Wet season: pottering around the Mae Hong Son Loop

DavidFL

Administrator
Staff member
Jan 16, 2003
12,593
3,091
113
67
Chiang Khong
www.thegtrider.com
Wet season: 5 nights 6 days on the Mae Hong Son Loop
Dates: Monday 16th August - Saturday 21st August 2010.

WHY
The need for a quick ride ‘n photo cruise before the Africa Twin’s engine gets stripped down for an overhaul after 100,000 kms.

THE RIDERS
Backdoorphil & Robert H, Chiang Mai – Mae Chaem.
David Unk – the full loop, Chiang Mai – Doi Inthanon – Mae Chaem – Mae Sarieng – Mae Hong Son – Pai – Chiang Mai.

THE WEATHER
The middle of the wet season & only rain
1. Mae Chaem – Mae Sarieng: 15 minutes
2. Rak Thai : a 5 minute sprinkle
3. Pai – Malai: 45 minutes up on the ridgeline.
Brilliant - nothing ventured nothing gained & it was a beautiful 6 days on the Loop.

THE MASTER PLAN
Slowly potter round the loop, taking nice photos of the waterfalls & lush green rice fields + the forest. Something to keep me going with whilst the AT’s off the road for a week or two or three…(you never know what you’re going to see inside after 100,000 kms since the last overhaul.)

DAY 1 DOI INTHANON
Mae Ya waterfall stop # 1
img_6383.jpg


img_6389.jpg


img_6394.jpg

I got a shock when S E Asia adventure rider RobertH said he’d never been there. And what a gem right in your own back door!

Backdoorphil & RobertH
img_6405.jpg


NEXT STOP # 2 Mae Klang Waterfall. Backdoorphil posing for RobertH
img_6418.jpg


RobertH brushing up on his photography skills.
img_6417.jpg


img_6431.jpg


Lunch & a rare sight RobertH looking at a GT Rider map. Proof indeed that he’d never been to Mae Ya waterfall.
img_6407.jpg


A local lunch
img_6409.jpg

BBQ chicken, sticky rice & some larb. Good stuff, totally delicious & CHEAP.

NEXT STOP # 3: Vachirathan waterfall
A pretty sight even from a distance
img_6438.jpg


Closer up
img_6441.jpg


Joint enlightenment?
img_6458.jpg


NEXT STOP # 4 (Passing only): Siriphum waterfall
img_6464.jpg


img_6462.jpg


NEXT STOP # 5 The highest spot in Thailand
img_6468_0.jpg


The fog was intense
img_6476.jpg


The collapsed road just below the summit.
img_6480.jpg

you wouldn’t want to hit this in the dark!

On the road.....
ROUTE 1192: one of the North’s tightest steepest, best forested roads & rides.
img_6484.jpg


img_6493.jpg


img_6492.jpg
img_6494.jpg


img_6501.jpg


img_6503.jpg


Out of the forest & into farmlands
img_6518.jpg


Looking for somewhere new to go & photograph
img_6520.jpg


The KTM caught this farmer’s eye, but unfortunately he did not have enough cabbages planted to buy one this year.
img_6523.jpg


RobertH in a cameo pose
img_6527.jpg


More coming…
 

DavidFL

Administrator
Staff member
Jan 16, 2003
12,593
3,091
113
67
Chiang Khong
www.thegtrider.com
MAE CHAEM CITY
The 2nd quietest town in North Thailand?
We rocked into Mae Chaem city at 5.45PM

img_6843.jpg


img_6841.jpg


Departure time from Chiang Mai was 11.30AM
Arrival time in Mae Chaem was 5.45PM

It looks as quiet as usual, but the towns booming with a big new 7-11?
img_6842.jpg


and this is the cool spot to hang out at night in MCC.
img_6542.jpg


The rumour is that Tesco-Lotus are looking to open a 3rd outlet – a Lotus Express in Mae Chaem, such is the new rate of development.

My fave restaurant in Mae Chaem used to be the Krua Lai Hin, previously reported here
re-mapping-towns-on-the-mae-hong-son-loop-t6160.html
but a month ago Pa Tim finally gave up the lease & it is now a Pub & Restaurant – the only one in MCC.
It was fine country establishment, both the food & service was good, but we were disturbed & confused by the “unnecessary flag” backstage. :wtf:
img_6543.jpg


DAY 2 MAE CHAEM – MAE SARIENG
Bedtime the night before was early, so I was up for the early morning market at 7AM
img_6555.jpg

but obviously not early enough as I did not see anything of great interest or photographic value. :?

RobertH & BDP then rose for the day & we scampered out to the Navasoung Resort for brekky.
img_6557.jpg


The NAVASOUNG
http://www.navasoungresort.com/
is the # 1 place to stay in Mae Chaem, but is a bit out of town. Ok if you’re with a group, but perhaps not so good if you’re alone. It does however have a nice pool & sauna & view.
mae-chaem-accommodation-t8437.html#p49824
Plus the hosts Heiki & Sa are wonderful down to earth people.

