Mae Wang Loop

Discussion in 'Touring Northern Thailand - Trip Reports Forum' started by hansdeckers, Jan 10, 2004.

  1. 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.

  2. 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




    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




    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.

    Keep the power on
  3. 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.


    The short dirt bit is probably as good as it's ever been - bumpy, gravelly & a bit greasy in a couple places.
    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.


    There is however some superb asphalt at the Sanpathong end.

    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
    For a map, get a copy of the Mae Hong Son Loop map
  4. 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?
    at the entrance to the Mu Baan.

    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
    brekky for David Unk
    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....
    JG ended up on the concrete & I on the greasy clay alongside.

    A relieved JG delicately parked on the snot.

    Silverhawk's DR650 getting the once over from a few locals

    An quick look at the old AT

    and the farang on the right - an old mate of mine, "Elephant Keeper"
    Bodo Jens Förster
    who reminded me it is 10? years since we last met in Mae Wang.
    (how time flies.)

    On the road outside Mae Sapok kindergarten

    The Mae Sapok kindergarten
    under consideration for a Chiang Mai Toy Ride Donation

    15 kms further on up the road
    Huai E Khang kindergarten

    and looks like they need help


    Watch the Chiang Mai Toy Ride website
    for more news

    Happy days watching the GT RIder's bike.
  5. Nice ride & fotos :thumbup: , would love to go there with you guys next Friday :? ........enjoy the ride & charity, cheers, Franz
  6. 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!

    Sorry Ally, I haven't been out geocaching.
  7. 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

    378861739_V8GhA-M. The old log bridge through the tin mine

    More golden oldie images here

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

    MaeWangLoop-GTR-IMG_0035-. 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

    MaeWangLoop-GTR-IMG_0001-. R1349 Samoeng - Huai Mana

    MaeWangLoop-GTR-IMG_0003-. R1349 Samoeng - Huai Mana

    MaeWangLoop-GTR-IMG_0008-. R1349 Samoeng - Huai Mana - some of the original brick paving still left.

    It used to be like this before the brick paving


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

    MaeWangLoop-GTR-IMG_0010-. Karen Huai Mana

    MaeWangLoop-GTR-IMG_0012-. At Huai Mana turn left onto R4053 to Bo Kaew & Mae Hae

    MaeWangLoop-GTR-IMG_0014-. Strawberry fields are everywhere

    MaeWangLoop-GTR-IMG_0016-. R4053 Huai Mana - Bo Kaew - Mae Hae - Huai Tong

    MaeWangLoop-GTR-IMG_0019-. Wind power has arrived in these out of the way villages

    MaeWangLoop-GTR-IMG_0020-. From the old rustic town of Bo Kaew approaching the old tin mine

    MaeWangLoop-GTR-IMG_0024-. The old Bo Kaew tin mine - still partially operating

    MaeWangLoop-GTR-IMG_0026-. The old Bo Kaew tin mine

    The new concrete road the other side of the tin mine


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


    MaeWangLoop-GTR-IMG_0030-. Bo Kaew - Mae Hae riding out of the old mine

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


    MaeWangLoop-GTR-IMG_0036-. Bo Kaew - Mae Hae

    MaeWangLoop-GTR-IMG_0041-. Bo Kaew - Mae Hae


    The old road




    The nasty old rutted road


    MaeWangLoop-GTR-IMG_0061-. At Huai Tong turn left to Sanpathong & Chiang Mai.

    From Huai Tong it is R4016 towards Sanpathong


    MaeWangLoop-GTR-IMG_0066-. R4016 Huai Tong - Mae Wang - Sanpathong

    The old road


    MaeWangLoop-GTR-IMG_0072-. R4016 Huai Tong - Mae Wang - Sanpathong

    MaeWangLoop-GTR-IMG_0069-. R4016 Huai Tong - Mae Wang - Sanpathong

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


    Its a very steep descent with some nasty hairpin bends

    MaeWangLoop-GTR-IMG_0079-. R4016 Huai Tong - Mae Wang - Sanpathong

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


    MaeWangLoop-GTR-IMG_0082-. R4016 Huai Tong - Mae Wang - Sanpathong

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

    MaeWangLoop-GTR-IMG_0083-. Coffee Rider Mae Win

    MaeWangLoop-GTR-IMG_0087-. 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.


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

    The elevation profile

    GPS-Profile001. 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.
  8. 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!
  9. 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.

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