Mae Hong Son - Pai - Chiang Mai


Staff member
Jan 16, 2003
Chiang Khong
Thurs 27 March. Route 1095.
Mae Hong Son – Soppong – Pai – Chiang Mai.

Got out of Mae Hong Son at 3.45 pm, still in the heat, but it does start to “cool” off by then.

The plan was for a night in Soppong at Phen’s Little Eden and a bite to eat / drink with Joy at the Soppong River Inn, so it was a leisurely pace to Soppong. The road tends to be a bit different when you just cruise along “smelling the roses” as some would say, and generally I’d say route 1095 from MHS to Soppong is in good condition and no trouble whatsoever.
I rolled into Soppong at 4.15 pm & scoffed down a couple of cold sodas. Joy from the River Inn was in Bkk & Phen from the Little Eden was heading for Pai to pick up someone, so that was then end of the night in Soppong.
At 6.45 pm I reached Pai and hit the Baan Pai restaurant for a couple of chilled beers, only to find Pookie the super-sexy owner away in Chiang Mai. When you luck’s out, you’re luck’s out.

Anyway I got a nice room at the Rim Pai Cottage, one of the places I recommend to stay in Pai during the heat. If you get one of the shaded wooden bungalows there, they can be very cool. The gardens are glorious and when you wake up in the morning the sounds of all the birds chirping really is magic, not to mention the sound of the Pai river burbling by – the next morning I actually lay in bed for an extra 45 minutes listening to those wonderful refreshing country sounds. Sounds that you don’t get in Chiang Mai city anymore.
Note too that at the Rim Pai Cottage I don’t think the bungalows priced at 600 baht plus are really worth the money. The 400 baht A-frame bungalows are great, especially the end few that are under the trees. And, in low season you can get the 600 baht rooms for 400 baht, which is what I managed this trip.

Nighttime I had (quite a few) drinks with Oy at the Golden Triangle Bar, before and after hitting the new Be Bop Pub. The new Be Bop’s a very smart looking pub for Pai and I’m real impressed how Chart & the boys have done such a brilliant job. The blues music is still awesome – Mojo’s still in town playing, plus Chart himself. They’ve also got real drinks, with a good bar, and the place is air-conditioned. The only problem with the air con is that the exhaust fans aren’t quite up to the job with the cigarette smoke, and if you’re a non-smoker like me, the smoke will get to you real bad after a while.

Next day, I got away from Pai at 2.45 pm. After a mere 10 kms the rain came down, and it was a wet ride all the way back to Cnx! With the first rains the roads are real greasy, and riding on bald tyres it took me 55 minutes to get the first 46 kms up out of the Pai valley! Not having any waterproofs also made it a bit of a challenge. By the time I got to Mae Sae, roughly half way, I was wet enough not to want to stop and have the usual cup of coffee and / or sponsors. I got into Cnx around 5.00 pm, the last 5 kms in the dry.
The road surface on route 1095 coming up out of Pai is a bit squirly – one of those uneven ones that makes you think you might have a flat tyre, so be warned. It’s a weird feeling riding when you think you might have a flat tyre. (Route 1129 from Chiang Saen to Chiang Khong is another like that, in some places.)
The landslides on route 1095 have also been repaired, so that there are no real dirt sections on the road now, just a few corners where they have widened the road and some dirt has come across the road from vehicles corner cutting.

Keep the power on