The Mae Kuang Loop


Staff member
Jan 16, 2003
Chiang Khong
Date: 5 November 2003
Total distance = 98 kms approx.
Route 1001 & 118.

This is a new loop (for me) and an incredibly beautiful little one too. We did it slightly under the weather, after a few more beers than required the night before. But when good riding buddies get together after a long break, these things do happen (& with regular monotony the girlfriends might say?)

Anyway, this loop takes in the pristine Buatong falls, a wonderful teak forest, plus a 30 mins boat ride (with bikes on board) across the Mae Kuang Dam.
Both the Buatong falls and the serene Mae Kuang dam waters were the perfect herbal medicine for 2 slightly debilitated riders, and by the time we left Mae Kuang dam we indeed felt totally re-invigorated / rehabilitated.

To do the Mae Kuang loop, take route 1001 from the Cnx super & head north to Pa Mai, 48 kms out from Chiang Mai.
In Pa Mai, take a break. There are a couple of cute little shops & restaurants here - just right for a drink or a quick snack.
Then, 0.7 kms north of Pa Mai, take a right & follow the narrow winding asphalt road in 3.1 kms to the Jedsee / Buatong Forest Park.
The water for the Buatong falls originate from the Jedsee spring, which is a 250-meter walk above the falls. Check this out first, and then go down to the falls.
The falls are in 3 stages, with both the 2nd & 3rd falls absolutely unreal, with the crystal clear water cascading over limestone rocks. Even for me it is a long time since I have seen something as pretty as these falls!


They aren’t spectacular, but they are beautiful. Take the kids here & you’ll find an amazing family picnic spot. Don’t hesitate either, to go right down to the 3rd level of the falls, as it is worth the climb back up!

After the falls, you have to back track to route 1001; head north another 1.9 kms & turn right again. This neat little hilly winding road passes thru a lovely teak forest


and at 12.6 kms from route 1001, you get to Pasak Ngam village. Continue on & 3.4 kms later the road ends in the dam!


Here you can get a small boat to take your bike 3 kms across the water to the Mae Kuang dam wall.




Where you disembark from the boat, there’s a nice little rickety wood restaurant overhanging the dam, which for us was perfect for a bite to eat and drink to end the day’s excursion.
From Mae Kuang its a mere 24.5 kms back into Chiang Mai on route 118.
With only 100 kms total to do this really is a magic half-day trip.

If you’ve got a big bike, and we had an Africa Twin 750 & a BMW GS1150, it can be a bit tricky getting in or out of the boat - one way, as you can’t ride the bike in & out both times. One way it has to be backed out!
The hardest bit would have to be at the Mae Kuang dam end, where the bank is quite a bit steeper & so more difficult to get your bike on / off the boat. So at a guess I reckon it’s best to back your bike into the boat at the Pasak Ngam end & then ride it out at the Mae Kuang end.
Also if it was wet, I would not be so keen on riding the Africa Twin up the steep dirt slope to the dam at the Mae Kuang end.
Boat hire cost us 150 baht for 2 big bikes, but we understand the fee for the local Honda Dream riders is 20 baht a pop. But as we needed help to manhandle the bikes on & off, we did not complain for 150 baht for the two of us.

Check it out sometime, this is an unreal picnic ride.

Keep the power on


Staff member
Jan 16, 2003
Chiang Khong
Here's a bird's eye view of the Mae Kuang loop with GPS Tracks in Google Earth.


If you live in Chiang Mai, check it out sometime for a "picnic ride" with the wife / girlfriend.


Mar 15, 2003
Pikey, me and our better halves did this ride last year.



It was a beautiful area and deserves a return soon.



However when we went to the dam area all we found was this little boat and no one around to ferry us across.




:shock: :roll: :lol:


Staff member
Jan 16, 2003
Chiang Khong
If you get to either side of the dam & there's no boatman in sight, try these phone numbers.

North side. Pasak Ngam: 0817469749.
South side. "Doi Saket": 0819614627 & (maybe 099514356 or 0919514356??)

Don't forget to take your mobile phone with you now!

Enjoy, as it really is a beautiful little day trip from Chiang Mai.


Feb 12, 2007
6 of us did this ride yesterday on 3 bikes.A nice day ride :D .We got the boat for 150 baht total.Make sure to back your bike on to the boat when comeing from the pasak ngam side.As per Davids advise,we did and it made it a easy load and unload...Al


Feb 14, 2007
Davidfl wrote: Anyone else done the bike & boat trip yet?
Davidfl, we drove it last June. And thanks for great tip! :D

The Mae Kuang loop
Date: 21.06.2008
The Way: Chiang Mai - (Mae Rim) - Pa Mai - Pasak Ngam - (Mae Kuang Dam) - (Doi Saket) - Chiang Mai
Route: 107 - 1260 -1001 - 118
Distance: 120km.
Total time: 4h 40min
Riders: thailasse and three thaillasses friends
Bikes: 4 x Honda AX-1

This is excellent day loop from Chiang Mai and different also.
Here are a few picture of our little adventure half day and also one of the You Tube -video.

The Pics:
Lasse's Paradise

The Mae Kuang loop - You Tube video.

Guiding plate - 1001- road, from 3.3km Pa Mai

1001 - Mae Kuang road

Mae Kuang Dam, Doi Saket is opposite

Pasak Ngam side

Our bikes

Pasak Ngam

Pasak Ngam little shop, this shop we called on the boat.

Twenty minutes later the boat came to beach

Loading begins

Boat trip towards Doi Saket and Chiang Mai

Rider thailasse himself

Unloading begins in Doi Saket

The boat goes back to Pasak Ngam

The riders

Drinking break



Staff member
Jan 16, 2003
Chiang Khong
Marco wrote: David

You see, gracy FINN'S are doing everything,, :wink: :wink:
Yeah but the "Thailasses" were holding out on me! I bet they've got a few more too. :lol:
But more than anything I think they've been having just too much fun. 8)