Mai Hong Son Loop during Son Kran ,..... Are you completely mad? Well I thought it was a good idea, and so Khun Pat and I flew up to CNX from BKK and after booking in to our hotel we set off to pick up the hire bike. In the past I have always hired bikes from Joes and can say that they have been well prepared and these guys do an excellent job, apart from that XR 250, the one with the big plastic white tank - its cursed and should be thrown in the moat, also it’s a shame they don’t always answer emails and as a result this time against my better judgment we were to collect a bike from Mrs Mechanic …. she is so charming isn’t she, I had booked a CB400 and after rejecting one or two I spotted a CB 750 with a rack, now that one, I thought would be perfect. My Beauty and "The Beast" The Bike which was to become know as "The Beast" (play the music) weighed a tonne and the power was in all the wrong places I'm used to a BM R1100 RT so from the outset I did not enjoy riding "The Beast" .... so sluggish and top heavy, why are 4 cylinder bikes so popular? they dont do it for me i like available Torque in low revs everytime. The Crazy madness of Son Kran in and around Chiang Mai A word about Son Kran. It’s the Thai New Year and celebrated with a water splashing festival. Anything and everyone is splashed with water there are water fights from the back of pickup trucks and Tuk tuks and anyone on a bike is splashed. Chiang Mai goes mental. Now if you’re a fa rang on a big hire bike it’s a gift from Buddha to the groups of youths doing the soaking. What's more it all lasts 5 days and that’s the five days we were to be touring. I actually quite enjoy riding a bike in CNX but not "The Beast" and needless to say we were soaked before we got out of the city and so the fun began. We had planned to ride the loop clockwise but had a change of plan on the way, turning around at Mae Hong Son and headed back the way we had come. Nun Song Sam YEEEEEM .. hold on a minute I've not taken it yet We enjoyed our visit to the top of Don Intanon, we had 2 overnight stays at the Navasong resort in Mai chem. Always a good resort with excellent food and a warm welcome, we had a stop for lunch at the Ban Fa rang good for a massage but not on this occasion … and a night in Mae Hong Son, I can't remember the name of the resort but no worries as we had an awful job finding it, I'm sure you would too, but I have to say the folk were very nice and spoke excelent English. His and Hers , i think that's hers In order to have power on tap on the twisty roads in the mountains I needed to keep the Beast screaming and this made KP very uncomfortable and she complained, it wasn't’t that we were going fast in fact I think I have ridden these roads faster on the XR 250, and so, me and KP and "The Beast" plodded along enjoying the scenery. Namtok in the National Park As we made progress KP was still complaining I was going too fast so I slowed down yet again but you know things are not going well when you are being overtaken by locals 2 up on a Honda dream giving you funny looks on the down hill bends so I pulled over and had a wee chat with KP, the one that goes along the lines of ……. look sweetheart you know I love you and I would never do anything to hurt KP but I’ve been riding bikes since... before you were born so pleeeaase just sit back relax, im doing my best...... and trust KJ – after that everything was fine. Actually Khun Pat was a star and great company as always. i think this pic may have been taken a month earlier Every 20 minutes we were soaked to the skin by the party people and with temperatures hitting 42 C we would simply dry out in around … 20 minutes, just in time for the next soaking. Some characters had Hugh ice cubes in their water and it was quite a shock to be hit by 35 gallons of ice cold water, one lot nearly knocked us clean off the bike and it was around about this time that the novelty began to wear off. My body was struggling to cope with the constant changes in temp and I could not decide whether to ride slowly and let them soak us or ride fast and risk hitting some excitable yougster or having an accident. And then in the middle of nowhere we would come upon a wee soul all on her own, sat at the side of the road, head in her hands with her basin of water by her side and her wee pail ready to do her splashing, it was a shame not to slow down and see the look on her face when she got to splash us. Yeehaaaa, that for me will be the lasting memory of Son Kran Where we catch the boat to the long neck village Mae Hong Son "The Beast" was unreliable and on one morning was completely dead no starter no battery – dead - but we managed to bump start it which was not an easy task given its size and weight. - We set off back to Chiang Mai You need a lot of energy and a massive sense of humour to do this run during Son Kran and in answer to the question - Mai Hong Son Loop during Son Kran ,..... Are you completely mad? I think the answer would be most definitely ... yes Not recommended Regards Jimmy "Look KP Its Happy Hour" was met with [!]"dont speak to me, i dont care, ive got a sore bum, leave me alone"