A Rainy Group Ride To Pai – The Pai Loop

Discussion in 'Touring Northern Thailand - Trip Reports Forum' started by ZCM, Aug 24, 2020.

  1. ZCM

    ZCM Ol'Timer

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    Saturday 22nd August 2020. A quick write up on a fun last-minute rainy group ride to the hippiest town in Northern Thailand. On this ride four of us (Marcus, Ray, Jay & I) headed off on the gloriously scenic R1349 Samoeng – Wat Chan back route to Pai, returning on the famous 762 curves R1095 Pai to Chiang Mai route. Google Map Link HERE


    Omens…
    Do you ever feel that sometimes you get weird omens telling you that you shouldn’t be riding? Not one of us has regrets about this trip. Not at all! But there were a few odd things leading up to it that kind of made me wonder if signs were telling us not to go! For example, some minor irritating issues kept happening when checking over my bike prior to the ride, including a fiddly screw that just seemingly disappeared into thin air. I guess my bike must have been hungry and ate it. Two friends also dropped out of the ride. Then Ray (in the video below), who is quite OCD in how careful he is with organisation ended up losing an important bolt for his bike rack. Ironic, given that just recently he had a few spare bolts made up, but they were still at home! It all got sorted out in the end, but then this happened…




    Laughs all around and teasing over with, we headed off.

    First stop – the pretty Samoeng Lookout.

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    Pretty much as soon as we hit Samoeng the rain began to fall. Not too heavily, but rain was pretty much the theme of this ride. Well, it is Rainy Season after all! What comes with that (aside from the slippery roads), is the stunning cloud cover and lush green views. So, no complaints!

    Mae Daet Noi Viewpoint – R1349, N.Thailand

    This pretty viewpoint normally offers a fantastic view of the mountain, but on this day the area was filled with mist. Regardless, the misty view is still beautiful, giving the whole viewpoint a magical feel. Certainly felt like we were riding blind leading up to it though!



    ...a few years back the route after this viewpoint was still under construction. I made a side-by-side comparison video of the route HERE

    After the viewpoint, we stopped for coffee at the scenic Budecha Coffee Shop.



    Hot Spring Eggs
    Just before heading into Pai town, we stopped off at Ban Muang Rae Hot Spring on the R1265, to boil some eggs. Primal Cooking Skills Level 1 Activated!




    Hippy Trippy Pai Town
    Pai town in recent years always seems a little surreal. Like it is a whole little country on its own. It is so unlike anywhere else in the Northern territory. Currently very quiet due to lack of tourism, but still has its peculiar distinctive Pai vibe.



    Once we reached our hotel (Medio De Pai) we cleaned up, left our phones behind, and enjoyed our very rainy time in Pai. Because, what happens in Pai, stays in Pai. 555. For more info on Pai town, go to my guide HERE.


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    The Morning After the Night Before…


    Hair of the dog? No, lol. However, the pretty pool did provide a fun video opportunity before heading back on the road.



    We spent a slow lazy morning in Pai, eating breakfast and resting up. At midday we set off on the main R1095 back to Chiang Mai, hoping it wouldn’t rain too hard. It did. In fact, on the last stretched it hammered down! Full-on tropical rain and thunder. No matter though!

    We had a nice coffee stop at My Mom Cafe, and then lunch at Pankled Coffee, near to Mok Fah Waterfall. There was even a pretty peacock at Pankled Coffee!


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    Thanks to Jay & Marcus for sending on photos
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    Great ride with great company! Loads of fun packed into one weekend!

    Video Highlights

    Snips of the best bits. Most of the ride was just far too rainy to record much, and we also put our phones away on our night out in Pai, so here are a few snippets of funny bits of the trip.



    Hope you enjoyed this short silly trip report. ^.^
     
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  2. Eoin Christie

    Eoin Christie Ol'Timer

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    A wet ride is bette than no ride - Thanks, Zed.
     
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  3. ZCM

    ZCM Ol'Timer

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    Absolutely! No complaints. I might have been grumbly if I was on a long tour or camping, and having to put on wet gear in the morning. Instead, it was just a nice fun ride out with friends. Laughs all the way, well, until maybe that last torrential downpour where we were a sorry bunch of drowned rats. Haha!
     
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  4. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    Well done.
    It is interesting to see how that back road to Pai is developing now with new places opening up & developing slowly.
    It may soon & naturally become the best way to Pai.

    That Lica Coffee Estate looks interesting
    Google Maps
     
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  5. ZCM

    ZCM Ol'Timer

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    Some very nice little places sprouting up. Currently, the R1095 is nice to ride with so little traffic and very few minibuses. The only thing now is some slippery roads. There was some roadworks going on intermittently, mainly roadside/landslide and several overturned vehicles. When tourism starts up again I will go back to avoiding the 1095 most likely and stick with the back road. At the moment it makes for a nice loop though. :)
     
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  6. Brainstorm

    Brainstorm New Member

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    Maps, photos, descriptions. Thank you for the details.
     

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