After brekky at the Navasoung we split up, with RobertH & BDP heading back to Cnx via R1088 & Ob Luang, & me pottering around the Mae Chaem valley, starting south of town also on R1088.
I lead the way from the Navasoung & turned onto R1088, heading for a nice photo spot I knew. RH & BDP continued straight on into town. Odd I thought. I got my first few snaps
img_6569.jpg


img_6560.jpg


img_6579.jpg

then paused & had a hearty chuckle while RH &BDP rode past, “backtracking” & finally on the right road. :?
These guys need to study their GT Rider maps a bit more & not solely rely on a GPS I thought. :mrgreen:

img_6607.jpg


WAT PA DAET
A bit further on up the road was a nice find
img_6581.jpg


img_6584.jpg


img_6586.jpg


img_6594.jpg


img_6595.jpg


The temple drum
img_6596.jpg

and what a size.

img_6598.jpg


Wat Pa Daet is not all old though..
img_6609.jpg


MAE CHAEM
Mae Chaem is tipped to be the next Pai, a few years down the road, but I sincerely don’t hope so. The valley has tremendous charm, character & strong cultural traditions. It would be an absolute shame to see it raped & over developed as has happened in Pai, losing it traditional values, culture & charm in the process. The local land office claim that 80% of the available land is now in the hands of the city slickers from Bangkok. Mae Chaem is one of the last remaining strongholds of traditional culture & buildings in the North. Not yet spoilt by shop houses, bars etc..
Check it out while you can!
img_6619.jpg


WAT YANG LUANG
Wat Yang Luang is another very old temple in Mae Chaem.
img_6645.jpg


img_6649.jpg


img_6624.jpg


img_6695.jpg


Old temple murals
img_6628.jpg


img_6685.jpg
img_6687.jpg

These a story / legend about the above items, & I have to dig the info out....later.

You might think that Mae Chaem is small, & indeed the city is, but you can do 100 kms pottering round the rolling hills & through the gorgeous villages in the immediate vicinity of the town.
img_6781.jpg


img_6714.jpg


img_6732.jpg


img_6749.jpg
img_6756.jpg


A hard worker
img_6770.jpg

returning home after catching crabs in the rice fields.

This old gnarled tree caught my attention
img_6783.jpg

I wonder how I will compare when I get as ancient.

WAT THAP DUA
img_6826.jpg


img_6797.jpg


img_6785.jpg


img_6791.jpg


another new beauty
img_6805.jpg


The Wat Thap Dua view of Doi Inthanon
img_6832.jpg


Pa Tim used to run & cook at the Krua Lai Hin
img_6864.jpg

she now sells food outside 7-11. A wonderful & popular personality in Mae Chaem.

A nameless Durian vendor :angel: :angel: :angel:
img_6845.jpg


img_6848.jpg


ROUTE 1088: leaving Mae Chaem
img_6893.jpg


img_6920.jpg


Up on the “Hmong cabbage plateau”
img_6922.jpg


img_6944.jpg


fleeing the rain
img_6938.jpg


Didn’t quite escape
img_6954.jpg

I took shelter & put my rain gear on & 10 minutes later down the road it was dry. :think:

More coming
 

TonyBKK

Ol'Timer
Dec 27, 2007
3,854
11
38
Awesome! Wow- some amazing pictures- is it just me or have David's photography skills improved recently? Happy Trails! Tony
 

DavidFL

Administrator
Staff member
Jan 16, 2003
12,593
3,091
113
67
Chiang Khong
www.thegtrider.com
But the rain gear never came off, as there were enough threatening rain clouds around for the remaining 100 kms to Mae Sarieng to warrant leaving them on.
Rain gear is a nuisance getting on & off when you are fully kitted up, & like to be sure when I’m putting them on it for a reason – lots of rain.
I don’t mind riding through showers & drying out; but once my wet weather goes on it stays on, unless I’m riding in bright sunshine & sweltering inside.

Final departure time from Mae Chaem was 3.15Pm
Arrival time in Mae Sarieng was 5.45PM

It was a quiet night in Mae Sarieng.
Happy hour drinks were at
1. The Riverhouse Resort while I read the papers
2. Sawadee –Sabai Dee with Beng.
Then it was time to east & drink at the Krua Gan Eng. Mae Sarieng’s popular pub & restaurant,
img_6965.jpg

but by 10PM we were the only customers! The word in MS is that the Hi Class Karaoke (run by the police) across the river & downstream, is now the # 1 night spot in town, with a new “café” & pole dancing. Hi Class is open till the wee hours, but I never made it that far.

DAY 3 MAE SARIENG – MAE HONG SON

NO RAIN!

