The Mae Sot Loop

Discussion in 'Northern Thailand - Road Trip Reports' started by DavidFL, Nov 15, 2003.

  1. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    The Mae Sot Loop
    A quick blast to check out the current road conditions & GPS some new tracks.

    Chiang Mai – Mae Sarieng – Tha Song Yang – Mae Sot – Tak – Thoen – Li - Lamphun - Chiang Mai.
    Routes: 108 – 105 – 1 – 106. Distance: approx 820 kms.
    Date: 12-13 November 2003.

    Got away a bit late for the rundown to Mae Sot & left the Cnx super at 12.35 pm.

    ROUTE 108 NOTES
    They still have not finished the 4-lane between Hang Dong – Sanpatong – Huai Sieo. But there’s no dirt, just a bit of switching from side to side while they complete the other lanes.
    West from Hot, the road really is a gem of ride – superb twisties, flowing & reasonably fast, although it does get busy with traffic in here sometimes.
    Towards Mae Sarieng, basically once you get into MHS province, the road gets bumpy in places where the asphalt has bene patched up, but it still flows really well & is good for a sport bike.

    I fueled up on the super in Mae Sarieng & turned off onto route 105 for the run south.

    ROUTE 105 NOTES
    The 1st 35 kms FROM Mae Sarieng is reasonably wide & quite ok.
    However, 60 kms south of Mae Sarieng cresting a steep little hill, there’s a nasty decreasing radius bend, where the road suddenly becomes bad gravel / dirt for a couple of hundred meters. If you’re riding hard & got the bike cranked over you could get into serious trouble. Heading north from Mae Sot, it is not a problem as you can see it clearly, but if you’re heading south you come on to it blind from the North.
    I was lucky as I wasn’t not riding hard, due to a stuffed rear shock (the “good” Wilbers shock is back in Gmy being rebuilt again!)
    Anyway, there are 3 short gravel sections at 60, 63 & 65 kms south from Mae Sarieng, but they aren’t any trouble, except for the 1st one at 60 kms which is nicely hidden.
    Once you hit Ban Tha Song Yang, route 105 is racetrack quality – fast smooth flowing rolling for an awesome ride south to Mae Sot.

    I got into Mae Sot at 6.00 pm.
    Checked into the ol' Siam Hotel & took an aircon room for 500 baht.
    Cruising around town I discovered the Salak Thai restaurant to sit & read the day’s papers at. The place looks real nice, but I thought the food & service was only mediocre.
    Next stop was the Bai Fern restaurant, 20 meters away. Food & service here was good.
    After a couple of ice cold Heinekens, it was time for a short cruise around town.
    The best music pub I found was the Duch & Dew (that’s a weird name aint it, but maybe it means soemthing special or sounds good in Thai?) Anyway from what I can gather the Duch & Dew is the number one music spot in town for the non-disco crowd. I thought I was onto a winner when a delectable young gal sat down alongside me, asked for my phone number & place of stay straight away. As luck would have it her boyfriend soon arrived on the scene & escorted her back to his table. 2 beers later I left at midnight, only to see the young delectable spewing up outside, with her dear boyfriend rubbing her back to assist with the big chuck. Now I know why she sat down with me – she was drunk & probably could not see clearly how old the grey haired bearded farang was. But I wonder if she will ever ring?

    Next morning it was up at 9.30 am for a cruise down the Rim Moei & Burma border. My original plan was slip over to Myawaddy for a quick look, but compared to Mae Sai in the North, the whole border scene there looks dead quiet. So it was stay on the bike & head home.

    It was another non-stop run right into Chiang Mai, getting away from Mae Sot at 10.30 am I was on the Chiang Mai super at 2.39 pm. This is a pretty quick time I figure, but route 106 from Mae Sot – Tak is one of the top fast flowing speed roads you can ride. It really is outrageously good. You only have to watch out for bits of patchy asphalt & the odd road works, plus oncoming speeding vehicles corner cutting (& you should always been on the look out for these.)
    The problem with the oncoming vehicles seemed to be when they were on the downhill & I was heading uphill. What happens is that’s there a slow lane going up, so you have 3 lanes, and the drivers heading downhill are on a roll & going fast, so they tend to corner cut, perhaps not expecting a fast vehicle coming up the other in the overtaking lane. I had one close shave with a truck totally on the wrong side of the road, corner cutting, going downhill, as I was powering on up the hill at 120-140 kph. Cracked right over, there was no time at all to give him the sign either.

    Route 1 north from Tak is ok (boring riding), and you have to carry a bit of speed to get rid of the clunkity-clunk from riding on the concrete slabs.
    Once you turn off onto route 106 it’s real smooth flowing asphalt. Straight out from Thoen there are 2 enormous long straights then it’s into some serious tight 40-80 kph twisties for just under 20 kms, then you’re back onto the fast flowing “straights, all the way to Pasang.
    Just south of Li there are 2 short sections of easy road works – road widening - one section being about 2 kms long.

    For the record Ride Times were
    Ex Chiang Mai 12.35 pm
    Chiang Mai - Mae Sarieng= 2 hrs 10 mins.
    Mae Sarieng – Ban Tha Song Yang = 1 hrs 35 mins
    Ban Tha Song Yang – Mae Sot = 1 hrs 40 mins.
    Chiang Mai – Mae Sot = 5 hrs 35 mins.
    Ex Mae Sot: 10.35 am
    Mae Sot – Tak = 1 hr
    Tak – Thoen = 45 mins
    Thoen – Chiang Mai = 2 hrs 20 mins
    Total Mae Sot – Tak – Chiang Mai = 4 hrs 05 mins.

    Davidfl
    Keep the power on
     
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