Round the Mae Hong Son loop over four days

Discussion in 'Northern Thailand - Road Trip Reports' started by tonykiwi, Jul 16, 2009.

  1. tonykiwi

    tonykiwi Ol'Timer

    Riders
    Martin ZX10
    Liam ER6N
    Brendon ER6N
    Tony ER6N

    The plan was for a four day, three night ride through the Mae Hong Son loop. As there were four of us we decided tp take a day each for the resulting reoprt. Having drawn the short straw for the first day the challenge is to try and remember what happened. I'll take the first section to Mae Sot. I am sure that posts following this one will correct anything I get wrong and i can always edit afterwards anyway.

    We met at the Kafe for an early enough start at 7 am and were on the road south by around 7 10 am. I know that there was a bit of debate going on about the earlyish start but everyone seemed happy about that and the early starts carried on for the restb of the trip. There are some truly memorable sights in the early mornig, totally different ot the rest of the day.

    The plan was to ride south to Tak and find somewhere there for breakfast. Good fast roads and kind weather made it an enjoyable ride. Martins bike was certainly quick off the mark and we made good time. Tony tended to ride more slowly than the others but a short wait at various juncitons and petrol stations soon brought the team together again.

    Stopped off for a gas stop and some breakfast on the way somewhere down near to Tak as far as I can recall. God selection of thai food and we were soon on our way again. A bit later we stopped again for gas and I fille dup then waited on the road. A few minutes later I was still waiting and went back into the gas station and found the others drinking coffee and cold drinks. I must learn to pay attention.

    Closer to the destination we went to see the big Dam. A great ride up ot the dam and we wlso managed ot get through a security gate which led us down to the waters edge. There were some barges or boats there which had to be pulled around by tugs and from what we could gather they were some sort of party or restaurant boats. Had a chat to the people on the boats and went on board for some better photo opportunities.

    Brendon and Tony had parked their bikes down near the waters edge on sand and shingle and when it was time to leave Brendon rode off easily and Tony decided the time was right to demomstrate his special dismounting technique he had been working on for some time. I think the team were impressed with the athleticism and panache which which I carried out this complicated but stylish manouver. There was a fair bit of sniggering going on too, I have no idea what that was about.

    Onwards we trecked to Mae Sot and discovered a hotel. Not too sure that the word hotel is a fair description, it was truly crap but at least we had a place to stay even if Liam did have to share his room with a number of other occupants of the insect variety. There was some sort of festival in Thailand, not so sure what it was all about but for the most of the country bars seemed to be closed. We went for a walk and eventually discovered a restaurant/bar which would serve us. I honestly can't recall if we had a feed there too or if we went somewhere else but at least we had a place that served cold beer and somewhere to sit.

    Walked back to the hotel and off to bed with a decision to meet at 7 30 am following morning for breakfast. Had an early walk around the town, interesting place but it didn't really float my boat. Breakfast in a small place then loaded up the bikes. One of the keys seemed to have gone missing although it was clearly a scam which cost Brendon 500 Baht. I seriously would not recommend this hotel to anyone unless I really did not like them.

    Took a short ride to the border for the obligatory photo shoot by the bridge.

    All in all it was a great ride down, we had planned to do some serious miles that day and just get there retaher than hang aorund and sight see and that is pretty well what we did.
     
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  3. BJ

    BJ Ol'Timer

    Tony is on a jet back to the land of the long white cloud so i volunteered to post some pics till he gets time off from work to add some more. It was really great to ride with Tony and I hope he can be back in the GT real soon.
    leaving the Kafe thai style
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    and then

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    On the road
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    Fuel stop[​IMG]
     
  4. BJ

    BJ Ol'Timer

    The riders
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  5. BJ

    BJ Ol'Timer

    Bhumipol Dam
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  6. HTWoodson

    HTWoodson Ol'Timer

    About time! Was wondering when you were going to get around to writing this up.

    Big Dam = Bhumiphol Dam

    Don't forget to tell about Martin's amazing rear wheel lockup all the way into the ESSO station, all intentional of course. It continues off the road and onto the dirt shoulder. What a show off.

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    When Martin needs gas, get outta the way!
     