ROUTE 108 & fantastic lush green forest cover….
img_7073.jpg

img_7089.jpg


Some roadside characters to wake you up..
img_7108.jpg


img_7103.jpg
img_7104.jpg


img_7118.jpg


and these guys are a few hundred metres south of the Mae La Noi viewpoint
img_7122.jpg


The Mae La Noi Viewpoint Coffeeshop
img_7143.jpg

img_7158.jpg


The view
img_7144.jpg


Back on the road
img_7169.jpg

img_7195.jpg

img_7204.jpg
img_7207.jpg


Muang Pon - Khun Yuam – Mae Hong Son is the best riding section of R108 (& the whole MHS Loop?)
img_7223.jpg


Wat Mae Surin beckoned
img_7250.jpg


img_7271.jpg


A group of local ladies were spending 3-4 days at the temple meditating
img_7230.jpg


img_7254.jpg


img_7256.jpg


R108 Northwards again
img_7291.jpg


The Pha Bong viewpoint
img_7333.jpg

(that's not much of a view)

img_7292.jpg

img_7298.jpg

now that's a view! :D

There’s now a small coffee shop - Pha Bong Souvenir - there, run by Salween Restaurant from downtown Mae Hong Son.
img_7316.jpg


Mae Hong Son city arrival time was 5.15PM & just in town to catch the monks at Wat Chong Klang dusting down the temple
img_7340.jpg


img_7362.jpg


The Crossroads Pub has been a regular favourite of many bikers for a long time.
Miss Nok being one of the star attractions. Nok has since moved on & now has her own little bar the Gu Long Do
img_7442.jpg


img_7444.jpg


The lovely Miss Nok
gu-long-do-img_7453.jpg

Nok likes big motorbikes & riding them. So when you’re in MHS don’t hesitate to pop in, have a drink or two & say hello (from Lung David).

:thumbup:
 

DavidFL

Administrator
Staff member
Jan 16, 2003
12,593
3,091
113
67
Chiang Khong
www.thegtrider.com
DAY 4 MAE HONG SON

Arh yes the sun comes out & I got sunburned this day.

First stop # 1: Pha Bong Waterfall
img_7498_0.jpg
img_7518.jpg

and not worth it for the waterfall. This was my 4th or 5th trip to Pha Bong waterfall to see some water & now I give up. Not even anything significant mid wet season!

Next stop # 2
Wat Pha Bong Tai.
img_7520.jpg


img_7530.jpg


img_7535.jpg

This is Wat Pha Bong Tai, & Wat Pha Bong Nua awaits me next trip... :think:

img_7546.jpg


Next stop # 3
Pha Bong Hot Springs

img_7554.jpg


img_7562.jpg


img_7567.jpg


Whilst checking the water temp I looked across the rice paddies & spotted what seemed to be some new bungalows.

Next stop # 4
Pitchaporn House
img_7582.jpg

The bungalows
img_7575.jpg

The rooms
img_7590.jpg

img_7591.jpg

The bathroom
img_7587.jpg

a bit basic, but the tub’s deep & the water is straight off the HOT springs = O-U-C-H.

The address – behind the Pha Bong drinking water company (same owner)
image-58-pitchaporn-housemhs.jpg

Prices quoted 700 – 1,500 baht. 700 is low season = now & 1,500 is high “cold” season for lovers.
IMHO the bungalows are smart, clean & airy, but small & for 1,500 baht I’d pass.
GPS Waypoint: N19 12.482 E97 58.774
Check it out for yourself.

Next stop # 5
Wat Doi Khong Mou
img_7603.jpg

beautiful blue sky & A VIEW

img_7611.jpg


img_7616.jpg


img_7622.jpg

I don’t think I’ve ever seen MHS so clearly from Doi Kong Mou.

A couple of now “obligatory’ Buddha photos
img_7628.jpg


img_7633.jpg


Mae Hong Son airport on the ground
img_7652.jpg


Next stop # 6
Wat Hua Wiang
img_7674.jpg


img_7668.jpg


And the day was done. I was hot ‘n sunburned.

:arrow: :arrow:
 

DavidFL

Administrator
Staff member
Jan 16, 2003
12,593
3,091
113
67
Chiang Khong
www.thegtrider.com
DAY 5: MAE HONG SON- RAK THAI - PAI

A lazy morning with departure ex Mae Hong Son 12.15PM

I was hoping for clear weather to zip up to Rak Thai on the border & then move onto Pai for the night.

Rak Thai is high up in the mountains
mhs-rak-thai-gps.jpg


Mok Chom Pae en route, looking good
img_7690.jpg


img_7879.jpg

I could not believe my luck.

