Mae Wang Loop

hansdeckers

Ol'Timer
Dec 13, 2003
46
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Just did the Mae Wang Loop on my newly acquired Honda Magna. It is in excellent condition, bought at Siamsuperbike in Bangkok. recommended !
Going from Mae Wang to Mae Hae is quite ok. Sometimes potholes. However the stretch from Mae Hae to Bo Kaew is terrible. ABout 10 k. downhill, loose sand, holes. I could barely keep my Magna straight. In the rainy season very difficult to impossible. From Bo Kaew via Samoeng back to CNX is a very nice ride again. Total distance is about 150 k. Took me 3.5 hours.

Hans
 

DavidFL

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Jan 16, 2003
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Hans
Sounds like you're having a good time still.
Yeah the Mae Wang loop is a bit alright, except for that 8kms tricky steep

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slippery gravel section immediately west of the old tin mine at Bo Kaew.
I know a TDM rider who had a bit of trouble in there & declined making a report for the board. However, I note that you did not drop the Magna, so you really are going well on the dicey steep stuff - 1st Doi Pha Tang, then Doi Ang Khang, now the Bo Kaew tin mine.
And 3 1/2 hrs for the ride is pretty good time too, I bet you did not take too many photos?
Do you think that the Mae Wang Valley

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is better than the Mae Sa Valley - better scenery, tighter narrower more steep roads? How do you rate and compare the two?
I'm in Luang Prabang right now, but will be in Cnx soon and will come to see when I get back.
Meanwhile, good riding & keep the reports coming in - we need all the contributors we can get.
I appreciate all that we get. Many thanks to those who ride and then take the time to contribute.

Davidfl
Keep the power on
 

DavidFL

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Thought it might be time to update this one. So just in from a brief recce on the Mae Wang Loop with Silverhawk - out for a Sunday arvo ride.
Met at the X-Centre at 12.50 PM, had a natter with the Ambassador & then hit the road by 1.15PM to be back in Cnx by 4.45Pm.

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The short dirt bit is probably as good as it's ever been - bumpy, gravelly & a bit greasy in a couple places.
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but a piece of cake on a 250 dirt bike.

However the asphalt / brick paving from Samoeng - Huai Mana - Bo Kaew, then from Mae Hae - Huai Tong - Mae Win sucks! There are too many big potholes, with lots of sand & gravel on the road. This combined with the narrow road width & vegetation coming right down & onto the road in many places do not make for a very enjoyable ride at the moment.

Sorry no photos of the potholed stuff.

Hopefully in a few more weeks they will clean it up & you will be able to enjoy the excellent scenery / villages / sunflowers en route.

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There is however some superb asphalt at the Sanpathong end.
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AND with the end of the rainy season / start of the cool season, the light is magical right now. In 2-3 more weeks it won't be as green & the rice will be harvested. So get out there, ride & take lots of photos asap!

For more info on the Mae Wang Loop
https://www.gt-rider.com/motorcycle-tours-day-multi-day-options/touring-loops-day-rides/mae-wang-loop
For a map, get a copy of the Mae Hong Son Loop map
https://www.gt-rider.com/maps-of-thailand-laos-maps/the-mae-hong-son-loop-guide-map
 

DavidFL

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Looking for somewhere to park some photos from today's ride surveying on the Mae Wang Loop for some poor schools suitable for a Chiang Mai Toy Ride Charity donation.......... :idea:

But first BREAKFAST
Being a slower riser I suggested a 9.30Am rendezvous to Silverhawk & John Gooding at Black Canyon Kad Farang for a cappu. But alas BC does not open until 10.00AM.

A few hundred metres away was California Wraps?
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at the entrance to the Mu Baan.

AND
we were in luck. Ally was getting her hair done...not that I dare get a snap.

But breakfast I did - it ended up more than a cappu stop & I was pleased.

Breakfast for JG
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brekky for David Unk
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Silverhawks:
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and you could tell it was a bit early for this GT Rider!

:thumbup: California Wraps? you've got a good breakfast & hot cappu! Thanks.

On the road in search of a poor school / kindergarten
Mae Sapok & the wrong way....
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JG ended up on the concrete & I on the greasy clay alongside.

A relieved JG delicately parked on the snot.
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Silverhawk's DR650 getting the once over from a few locals
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An quick look at the old AT
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and the farang on the right - an old mate of mine, "Elephant Keeper"
Bodo Jens Förster
http://www.elephant-tours.de/eng/
who reminded me it is 10? years since we last met in Mae Wang.
(how time flies.)

On the road outside Mae Sapok kindergarten
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The Mae Sapok kindergarten
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under consideration for a Chiang Mai Toy Ride Donation

15 kms further on up the road
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Huai E Khang kindergarten

and looks like they need help
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Watch the Chiang Mai Toy Ride website
http://www.chiangmaitoyride.com/
for more news

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Happy days watching the GT RIder's bike.
 

