Mae Hong Son to Chiang Mai, via Wat Chan

Discussion in 'Touring Northern Thailand - Trip Reports Forum' started by Moto-Rex, Oct 15, 2011.

  1. Mae Hong Son to Chiang Mai, via Wat Chan.

    The track that’s goes from Mae Hong Son to Wat Chan, and then onto Chiang Mai is also known as the elephant trail.

    This was a ride to run in the new KLX, and as because I’ve been in oz for a while, it was a good ride to remind me of just what a great part of the world Northern Thailand is, with unique little towns like Mae Hong Son, along with good riding like the elephant trail.

    I’ve ridden this track a dozen or more times, as it’s a good way to get to and from Mae Hong Son when you ride a trail bike.

    Looking across the lake to the temple.

    The sunflower restaurant is a great spot for a few sunset beers.

    Beer…the giver of life, with the pagoda in the back ground.

    After a few beers it was time to say a quick hello to TJ and Simon, so I wandered over to the temple, were there was some serious candle lighting going on.

    Not sure if it was some ones birthday, but if it is, there no spring chicken.

    The lighting continues.

    I walked behind this pagoda to a quiet spot were two plaques have been placed in memory of two GT Riders that are sadly not with as any longer. The area has been well kept, and the plants that have been planted behind the plaques are thriving. It really is a wonderful setting.
    It was a beautiful clear night, the monks, and candles added to a sense of charm. I stood there looking at the plaques, and thought to myself…these guys where just like me, they loved this country, they loved riding bikes and having a beer, and there no longer here. Makes you think just how short life really is.

    I’m not religious at all, so maybe it was the setting, but felt I needed say something. I simply said “Ill go and have beer for you guys at the crossroad pub,” and with that I left.

    R.I.P fellas.

    More here.


    Next morning it was off to Chiang Mai, so after a bite to eat and coffee at the new Salween restaurant, I pointed the KLX to the turn off, and was on my way.


    The park entrance, and the start of the track. Twenty Baht for a days riding,.. what a bargin.

    With all the rain this wet season, I was surprised how good a condition the track was in.

    I reckon you could probably do this track on a Versy. Key word…probably.

    Good thing about riding just after the wet season is that jungle is so lush.

    Home sweet home.


    The new KLX, a bike that was recently voted by a predigest motorcycle panel, as the best all round Asian touring bike ever produced.

    How long will it look so new?

    It was a good days riding, the sun was out, and the rain stayed away. It took around six hours because the condition of the track was good. Two years ago the same ride took me just on 10 hours due to the mud, along with some rain.
    Back in Chiang Mai after a washing off the dust, it was out for a feed at the Eurodiner, were there was few GT riders to share a few beers with......... Yes, it’s good to be back in Thailand.

    I also tried out a GOPRO helmet cam. So Ill add a video of the ride when I work out how to do it.
  2. Welcome back! Didn't know either T.J. or Simon but a nice gesture to drop by & "see them"
    Good photos, wish I could take some of similar quality but whatever talents I was given - being a photographer was not one of them. Wish I could indulge in the off road riding bit but with my leg its a no no. Doesn't stop me enjoying jungle photos though.
  3. You've given me deja vu all over again Rex. I was in MHS just a few weeks ago. Wandered over from Piya Guest house at sunset to pay my respects to Simon and TJ then off to Sunflower for a beer or three.
    I think I've done most of the on road rides around Chiang Mai in the last few years. Might have to hire a KLX and try a few off road trips next time. I'm back in Aus now so please keep up the great trip reports so I can maintain my enthusiasm until my next trip in January :)
  4. Thank you for the nice reminder about the MHS loop, it's time to pack, to be on the road again. In about one month, the region will have his fabulous yellow carpet of Mexican sunflowers. Great for another picturesque trip!
  5. Happy to see that your "white" KLX did a good job, still curious to get a taste of your GOPRO. I just posted a link to your report on FB GTRider page. Cheers
  6. Good to see you back.
    The Wat Chan routes are excellent (as is the bitumen run down from Wat Chan to Pai for the Verseys team).
  7. For newbies wondering exactly where the trail is, it is on the GT Rider Mae Hong Son Loop map.
    It starts 6 kms south of Mae Hong Son, at the Fern resort turn off.
  8. Gday Slash.

    The new KLX feels just the same as the old one, but I’m sure there’s some small refinements with every new model. The only thing I’ve noticed so far is that the air box has been redesigned, and the air intake is much bigger.

  9. Nice post Rex. Frank and I did this last December.
    Really lovely track and one of our first real off roading trip..
    We hired a couple of KLX's in CM and after this trip decided to get the KLX.
    We both have the new white models too.

    Couple of the guys have bought the new API ECU and are very happy with the performance now.

    Cheers and hope to see you soon,

  10. Hi Rex, welcome back to LOS, nice to read your report. So if the elefant trail is 'maybe' possible on the Verys, I sure should try it with the XTZ.....555
    Just came back from MHS yesterday and as you said it's a jewel of a small town. Nothing changed there since ages. Happy trails ! FR

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