Then straight up into the hills, approaching Na Pa Paek
img_7696.jpg
img_7705.jpg


img_7714.jpg


Entering Rak Thai
img_7725.jpg


img_7719.jpg


Chinese tea shop
img_7764.jpg

img_7750.jpg

img_7758.jpg


img_7775.jpg


The power was coming to town
img_7766.jpg
img_7781.jpg


img_7785.jpg


Coffee Camp in Na Pa Paek
img_7800.jpg

and I needed a nice cup of coffee
img_7793.jpg

but unbelievably there was no one around or to be found to get any service.
However, how beautiful – a delightful shop totally open & unguarded, for anyone to walk in. Such incredible honesty & respect amongst the local community! :thumbup:

Entering the bamboo forest before the descent to Pha Sua falls
img_7809.jpg


img_7812.jpg


img_7811.jpg
img_7831.jpg


Pha Sua waterfall

258840=15937-img_7840.jpg


258840=15938-img_7856.jpg


258840=15939-img_7866.jpg


Soppong – Pai
img_7931.jpg

img_7920.jpg


Pai
Wang Chang Puek Resort on the Pai River
img_7967.jpg

img_7970.jpg

http://www.wangchangpuek.com/

The delightful Miss Patchy, :angel: hotel reception at the Wang Chang Puek
img_7985.jpg


Rooms at the Wang Chang Puek
img_7941.jpg


img_7948.jpg


img_7960.jpg


The Pai River looking downstream
img_7972.jpg

it looks kinda tame too doesn’t it?

Another day chugging around the MHS Loop is done.

Departure from Mae Hong Son was 12.15PM
Arrival time in Pai was 6.30PM

:thumbup: :D
 

DavidFL

Administrator
Staff member
Jan 16, 2003
12,593
3,091
113
67
Chiang Khong
www.thegtrider.com
DAY 6: PAI – CHIANG MAI
Homeward bound...

First stop # 1
Breakfast at the Pai Countrty, opposite Baan Pai
img_7990.jpg

Baan Pai is my fave restaurant in Pai, but is currently closed for renovation. It will re-open before high season, with a daily buffet, including a Japanese sushi section!

Stormy weather ahead
img_7995.jpg


and so it was
img_8010.jpg


img_8013.jpg


The big new power lines are a photographic attraction in Mae Sae?
img_8017.jpg


I hung out in Mae Sae for a snack & drink with some young Thai guys on their way to Pai for a couple of nights
img_8023.jpg
img_8025.jpg

they were going to Pai now while it was quiet & they could get a room for 200 baht!
I liked their riding kit, especially the footwear. (Just get out & ride.)

Into the mist & fog & rain
img_8045.jpg

img_8037.jpg


A greasy road of bends
img_8053.jpg

but I’m glad I was on a bike & not using public transport

Despite the wet 'n greasy conditions I really enjoyed the ride with the new Pirelli Scorpion on the rear.
I had fun, & have never ridden so hard in the wet.
The tyre did not seem to want to let go & I found myself pushing harder & harder, until I decided no need. The tyre is outstanding in the wet!
Highly recommended = the Pirelli MT90 Scorpion. :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:

Departure time from Pai was 1.15PM
Arrival time in Chiang Mai was 4.15PM
 

Fishenough

Ol'Timer
Nov 2, 2008
344
8
18
Wow, the difference a week can make. Just returned from a father son pottering around the MHS loop and found truly wet season weather. Everyday was overcast, with rain showers every day, from Doi Inthanon to CM the rain was torrential until Lamphun. I also like the 1192, even in heavy mist and fog today, it was without doubt the cleanest road the entire loop this week.

Great Photos!

This stretch pictured below had heavy flooding and road damage on Wednesday morning or night; some massive pieces of asphalt even relocated to the fields and the other side of the river. Not to mention plenty of mud and debris on the road needing heavy equipment for the cleanup. Sorry no new pictures.

img_7195.jpg
 

DavidFL

Administrator
Staff member
Jan 16, 2003
12,593
3,091
113
67
Chiang Khong
www.thegtrider.com
TonyBKK wrote: Awesome! Wow- some amazing pictures- is it just me or have David's photography skills improved recently? Happy Trails! Tony
2wheels wrote: Thanks David for another superb report, full of info and great pics.
What camera did you use?
:clap:
The camera is a Canon G11 "with the right settings."
I've had it for awhile now but not been too happy with the finished product.
However during this trip I was just pottering along, taking my time with the photos & discovered a couple of wrong settings on the camera (user error.) :think:
I'm now a hell of a lot happier with the output. :D

Also last "night" in the wee hours of the morning I discovered that when I sat right back from computer monitor everything was a hell of a lot sharper & not as fuzzy as I thought = time for reading glasses! :idea: And no need for over correcting, trying to process raw images that you can't see clearly!

I've also gone back to carrying a "tripod," actually a monopod to help keep the camera still. One of the legacies of my spill in Hongsa a few years ago is a wonky left arm that does not quite enable me to hold up the left arm high enough to get two hands on the camera. :wtf:

Now for a bit of a waffle….. :arrow: :arrow:

I think I've ridden just about all the roads I need here in North Thailand & fast as I want now, so intend to go back to focusing on the scenery / people / attractions & build up my photo collection once again.

