Salawin Circuit

Discussion in '4WD Road Trip Reports' started by Pajero, Apr 17, 2013.

  1. Pajero

    Pajero Member

    Having read Captain Salsh's trip review of Salawin I set of to make a circuit from Mae Sariang, Ta Tha Fang and then to Mae Sam Leap. On the day we had to go in reverse as there was a tree blocking the trail and we had to give the National Park rangers time to clear the raod. So we went anti-clockwise round this circuit.

    The dirt trail from Mae Same Leap is pretty straight forward driving with a coupld of tight turns and an easy ford crossing. In APril 2013 this was very dry so there was plenty of dust. The rangers told me that this road (like most) is pretty slippyto drive in the raining season. It was 17.5 km to the Ranger station where we camped and as is so often the case the ranger and their family very helpful. We ate fresh fish from the Salawin caught by the fishermen.

    We then set off for Ranger station 5 which is in the heart of the forest and at the end of the river bed driving on the direct track to Num Lam Khong. This was about 13/14km from the ranger station in TTF. The trick to finding the way is to turn hard right after the first two houses in the village. It does not look likely and although narrow the driving was fairly straight forward for a couple of KM. The you come to the river bed and the stony track, stream bed which can be a little trick at times. One or two of the exits from river crosings took more tan a little care. We had AT tires on a standard SUV Pajero (no shock lift) which coped really well with the road. The road sometimes goes up on the river banks which is easier and pleasant driving but none of the motorcycle tracks are an options so its mainly in the river bed.

    We arrived at Ranger station 5 (possible camping) and took time out to talk with the rangers who told us that the road ahead was now clear. After a brief bit more river bed the road climbs quickly up onto the ridge top and a fast, smooth drive on dirt back to the National Park at Num nam Khong. The strange thing about the parks around here is that there was no ticketing, entry fee refused, no explanation.

    If the river is flowing this would be a serious drive and you might be better off with a Kayak rather than a car. But for an off raod trip this is pretty good stuff just be pateint through the rivebed near Tha Ta Fang. As always better to go as a couple of cars. Don't forget your GT Mae Hong Son 'The Loop' map

    The family video is below. A big thanks to CS for the initial idea and the ground work.

    Post note:

    I asked about a road to Mae Saloep and was given contradictory advice by locals. There is as far as I could determine (in the couple of days I was there) there is no route around the river banks to Mae Saloep.

    To the south of Mae Sam Leap there was significant concret road construction.
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  3. Pajero

    Pajero Member

    No problem, you have no idea how many of your post and more particularly the links on your own site inspire our trips.

    Sorry about the spelling I mean't Mae Sakoep. I was trying to find out of there was a more direct route following the banks of the Salawin much as the route from Mae Sam Leap to TTF does.

    I'm going to get some bash plates put under the car and try the longer route to Sao Hin in the the north but that will have to wait until next dry season.


  4. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Sweet VDo, thanks for the contribution.

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