Umphang to Kanchanaburi

Discussion in 'Northern Thailand - General Discussion Forum' started by richardgore, Jan 3, 2015.

  1. richardgore

    richardgore Member

    Hi everyone, and Happy New Year,
    I'm preparing for my annual trip to Northern Thailand in February and am looking towards the west this year. I was interested in heading from Chiang Mai, via Mae Chaem & Mae Sot, to Umphang and have read Rod Page's informative trip report from a few years back. I understand that the road from Mae Sot to Umphang is much better now, and more suited to the Honda CB500X I'm renting from Tony's Big Bikes.

    Does anyone know if there's a suitable route from Umphang to Kanchanaburi which would be suitable, or will I have to head back to Mae Sot (I hate having to retrace my route)?

    Any info would be appreciated. Alternatively where to head off after Umphang - I'll have about a week before I need catch a flight from Chiang Mai back to Bangkok?

    All the best,

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  3. CraigBKK

    CraigBKK Ol'Timer

    I was in Umphang last week. The road to there from Mae Sot is fine, an interesting drive. Shorts parts are gravel/dust but riding on a CB500X will be no problem. I also managed to leave the 1090 where it's close to the border, pass through the Thai border crossing, no man's land and ride through the dust to the Karen Free State border checkpoint.


    I rode down south beyond Umphang to the Thung Yai Naresuan Park entrance but was not allowed in. Permission must be obtained in advance from BKK I was told. I was also denied entrance to the Refugee centre, which you pass on your way down from Umphang.

    To get to Kanchanaburi you need to go through the jungle. I've only ever seen reports of riders doing this with a guide and riding smaller bikes. I ended up back tracking to Mae Sot then the following day riding to Ban Rai, in Uthai Thani for the night, before taking the back roads into the North-East of Kanchanaburi, via the 4041.

    Good luck!
  4. r136dg

    r136dg Active Member

    Buddy of mine just got back from Umphang 2 up & loaded on a CVO Street Glide (big bike), said the roads were fine. Prior to that he did some reconnaissance from Kanchanaburi looking for northern routes with no luck. Stated the same thing about southern routes from Umphang and no access to the park. he also mentioned there was a PTT about 10 klicks south of Mae Sot and gas available in Umphang. None in between.
    A ride I'm looking forward to also. Ride safe!
  5. monsterman

    monsterman Ol'Timer

    CB500X will have no hassle on those roads I did them on a ducati monster before they were improved , bit bumpy then and a lot of sand and gravel ,, interesting area of thailand .
  6. CraigBKK

    CraigBKK Ol'Timer

    There is a gas station, which I used close to the refugee camp on the ride down. On my return trip I filled up my standard CRF tank outside of Umphang and didn't need to refill until Mae Sot.
  7. richardgore

    richardgore Member

    Thanks for the the excellent report Craig, just what I needed to know. I imagine that I'll head down to Umphang then retrace my route back to Mae Sot and onwards to Si Satchanalai. Where to go from there?
  8. Rod Page

    Rod Page Ol'Timer

    Good decision - there is a way through (as you'd know from reading elsewhere on this forum) but not without Jack (Kanchanaburi & who contributes to this forum), not without a permit in advance & not on a CB500X. That said it's well worth the outing but like all good things in life it requires careful planning & detailed research so as to get the best out of the ride - this is an area not just of great adventure but one crammed with history & intrigue, an area 'protected' from the outside world to some extent.

    Look forward to reading your trip report in due course as the run down to Umphang is a 'ripper'.
  9. richardgore

    richardgore Member

    Thanks Rod, it was your trip report which gave me the impetus to take this route during my 2 week sojourn in February. I'm quite happy with road (and marginal offroad) riding when I'm on my own, as I am on this trip, but prefer to ride with a mate when I'm properly in the loose and muddy stuff, just in case there's a problem in the middle of nowhere.

    Keep up the great reports, as I'll be back again next year and looking for somewhere to go .


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