Mae Hong Son loop – that’s 600km of curved mountain roads, across Thailand’s highest mountains, through valley’s of vivid green rice fields, through poor villages, where electricity doesn’t exist, past beautiful waterfalls, and many wild nature parks.
We completed this road in 4 days, all went out as 800km. We started an finished in Pai.
Road slope in some places can reach even 40degrees .Basically all this roadtrip consists of steering wheel turning from one side to another, sliding in our old honda’s imitation leather seats from left to right and back to left. You can get car sick pretty quick. Be well prepared with paper bag and ginger tablets. Although my girls went through well.
Pai – Mae Hong Son 176km, 5h. (via Ban Rak Thai and Ban Ruam Thai)
On the way we had to cross 2 mountain pass at altitude of 1400-1700m, with good viewpoints at the top, to enjoy amazing scenery. There are many impressive caves to see in this area. The biggest of them is called Tham Lot (Lod Cave).
And many authentic thai-burmese villages where houses are traditionaly built using bamboo and leaves.
Ban Rak Thai – beautiful small chinese village on the Myanmar border, where tea is grown.
Ban Ruam Thai- very small village on the top of the hill, even getting there is an exciting adventure. This place is called The Switzerland of Thailand. There are lakes and pines growing, so it has similarities with Alps.
Mae Hong Son – Khun Yuam – Mae Sariang 230km, 6h. (via Mae Surin waterfall )
The road winds along the same foothills. To see the impressive Mae Surin waterfall, we had to make an 80km detour uphill which take us an extra 3hours. It’s out of season and we are the only ones. Season starts at december when the hills are covered in blooming mexican sunflowers.
Mae Sariang – Doi Ithanon – Chiang Mai
Doi Ithanon – The highest mountain of Thailand. A very steep concrete road crawls upon the top of it at 2565m. The summit is wrapped in a big, thick, white cloud, it’s very humid and cool air, temperature just +16C.
Always it’s good to be back to Chiang Mai. It’s quite a big city, but i like it’s character with old city moat in the middle and red Songthaews (public taxis) on the streets.
Last stage Chiang Mai – Pai 140km 3,5h
Good to be back home. I drove this part 6 times. It advisable to make it in daylight, there is huge potholes and cows on the road, dangerous curves and damaged road.
Not much to see though, the road edges are covered with dense trees, and there is no place to park, for a quick admiration of scenery. But on the way through villages of the valley it’s good to stop for a coffee or a traditional noodle soup.