants along the way! :mrgreen:

  4. Matthias87

    Matthias87 Member

    Thanks for your answer! Youtubed The elephant trail, and it looked really nice! :) So that might be what we are riding first day.

    What we looking for further is some even more exposed roads with breathtaking views etc :) Some cool bridges over rivers is allways nice. Seen some on youtube but don't know where they are.

    Should we really stay on the "dirt road all seasons" roads? As we are traveling in the dry season I was thinking everything without the "Motorcycle only. Wet season impassimble" roads should be OK. Am I wrong? Is the "Dirt trail 4WD only. Wet season impassible" too much for a BMW F650GS 2-up?

    Best regards
  5. Matthias87

    Matthias87 Member

    Now I read something about people burning their fields in march. Is this a bad time to do this trip?
  6. Moto-Rex

    Moto-Rex Ol'Timer

    I agree with TonyBKK, the elephant trail is a great ride, and certainty doable 2 up.

    Many times I have ridden from Chiang Mai to Mae Hong Son on the trail, stayed the night, and ridden back the next day. Beautiful scenery and a relaxing ride as long as it doesn’t rain.

    Mae Hong Son is also a good base to do some exploring from, with the Chinese town of Rak Thai to the north, and the long neck villages around the town,… it’s also one of the prettiest towns in Thailand.

    Have fun.

  7. Matthias87

    Matthias87 Member

    Seems like I can't type any answers here from my phone, let's see if this work.
  8. Johpa

    Johpa Ol'Timer

    I agree that the "elephant trail" is your best bet. There might be a few very short stretches where it is too rough or too steep to ride two-up, but look as that as a good excuse to stretch the legs for a few minutes. In clear weather it is one the most remarkable roads in the north. But if riding two-up you might want to take some extra gas along depending upon the size of your gas tank. I last rode it on a 250KLX and the tank was nearing empty when I arrived at Wat Chan from MHS.

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