Pha Chor - Mae Wang National Park

Discussion in 'Touring Northern Thailand - Trip Reports Forum' started by DavidFL, Jun 6, 2014.

  1. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    On the outskirts of Chiang Mai, sort of....a "new" tourist attraction in the Mae Wang National Park.

    If you've been to Sao Din in Nan or Phae Puang Phi out of Phrae v& enjoyed them, then Pha Chor is much impressive (& requires much more effort.)

    The story goes that this erosion site must have once been the course of the Ping river, but the river changed course.
    Please yourself whether you want to believe that story, but the forest & terrain further in past Pha Chor is quite interesting.

    The Pha Chor turn off is 1.2 kms past the Mae Wang National Park gate & headquarters.
    If you have a Thai drivers licence it is only 20 baht admission, or 100 baht for a farang if you don't.

    Then from the asphalt it is 2 kms



    of slippery, sometimes steep gravel, that you wont enjoy much riding on a bike with ABS brakes.

    & in fact I walked the last couple of hundred metres after having a few earlier moments. Boo Hoo.

    So when you get to the top, no water, no sala - it's all just being built.

    The view.


    There's a trail along the edge of the erosion site




    & then there's another 400 metres one up & down steps & along a dry stream bed.

    & in the boiling afternoon heat you get a good work out I can tell you - take some water!
    Ron wisely decided to hang out at the top & let me do all the work.

    3/4 of the way to the bottom there is viewpoint



    the view here was sufficiently good for me, an old unfit fart without any water in 38 degree heat, to be satisfied.
    But I'd like to go back, in the morning & with some water.
    The view from the bottom is sensational & I reckon that you should allow 1.5 hrs for the hike down & back up, plus photos. As it was I chewed up 45 minutes & was knackered by the time I climbed back out. Oh dear.....another trip beckons.

    A couple of other pics.

    Ron enjoying some clean fresh air at the entrance to the park.

    Wat Sala, Nam Phrae on the canal road coming back home.


    A very welcome find today too was Baan Na cafe


    strategically located on R108, between Chomthong & Sanpathong.
    I've often looked for a nice aircon drink stop in this section, but never found anything any good until today.
    And the Baan Na is an absolute winner. Look no more - Baan Na is it.



    COLD aircon. Smart clean.



    Quiet & with a view.




    Ron & I also thought the food we thought was exceptionally tasty, so Baan Na is good for a bite to eat as well.

    Location R108 between Sanpathong & Chomthong.
    22 kms from the Doi Inthanon turn off R1009
    12 kms from Sanpathong
    GPS Waypoint: N18 31 36.2 E98 51 14.2

    So how to get to Mae Wang National Park & Pha Chor.
    Take the canal road R3035 all the way south from Suthep Road / Ton Payom market to R1013, the Sanpahthong - Mae Wang raod.
    Turn right onto R1013 & go 3.7 kms, then turn left & follow the Mae Wang national park signs. Its a very winding rural back road too I can tell ya.

    The new Sanpathong bypass road - extension of the canal road is now usable, although not officially open.


    the Mae Wang R1013 underpass


    Not yet ready for use.

    But you can go all the way from Suthep road along the canal road past Hang Dong & past Sanpathong / R1013 now direct onto R108 12 kms after Sanpathong. And if your heading to Chomthong / Doi Inthanaon / Mae Sarieng, this is the way to go now.

    Cheers, Check it all out sometime.
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  3. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Having trouble working out where it is?

    Then on the GTR MHS Loop map it should be about here


    Some pix from at the bottom courtesy a Kafe friend.




    I reckon it's worth the hike.
  4. SilverhawkUSA

    SilverhawkUSA Ol'Timer

    Looks interesting but very confusing directions. I think you may have your 1031 and 1013 confused.
  5. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Oops typo that should be 1013 of course.
    Glad you picked up on that.
  6. ianyonok

    ianyonok Ol'Timer

    That canyon does look impressive, perhaps more so than the ones in Phrae, Pai or Chai Prakarn.
  7. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    Wow, spectacular!! I think that would be a fantastic hike in the cool season with the little ones! If I wanted to bring the whole family it looks like you can get in there with a car, yes?

    It's a shame there's no on-off switch for the ABS on the Versys, but in a pinch you can just pop off the seat and pull the ABS fuse to disable it. Don't have my Vesys handy, but it's pretty obvious when you look under the seat. Another option is to unplug the ABS sensor at the back wheel, which means you still have ABS at the front but can slide the rear which I find ideal.

    Happy Trails!!
  8. brian_bkk

    brian_bkk Moderator Staff Member

    Nice find and good to have day trip options like this when over nighting in CNX.

  9. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

  10. Blake

    Blake Ol'Timer

    Hi David. A bit off-topic, but i noticed that you don't have those Alpinestar Saddlebags on your bike in the pic. Just wondering how they turned out and how much you paid for them (assuming Tachilek?). I found some online "like new" for 2000b. Doesn't sounds like an amazing deal but more convenient than going up and over the border if they are in good shape. Did they last well?
  11. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Different bike. I had them on the Africa Twin & sold my beloved AT bike a couple of years ago & not long after sold the bags.
    I had no trouble with the bags & thought they were very good value for money.
    AND I think if you contact Chiang Rai Saddlebags they might be able to get them for you.
  12. Blake

    Blake Ol'Timer

    Oh I see. The way your Versys is stickered up, I didn't notice that it wasn't your signature Africa Twin. Thanks for your feedback about the bags. I'll see if this guy can do a bit better on the price.
  13. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Just buy a new set from the guys at Chiang Rai Saddlebags. Go visit them they have a lot of value for money accessories.
  14. dogeatinghotchips

    dogeatinghotchips New Member

    I was out there last weekend with a couple of mates, I go up Mae Wang regularly and have been to Pha Chor a few times over the last 18 months or so. This time I carried on further along the paved road that head into the Nation Park from the hedquarters/entrance and past the Pha Chor turn off (the dirt section). After a few kms the road runs out and you end up driving through a sandy riverbed for a couple of Kms. Great fun on a dirt bike but almost impossible on anything else. eventually a path diverts away from the river and after speaking to a local ranger and a couple of villagers there is a narrow dirt trail that runs for about 20km eventually bringing you out on the 1013 in Mae Wang valley. I only got as far as this as our main aim for the day was to go from Mae Win via ban Khun Win to Samoeng (a fantastic ride in itself). has anyone stuck at it and rose the trail from Mae Wang National park through to the 1013? It looks steep and pretty technical in places. I'll give it a shot one weekend with my GPS.

    I'll try and put up some pics of the river bed, great riding and only an hour or so from CM.
  15. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Bump for Scotty oo7

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