a bike ride to pai and beyond and then back

Jun 21, 2006
riders ian( tiger 125) jeff( xr400), fai and luke( xr250's)
the aim- as much off-road to pai as possible and then the aeko loop, which didnt materialise unfortunatley.

we set off from the x-center to the prem center through an arid mix of farming and dirt roads it was here that we had the first tragedy of the trip a violent low-sider from our singaporean contingent meant we had to dig him out the sand, we turned off at nong kai( not that one silly) and headed for mokfa waterfall through a mixture of sandy constructing roads, it was imperative to ride first as otherwise dirt and sand in the air made navigating the ruts very diificult, with this in mind my primary target for the day was to be quicker putting on my gear than the other riders after drinks/ bathroom/ photgraphy stops. this worked well.
extended lunch and gossiping sessions made us well late into the bulk of our dirt sectuions and after some tough yet enjoyabel riding from ba pae to mae muang noi via the villages of bang kum and yang moen, we found ourselves going on the word of a manop a thai instructor that there was infact a road from mae muang noi to diong sam mun that isbnt on davids map. this route will have cut off a swection that saves you 30kms upwards of mainly asphaklt so is a real useful little track to know, but bring your best thai and prefeerably some reading skills or some villages wriiten in thai as there are forks all over the place withno signd in english and even the locals spek hill-language, in fact more difficult than any of the riding was actaully finding our way!! sure enough there is and it is steep in places with shrubbery and sandiness making it quite a difficult ride and the only rider not to fall offewas ian bungy on his prowling tiger. pikey was suffering from fatigue and a injured ankle, and at after 5 o clock with still no sign of asphalt thoughts of a night in the jungle were creeping into my mind, the road just seems to go on and on as everytimer you think you are finally ovwer the hill it picks up and climbs agaim.
around 5.45 we hit wat jan and from there we took 1265 into pai, a very nice section.
the following day we lost jeff due to swelling of the forementioned ankle, and so after a sluggish start we set off for ae ko a 100km dirt section linking maung noi and soppong, howver about 40kms into the trip a 4 inch nail struck us down as it impaled its parasitic form into ians real wheel, a rather slow pit stop insued and this comibenid with a late start meant we wouldnt make ae ko in daylight, we headed back to pai to fix up the tiger. all fixed up we decided to try the dirt road that leads to mae laep., the turnoff is about 10km south of pai
this was a fantastic decision as the road meanders through rice fields and then ascends the mountains, the road is very rocky in places but brilliant very scenic, we were enjoying the ride and pushed on till the the dangers of the night forced us to turn around having been informed by a farmer that it takes abnother 45mins to mae paep, at this time it was already 5.45 so we headed back, we are wondering whether upon reaching mae laep you can loop round and join the pai-soppong road rather than come back the same way??
all in all we did around 200kms off-road, returning the next day down the pai-chiang mai road and a thrash through the back roads led expertly by the tiger of ian who proved that thiose scooters can do just about anything and asre exteremly durable as ian was really pushing it bounding over rocks and tree roots like they were small things and pencils.
unfortunatley i dont have any pictures so hopefully jeff or fai or ian can add some and some more details that i have forgotten.
Sep 19, 2006
Hi to all, Not a lot to add as Luke covered most things. Main Problem Off Road at this time of year is Dust but try to remedy that with Plenty of Beer afterwards and all is fine. Absolutely Top Fun and so many Laughs i can't wait for my new Bikes to arrive and i would love to do it again. Of course i might take some Tyre Levers and a New Tube!!! Lack of Power was my main problem but great Value for a low Budget the Tiger, so Make do with what you have i say, I couldn't have ridden with better Guys in that respect aways willing to wait and help out. So no matter what you have keep this in mind if you want a good Ride in Chiang Mai.
Thanks to Fai for helping with the Flat. Sorry for Scaring the Shit out of Luke, He was way in Front at the time so we decided to Limp our way back about 15kms to the last village to look for help. Eventually Luke came looking and thought we must have both gone off the Cliff side so was riding and walking up and down and when possible asking any Stray People who ventured along. When he finally found us it was a show of Genuine Relief.
Fantastic Scenery on that Trail and i felt Guilty for ruining it for the others but Shit happens We will get to do it again i am sure. Certainly made up for it with the Rest of the Days Riding along with some pretty special Skills displayed for each others enjoyment. Pity Jeff was Hobbled on the First Day but he'll get another chance. To many good things to write about and i never took any Photos so hope that the others can Add some. Cheers Till the next time.
Oct 12, 2005
Fantastic description of your ride gents. I'm guessing the way from Samoeng to Wat Chan was a hell of a lot different from the Elephant trail Pikey, silverhawk and I did awhile back. yours sounds a lot more interesting.

A tip of the hat must go to Luke for deciphering the signs. See all those Thai porn sites do teach you something Luke?

I'm back over the first week in April so if anybody is up for getting lost again let me know.


Dec 6, 2005

Thanks for taking the time to post your trip report...

It sounds like a great adventure, and should provide some good info for others looking to retrace your steps.



Staff member
Jan 16, 2003
Chiang Khong
Ian, Jeff, Fai and Luke
Good news on you guys doing the Yang Moen – Wat Chan link up.
In October last year I was out there with Silverhawk checking on the status of R4029, the Yang Moen road & Yang Moen villagers told us about it.
I had asked the villagers about the status of the Yang Moen – Papae road & they said if you are going to Pai, go via Wat Chan & the short cut - it was easier than the Yang Moen – Papae road. I could not believe that it would be that much easier or quicker & I think that your report probably confirms this. But then again, perhaps there is another shortcut in there somewhere. It is probably worth going back down the Samoeng – Wat Chan road taking a ”well defined” right from maybe Mae Tala or Mae Daet Noi at a guess. If there is a road through, you should not get lost, but only link up with the Yang Moen road.
Now if you want another tip out there, there is supposed to be a link up from Pong Sa to the Mae Wae – Pang Khum road somewhere.
All worth checking out, if you can stay upright & not damage yourself too much.