Chiang Mai to Pai and burma border offroad

Discussion in 'Touring Northern Thailand - Trip Reports Forum' started by alrikki, Sep 14, 2010.

  1. My riding buddy Danny was on holiday and wanted to make the most of it so we decided to go to Pai and take it from there, as much offroad as we could.
    I was in charge of the routes so loaded up the GPS with what looked like the best tracks I could find. He rented a klx with knobblies and bushbars from C&P motors next to Spotlight aGoGo, and we had breakfast at the Eurodiner, then rode to Huay Tung Tao reservoir about 9.30am for the first offroad section, :happy2: up the doi Suthep track then turn off and over to Mae Rim. (1030)
    It had been raining a long time,but now we had 3or4 days dry spell so the tracks had dried up a bit and werent half as
    we followed the Samoeng road a few miles,near Pong Yaeng then turned off to Mork Fa wateralls. I had put the wrong track on the GPS so most of it was on the country road, but it led onto some dirt track with a dodgy bridge or two,so we were happy. At the falls about 2pm, Danny produced his Thai drivers licence, which saved us a couple of hundred baht on the entrance fee. We left all the gear by the bikes and walked barefoot to the falls, 300metres away, which were more impressive than last time I went there. We foolishly resisted the temptation to jump in the water in our riding gear.
    We were soon on our way, up to the Pai road a mile or so north. There was about 15km to go on the road, before the next
    offroad section, so we got some gas and had some rice and chicken and plenty to drink. Near Pa Pae we turned west at half
    past three and followed the gps through mountain ridges,
    stupendous views for almost 3 hours before hitting the Pai road again, at the army checkpoint about 25km southeast of Pai.
    Here it started raining, and was getting dark, so we took shelter at the checkpoint. It seemed to ease off after half an
    hour, so we got back on the road, and were drenched by the time we got to the guesthouse. 300baht for a twin room at the
    Villa de Pai, by the river. Fortunately no powercut this time so we had a meal and then went to sleep.
    Our riding gear was mostly wet in the morning, we had some food and got some oil and chains oiled at the bike workshop
    opposite the gas station and were ready to go by 11am, . I saw a big ktm I recognised outside restaurant so went to say
    hello and there was Phil and david unk having breakfast.
    Off we went looking for a track on the gps, we bumped into Tip from Tip offroad, he knew the track and said it was probably
    doable.This was good because he knows all the tracks,the weather and my riding abilities. We had no idea what the gps track was really like.
    It was easy going for a long time, we found some small rivers to cross, and a big concrete bridge to stand on taking
    videos .

    There was a water power station or something we had to go through, up a hill on a track full of muddy puddles to a
    tower, and beyond. Later there was a lot of steep muddy rutted hills, but as it was not too slippy we got through fairly
    easily, though I was pessimistic, wondering how much worse it might get.
    Something bit Danny on the hand, he was a bit shocked for a minute
    We came to a village,with pickups etc, so there must be a better road near there somewhere. 2 guys with guns, one spoke good english, helped us get some gas, and sponsor, water and assured us we would get through on our big bikes, as he'd do it on his scooter.
    We were about 3 km from the burmese border now, riding parallel to it.
    So on we went through the ruts, getting stuck once or twice, when the guys with guns would pass us, 2up on the scooter bouncing uphill in the mud. Further on they'd stop and wave as we went past, then wait for us to get stuck, and do it again. 2.30pm
    Got to a checkpoint, with a gate, and a :take-that:
    then on by a big estate/gardens in the middle of nowhere, about 3miles from the Burmese border with a heli pad and some junctions, uphill it got as slippy as it could. Once danny picked me up, We kept going and passed a
    load of thais gardening with scooters and a 4wd which wouldnt have got any further, so we thought it would get easier.
    Eventually it did,and we got some speed up for a few kms,and got to a junction to look for the right track . we went down to
    a village, the track to Pang Mapha was there, but there was a river in the way. the locals thought we could get through, one
    spoke good english, but I thought they were having a laugh, waiting for us to fall in then charge us to carry the bikes
    Then someone mentioned a bridge, so we went to find it. Well there it was, nice and new,but it was locked up.
    so we went back to ask about it,turned out there were 2 bridges. so over the river .
    We got to another junction about 4.30pm, having 2 choices on the gps we looked for the track SW to tham lot,but no sign of
    it, so we backtracked and went the long way round on a nice dirt track to a village with coke and beer and water, and after a
    short break we decided to try to dash back through Soppong to pai before it got dark. we stopped at a viewpoint
    and enjoyed riding back in the dark.
    Another night at the Villa de Pai, this time we got a 200baht room each,with noisy fan, mossy net own bathroom and tv, went for some food and listen to some live music before crashing out. next day dan had to go back early,I had a lie in after 2days of 7 hours each on the bike.
    If you wish you can see the fotos on flickr, and see where they were taken on the map there.
    If you wish to see the .gpx track, PM me
  2. Nice one alrikki.
    It's amazing how you can still get good rides in despite all the rain = nothing ventured nothing gained.....have ago. :thumbup:
    Well done & thanks for the trip report.
    I'm sure you're going to make a few guys jealous.
  3. Good to see you have some fun Alex.

    I'm also pleased to see the weather wreak havoc on that track from Pai to Sappong near the Burma border. Last time I was on it it was graded smooth and had lost its character, from your pics it looks like it has been reverted back to normal :D .

    The section just past the pump station above Muang Noi is great fun isn't it? Dropping down into ditches and shooting out the other side in the air :wink:

    There is also a shorter loops that carves an arc inside that loop you did if you keep your eyes peeled. Once I can recover the GPS track I'll PM it to you.
  4. yes the ruts were quite deep in places, sometimes just a narrow ridge to ride on where the rest had cracked away leaving a 3foot hole to pull the bike out of if you slipped. And we often used the chicken runs, to make life easier.It was ok but I'm not doing it in the wet.I'll leave that for some other mugs.
    please send that gpx soon, as we're wanting to do it this weekend if poss. It's marked on the new gtrider map, not the old one?
  5. Sadly I cannot remember if its on Davids map or not. If I can get access to my GPS tracks I'll get them to you no problem.
  6. Yes it is on the 4th edition Mae Hong Son Loop map. :thumbup:

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