Ultimate Paved Ridge Ride in the North

Idaho Rider

Feb 11, 2007
The FNU (Female Navigation Unit) and I just returned from a fantastic GT Ridge Ride and I am wondering if there are any better. Our route from CM took us north on HWY 108 to the Charin Garden Resort for lunch and some pie. Then off 108 on HWY 1211. I always love HWY 1211 as it is so quiet compared to the other roads south of Chiang Rai. Past CR, we went to the top of Doi Tung and then toured the Royal Gardens near Mae Fa Luang. Here is where the good part of the ride started. At the end of the Royal Gardens, we took the left out of the round-about that put the gardens on our right. A few kilometers down that road we turned right toward Mae Salong on what I think was HWY 1334. Then south on 1338 until we turned onto 1234 for the final push into Mae Salong. The riding and the views from these ridge tops were tremendous , but I didn’t know what was yet to come.

Mae Salong has to be one of the friendliest places I have been to in Thailand. We talked to old Chinese guys that escaped from Burma in the late 50’s and ate Yunnanese food. We heard people speaking Mandarin, Thai, Thai-Yai and Hill Tribe languages. All the café’s gave us hot tea for starters and they were glad to see us. Took a quick run up to the temple at the top of Doi Mae Salong, some side trips to a few hill tribe villages, and took in the morning market after having a wonderful night at the Little Home Bungalow. All in all, a great high mountain town to visit which feels very different than any other place in Thailand. (This place didn’t have paved access until 1996.)

Then it was down 1089 and up to Doi Angkhan. It was about 10 C when we got up to the top at two in the afternoon and I didn’t feel like staying the night but the FNU thought we should so we did. A good thing too as the food was great and all the locals and Thai tourists (no Farangs) walked around the small market drinking hot ginger tea to stay warm. We talked to another ex-Chinese army guy that invited us to his warming fire and learned more history. Ate some of his barbequed yams and had a chilly night at some rooms in Doi Angkhan village.

The next morning was really chilly as we turned on to HWY 1340 towards Arunothai north of Chiang Dao. This road though has to have the best views in Northern Thailand. You are high and occasionally in pine forests, the road surface is great, and the views of the jagged mountains are fantastic.

So that is our route from Doi Tung to Chiang Dao. Fantastic riding and fantastic views and I hope all of you get a chance to do it. But now I am wondering, what else is out there? What are your favorite ridge rides in the north?


Jun 1, 2008
Thanks for the report and beautifully worded description. I am yet to sample the area but this ride is now in my list of thngs to do

Enjoy the rest of your adventure



Feb 14, 2007
Idaho Rider wrote: But now I am wondering, what else is out there? What are your favorite ridge rides in the north?
Here is my favorite routes for the northern Thailand.

Fang - Muang Chum - Nor Lae

Ban Luang - Pha Daeng - Arunothai

Phu Sang - Huak - Rom Fah Thai - Phu Chi Fa

Phu Chi Fa - Nong Tao
1093 - 1155

Pang Hat - Wiang Kaen

Wang Nua - Phayao

Pasang - Mae Salong - Kiu Sata - Chiang Rai
1130 - 1234 - 1089

Phrao - Foei Hai

Mae Malai - Pai - Mae Hong Son

Mae Hong Son - Khun Yuam - Mae Chaem
108 - 1263 -

Mae Chaem - Doi Inthanon

Tin Doi - Wawi - Mae Salak
118 - (1089)

Mae Rim - Samoeng - Chiang Mai
107 - 1096 - 1269 - 108

Samoeng - Wat Chan - Huai Poo Leoy - Nong Khao - Mae Hong Son
5032 - 3006 - 108

Mae Sai - Pha Mi - Doi Tung
1 - 3137 - 1149