Once upon a time in my old Library Service shop I had a big photo collection that scores of people - travelers & journos - came to see & get ideas of places to go & see in North Thailand. (I lost all that 15 years ago when I separated & divorced the ex-wife.)

I'm hoping to recreate that again with the network of GT Rider websites we are building.

Our Doi Mae Salong site is now # 1 on Google.
In the coming months we hope to get more up there to help the local communities & get more people to stay & tour in North Thailand.

Life here has been extremely good to me & I want to make sure I put something back, not just take from the locals.
:lol-sign:
 

TonyBKK

Ol'Timer
Dec 27, 2007
3,854
11
38
Davidfl wrote:

The camera is a Canon G11 "with the right settings."
I've had it for awhile now but not been too happy with the finished product.
However during this trip I was just pottering along, taking my time with the photos & discovered a couple of wrong settings on the camera (user error.) :think: :thumbdown: :wtf:
I'm now a hell of a lot happy with the output. :D
Canon G11. Very nice!
canon-g11-review.jpg


I quite like the Canon Powershot D10 I've been using for the past year or so as it's waterproof and shock resistant, but the image quality certainly doesn't compare to your G11.

Beautiful pictures David- it takes more than just a fancy camera to capture some of the special shots you've shared with us in this thread. Looking forward to more!

Happy Trails!

Tony
 

DavidFL

Administrator
Staff member
Jan 16, 2003
12,593
3,091
113
67
Chiang Khong
www.thegtrider.com
PART 2. WET SEASON: POTTERING AROUND THE MAE HONG SON LOOP.

Dates. Thursday 2nd September – Sunday 5th September 2010.

THE RIDERS
Backdoorphil & David Unk

THE WAY
The short loop, Chiang Mai – Chomthong – Hot – Mae Chaem – Khun Yuam – Mae Hong Son – Pai – Chiang Mai.

THE WEATHER
The middle of the wet season & only rain
1. Pang Ung – Khun Yuam, torrential
2. Soppong, torrential while having late lunch at the Soppong River Inn
Brilliant again - nothing ventured nothing gained & it was a sweet 4 days on the Loop.

THE MASTER PLAN
Ride & photograph.
Mae Chaem: photograph a few more temples & a couple of waterfalls.
Show BDP MHS for the first time.
Then RIDE over to Fang & Chiang Rai, before heading back to Chiang Mai.

WHAT HAPPENED
1 night Mae Chaem
1 night Mae Hong Son
1 night Pai

Read & ride on.........

DAY 1 CHIANG MAI – CHOMTHONG – HOT – MAE CHAEM
Routes 108 & 1088. A lucky 8 ride?

It was a lateish 2PM getaway & I should have been forewarned, but…..

1st stop was 50 kms out at Wat Phra Tha That Chomthong

259164=15768-img_8106.jpg


259164=15769-img_8099.jpg


The weather was glorious & we were in luck at the temple too

259164=15770-img_8118.jpg


259164=15771-img_8120.jpg


2nd stop was Hot, & if you’ve never been to Hot, you aint missing much. The clock tower is the centre of attraction in this bus-stop city

259164=15772-img_8129.jpg


Soon after Hot you’re into the fabulous R108 twisties alongside the Mae Chaem river

259164=15773-img_8136_0.jpg


259164=15774-img_8138_0.jpg


You should really enjoy this section of road, except this is where BDP discovered he had a dodgy valve on his front tyre

259164=15778-img_8144_0.jpg

Flat tyre! (Was it going to be one of those trips?)
3rd stop then it was

Not at all a problem for a “gadget-man” like Phil

259164=15779-img_8150_0.jpg

out comes the trick mini compressor, pump up the tyre & off we went in a few minutes.

R1088
It was late afternoon & the Thepannom Hot Springs site was a delight to behold in the light.

259164=15775-img_8162.jpg


259164=15776-img_8189.jpg

There are private bungalows for hot spa baths at the "back" of the hot springs site, but the place was deserted & no one was around to open up for us to take a look & get some happy snaps.
4th stop was Thepannom Hot Springs

R1088 views

259164=15784-img_8194.jpg

5th stop

R1088 Ob Luang – MaeChaem is a beautiful steep & winding, hilly ride.

259164=15777-img_8195.jpg

6th stop

Doi Inthanon view from R1088

259164=15785-img_8198.jpg

7th stop

Mae Chaem Resort bungalows

259164=15786-img_8227.jpg

8th stop

Departure time ex Chiang Mai was 2PM
Arrival time in Mae Chaem was 6.20PM

Happy hour at the Sawasdee Mae Chaem

259164=15793-img_8202.jpg


and what to do at happy hour in Mae Chaem

259164=15789-img_8206.jpg

watch TV

Plus drink & eat

259164=15790-img_8209.jpg


Last trip I gave the Nam Neung Pub & Restaurant a plug, & it deserves yet another

259164=15791-img_8214.jpg

good, food & service

259164=15792-img_8220.jpg

plus that prominent flag, that the owner seems not to have an explanation for, except he likes it. :thumbup:
 

Shawn in Oz

Member
Jan 7, 2004
18
0
0
Good post David,
with lots of interesting photos other than roads.
We all need to see what is there if you stop & go in.
If you keep up posting like this you might re-take over your website from the Captain.