  7. BJ

    BJ Ol'Timer

  8. BJ

    BJ Ol'Timer

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    A few drinks after a nice days ride.
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  9. Marco

    Marco Ol'Timer

    Darn that a long skid,,,estimated speed abt 100+kmh on lock up??

    great pictures guys, looks amazing
     
  10. BJ

    BJ Ol'Timer

    A few more pics
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  11. HTWoodson

    HTWoodson Ol'Timer

    Next time we decide to split up a ride report between 4 people, we need to set some kind of time limit. At this rate I won't be posting day 3 until September.
     
  12. BJ

    BJ Ol'Timer

    Hey Liam How are you?
    I don't think it matters what order it goes up it will change order in the thread as comments are added anyway.
     
  13. tyke

    tyke Member

    Day two (at last) started bright and sunny, and lifted our spirits after the Pornping Hotel, they must have got their name from the number of ladies who hang out there ! Anyway things could only get better. After a quick stroll round Mae Sot market and looking at all the inedible things people eat, we went back and had our breakfasts, ( nothing from the market i might add).
    As Tony said on yesterdays post we rode out to the Friendship Bridge, which is aptly named as no sooner had we park than a friendly man offered to sell us fake Cigs, C.D's and Viagra. Being the law abiding gentlemen that we are we declined his Once In A Lifetime, Never To Be Repeated, Special Offers.
    From the bridge we headed north west along the Thai side of the border, our progress only slowed by the numerous Check Points we encountered, be they army or police. We had no problem at any of them . The 105 at this point in our journey was in good condition and the road was flowing and so we made good time.
    Our next stop was at the Mae La refugee camp, or put it this way we tried to stop, but the nice men in the guard/army uniforms did not seem to want us to stop ! as they kept waving us on, and so we waved back and stopped anyway. Out came the cameras and we managed to get some shots of the camp and it's inhabitants, who were only too happy to pose. On reflection we realised that their happiness was something to do with the lollipops Tony was giving out to the women and children only ! and perhaps in the future it would be a good idea to supervise eaxctly who Tony gave lollies to. Joking aside, the camp made a lasting impression on all of us i think.
    Our next stop was not planned or wanted as the rain set in, and so some of us without all purpose riding suits had to stop and put our wet weather gear on. It was at this point that our riding group brioke up before regrouping at Mae Sariang. Liam and Brendon were the first to depart followed by Tony and lastly myself, i thought if i crack on that i would be able to catch the others up quite quickly, how wrong can you be ? Tony was caught after twenty minutes hard riding, and passed and i thought i would catch the other two soon after. Nither Tony and myself realised that we had already overtaken them ! Onwards through the driving rain, and on the mountain low cloud i rode, but no matter how hard i rode i could not catch them. What i did see on the mountain road whilst dodging the holes, were happy people who were only too happy to wave and smile as i rode by.
    That afternoon after we had regrouped we booked into The Riverhouse Resort Hotel in Mae Sariang after the last hotel we deserved a bit of comfort and we found it here, and with friendly staff. That evenning we ate next door to the hotel at a place that was clean, served good food, and good beer, and not forgeting good friends. It can't be beaten, aggod night was had by all.
     
  14. tyke

    tyke Member

    I can't post my photo's, as what i though was a dead battery problem was a dead camera and card problem due to my camera's dislike of water. Perhaps one of the other lad's can post some photo's of the camp for me. Thanks. Tyke
     
  15. tonykiwi

    tonykiwi Ol'Timer

  16. tonykiwi

    tonykiwi Ol'Timer

    I know I was a few days getting the first day posted but are we going to see days three and four?

    I can post photos if it is helpful

    T
     
  17. tyke

    tyke Member

    I do not know what has happened to Liam, but BJ is laid up at the moment with a slight problem.
     
  18. chiangmairich

    chiangmairich Ol'Timer

    Great pics there guys,looks like you had a good ride.

    I was intending to join you...something urgent cropped up..next time.

    This is some of the best riding now,clear skies,no smoke and quiet roads.

    Cheers
    Rich Aus.
     
  19. tonykiwi

    tonykiwi Ol'Timer

    The route we too certainly held some delightful views, particulary for me I guess as a newbie to the region. I think that the other benefit was that the route also gave the opportunity for those who like challenging rides a opportunity to give the throttle some 'welly' with more timid riders like myself cruising off the route a bit too. The group blended well together as I said in an other thread and this mix of characters was the catalyst for the charm of the ride.