Franz

Ol'Timer
Jun 28, 2007
1,660
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Nice ride & fotos :thumbup: , would love to go there with you guys next Friday :? ........enjoy the ride & charity, cheers, Franz
 

SilverhawkUSA

Ol'Timer
Mar 15, 2003
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www.daveearly.com
I reserve the right to pre-approve any future posting of morning pictures of my aging face! :oops: I thought you were just snapping the food!
:lol-sign:

Sorry Ally, I haven't been out geocaching.
 

DavidFL

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Update 28th February 2016

This loop is now all asphalt - concrete.

The last remaining dirt section was between Huai Mana, through the old tin mine & onto Mae Hae.

It used to be like this

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The old log bridge through the tin mine

More golden oldie images here

https://www.gt-rider.com/se-asia-motorcycling/topic/the-mae-wang-loop-41

But now it is all beautiful tight, steep winding, twisting narrow concrete - asphalt.

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Bo Kaew - Mae Hae

The round trip is 170 kms, depending on where you start. My start / finish is Mae Rim.

From Mae Rim you ride out to Samoeng. Then take R1349 to Huai Mana

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R1349 Samoeng - Huai Mana

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R1349 Samoeng - Huai Mana

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R1349 Samoeng - Huai Mana - some of the original brick paving still left.

It used to be like this before the brick paving

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Huai Mana is the Karen village & road junction, left to Bo Kaew & the old tin mine, or straight on R1349 to Wat Chan & Pai.

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Karen Huai Mana

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At Huai Mana turn left onto R4053 to Bo Kaew & Mae Hae

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Strawberry fields are everywhere

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R4053 Huai Mana - Bo Kaew - Mae Hae - Huai Tong

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Wind power has arrived in these out of the way villages

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From the old rustic town of Bo Kaew approaching the old tin mine

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The old Bo Kaew tin mine - still partially operating

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The old Bo Kaew tin mine

The new concrete road the other side of the tin mine

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It used to be a gnarly stony rutted dirt trail up & out of the tin mine.

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Bo Kaew - Mae Hae riding out of the old mine

Unbelievable - strawberry fields now in the old sludge pools residue from the mine.

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Bo Kaew - Mae Hae

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Bo Kaew - Mae Hae

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The old road

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The nasty old rutted road

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At Huai Tong turn left to Sanpathong & Chiang Mai.

From Huai Tong it is R4016 towards Sanpathong

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R4016 Huai Tong - Mae Wang - Sanpathong

The old road

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R4016 Huai Tong - Mae Wang - Sanpathong

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R4016 Huai Tong - Mae Wang - Sanpathong

The road runs high along the ridge line then drops down into the Mae Wang valley

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Its a very steep descent with some nasty hairpin bends

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R4016 Huai Tong - Mae Wang - Sanpathong

There are warning signs for the bends & maze to be aware of

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R4016 Huai Tong - Mae Wang - Sanpathong

Once down in the Mae Wang valley & Coffee Rider is the recommended place to stop for a cuppa

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Coffee Rider Mae Win

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Coffee Rider Mae Win

Coffee Rider. GPS Waypoint: N18 40.230 E98 38.784

Then just after the Mae Wang elephant camps hit the race surface road & carry on home.

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Woo-hoo what a day out the back of Samoeng & Sanpathong.

The elevation profile

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170 kms elevation profile starting from Mae Rim to Samoeng - Mae Wang - Sanpathong - Chiang Mai - Mae Rim.

Check it out some an amazing ride through a beautiful landscape of mountains, pine forests, orchards, vege gardens & hill tribe villages.

Even take you time & stay over  night in the Mae Wang Valley. Check out the accommodation marked on the GTR Mae Hong Son Loop map for Mae Wang.

This loop, now that it is all paved, is probably one of the best small bike cultural day loops you can do from Chiang Mai.
 

scotty007

Ol'Timer
Feb 23, 2004
196
68
28
When I did this loop in the late eighties it was a full day hard yakka ride! Now it is a very pleasant half day loop with great elevation keeping the temperatures down and the scenery can be quite stunning in places, highly recommended to add this one to the list of great rides from Chiang Mai!
 

Johpa

Ol'Timer
Aug 22, 2005
85
15
8
I have done this ride many times over the decades but it is now accessible to just about anyone on any size motorbike  and is also now comfortable for riding two-up, just take the steeper hairpin curves slowly.  This is now indeed arguably the best day long scenic loop ride out of the city, especially now that the canal road bypasses the Sanpatong bottleneck.  As the Mong village of Mae Hae is the center point I might call it the Mae Hae Loop.  The villages below Mae Hae to Mae Sapok are all Karen villages.  Time it right and you might get to ogle the tourist lasses getting off the rafts in Mae Win.  The next Samoeng Loop map should be expanded to include this ride as fr0m both a scenic as well as cultural view this is a far superior ride to the now heavily commercialized Samoeng Loop.