Rak Thai - Mae Aw - Mae Hong Son

DavidFL

Administrator
Staff member
Jan 16, 2003
12,599
3,099
113
67
Chiang Khong
www.thegtrider.com
Rak Thai or Mae Aw is a Chinese KMT village north of Mae Hong Son & situated right on the border with Myanmar.
At an altitude of 1,100 metres is always cool & pleasant with some stunning scenery & light for photography.

And only 44 kms from MHS it is one side trip you should do from Mae Hong Son.

There are 2 options or getting there
1. The "long scenic way" via Kung Mai Sak = 44 kms
2. The "fast highway" via R1095 & Mok Chom Pae = 43.5 kms
The distance is the same, but the long scenic way has a nice start through the rural villages & the rice paddies

GTR - IMG_5934B.JPG


& then return via the "fast highway."

Rak Thai / Mae Aw is on the GTR MHS Loop map here
GTR-RakThai.jpg


The elevation profile the long scenic way
GPS-Map007.jpg


The elevation profile the fast highway
GPS-Map008.jpg


The ascent from Pha Su waterfall is one of the steepest in the north.
GPS-Map-RakThai-005.jpg


Rak Thai is nestled in a tight valley surrounded by rugged hills that form the border with Myanmar.
GTR-Rak Thai Map006.jpg


The road in a a tight twisting one Up & down the hills
GTR - IMG_5939B.JPG


GTR - IMG_6023.JPG

GTR - IMG_5944.JPG

GTR - IMG_5948.JPG


Entering Rak Thai
GTR - IMG_6019.JPG


There are numerous tea shops & restaurants by the lake.
GTR - IMG_5953.JPG


GTR - IMG_5952.JPG


Dried goat is an interesting item on the menu.
GTR - IMG_5951.JPG


Across the lake
GTR - IMG_5966.JPG

is the ridgeline & the watershed for the border.

With a long lens you can see a camp belonging to the Shan on the burmese side of the border.
GTR - IMG_5958.JPG

GTR - IMG_5965.JPG


Then to the right on a knoll is the Thai side
GTR - IMG_5967.JPG

all nice & cozy watching what goes on.

In the village on the other side of the lake are several cheap guesthouses
GTR - IMG_5987.JPG

BUT the one to go for is the one with the view, right by the restaurants & up on the hill

The views are stupendous
GTR - IMG_6000B.JPG


GTR - IMG_6005.JPG


Your guesthouse rooms with a view
GTR - IMG_6013.JPG


GTR - IMG_6017B.JPG


The guesthouse with the view is called
Chasarakthai
Tel: 086 118 2067 & 085 719 9399
Rooms are 800 baht a night in low season & 1,500 baht a night from the 1st November.
Hit it soon before the price goes up.

Rak Thai has featured on GTR many times before

Wet season: pottering around the Mae Hong Son Loop

The North West End Tours of Thailand, Part 01

North Thailand Great Views 2010

Puppies, Pandas, and Pumpkin soup. Wet season in the North.

Tham Ngop and a MHS loop

GT Rider on Destination Thailand TV

IMG_2684.jpg
 

Attachments

  • IMG_2684.jpg
    IMG_2684.jpg
    87.2 KB · Views: 84
Last edited:

Fishenough

Ol'Timer
Nov 2, 2008
344
8
18
Huge thank you for this trip done memory lane and the beautiful pictures David!

It was only our second year living in Chiang Mai, and our first for searching for a quieter escape from Songkran, after a day in Pai than one in Mae Hong Song my son and I , with a friends, detoured for our first trip to Mae Aw. Had a good laugh even before arriving when websites had described the ride there as long, which is laughable to a Canadian. What a quiet friendly time for that time of year. We made good friends with a family from Baise, that we still keep in touch with today, and were even lucky enough to meet up again in Mae Aw when my son's boy scout troop went camping in the area a couple years later.

Best Regards,
Kevin
 

ianyonok

Ol'Timer
Dec 9, 2008
1,022
676
113
The scenery is just beautiful at this time of year. But it is starting to change now. Getting the cool season foggy mornings up in the north of the north and the farmers are burning in the fruit tree orchards.
 

DavidFL

Administrator
Staff member
Jan 16, 2003
12,599
3,099
113
67
Chiang Khong
www.thegtrider.com
If you're heading up to Rak Thai for the first time, you should be aware that it is a very steep sharp twisting climb up once you are past Pha Sua waterfall
BUT
the first steep nasty corner is 1.5 kms before Pha Sua.
Its a one off & "unnannounced."
A ripper of a left hander, that catches many riders out.
GPS Waypoint: N19 29.106 E97 57.754

GTR-IMG_7738B.jpg


Here's how it looks in google earth
GTR-R4001-RakThaiB.jpg

the other sharp turns are more smooth & signposted.
 

DavidFL

Administrator
Staff member
Jan 16, 2003
12,599
3,099
113
67
Chiang Khong
www.thegtrider.com
Pang Ung Royal project is another super popular Bangkok Thai tourist location in the area.
There is a turn off to the left in the Hmong village of Na Pa Paek.
It's only 6 kms but another tight steep snaking twister of a narrow concrete road.
GPS-Map004.jpg


GTR-IMG_6074B.JPG


GTR-Pang Ung.jpg


You end up in a Karen village, famous for it's coffee, lake & camping .
GTR-IMG_6078B.JPG


GTR-IMG_6083B.JPG


GTR-IMG_6107B.JPG


From Pang Ung across to Rak Thai is an amazing 15 kms roller coaster ride
GTR-PanUng-RakThai.jpg


GPS-Map008B.jpg


Make sure you hit them both, but Rak Thai is the place to stay for a romantic night = take some company.
 
Last edited:

DavidFL

Administrator
Staff member
Jan 16, 2003
12,599
3,099
113
67
Chiang Khong
www.thegtrider.com
Just back from MHS & another run up to Rak Thai - flavour of the month for this high season I reckon.

A couple of shots with Tim on that first steep corner that is un-signposted
-GTR-IMG_6471--.JPG


-GTR-IMG_6444--.JPG


Rak Thai & the view
-GTR-IMG_6487--.JPG


The lakeside marker view
-GTR-IMG_6494--.JPG


Some cheap charlie chalets beside the lake
-GTR-IMG_6493--.JPG

worth exploring in the hot season.

The awesome R4001 going to Rak Thai from Mok Chompae
-GTR-IMG_6562--.JPG


-GTR-IMG_6575--.JPG