The Samoeng Loop for first timers Just done the Samoeng Loop and thought I would pass on a few tips for those doing it for the first time. Obviously you first purchase the GT-Rider Samoeng Loop Map, and if you read David’s article on the loop, he says it’s best to do it in a clockwise direction. http://www.gt-rider.com/loops.html So after a late breakfast at the Fish’n Chip Shop, we headed off. We thought a late start would be better as it would have warmed up a bit by then. For anyone staying near Tha Phae Gate, I can thoroughly recommend this place, (Fish’n Chip Shop), for brekkie. They open at 6am for breakfast, (a bit too early for us), so if you are having an early start somewhere, you can get a feed early. Also bottomless tea and coffee so once you have paid for one, all other refills are free, and free internet. They have desk top pc there, so whilst you are waiting for your meal, you can check your emails. It’s run by a Kiwi (sheep shagger), and his Thai partner, and a real friendly place, it’s diagonally opposite the Irish UN pub, 25/4 Ratchavithee Road. So after a heart breakfast of porridge with banana, for both Elle and myself, we set off at warp factor speed on our Honda Dream 100. You know its surprising how much more countryside you see when traveling at 60 kph. 5 years ago 7 of us from the Bangkok BM club were riding around here, and as the smallest bike was 1,000cc it was pedal to the metal everywhere. I am not used to that fast riding so for me it was a case of accelerate as fast as you can on the straights and jam on the anchors on the bends. I was the only rider single, as all the other (Thai) riders were 2 up, and still I was lagging at the rear. We plodded on up the mountain, and the bike managed it just fine, only a couple of times did I have to change down to first gear, in fact the bike felt no different than the Wave 125 I hired a few days before when I went to Chiang Dao. (The 125 was probably a 100 with 125 stickers so they could charge a higher price… perhaps.) On the way up to Samoeng you have to be careful on some of the corners as they have just filled a load of the pot holes with new tar, so bits of gravel in the middle of the road. We decided on having lunch in Samoeng, at the Supanee Restaurant as recommended by David on his site. We road right past it, and after checking out all the other food stops, finally found it. There is no sign in English outside the resturant, so its on the right coming into Samoeng, just before the T-junction. Took a foto to help the newbie’s. Mind you when you are visiting the restaurant, that sexy hunk in the picture wont be there. There is also a gas station just outside the village for those with little tanks, (or should I say I forgot to fill up before leaving….). From Samoeng we carried on round, stopping many times for fotos, and then pulled up at the Mae Sa Elephant Camp to check on show times. The elephant shows go for about 1 hour, and they are on at 8am, 9.40am, and 1.30pm. So we will do a show at a later date as we were too late for the 1.30. Below is a foto of a Tuk Tuk parked outside waiting to take the tourists back, thought his sign was very good. By now it was time for afternoon tea, so just past the elephant camp on the left, is the County House. This is run by a lady and her 2 brothers, beside the restaurant they have a workshop that makes lampshades out of banana tree trunks, and Lotus leaves. The lady showed me their workshop and articles on display and was saying they export a lot of their goods to Australia and Europe. Also the brothers have a KTM parked up and a Honda trials bike, some trophies also there on display and heaps of bike mags, if you’re not in a rush, you could easily spend a few hours there just laying back reading the magazines. Elle in her Robbing A Bank outfit On the ride back, heading into town, we checked out the clothes stalls Jonadda mentioned in a recent post, some interesting helmets for sale along with jeans and jackets etc. Then when we crossed over the super highway we got lost coming back into town, we did the u turn across the super highway, headed into town then followed the arrows and had no idea where we were. The same happened when we drove in after coming back from Chiang Rai last month, we somehow end up near the markets by the river, and came back into town on the Railway Station road. I think next time, we will go round super highway to Doi Suthep road and come in that way. So to sum up, a good day out, no problem just chugging along at 60 kph, and we will go around the other way next time, to catch the elephant show and have another cuppa or meal at the Country House.