Road to Pai

Discussion in 'Northern Thailand - Road Trip Reports' started by David Race, Aug 17, 2011.

  1. David Race

    David Race Ol'Timer

    Just did the Chiangmai to Pai road today which I have not done for a couple of months.
    I could not believe how much it has deteriorated pot holes every where and fallen rocks across the road in many parts.
    I would advise extreme caution at present this is not a high speed road at present.
    Pai is though as good as ever with a vibe I like if you are an Ozzie a bit like Byron Bay was before being ruined by to much money.
    I always stay at the Brook View where they have great little Bungalows with a nice view of the Mountains for 500 Baht a night.
    The Brook View is located on the right hand side about 300 meters past the only set of Traffic lights heading towards Mahong Son.
     
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  3. Cloughy

    Cloughy Ol'Timer

    I went up this road about three weeks ago on the Mae Hong son loop. Didn't notice much in the way of rocks in the road but i don't think it's ever going to be a high speed road though due to it being full of mini vans etc.
    The recent downturn in weather may have resulted in land slides causing the surface to become worse though.
     
  4. Idaho Rider

    Idaho Rider Ol'Timer

    Closed completely today due to a large landslide between Mae Taeng and Pai. Might be shut down for three days.
     
  5. Ozjourno

    Ozjourno Ol'Timer

    The road is now fully open. There is still a lot of mud (its not deep, just a covering over the tarmac) on the road at the hairpin where the landslip occurred, otherwise it is okay. Usual hazards remain....dogs, mini buses, poor surfaces and, for a small easily identified section (cow poo corner) of perhaps 3 miles/5ks, there are a few buffalo and moo'ers. However, if you realise the bad sections are 98% on the downhill and generally before corners, you can be easily prepared for them. This is where the heavy vehicles brake and the saturated substrate slips and allows the bitumen surface to become detached. It must be said though that at a sensible, moderate speed, these conditions become almost enjoyable. If you are out to break records, there is some potential danger.

    The trip to Pai is excellent, the road is generally good, the scenery is magnificent and the mountain air is invigorating to say the least. Pai is a relatively low budget town, loads of guesthouses, cafes and restaurants and it is about as laid back as you can get. As David Race notes similar to Byron Bay of the 60s and 70s, or Port Douglas 70s and 80s.

    The trip from downtown Chiang Mai to central Pai takes the local bus 4 hours, the express 3 hours and, if you ride relaxed, you can do it on your bike in 2+. Only one other warning, if you have not ridden serious twisties in a long time ride the up-leg with extra care, then give it a little on the down-leg if that is your inclination. Some corners are 180 degrees with a rise/fall gradient at the corner of 1:3.

    Its a great ride with many coffee stops along the way and if you want to take a photo of everything that takes your breath away...pack a bag...it'll be a long journey!

    Dave
     

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