Martin's South East Asia Trip chapter 4 - North


Thai tourer
Jul 22, 2008
Nakhon Ratchasima
Hi again, here is the continued story from my trip.
To follow my trip visually please see pictures on my home page

I spent a couple of days in Chiang Mai looking over the bike planning the next step and being a tourist. I decided to take the Mae Hong Son Loop and went of north. I was equipped with David's excellent map for the tour and easily found my way. There was some great cafe's on the way when starting to climb up the mountains and after a while I decided to follow a sign off road pointing to Pong Duet geyser. 7 km later going thru the forrest there was an amazing boiling pond in the forrest. There was buildt a swimmingpool taking hot water from the Geyser so I tried a bath. It really was hot! Some 40+ degrees in the pool was really nice. A nice experience.

The overnight stop was in Pai, a little town looking almost like a western town in the US with some nice bars and restaurangs made my evening. In the morning after I tried an elephant ride where we took a bath in the river together, it was a lot of fun being thrown of the back of an elephant down in the river several times. We both enjoyed (the elephant and me)

Afterwards I continued over the mountains towards towards Mae Hong Son. Great roads, I think one of the best tour I've ever done. Nice roads, no traffic and amazing mountain views. There also was some nice stops for drinks and lunch so it took almost the day to get to Mae Hong Son, but I really enjoyed every minute of the ride. In town I tried out a ad on the map for bungalows and it was an amazing place with wodden huts in the middle of the Jungle with - as always in Thailand - nice hosts.

A stroll in town, chatting with some locals and have a beer and some food I enjoyed my evening here too. Next day I did som "left turns" off the road and up the mountains to meet the hill tribes. They were not hard to find, when coming up there was always villages and the people was friendly and curious about my big bike. Even if we didn't fully understood each other we succeed to communicate in some way. A great lot of fun.

Along the Burma border were more valley driving on straight roads so the mountain visits gave some variation to the day. I ended up at a cafe, combined childrens home and hostel. A german guy started it up to help the tribe children got som education. It is just north of the village Mae Na chon in the mountains west of Doi Inthanon. Make a visit there and support the children! After the overnight I went up the highest mountain in Thailand Doi Inthanon but no luck with that, wet clouds covered all the top and I didn't see more than 2 meters around me. Have to leave a little bit dissapointed. But my mood was better when driving the great road towards Chaing Mai again. Those roads are made fore bikers!!!

In Chiang Mai the sun shined and it was 40 degrees again, quite a contrast to the wet 10 degrees up on the mountains. I finaly met up with David and his friends at the cafe and I was convinced that there was no problem in driving up to the North of Laos and from there down to Vientienne. Thank you guys for all helpful hints and advices on the way.

My 30 days temporary import permission was now about to expire so I went to the custom at Chaing mai airport to get it extended. There I met the first really unpleasent Thai person on my visit. A lady officer that apparently didn't want to help me and was very rude. So I left before I lose my face and decided to take the problem when checking out from Thailand insted with a couple of days overdue.

So after a good night in town I started up for the Golden triangle ride and heading towards the Laos border. More of that trip in the next issue next weekend. Did I tell you I'm already planning the next ride next winter, in the dry season with rented bikes. I'm looking forward to that trip.

See you all