Mae Ngao National Park

Discussion in 'Northern Thailand - Road Trip Reports' started by Fishenough, Dec 29, 2009.

  1. Fishenough

    Fishenough Ol'Timer

    Chiang Mai to Mae Sariang, South on the 105 to the Mae Ngao National Park. 612 km return to the lazy boy.

    Felt I better take pictures, as I'd made the excuse of going riding instead of meeting Captian Slash for dinner.

    Left CM at first light, this was headed down the mountain towards Mae Sariang; brrrr does it get chilly on the other side of the mountain. Rain gear took care of that, but note to self - buy warmer gloves.

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    Meeting my riding partner, in Mae Sariang, for the next two days, whom of course knows the GT Rider himself.

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    Most of the road followed the river, this was quite a treat.

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    Lunch Stop.

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    Our entertainers for the evening at our home stay.

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    Early morning fog the second day.

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    Getting near the end of the road, but according to passing NGO's the Salaween River was only a kilometer away accessed via trails not passable by truck. Maybe, just maybe, a bike with street tires might try it's luck next time. That is if time was spent riding and not pursuing our hobbies.

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    Most of the road was soft sand and rocks, the last 30 km was traveled at speeds mostly under 30 kph.

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    The beginning section was mostly single lane concrete, with plenty of dirt covering and gravel sections; if I could choose from any bike for this type of road it would it would be the D-Tracker. Other roads that's a different story but get by just fine. If Colin can in a Phantom. Though a (small) highlight on the return trip was sailing by a rental KLX, similarly loaded, up a mountain stretch at a blistering 99 kph.
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    This was a return trip to explore farther up river, earlier this month greatly enjoyed some of this (pictured below) in the same park.

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    With having more spare time in the coming new year, looking forward to finding willing riders to join me exploring different back roads like this. Downside: I happily wake early and eager to ride by before 6 am, somethime earlier. Gave up trying to convince other riders that yes I did return from Pai at 1 pm after a very early start, but how can a person sleep when the roads call.

    Off to Mae Sot today!

    Best Regards,
    Kevin
     
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  3. Auke

    Auke Ol'Timer

    Tried to figure out your travels but no luck. Can you enlighten me? Do you know the name of the river which was along the road you followed?
     
  4. Fishenough

    Fishenough Ol'Timer

    It's the Mae Ngao river and it flows north east into the Mae Yuam river. This was accessed south of Mae Sariang on the 105, and I think it's about 35 km to the turn off for the Mae Ngao National park. Park headquaters, and camping, is about 5 km down the road.

    It's still in the Mae Hong Song provience to.

    Colin, I'm from the great white north. :D
     
  5. mikehohman

    mikehohman Ol'Timer

    Would love to go riding with you sometime Kevin, just need to find the time.... I prefer to be on the road by 6 or earlier too...

    Nice photos, and great report, thanks for sharing!

    Mike
     
  6. Auke

    Auke Ol'Timer

    Keven,

    Thanks for the info. Yes, I thought that it would be the Ngao river as it looked familiar. Was there about a month ago and went only up to the National Park Office as I was traveling with family and we still had to go to Mae Sariang. Very nice area and will go back and explore a bit more over there once I have time.
     
  7. Fishenough

    Fishenough Ol'Timer

    Thanks for the compliment on the photo’s from someone whom takes such fantastic ones. Our two new cameras were stolen this summer and I’m still undecided on what to purchase to replace them, so for now we use a 6-7 year old camera. Good idea about a ride one day!

    This area of south Mae Hong Song offers some fantastic country side and rivers to explore, plenty of opportunities to pursue both of my favorite activities.

    Returned last night from Mae Sot and experienced two firsts: The 105 between Tak and Mae Sot is a brilliant piece of road, similar in its surfacing, curves and undulation to some of the best paved roads in British Columbia, Canada. A road that begs to be ridden with a supersport bike, which I know mostly from many years of following friends, on sports bikes, on such roads; and for the period of time had them in sight it looked like a blast.

    The other first was the return trip on the road from Tak to Chiang Mai, which was the first stretch of road I haven’t enjoyed on two wheels in Thailand. The road was turned into one big race track, with tour vans, pickups and SUV’s loaded with gear all in hurry to get north. Too many times this two lane highway had 3, sometimes 4, vehicles passing together at speeds over 130. Layed on the horn more times I could count to prevent another Fortuner from trying to share my lane. Haven’t in my life seen so many incidents of terrible passing at speed, saw many a close call in that short ride (but it felt like it took forever) and surprisingly only saw one accident.

    Also the gas stations all looked like a K Mart parking lot on dollar daze, with countless statements from the Bangkok folk of how cold we must be traveling by bike. :roll:

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  8. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    Brilliant! One of these days I'd like to ride up and rent a KLX and explore some of these beautiful trails. Thank you for the inspiration!
    Happy Trails!
    Tony
     
  9. Pikey

    Pikey Ol'Timer

    Kev, excellent report and if our timings coincide, I'd definitely be up for a few rides like the one above or even simple day rides. Not sure about the 6am starts though..... ;-)

    Cheers,

    Pikey.
     
  10. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    This has been on my short list for a long time!
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    Finally on my way!!

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    Got the bike loaded on the train and we are slowly working our way north towards Chiang Mai.
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    Some other "weekend warriors" recently rode some of the trails between Omkoi and Mae Ngao and said it was spectacular. I've managed to sniff out a number of different routes that will take us west from Omkoi towards the 105 and Mae Ngao. FYI, all these trails are available for FREE on Openstreetmap and Google Maps. There's some monkey in Chiang Mai trying to sell these tracks for several thousand baht!

    Seems there are at least two ways to go. Southwest towards Sop Khong:
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    Or Northwest towards Na Kian:
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    Either way looks great and I'm hoping to do a big loop; will flip a coin to decide if we'll do it clockwise or counter clockwise.

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    Tbc!!!
     

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