Hot water & dust, but kept separate

Feb 23, 2003
A couple of friends of mine came up to visit Chiang Mai last week and were anxious to see some of the local riding areas. One, Toby, was on a classic older R 75 BMW, and the other, Ken, was on a wildly modified 1150 GS BMW, complete down to pig horns mounted on the front..[:)] Ken's Japanese girlfriend Yuko was hot to do some riding on her own so she rented a Honda Super Four. SilverHawk had told me there was hot springs a little ways outside of Samoeng, so wanted to give it a shot. Great riding through the Mai Sai valley, and then nice twisties sort of up over the pass and down to Samoeng. The usual loop is to then head south on the road which cuts over to near Hang Dong. So instead out of Samoeng head north towards Mae Pa. Be sure to bring along a Thai girl to figure out the mystery T intersections where the signs are all in Thai. Or just ask friendly locals where the nam poo rawn is and they will gladly point you in the right direction.It is marked on David's new Mai Sai Valley map.
So after maybe 25 klics out of Samoeng along sort of half pavement at the beginning to all dirt at the end we arrived at the hot springs. Very well done with nice landscaping in a sort of valley. Sort of unexpected at the end of a long dirt road. There are small bathing pools in little huts, or the large pool which we opted for. Big enough for maybe 20 people, also had the nice touch of having cool water sprayers all around the edge of the rock pool to cool your head. Did I say the water was hot??????? It was f @#$%$# ing hot!! Not bad when you got used to it though, better than some of the lukewarm springs I have been it. Had a great lunch there, with some really friendly people running it.
After hanging for a while it was time to head back. Instead of going back the same way I wanted to try the road that went sort of due east and then cuts down to Pong Yeng, not sure what the road number is. All dirt up through the mountains, with everyone eating lots of dust. A few loose parts with some deep dusty ruts, just enough to have fun and keep you on your toes. So maybe 30 klics and then it rejoined the main road. All in all a great day loop out of Chiang Mai, especially if you are a hot spring addict like myself.