Any tips for the Mae Sot Loop much appreciated

Discussion in 'Touring Northern Thailand - Trip Reports Forum' started by Gromily, Dec 18, 2007.

  1. Hey!

    My friend and I are arriving this Friday (Dec 21st '07) in Chaing Mai, and plan to hit the road the next day. We'll be renting a pair of 250cc dirt bikes - probably Honda Degrees (if available), as we are both short-arses.

    Last May i did the Mae Hong Son Loop alone, and absolutely loved it. Spent a full week on (and off) the road checking it out.

    This time, the route i'm thinking of is C.M. - Doi Inthanon - Mae Sariang - Mae Sot - Umphang - Tak - Sukhothai - ????? - C.M. We'll have roughly a week to cover the distance. Have to fly back to Bangkok on the afternoon of Friday 28th Dec. That should give us 6 overnight stops, and a short drive back on the last day before handing back the bikes. Has anyone done this route before, and if so do you think it's do-able...or is it too much? More importantly, is the drive to Umphang worth it?

    If anyone has any suggestions for the Chiang Mai - Sukhothai leg of the journey please give me a shout too. Any decent roads to ride along, things to see, or places to stop overnight? In fact, if anyone has tips about any roads or points of interest along any part of my planned trip, please let me know.

    Much apreciated, Graham
  2. Check MBTs excellent trip report ... t2928.html
    Sadly the pix have been lost in the transfer of websites.
    The Mae Saring to Mae Sot section is excellent country but you need to be sure on your bike's fuel consumption before setting off down this stretch.

    If you leave early enough you can get to the Karen refugee camp 50-60kms north of Mae Sot along the 105 for excellent pix.
    By 4pm the sun will be in the lens.

    In Mae Sot go nd eat at Krua Canadian run by Canadian Dave - the best source of info on the area, with great NZ steaks and the world's best coffee!
    All at incredibly reasonable prices.
    Krua Canadian 3 Sriphanit Road [opp police station on corner of Intrhrarakit Road and Sriphanit Roads]. ph 055 534659

    You may want to head on down to Umphang for the amazing waterfalls.
  3. Thanks Rhodie,

    will be sure to check out Canadian Dave and his steaks. I dare say they'll go down a beauty after the ride from Mae Sariang.

    Are the gas stations pretty sparse on the 105? There's nearly always a peasant with a Chang bottle full of gas in the middle of nowhere if needs be - right?

    Thanks for the tips
  4. Yo may want to PM MBT on this.
  5. Just reading MBT's entry now. It's quite informative of where to full up and soon, so i think we'll be good to go. Last time i rode a Degree i was getting over 200k's out of the tank and more, so i reckon we'll be alright. Thanks for the idea though - i will PM him anyway. Cheers
  6. I have a Degree (or Honda Delight as Rhodie likes to call it), and have no problem getting 200kms out of a tank before going on reserve. Obviously seriously heavy dirt riding will lower that.

    On my last trip back from Koh Samui, even got 24kms on reserve with a bit more left over, but wouldn't recommend going that far as was sure I was just riding on fumes
  7. Looking at the crappy map taken off the internet, i'm wondering if anyone has riden off road from umphang to Kamhang Phet. It looks like there a track (i'd imagine it's a bit hairy tho).
  8. Well, Thai maps have wondrous ways and while some maps show a road from Umphang to Kampeang Phet, in reality it does not exist. The Thai army wanted to build the road (Rd 1117) but halfway or so they decided that it was too difficult and gave up. However, they did not tell the mapmakers, so some maps still do show this road.

    In fact, in 2005 I had great difficulties convincing ESRI, while testing their Garmin GPS map for Thailand, that this road did not exist (somehow they they had managed to get it on the GPS map).

    By the way, for those who have the ESRI GPS map and want to find Khrua Canadian in Mae Sot, search for Khrua Khanedian.
  9. Thanks Auke for the info. I guess if Umphang's on the cards then i need to double-back on the 1090 and head back to Mae Sot.
  10. Gromily,

    As Cpt slash said you wont have a problem with fuel between Mae Sariang and Mae Sot just fuel up in Mae Sariang.

    As far as Umphang is concerned you caught me at a good time...Just returned from a 30 day tour including Umphang with the intention of finding a way out to Kampheang Phet however, I took 3 hours writing up a report but due to the changeover on this site had problems with my password or something and couldn't load pictures and lost the lot so gave up writing it and got on with something else.... David I am not blaming the new site it was bound to be my problem)

    However, there is a road (rte1117) with a 30 kilometer strectch of off road out of Umphang to K Phet however you will need helicopters, boats and lots and lots of band aids if you think you can do it. Its bloody impossible unless someone can say otherwise and if they have done it I want to know the route they took. I guess James Bond could do it but 'M' would need to come up with an amazing piece of kit! :D

    Go to Umphang....The report I wrote but never loaded was titled "Sod MHS loop and Doi Phukka Umphang RTE 1090 beats the bloody lot! Due to my concerted fear of meeting Thai drivers in the middle of my lane on blind bends I rarely "get into the zone" on a bike in Thailand but RTE 1090 got me into the zone within a few short moments. The 5 guys behind me said all they saw was a dot disapearing in front of them! Never have I ridden an Enduro bike in Thailand hanging off the seat (almost scraping my knees) as I did on rte 1090. Almost every bend in second gear cranked right open and I was in Heaven! Coming back ( the road is a little cut up in places on he retur trip) its not as good but it is still boody superb.