    I thought long and hard about the time of year to visit and have mirrored this years choice next year. The rain wasn't really a issue and only really added to the experience in ways I could not have envisaged, however the lushness of colour and the clean air has made my mind up for me.

    I wouldn't have wanted to have done this route in any less time and in fact maybe a couple of days in Mae Sarieng would also have been a good choice. Next time for sure.

    Not too sure where Liam is right now so I will post a few pics from day three to keep the thread alive until Liam posts his report of the day.

    Cheers

    T
     
  20. tonykiwi

    tonykiwi Ol'Timer

    Obviously my mistake for which I apologise. When we met at Martins home I thought that everyone had agreed there was no rush to get things posted so I took my time.

    The day after I finished the ride and handed the bike back, I left for Bangkok and was without internet access. Setting the report up from a hotel and internet cafe was not as easy as I had hoped and I decided to wait until I got back to NZ the following Friday. As it turned out I managed to find the opportunity to at least get the report started on the board from Bangkok and thanks to Brendons help got some photos posted.

    Cheers

    T
     
  21. tonykiwi

    tonykiwi Ol'Timer

    Liam was due to produce day three of this report but he seems to have gone missing in action. Rather than leave it all up in the air, I will add my own recollections of the day and hopefully others (including Liam) will add or correct as they see fit.

    Breakfast in the Riverhouse resort was set for about 7 30 from memory. The resort really is a beautiful place to stay with good friendly staff too. The girl who served us breakfast turned out to be the same girl who had served us in the nearby restaurant the previous evening, and was the sister of the receptionist. Breakfast on the balcony in beautiful surroundings set the scene for another great day.

    The plan was to leave the Riverview Resort and ride to Mae Hong Son for lunch then onto Pai for the evening for a further stopover. We left on time and after fueling up in the town we left for the trip North. From a personal perspective, I would have rather done two or three days in Mae sarieng and forgotten about Mae Sot altogether but of course that would have meant missing out on the refugee camp experience also.

    We rode for maybe 30 minutes and rounding a corner came across a neat pagoda style building. We all stopped here for some photos and closer inspection showed it was some sort of school. Spent a little while here then left on our journey.

    A little way further I saw a woman cutting the bushes outside her house. I stopped and talked to her a little while and soon afterwards was joined by Brendon. I had not seen any of the others since leaving the Pagoda but it seemed that Brendon had stopped somewhere and saw me pass him. We spent a little while with this woman who I think ran a small guest accomodation in her home. Then the rain started so we moved our bikes under cover and there was a small stall where we had a coffee and a couple of small doughnut things. Saw a crazy hairy catapiller on the floor and videoed it although I don't know how to post that.

    We rode directly to May Hong Son where we regrouped at the entrance to the town. A couple of near misses for two of us reminded us of the need to pay attention to other drivers at all times.

    Lunch in a neat cafe close to the lake in town and a few photo opportunities were presented. Then the ride to Pai. We all took our own course on this run with Liam and Tony cruising gently at the back and Brendon and Martin hitting their straps on the mountain road. I'll not disclose the outcome of th ride up the mountain to the second viewpoint, thos involved in the challenge can do so if they wish. We stopped a while at two separate viewpoints again with some good photo opportunities of the terrain and also a few odd people.

    Then dropped down the mountain again into pai and the search began for accomodation. We found, quite by chance, a place with four adjoining rooms and a single balcony. We all showered and I did a mercy dash to town to get a few beers and wine, Brendon and Liam organised some ice and we stayed there a while before walking into town for the obilgatory meal and beer. Early night by most in rooms which were reasonably priced and excellent quality. Fan rooms only but they were really comfortable and I would certainly recommend this place to anyone visiting. I'll post the location on the relevant thread.

    Fabulous day yet again,a few good memories.

    Thanks

    T

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  22. mja34

    mja34 Ol'Timer

    nice trip report!
    guys, one of you has a nifty looking aftermarket screen on your er6!
    can i ask where you got it? price ,made in thailand etc. picking up my bike in cnx october time and a screen would help on the highways.
    thanks from a soggy uk.
     
  23. HTWoodson

    HTWoodson Ol'Timer

    It's the Givi screen for the Kawasaki Z1000. I bought it from the internet and had a metal shop here in Chiang Mai fabricate the mount.
     
  24. nikster

    nikster Ol'Timer

    That screen looks really pretty nice! Did it work well? I know it got lost in the meantime... ;)
     

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