It was a pity you didn't take your library wall , the new owners wouldn't have noticed.
I reckon that wall would have been the feature exhibit at the Unk Museum which
we'll create after your last ride.
 

DavidFL

Administrator
Staff member
Jan 16, 2003
12,593
3,091
113
67
Chiang Khong
www.thegtrider.com
DAY 2 MAE CHAEM VALLEY – MAE NA CHON – KHUN YUAM – MAE HONG SON
Routes 1263 & 108.

Twas an early morning start the next day – wake up 6.00AM & off in search of some sweet early morning photos of the monks doing their alms round. (Yep that was David Unk up at sparrows guys!) We cruised the valley south & west of town. No monks, only nice scenery & views of the mountains towards Doi Inthanon.

259204=15794-img_8238.jpg


259204=15795-img_8249.jpg


259204=15796-img_8261.jpg


The only monks we found were at Wat Thap

259204=15797-img_8264.jpg

and outside the market

259204=15798-img_8292.jpg


Inside the market it was time for the butchers…

259204=15804-img_8284.jpg


259204=15805-img_8289_0.jpg


By 7am the local nursery is busy with mum & dads dropping off their kids before work

259204=15801-img_8304.jpg

259204=15802-img_8310_0.jpg


Miss Nui is the kindergarten teacher & she normally looks after 20+ kids on her own.

259204=15803-img_8311.jpg

She’s a hard worker & devoted child carer. :clap:

Mae Chaem is famous for it’s Tin Tok weaving

259204=15806-img_8356.jpg


259204=15807-img_8344.jpg


259204=15808-img_8333.jpg


Cross the bridge over the Mae Chaem river, turn left & go 1kms downstream & you are in Ban Thong Fai.

Ban Thong Fai is a community of weavers of the traditional sarong, a wrap-around cloth called ‘Pha Teen Jok’ in local speak. It specialises in 19 ancient patterns such as ‘Hong Dam’, ‘Kud Kun Jae’ and ‘Nok Non Kum’, all boasting colourful design and pattern at the bottom. What makes it unique is the way it’s created. It takes about 20 days to complete one sarong as progress is slow: you can only weave about 10cm in a day.

259204=15928-img_8337.jpg


259204=15929-img_8349.jpg


Happy Tin Tok shopkeeper

259204=15930-img_8351_0.jpg


more coming...the delights of Mae Chaem
 

DavidFL

Administrator
Staff member
Jan 16, 2003
12,593
3,091
113
67
Chiang Khong
www.thegtrider.com
Continued from
DAY 2: MAE CHAEM VALLEY – MAE NA CHON – KHUN YUAM – MAE HONG SON
Routes 1263 & 108.

The Mae Chaem valley is dotted with charming villages & some stunning temples. I managed to tick off 2 more splendid wats this visit
1. Wat Phra Nun "The Black & Gold Temple with chocolate-robed Buddhas"

259207=15966-img_8382.jpg


259207=15967-img_8373.jpg


259207=15968-img_8388.jpg


259207=15969-img_8385.jpg


259207=15970-img_8394.jpg


It has some sensational murals

259207=15971-img_8397.jpg


259207=15972-img_8400.jpg


Wat Buddha En dated 1868.

259207=15974-img_8435.jpg


259207=15975-img_8440.jpg


Is unique in Thailand , with a rare wooden ubosot set on posts in a lotus pond.

259207=15973-img_8419.jpg


Wat Kong Kan dated 1431

259207=15979-img_8444.jpg


259207=15980-img_8450.jpg


259207=15981-img_8457.jpg


For those of you not bored with the temple pix, look here for our Mae Chaem Temple info & photos
https://www.gt-rider.com/tour-options/chiang-mai-thailand/mc-information/mc-attractions

And I’ve still got a couple of Mae Chaem temples to go. :shh:

Next stop was to get out of town & head for the hills – waterfalls.

But before we got there I did run out of brakes going uphill. This shocked me & at the turn off & steep descent to Mae Pan waterfall I thought it wise to stop, check out the rear brake & see what the problem was; before descending. I got off the bike, took a step back a watched the bike starting to roll forward. It was not in gear. I did manage to grab hold of it on the way down, but I was caught in a bad position with the bike most of the way down. As it was not my bike, but BDP’s F650 I did not want to drop it. Phil was amused & could see my plight & very generously suggested I just lay it down. So I did. :shock:

259207=15982-img_8466_0.jpg


1. Mae Pan waterfall

Finding Mae Pan from town is not easy & the best way is to go the direct way - back track up R1192 towards Doi Inthanon, & then follow the signs.

