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
If there is a riding mecca in South East Asia, the Mae Hong Son loop has got to be it. Probably the most popular riding route in Thailand, the Mae Hong Son loop is also known as the road of 1000 hairpin bends. Besides exhilarating bends on well-paved roads, the loop passes through scenic mountain regions blessed with points of interest such as caves, waterfalls, national parks, hot springs, temples and hill tribe villages.
The Mae Hong Son loop provides a good opportunity to visit North Thailand’s rugged north-west frontier. There are many possible side rides to places such as Mae Sa valley or even Chang Rai of golden triangle fame. This region of Thailand is also home to the famous Karen hill tribe. If the name does not ring a bell, the images of women with long necks adorned with brass rings would probably be familiar to you.