Mae Hong Son Loop, North Thailand – 2. Route & Motorcycle


The Mae Hong Son Loop of North Thailand takes us from Chiang Mai through Doi Inthanon to Khun Yuam and finally to Mae Hong Son. From Mae Hong Son, the route continues to Pai before taking us back to Chiang Mai. As a short weekend ride, there is not enough time for adequate sight seeing. The time is just about enough to finish the loop with minimal stops. More days are certainly advised for Chiang Mai, Mae Hong Son and Pai. The total distance we traveled was around 640km.

Map of North Thailand and route taken

The roads are twisty but well-paved. There is no off-road riding if you keep to the main routes. The only non-tarmac roads we encountered are the junction before Mae Ya Waterfall and the junction before Tham Lot. Even then, any motorcycle should be able to handle these roads easily.

This is about as bad as the road goes

If you have rode in Vietnam, Cambodia or Laos before, you should not have any problems navigating the roads in North Thailand. Road signs are available through out the loop, especially at major junctions. Petrol should not be a problem as well. If you do not see petrol stations, you can still find stalls by the road sides selling bottled petrol. Remember to top up your tank whenever you can, especially if you are not sure of the distance to the next town/village.

Since I brought along my Garmin GPS receiver during this trip, I tracked my routes and took down my waypoints. If you would like a copy of the file in Garmin GDB format, just post a comment and I will send the download link to your email. The size of the file is around 712KB.


The bike rental scene is well-established in Chiangmai. You would find a great variety of bikes from Honda waves, Honda Phantoms, Honda Super 4, Honda scramblers to BMW tourers. We decided to go for scramblers at the most popular bike rental shop in Chiangmai – Mr Mechanic. Mr Mechanic is located at 4 Soi 5, Moonmuang Rd. T.Sri Phum, A.Muang, Chiangmai. They can be contacted at (+66)53-214708 (tel), (+66)53-41837 (fax), (+66)1-8824402 (mobile) or [email protected] Because of our tight schedule, we booked three honda scramblers in advance at 600B per day for each bike. Upon arrival, we received 2 Honda Degrees and 1 Honda AX-1. Both models are quite similar but Honda AX-1 is much more fuel efficient.

Mr Mechanic (Photo taken from Mr Mechanic website)

171 thoughts on “Mae Hong Son Loop, North Thailand – 2. Route & Motorcycle

  1. Hi austin,

    Link sent to your email. Hope you do not mind but I will remove your email address from your comment.

    Have a great trip!

  2. Some mention going through Hot and Mae Sariang, but your map shows that you cut through Mae Chaem instead. How do you compare the two? I imagine it’s more scenic cutting through Mae Chaem, but others have said the road from Hot to Mae Sariang is also beautiful. Please also send track file if possible. We’ll be departing from Chiang Mai on Jan 26. Thanks.

  3. Hi John,

    I hadn’t tried the road from Hot to Mae Sariang. It seems like a major highway on the map. Anyhow, going via Mae Chaem should be faster. 🙂

    File sent to your email. Have a great trip!

  4. Hi atticus, I had a mistake with my mail box, can you send me again your route ?
    I’ll be in Thailand next monday ;o)
    Thanks a lot

  5. Hi Sarah,

    Link sent.

    There are definitely places to stay but you get more options in major towns such as Khun Yuam, Mae Hong Son, Pai, Chiangmai.

    Do refer to a guidebook for more lodgings information.

    Have a great trip!

  6. Hello!
    Thank you so much for intresting story about Mae Hong Song loop.
    Because of that i am waiting so much that i can go do that also.
    Could you send your route for me also.
    Thanks and nice driving moments to the future 🙂

  7. Hey There Atticus,
    Interesting Post, The Mae Hong Son Loop is a marvelous journey for those based in Chiang Mai with 4 or added days to spare who want to get out of the tourist bubble of Chiang Mai and examine the wilderness and mountains of the North. The Loop is a 600km circuit that begins and finishes in Chiang Mai using you through the Mae Hong Son province via Mae Sariang, Mae Hong Son city and Pai. Its the finest route to take to cover the province and proposed for nature lovers, trekkers, motorcyclists, off-highway adventures and in individuals wanting to delve deeper into Northern Thailand to knowledge a regular and authentic community.
    I look forward to your next post

  8. Can I have the routes and waypoints for the Mae Hong Son loop? Thank you…

  9. Riding motorcycles in Thailand, the best way to die during your vacation…

  10. Hey,
    Planning to do the loop this summer. Please send me your waypoints. Thanks a lot!!

  11. Hey,
    I was planning on doing the loop this Christmas with a buddy and would love to have your waypoint link!

  12. Hey there Atticus

    Great tips there. Could you please send me the link too? 🙂


  13. Hi Buddy. please do send me the GPS route on MHS as I do intend to ride in Oct 12.

  14. Thanks , got your link, unable to open but will sort it out.
    Thanks again buddy and all be well with you.

  15. hi Brett and Bruce will be trying out this loop in September. We are coming over from Cebu Philippines and looking forward to it

  16. Hi – sounds like a good trip – thinking about it for december.

    can you send link please?

    Did you also take your own gear or hire in Chiang Mai?

  17. Hi Robert,

    Link sent to your email.

    I only brought my own helmet and gloves to Chiang Mai. At Mr Mechanic, I only hired the motorbike without additional accessories.

  18. Hi,
    Nice blog !!
    We (a friend and I) go to Thailand, Cambodia and Laos from the beginning of January to half of February. We will hire motorbikes to travel.
    Is it possible to send me your tracks in .gdb of your trip?
    I would appreciate this very much.
    Kind regards.

  19. could you please send me the link, plan to go there and have a ride in Nov

  20. Please send me the links, ive been planning to do this ride for years and finally will get round to it this month. Thanks.

  21. will do th MHS loop in february-march,any info regarding routes and waypoints greatly appreciated,thanks

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