MHS Loop or Chaing Rai

Discussion in 'General Discussion / News / Information' started by mtbe, Oct 1, 2011.

  1. I thought we'd have more time in Chaing Mai for two motorcycle trips, one for the MHS loop and one for Chaing Rai. However, my wife and brother-in-law want to go to S. Thailand (specifically the "James Bond Island"....for some reason...I just can't get excited about it), so that limits the time in Chaing Mai.

    Chaing Rai was on my personal 'to see' list, but after reading about the MHS loop and motorcycles...well, hard to pass up.

    Ends up we'll only have 3 days to ride. I would like to see the/a "long-neck tribe" if possible.

    Are there any long-neck tribe villages along the MHS loop and where? Where are they in/near Chiang Rai?

    Any other beaches you can recommend to see that would be as scenic (mountain cliffs, steep rock islands) that would keep us out of Phuket?

    How is the weather in S. Thailand 1st week of Nov usually?
  2. Hi there,

    At this point i'd go west from Chiang Mai myself. The reason being bad weather coming in from north/north-east with warnings of heavy rains and possible flooding, Chaing Rai was on the latest warning if memory serves. But thats now (and i really hope weather's improving soon!), you maybe going later...

    As for visiting tribes i don't have much info...

    Weather on the Andaman coast early November should be good.. Check out for excellent and detailed information on places to go, best resource there is imo..

    Have a good one..
  3. Thanks for the info.

    We won't be in Chiang Mai until last week of Oct, so I'm sure things will be cleaned up by then......
  4. Its too bad you only have 3 days to ride. That really is not enough time to warrant a trip all the way up to CM in my opinion. I rode the region for 2 weeks and just barely scratched the surface. But you definitely can ride the MHS loop and see the basics in 3 days but that is about it. The weather in late Oct. should be OK but you very well could get some late season showers. But things will definitely be nice and green and clear air, so that outweighs some of the risk of getting wet. Just be prepared.

    As far as Padung long-neck tribes along the loop, there is a turn off to a village about 2-3 miles north of MHS city. You go West for about 15 miles and there it is at N19 24 14.4 E97 50 06.64. But very touristy selling trinkets and they will charge for even taking a picture of them. Not particularly friendly and not an authentic hill tribe experience. IMO not really worth the time but if you must have the photo op, go for it.

    As far as the South, it depends on what you want. We stayed in Krabi in Ao Nang and it was convenient and more nightlife since it is central hub and you can get boat rides to James Bond Is. and the others. But if you want more peace and quiet, Koh Lanta is a good choice down there.

    Regardless, if you have limited time best bet would be to either pick a beach holiday or a moto tour holiday. Trying to do both is going to diminish the experience of both. The North and the Krabi region each have huge amounts of things to see and do and you will miss a lot rushing around on a tight schedule. Best of luck on whatever you decide.
  5. Also there are Long Neck tribes on the outskirts of Pai (133klms out of Chiang Mai) which is the half way point between Chiang Mai and Maehongson. The leg from CM to Pai is a comfortable 2.5 hours.The road from Chiang Mai to Maehongson is excellent (a couple of minor washouts but well signposted and hopefully repaired by the time of your transit) with good sized towns at Pai, Pang Mapha (Soppong) and Maehongson. Typically there is a coffee/food/rest stop every half hour along the road.

    A the end of the month it will still be moderately warm on the flats, but in the mountains it will be getting distinctly chilly and gloves, jacket, long sleeved shirt and warm socks will make the ride much more comfortable. If you are travelling with plenty of storage, I suggest a good sized thermos flask full of your favourite hot broth, soup or coffee. The number of astoundingly beautiful places to stop along the roadside to take the odd photo are numerous....and nothing matches the pleasure of looking at babbling mountain streams through the mist generated from the surface of a hot cuppa on a cool day.
  6. Believe me: I wanted to stay around CM for the two weeks we have motoring around, Yi Peng Festival, cooking class, MHS, Chiang Rai, etc... But the brother-in-law wants to fit everything in. My wife and I would have an opportunity to return. This will be his only opportunity to see Thailand and he wants to see as much as possible. I am opposite and would rather stay in one location and not loose time to travel.

    Hmmm...I've read similar stories and am also re-thinking the hill-tribe 'experience'. You indicate it is not an authentic hill tribe experience: What would be?

    Read up on Krabi last night and Koh Lanta. Looks promising.
  7. It's good your rethinking your hill tribe experience with your available time, there options for a much more authentic experience. On a trip last year we visited the MHS long neck villages for the first time and like many were really disappointed. On the same trip, the contrast in 2 quite remote of hill tribes I'd visited on fishing trips is startling; they remembered me from my previous visit the last 8 months before, offered both my son and I lunch (accepted) and a place to stay (declined but will be back), and this was with minimal Thai skills on my parts though on the fishing trips there were fluent speaker of Thai present. 3 days on the MHS loop will give you a great taste of the northwest and draw you back for certain.

    You likely know this, but stay away from Phuket.
  8. Having lived down south for a fair while I would say as a tourist Krabi has a lot more to offer than Lanta. Lanta is dead in the off season and will only be in shoulder season in start of Nov.. Its not that great a sea there (jellyfish can be a problem from the mangroves) and its appeal is more how laid back it is as a muslim island. Krabi is a good base and easy to get around and see from Ao nang (great seafood under the trees places at the western end of hat napparat thara.. My wife would make me divert from the main rd into Krabi for the razor clams !!). Or taking a boat out to Railey

    Depends on time scales and what your looking for ?? Lippe down is superb but changing way too fast.. Out on the Ranong side the island of Phayam is a hidden gem still without rds or electricity, hornbills and a great west coast.. Wont remain like this for long.

    And I agree with you on james bond island.. hawker hustle and tourist scene to look at a rock.. Something like a John Grey sea canoe (the original and someone whose genuinely a conservationist rather than tour operator) is much more rewarding..

    Realize thats not ride info but might help you.. PM is you have questions.

Share This Page