Photo: Stop for the scenery.

Motorcycling the Chiang Rai loop

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The vast majority of the roads in northern Thailand are paved and 99 times out of a 100 a Honda Dream will be more than sufficient (as long as you don’t mind the occasion sections spent permanently in first gear). A very interesting and little trafficked route is the Chiang Rai Loop—a fun and beautiful ride with dozens of kilometres of stunning scenery and next to no traffic.

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This trip begins and ends in Chiang Rai, and while it could be done in as little as three very long days, a week to ten days is a far better length of trip if you don’t want to be riding every day. Beginning in Chiang Rai, head north on Route 1 as far as Mae Chan then take a left onto 1130 for the sweeping climb up to Mae Salong. From Mae Salong take the winding 1234 north to Doi Tung, then continue on past the Royal gardens and palace via the very remote 1149 along the Burmese border for the backway into Mai Sai. From Mai Sai continue east along 1129 to Chiang Khong then down 1155 via Wiang Kaen for the eastern turnoff to the spectacular road to Doi Patang and Phu Chee Fah after which passing through Thoeng to return to Chiang Rai via either 1020 (fast and busy) or 1020 and 1152 for less traffic and ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 1,200 words.)

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Popular attractions in Chiang Rai

A selection of some of our favourite sights and activities around Chiang Rai.

Best places to stay in Chiang Rai

A selection of some of our favourite places to stay in Chiang Rai.

What next?

 Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around Chiang Rai.
 Check prices, availability & reviews on Agoda or Booking
 Read up on where to eat on Chiang Rai.
 Check out our listings of things to do in and around Chiang Rai.
 Read up on how to get to Chiang Rai, or book your transport online with 12Go Asia.
 Do you have travel insurance yet? If not, find out why you need it.
 Planning on riding a scooter in Chiang Rai? Please read this.
 Buy a SIM card for Thailand—pick it up at the airport when you arrive.
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See below for more sights and activities in Chiang Rai that are listed on

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Where to next?

Where are you planning on heading to after Chiang Rai? Here are some spots commonly visited from here, or click here to see a full destination list for Thailand.

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