Next week I'm going to explore the north of Thailand on motor bike. I would be grateful to receive any info on possible routes, destinations or any other advise which may be useful. Also, is Pai a suitable base to begin from? I will start from there or Chiang Mai.
#1 jackymoon has been a member since 20/10/2010. Posts: 20
Buy some maps http://www.gt-rider.com/maps-of-thailand-laos-maps
And read trip reports http://www.gt-rider.com/thailand-motorcycle-forum/forums/21-Northern-Thailand-Road-amp-Trip-Reports
The Mae Hong Son loop via Pai MHS and Mae Sariang is popular and is worth 3-5+ days, with possible sidetrip to Doi Inthanon or take the longer loop via Mae Sot.
The Samoeng loop from Chiang Mai around Doi Suthep-Pui is a nice daytrip in lonely hilly territory with good roadway and very little traffic.
In the northeast direction, maybe take the Chiang Rai highway and turn off at Mae Kachan to Phayao then find your way up to Chiang Khong via Thoen. Good scenic hilly riding west of Mae Chan to Doi Tung and Mae salong, then down to Thaton, Doi Angkhang, and Chiang Dao.
Stare at the maps and browse the ride reports, and feel free if you have more specific questions.
Also see the Motorbiking in Asia forum here http://www.travelfish.org/board/topic/motorbikeasia
What kind of bike are you planning on getting?
#4 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
I'd prefer Chiang Mai as a base my self.
If you're planning on renting a bike there's loads of rental places to shop around from, and also a few places selling motorbike gear if you would need any.
The route options are basically unlimited, all mentioned above are fantastic rides.
The GT-Rider maps are invaluable if you're planning to stay mainly in the top-north and west side of the region, and are easy to find in any book store around Chiang Mai.
If you're planning to go towards the lower or eastern part of the region you'll have to look in to get a proper road-atlas, I'd recommend PN-maps A-Z A4 sized book map. It's bilingual (Thai/English) and has loads of information on sites etc. and detailed maps of every provincial capital. The latest edition is available at Suriwong bookstore in Chiang Mai.
I hope you have a good trip!
#5 Sampan has been a member since 3/9/2009. Posts: 110
Chiang Mai would be a better base for sure as some have said. I have never done the full loop but the Mae Hong Son loop i can imagine is an amazing drive. There are also some goodies such as Doi Inthanon and Sappong (north of Pai) along the way.
A drive i have also done is Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Mae Sai (for VISA), Mae Salong, Fang, Chiang Dao and back to Chiang Mai. This drive was amazing apart from i done it all in 2 days flat. If you are going this way, visit Mae Salong... a magical Chinese town in the mountains.
Good luck and have fun
A Honda Dream? Have you lost you mind? No warm clothes through the mountains. Dude we went from impressed to get off the Yaba!!! That's crazy. What compelled you to do that?
#9 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
That's what it sounds like!!! You're girlfriend an anglo and you live here? That's unusual. Well, you can ride, I'll give you that. Crazy, but you can ride.
#11 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
yeah, so I think I will tackel the Mae Hong Song loop, do I need warm clothes? 5 -6 days yeah?
#13 jackymoon has been a member since 20/10/2010. Posts: 20
Should be warm this time of year, but you might want to take a water resistant jacket just in case it rains or you start feeling the cold on the bike. Also, ride with long sleeved shirts - the sun will scorch your arms (happen to me cause I didn't listen) and you won't notice it until you get off the bike. Good choice on bikes. That should be a good ride. Have a great time.
#14 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957