Mae Pan waterfall from off R1192

259207=15984-img_8551.jpg


What you need to know

259207=15983-img_8503.jpg


The road to Mae Pan is a very steep descent which fortunately is asphalt, so easy,

but not so easy is the 500 metre + hike to the waterfall.

259207=15985-img_8547.jpg

259207=15987-img_8514.jpg

259207=15986-img_8518.jpg


and is the hike worth it.

259207=15989-img_8544.jpg

259207=15988-img_8519.jpg

259207=15990-img_8542.jpg

YES! :thumbup: :clap:

600 metres before Mae Pan waterfall (car park) is
2. Huai Sai Lueang waterfall :thumbup:

259207=15992-img_8490.jpg


259207=15993-img_8480.jpg


The good news at Huai Sai Lueang waterfall is you don’t really need to walk more than 200 metres. :thumbup:

259207=15991-img_8467.jpg


It was 3.45PM by the time we got away from Mae Chaem, after a late 7-11 lunch.
The weather was closing in

259207=15994-img_8559.jpg


but after Mae Na Chon it cleared up somewhat

259207=15995-img_8567.jpg


259207=15996-img_8568.jpg


259207=15997-img_8572.jpg


However somewhere between Pang Ung & Khun Yuam we ran into what was supposed to be a passing shower; that turned into a torrential downpour that went on & on.
And that was the end of my phone that I forgot about in my pocket! :evil: :thumbdown: :wtf: :crazy:
 

DavidFL

Administrator
Staff member
Jan 16, 2003
12,593
3,091
113
67
Chiang Khong
www.thegtrider.com
Captain_Slash wrote: Youre certainly getting some good scenic rides in nowadays David, great photos
Thanks Slash. I'm trying to catch up to you in the photo department. :thumbup:

And pottering around "like the good old days" I'm really enjoying myself out there / re-discovering North Thailand & all the gems right in our own back yard...
 
Jun 10, 2008
49
1
8
Wow! Many of the places are also not familiar for the newbie me. Thanks for these great pix...they will serve as my 'markers' in my next ride. Again, thanks mates...

~joko~wanna GO!!!!!!

p/s I promised to contribute and tap words to PC, once i have learned how to download pix to GT-rider :- :oops:
 

DavidFL

Administrator
Staff member
Jan 16, 2003
12,593
3,091
113
67
Chiang Khong
www.thegtrider.com
DAYS 3 & 4: HOME. MAE HONG SON – PAI - CHIANG MAI

It was a late start – two weary farang with aching bodies from the previous day’s hike to Mae Pan waterfall! :wtf:
Around 1PM we were having a magnificent breakfast at the Salween. Phil’s first brekky there & as is the rule with a Salween breakfast it was big & tops to start off the day. :thumbup:

We then lost another hr trying to sort out the rear brake on the F650. Changed the fluid but impossible to fully bleed the brakes & get it all functioning again properly. A seized piston / valve would only let the slightest trickle of brake fluid through. I eventually got bored sitting watching the mechanics struggle with the problem, & told them never mind.
We can fix the problem in Chiang Mai, just put it back together & I can still ride the bike like before. But once it was back together there was absolutely zero rear brake. Previously it was only mal-functioning 60% of the time. My pen rai….lets ride. I just hope it does not rain in either the steep descents or tight twisty sections & I catch myself out needing to grab a handful of the front brake to stop /slow down suddenly.
The highlight of the F650 brake service was BDP dropping the KTM whilst fiddling with it on the centre stand, right in the main street outside the bike shop. Unfortunately I did not have my camera with me, so it’s only a rumour….It was one of those trips! ……flat tyre, F650 down, drowned phone, KTM down…… :cry:

MHS – Soppong
img_8594.jpg


Luk Khao Larm
img_8597.jpg

Glorious eh?

Red Lahu roadside vendors
img_8635.jpg

img_8615.jpg


img_8628.jpg
img_8645.jpg


Goods for “vending”
img_8620.jpg

img_8622.jpg


Red Lahu coming to set up shop
img_8646.jpg


Lunch at the Soppong River Inn
img_8648.jpg


BDP a la Captain Slash
img_8650.jpg


It poured with rain whilst we had our 5PM lunch at the Soppong River Inn, & the plus side is that it cleared the air perfectly.
img_8653.jpg


Accommodation in Pai this time round was the Brookview :D
img_8673.jpg


img_8664.jpg

350 baht a night for the small riverside fan bungalows with cable TV is a steal. :thumbup:

I introduced BDP to the [email protected] for a meal & some nice music later that night
img_8681.jpg


img_8686.jpg

Whilst the music was excellent with Miss Aom singing Norah Jones & sweet jazzy songs, the food was a disappointment – there was NONE. :(
The cook had been sacked the night before. So we improvised & ordered pizzas from across the street & devoured them on premises. No complaints. Thailand is a winner yet again. :thumbup: :thumbup:

The Bebop was the next stop & last establishment for the night. Of note was that Khun Chart has cut his hair short after many years of long hair. :shock:
img_8689.jpg

but his guitar playing & music is still top class. 3 cheers for Chart & The Bebop in Pai.