    As far as off roading concerned this is where my meager biking skills come into their own and Umphang again put me into seventh heaven! On the way out to Umphang take any road off to the left leading seemingly nowhere and you will find some dirt biking to that would make an MX pro cream his prosports twice! Dirt trails are everywhere with the beauty of no one else around (not when we were there any way)! If I remember it correctly about 20 kilometers into 1090 when the road starts to get twisty hang a left when you see a trail.

    The North west is my speciality as its my home territory though I had forgoten how good rte 1090 was but please take my advice...Forget Sukhotai and spend your time in and around Umphang. Its absolutely awesome!

    Another tip: Follow this route if you like, it was our route a couple of weeks ago!....We arrived in Mae Sariang about 10am had breakfast in the 7 eleven (anther very tasty 21 baht hot dog) Then rode out to Mae Saem Lap. This is about 60 ks from M Sariang town out on the 105 Mae Sot direction. The road is absoluely bloody awful for a road bike but a (decent) dirt bike is a great laugh! Mae Saem Lap has nothing apart from a big rver and burmese people. At the entrance to ride down to the river front carry on and the broken road turns into a nice stretch of off road. When we were there it was raining so nice and slushy riding was had by all (and we wouldn;t have had it an other way), 3 out of 6 riders all took a dive (I stayed clean thankfully). We left mae Saem lap at around 1pm arrived back on the 108 at 1:30 then rode like nutters all the way to Mae Sot arriving at the always wonderful 1st Hotel with the wrigleys gum soap.

    Next day left mae Sot at 12 arrived Umpahng at 6pm! Yes! 6 hours to go 164 kilometers and the bikes were stopped for only 20 minutes near the refugee camp half way to Umphang. Best days riding I have had for years!

    Just to pick up on slashes report about food and coffee In the canadian guys bar in Mae Sot. Keep away from his Onion rings! I always thought an onion ring was simply a ring in batter not a kilo of onions deep fried whole! Bloody awful. Cant comment on the coffee but the Heinekens tasted extremly good.

    Have a good trip and if you decide to pass trough Pangmapha/Mae Hong Son I can show you some pictures of Umphang and give you some GPS co-ordinates of the off road sections.

    My wife has just gien me the eye so I am on a promise and have no time to spell check this but have fun!
  11. Just back from Mae Sariang and Mae Sot.

    Almost exactly half way (approx 120km) there is a small town/village with a big parking area on the left and small shops down the right side. In the middle and at the end of those shops are fuel suppliers, quite visible.
  12. Dear MBT and Dougal,

    thanks for the great info. MBT, Umphang sounds i basically imagine it to be. Dirt bike heaven. thanks for the info regarding skipping Sukhothai. In many ways i think you may be right in boycotting it. Sure, it's a UNESCO site - but can it compare to a day of riding by the seat of your pants around twisty hills in the jungles. Might follow thy sound advice and just enjoy Umphang a bit longer than we thought.

    Not too sure i'll be partaking in your ritual of 7-11 hotdogs for breakfast though. I can barely stomach those things at 4am whilst i stumble down Khao San road, dodging ladyboys advances, whilst trying not to get that neon-yellow mustard spilt all over my shirts. Can't tell you how many pairs of jeans and nice shirts have ended up in the bin thanks to that crap.

    Just called up Mr. Mechanic and organized 2 Honda Degrees for 6 days, so i'm pleased with how it's all panning out. I'll be sure to write a trip report, and post it on here along with a few photos.

    What's the weather been like up there in N. Thailand? i'm bracing myself for brass monkeys weather. Which i will enjoy....until it rains at the same time!
  13. Actually due to King George of the USA (and others) the global warming is really screwing up the weather here in Mae hong Son. 2 weeks ago my thermometer in my office was showing 3 degrees at 4am in the morning but the last 7 days the temp hasn't gone below 14 at night so actually quite warm for us mountain folk.

    As for mustard down your shirt! It's got to be better than lady boy sauce down your pants surely? You know you've had a good night when you wake up with mustard or chilli sauce down your shirt but wake up with the other you know you need to go on the wagon and check into a temple very quickly!

    Have a bloody good ride you will love it and make sure you do Mae Saem Lap. route 1194 off the 105 20 k or so out of Mae Sariang. (think I said 108 on the last message)
  14. Dear MBT,

    14 degrees will feel like fantastic to a city boy like myself. I'm currently still sweating from the trip into work and i've been sat in air con for half an hour!

    For sure, waking up with mustard down your shirt is a far more preferable experience than waking up with a 10-inch cock in your ass. :shock: Definately gotta get the drinking under control :oops:

    Did the Mae Sam Laep ride last May as a part of the Mae Hong Son loop. It's an awesome ride, you're right about that. I ended up doging the torrential rain in one of those bus-shelter thingys with a monk and a peasant squatting like a monkey. It was quite a funny experience trying to communicate with them. Then the rain stopped and the monk just wandered off into the jungle. Bizzarre.

    Thanks to all for info regarding this post. I'll be in Chiang Mai tonight, and on the road tomorrow, and i can't wait for it! We're gonna skip Sukhothai, and head straight to Tak on day one. Then take it from there. Will let you know how it pans out once i'm back in work with shit loads of time to write up the story.

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