Elephant Trail

Discussion in 'Northern Thailand - General Discussion Forum' started by koolaukid, Dec 3, 2016.

  1. Hello All,
    I have a CRF250L, live in Bangkok and am planning to do the Elephant Trail between Mae Hong Son and Samoeng in January. Dates and exact route are flexible but if we decide to ride up we might also do a side trip into Umphang. If we're pressed for time we could take the train into Chiang Mai and start from there. Investigated the route last October but only got 5km in as it was a muddy, foggy but fascinating quagmire. As we would probably only spend one full day on the ET we could also check out some of the other dirt routes in area, lots to do with hot springs, indigenous villages and beautiful scenery. Looking to find some riding partners with similar interests who like to ride, explore and love the country, food and people. Don't worry about riding skills or equipment as this should be a pretty casual ride with camaraderie and mutual support important factors. Scott
     
  2. Been on my list too. I thought you start behind Doi Suthep tho' - may well be wrong.
     
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  3. What are your dates in January ? I have an appointment close to the end of the month, but the rest of the time is free. PM if better for you.
     
  4. Hi there Scott
    How did you go?
     
  5. It was pretty much the classic bike trip. Got contacted by several guys that wanted to go, talked about plans and scheduling then, for one reason or another, they all dropped out. Ended up going with an acquaintance here in Bangkok Matt Pearson. Took the train to Chiang Mai and after several consecutive weeks of good weather, it started raining. And it rained on us all the way from Chiang Mai to Samoeng. However the next day it cleared up and we made the drive from Samoeng to Mae Hong Son. The Elephant Trail was beautiful and disappointing. Beautiful because it cut through some really remote areas, I could almost imagine a convoy of elephants heading to market making their way along the ridges toward Chiang Mai. Disappointing because so much of the trail is now paved. With the exception of a few kilometers, the track is paved between Samoeng and Wat Chan. From Wat Chan to Mae Hong Son there are long stretches of dirt but many, if not most of the difficult sections, steep inclines and mud bogs are now paved, sometimes with two parallel concrete tracks, sometimes as an asphalt/concrete road. It's a beautiful road in a beautiful area but far from the remote, adventure experience I had expected. However we did a fair amount of riding in the area and DID find some good offloading. And some of these rides radiated off the Elephant Trail. But the ET itself is rapidly becoming a well used thoroughfare.
     
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  6. Thanks for the update. It is always good to get some feedback to share the info.
    Sorry you were a bit disappointed in the amount of dirt left on the "Elephant Tail." Would you say it was 60% dirt / 40% asphalt, or...?
    It does sound as if you found a few good tracks out there though. Where did they go. How many says dirt riding did you end up doing.
    If you've got a few photos of some of the roads & scenery it would be nice to see them.
     

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