The Bebop’s 2nd band for the night played some Thai music that I have never heard in the Bebop, plus classic early 70s music. The Thai customers & we grizzled old farang were impressed.
The Times They Are A Changing…..

img_8702.jpg

Last Train to London was something I thought I would never hear in the Bebop.

But the clientele frequenting Pai & the Bebop are changing, so they are moving with the times. Well done… let the good times continue to roll. :lol-sign: :lol-sign:
 

scotty007

Ol'Timer
Feb 23, 2004
196
68
28
Great posting FL, thoroughly enjoyed the photos and comments, had a good laugh at the "how many cabbages" to buy BDP's motorbike, looking forward to a trip out in Dec/Jan.
 

DavidFL

Administrator
Staff member
Jan 16, 2003
12,593
3,091
113
67
Chiang Khong
www.thegtrider.com
Davidfl;258824 wrote: MAE CHAEM CITY

After brekky at the Navasoung we split up, with RobertH & BDP heading back to Cnx via R1088 & Ob Luang, & me pottering around the Mae Chaem valley, starting south of town also on R1088.
I lead the way from the Navasoung & turned onto R1088, heading for a nice photo spot I knew. RH & BDP continued straight on into town. Odd I thought. I got my first few snaps
img_6569.jpg


img_6560.jpg


img_6579.jpg

then paused & had a hearty chuckle while RH &BDP rode past, “backtracking” & finally on the right road. :?
These guys need to study their GT Rider maps a bit more & not solely rely on a GPS I thought. :mrgreen:

img_6607.jpg


WAT PA DAET
A bit further on up the road was a nice find
img_6581.jpg


img_6584.jpg


img_6586.jpg


img_6594.jpg


img_6595.jpg


The temple drum
img_6596.jpg

and what a size.

img_6598.jpg


Wat Pa Daet is not all old though..
img_6609.jpg


MAE CHAEM
Mae Chaem is tipped to be the next Pai, a few years down the road, but I sincerely don’t hope so. The valley has tremendous charm, character & strong cultural traditions. It would be an absolute shame to see it raped & over developed as has happened in Pai, losing it traditional values, culture & charm in the process. The local land office claim that 80% of the available land is now in the hands of the city slickers from Bangkok. Mae Chaem is one of the last remaining strongholds of traditional culture & buildings in the North. Not yet spoilt by shop houses, bars etc..
Check it out while you can!
img_6619.jpg


WAT YANG LUANG
Wat Yang Luang is another very old temple in Mae Chaem.
img_6645.jpg


img_6649.jpg


img_6624.jpg


img_6695.jpg


Old temple murals
img_6628.jpg


img_6685.jpg
img_6687.jpg

These a story / legend about the above items, & I have to dig the info out....later.

You might think that Mae Chaem is small, & indeed the city is, but you can do 100 kms pottering round the rolling hills & through the gorgeous villages in the immediate vicinity of the town.
img_6781.jpg


img_6714.jpg


img_6732.jpg


img_6749.jpg
img_6756.jpg


A hard worker
img_6770.jpg

returning home after catching crabs in the rice fields.

This old gnarled tree caught my attention
img_6783.jpg

I wonder how I will compare when I get as ancient.

WAT THAP DUA
img_6826.jpg


img_6797.jpg


img_6785.jpg


img_6791.jpg


another new beauty
img_6805.jpg


The Wat Thap Dua view of Doi Inthanon
img_6832.jpg
Returning from Mae Hong Son & the Ride For Dan White I stopped off in Mae Chaem for another night to
1. Tick off another temple
2. Check out some new accommodation.

The TEMPLE
Wat Jiang

283651=12987-img_3089.jpg


Renowned for its unusual 6 sided chedi

283651=12988-img_3090.jpg


283651=12989-img_3094.jpg


and
THE ACCOMODATION

Baan Din Guesthouse

283651=12991-img_3123.jpg

run Ms Aom from Lung Dang Coffee

There are 5 bungalows in a quiet village orchard

283651=12992-img_3075.jpg


& if you want a night "to go back to nature" this place is worth checking out.
Rooms are 300-350 baht a night.

283651=12993-img_3105.jpg

It's an escape from the city with no TV & No Wifi. Perfect for folks fleeing the big smoke.
 

tehsk30

Ol'Timer
Nov 14, 2012
186
0
0
very beautiful sets of photos... photos like these will keep riders like me going :) :happy2: