This is one of the most beautiful off-road riding areas in Thailand
The trail off R 1009 is beautiful
Heindrick came with us too and was having a great time
George got caught up in a rut and had a spill, nothing serious
R 108, first time I’d used one of these automated fueling stations, they still have an attendant
Billy got a flat, 20 Bht we had it all fixed in 20 minutes
Dinner at the Sawasdee restaurant then early night ready for the trails. Australians, Clinton & Dave were in Mae Sariang too, I told them our plans and they were up for a ride in the jungle too.
Dave had a slip in the corner, he was in just a t shirt which concerned me
This was why
A few km’s west and we were on one of the most beautiful trails in Thailand
One of the Salaween National Park offices on the trail
I’d never counted the river crossings on this trail, Billy counted 55.
Dave leading, takes a wrong trail, falls off the ledge in exactly the same spot I did 4 months earlier
Logistical problems getting the bike out of there, best option was to drop it off the cliff
Grins from ear to ear from everyone, this is one of the most fun trails you can do
Green, slippy rocks, real easy to drop the bike, George has a spill, no water in the bike thankfully
Clinton coming out of one of the 55 rivers
You can see the green slime pretty good in this one – super slippy
Old ruined bridge
Towards Tha Tha Fang, I had oil dribbling out of the engine, as expected a rock had punctured the engine side case
Always carry baby wet wipes, epoxy and a small file. Get the area super clean with wet wipes, file the area where the epoxy will bond to get a good mechanical bond, clean everywhere again, let it dry, size up a piece of toilet paper or bandage to saturate with epoxy to keep the epoxy in place and let dry.
Put the mend area in the sun to speed up the curing process
All mended, then off the Salaween river
Good stuff Phil!
Can’t help but wonder what the little lad in blue is thinking about this strange Alien ritual.
The trail south from Tha Tha Fang to Mae Sam Laep is an easy pickup trail with a couple of stream crossings, the views of the Salaween river are spectacular
A drink break in Mae Sam Laep. All ok with Khow Sai after are last boat experience, he says the boat driver didn’t understand our instructions thats why he left us,
The beautiful, exotic lady that owns the Mae Sam Laep GH in Mae Sam Laep
Everyone had the most fantastic day, this is one of the best off road days in Thailand. We gave the new River Bank GH a shot in Mae Sariang for the night. 700 Bht on the river pretty nice.
Even drying racks for boots and socks
If you haven’t spent any time in Mae Sariang you’re really missing out, early evening by the river is very special
George had noticed some dripping coolant, closer inspection showed a pinhole in the hose. We taped it up and headed off. Today was going to be the Sop Moei refugee village area, one of my favorites.
15km off of R 105 and the dirt starts
One of the first big Karen tribe villages
George’s bike is leaking coolant again, some tape and it seems to stop
The Karen locals try figure out what we’re up to
Note the tribal tattoos on her legs
Red lips from chewing the beetle nut
All the Karen villages had fuel, we were paying 55-65 Bht a liter
Traditional Karen tribe school uniform
Lots of concrete around in the villages now, dirt linking them
The Karen tribe villages are stunning
As we get in deeper, further west it gets better and better
Billy had just come back from Cambodia and was really enjoying this, george was worried he was going to end up on a squat toilet
Looks like a movie set
Curious Karen children watching the chain adjusting
Looks like you’ll stay fit living here
The village to the SW is the main “immigration” checkpoint for the Karen tribe people. They are allowed east of here only during the day and have to return by 1800
Traditional leaf roofs that last for 2 years
Locals in this village weren’t shy at all
The cats looked well cared for and happy
Leaving the big checkpoint village (Ban Maremu) , across the bridge, you’re then in the heart of the Karen people, people with no ID, no passport, no way out.
The river is pretty deep here even in the dry season, the bridge is easier
Really bright day, no rain, which means lots of dust
Lots of the Karen villages (camps/ settlements) get aid from the Malteser International, info about this organization below:
Some of the steeper sections had been concreted, a blessing in rainy season for sure
1,000’s live in the large camps along the Nam Mae Yuam river, its expanse is breath taking
Imagine those mud stairs in rainy season
After making a wrong turn we stumble on a Karen traditional festival, a stroke of luck
We follow the Mae Nam Yuam which will eventually feed into the Mae Nam Moei River, which in turn ends up in the Salaween River
The Mae Yuam river
Finally we get to the confluence of the Mae Yuam & Mae Moei rivers, a beautiful spot
With it being a boat traffic area (& near the Myanmar border), there’s a decent sized, Thai Army lookout
North of the Army lookout and river confluence, there’s some beautiful single track for about for about 25km all the way north along the Mae Nam Moei to Ban Sop Moei – Kho Puai
Gorgeous single track with river views
Ban Sop Moei – Kho Puai is a convenient place to top up with fuel 55 bht a liter co-ords:
Northeast of Ban Sop Moei – Kho Puai, the track goes double track again quite steep in places, in fact one place was the steepest gradient we encountered on the whole trip
Views of the confluence of the Mae Nam Salaween & Mae Nam Moei rivers
George enjoying the day riding
Even with the haze we had some great scenery
Always feels good to see a lot of the trail ahead of you
Then some cut ledge stuff
New intriguing hill formations I hadnt seen before
& then a nice surprise of some locals on their way home from tending to the gardens
About 8km south of Mae Sam Laep the road is now paved all the way to Mae Sam Laep. Looks like they have a plan to continue paving south.
With the bike getting so hot, it had melted the tape repair…more tape and we were off again
Back to Mae Sariang, sticking with the try new GH’s theme, found my new favorite GH in Mae Sariang “Good View”. For 4 rooms we talked her down to 500 bht, amazing value for money.
Well thats about it apart from the salon at the fuel station.
A great trip, fantastic weather, good company, good riding and everyone got back safe – the way it should be.
This is a great off-road motorcycle tour in north Thailand, one of the best!
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