Touring MHS and the GT: Advice

Dec 24, 2006
I'm coming to Thailand in February with a couple of my friends. We're all riders. The plan right now is to spend three nights and four days touring the Mae Hong Son loop. Then, a week later, we want to take a 6-day, 5-night guided tour of northeastern Vietnam out of Hanoi with Voyage Vietnam. We've never been to southeast Asia before.

We're thinking we might be trying to do too many things in too many places for the time we have, though, so I want to think about just doing the Golden Triangle loop. But I don't know much about it - does anyone have a suggested route and itinerary? Do we need a guide? If so, where can we find one? How long should we commit to it?

You know, all the usual first-timer questions. Thanks in advance for any help!


What kind of tour do you want? On or offroad? Jonadda does an excellent 5 day roadtrip and myself and others have recently done a 3 day on/offroad trip that could be extended. All depends on how many km you want to ride each day. I've never visisted Vietnam myself yet but would reckon that on your timescale (10 DAYS?) you can easily fill your time in N. Thai. Check out some of the loops David has documented here or just look through some of the threads under the "North Thailand" topic.#

Whatever you do, meet us in CNX, talk up your trip and then post it HERE!!!


Dec 24, 2006
We are going to be in region from January 28 to March 3; about five weeks.

The idea right now is Singapore (overnight) > Chiang Mai (7 nights) > Luang Prabang (3 nights) > Hanoi (9 nights) > Nha Trang, Vietnam (3 nights) > Saigon (3 nights) > Siem Riep, Cambodia (3 nights) > Bangkok (4 nights) > Phuket (4 nights) > Darwin, Australia (1 night) > Sydney.

I like the Motorbike Thailand offerings but their over-US$1000 prices are out of my range.
May 9, 2006
Don't pay for a tour for the MHS loop. Just did a solo tour in Oct. and had an easy trip. Just rent some bikes (I had an outstanding experience with Kuhn Glenn at w/ C&P rentals), buy the MHS GT-Rider map at the bookstore around the corner, and have a good time. I would add an extra day and night for the loop, if you get ahead then kill a day in Pai.

Have a great ride :)
Mar 15, 2003
Definately do not pay for a tour in N. Thailand. There is more than enough information on this site and in the available maps. Also there are plenty of us willing to help you out if you ask. Doing it on your own will not only save you money but you will also enjoy it a lot more.
Oct 12, 2005
I'll second the sage Hawks advice. Davids maps are sold all over Chiang Mai and its plenty easy even for the first timer to find their way around Mae Hong Son and northern Thailand. No need for a tour companies help, unless you are on your own and wanted to do some off road exploring.

Good luck.
Apr 10, 2006
I did the MHS loop in 3 days/2 nights about 6 weeks back staying the 1st night in Mae Sarieng and in Pai the 2nd night. If I was to do it again I'd add at least another day as there was plenty of things I missed out on seeing due to lack of time.

You should'nt have too much trouble finding your way as the route is well signposted. I definately wouldn't go with a tour company, that would take half the fun away !

Just remember that in Thailand the traffic drives on the left (the right side) of the road although dont be at all surprised if you encounter a few huge trucks and pick ups coming around a blind bend towards you while not conforming to this on your travels !