Some say if you haven’t ridden the Mae Hong Son Loop then you haven’t ridden Thailand properly, they could be right.
One of our north Thailand road tours, this is usually the experience that no-one forgets. 1,864 of perfect curves and mountain jungle views, what more could you want?
Beautiful, beautiful weather, not too cold, not too hot, couldn’t be better for a ride up in the mountains.
Getting out of Chiang Mai can be a bit tricky, no way around the traffic these days
First destination was to take everyone to the top of Doi Inthanon, the highest point in Thailand. Special lane avoidance in place over the holiday period to prevent accidents.
The temperature gauge at the top Inthanon said 10 C, it felt a lot warmer, maybe all the body heat generated from the pilgrims heated the localized air
Like herding cats down the hill, trying not to lose anyone at the turn
All going well, great weather
Chasing down the antique fire engine
Then onto some beautiful twisty roads
You don’t often see this right on the apex of a corner, highly dangerous as right in the middle of the blind corner
Through the drama and westwards towards Khun Yuam, what a road!!!
Stupendous afternoon ride
Re-grouped and northwards towards Mae Hong Son
One handed snaps in the corners can be quite exciting on the Mae Hong Son Loop
A bit of sporty riding on the empty roads
Beautiful Shan Wats as we approach Mae Hong Son
Even approaching Mae Hong Son the road is still a blast
Lots of different speeds, the group had spread out quite a bit, we didnt lose anyone.
Golden trees as we approach Mae Hong Son for the night
Mae Hong Son always feels like a special destination for the night, no matter how many times you’ve been there, especially after the hundreds of corners you’ve just ridden
Isn’t this one of the most special backdrops you could see when off riding in the morning?
Salaween River Restaurant does the best breakfasts in town
MHS fueling up is always a bustling place
Today a day exploring around Mae Hong Son
Ban Rak Thai was going to be the first destination for the day
Through some ethnic Hmong villages, a real Chinese feel about the area already
& we’re there
Lots of traditional Chinese tea shops in Ban Rak Thai
The Myanmar border checkpoint, currently only a locals crossing, not an international point of entry
Back down into the town of Ban Rak Thai
The new resort on the hill
Some Chinese tea, then off south
Next point of interest would be the long bamboo bridge over the rice fields that leads to a Wat – Khun Mai Sak Temple and the bamboo bridge
Amazing how strong bamboo is
Lisu ethnic tribe
The bridge collapsed last year during a ceremony with 100’s of people on it, this is the makeshift repaired part
Here’s the part that collapsed
What a beautiful bridge
The bridge looks spectacular from the temple steps
The Shan temple on the hill is worth the walk
Everyone is having a great day
Still plenty of daylight and a side trip to the Ban Na Soi Long Neck Village, one of the less commercial in the region. The last couple of km’s is easy dirt, not really a problem
The Long Neck Lady liked the CRF’s the best, better for off-road there she said
A pretty remote village, the refugee camp nearby has 12,000 people. Not many places in the world you can see Long Necks now.
A hidden gem
Getting late, just enough time for a stop at the old suspension bridge
One of our riders gingerly walking out along the broken rafters
A cool morning departure, it will warm up pretty quickly
Into the sweepers
The Mae Hong Son Loop is one of those rides you’ll never forget
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