Khao Yai to Chiang Rai - January

Flip

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Hello all, new member here, I came across this site when I was looking for information regarding a trip I will be making in January and this thread came up on a google search:


I'm based in the UK (for now) but have a home in Thailand close to Khao Yai national park. In January I plan to go up through Loei (overnight stop), on to Nan (overnight stop), then over to Chaing Rai for one night before possibly heading down to Tak or Mae Sot (overnight stop) and across to Phitsanulok the next day (overnight stop). On the final day I will leave Phitsanulok heading east over to Petchabun before turning south towards home.

The schedule above is just the basic plan, I may vary it a bit depending on any recommendations I receive but I want to stick to the basic loop I've described.

I have 6 days (5 nights) and although its the coolest time of year, I plan to get most of the miles behind me in the mornings, leaving the afternoons for sight seeing. I will of course, have a look at other reports on this site but I'd really appreciate any information from those who have done similar trips or ridden around any of the areas I've mentioned. Good and bad roads, places of interest' friendly hotels etc. - anything that might be useful.

I've been up around Petchabun before and ridden around Khao Kho but this will be my first real trip in Thailand - I do know the country in general though and speak enough of the language to get by.

The only part that I'm unsure of is the Mae Sot/Tak portion. At around 500km from Chiang Rai it may be a big ask. I'd like to see a few things but may spend too much time travelling to do so. It may be better to spend 2 nights in the Chiang Rai area - I'm open to any suggestions.

I'm travelling solo as my travel buddy can't make this trip so if any of you are around at the same time - I'd be happy to meet up and share a few beer Changs with you :-)
 

bsacbob

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Welcome to the forum, don't see an image in your post but the loop will cover perhaps some of the best roads we have in Thailand, obvious choice is through Phu Soi Dao NP heading to Nan from Loei. I wouldn't suggest heading to Nam Pat to take the ferry as the water level is most likely too low for it to be running.

Once in Nan check out The Crossroads Restaurant for local info for the night then hit the Bo Klua loop out of nan then picking up the 1148 to CR would be a nice ride indeed, as you say from CR to Mae Sot is a bit of a push quickest in the HWY 1 but apart from the section north of Tak its pretty boring and many speed cameras's to deal with.

One option is HWY 1 from CR, pick up the 120 to Wang Nuea and head south to Lampang on the 1035 then head for Den Chai and south on the 101 to Sukothai for the night. From there to Tak and the 1175 to Mae Sot.

5 nights should be plenty stopping 1 night at each destination, hit me up when you're in CR.
 

Flip

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Welcome to the forum, don't see an image in your post but the loop will cover perhaps some of the best roads we have in Thailand, obvious choice is through Phu Soi Dao NP heading to Nan from Loei. I wouldn't suggest heading to Nam Pat to take the ferry as the water level is most likely too low for it to be running.

Once in Nan check out The Crossroads Restaurant for local info for the night then hit the Bo Klua loop out of nan then picking up the 1148 to CR would be a nice ride indeed, as you say from CR to Mae Sot is a bit of a push quickest in the HWY 1 but apart from the section north of Tak its pretty boring and many speed cameras's to deal with.

One option is HWY 1 from CR, pick up the 120 to Wang Nuea and head south to Lampang on the 1035 then head for Den Chai and south on the 101 to Sukothai for the night. From there to Tak and the 1175 to Mae Sot.

5 nights should be plenty stopping 1 night at each destination, hit me up when you're in CR.
Thank you for that, I'll have a look at the map later regarding your suggestions but a couple of comments for now: How much of a problem are the speed cameras up North? There are speed cameras on Highway 2 near my home - let's just say I don't hang about but I've never fallen victim to them on the bike, car yes but never the bike. I've always put that down to them being 'front facing' and therefore only able to pick of front number plates. I could be wrong on that but on the 2 occasions that I've been 'clocked' in the car, the photo received through the post has only shown the front and obviously bikes don't have a front plate. I was warned about the cameras on Highway 21 in Petchabun when I went up there earlier this year but either they are front facing only or they weren't working because I was clocking 140/160 most of the way and never got the dreaded letter. Are you aware of bikers that have been caught out by speed cameras in Thailand?

I'm very grateful for the info about The Crossroads Restaurant - always good to have local knowledge about where to stay. I checked out their website - good to see their menu. Although I love most Thai food and eat it 80% of the time I'm in country, pork and rice soup just doesn't do it for me in regards to breakfast :-)

I've more or less decided that the Mae Sot/Tak leg is not a good idea - especially if, as you say its 'pretty boring' around there. I originally planned to go to Chiang Mai after CR but I've visited CM a few times before (not by bike) and was looking to see something new. Thinking about it though, I haven't really seen much of CM - just the usual Doi Suthep tours etc and I'm sure there's much more. So I could bring that back in to the equation or I could ride around the Lampang/Phrae area - again, no knowledge of that area but mindful of the fact that I'm heading for Phitsanoluk the next day. Winding mountain roads and high points with long distance views are my thing. Any thoughts on those 2 options?
 

bsacbob

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Speed cameras are normally forward-facing so they don't pose a problem on a bike, however, keep an eye out for the sneaky buggers hiding in the median strip with a mobile camera then expect a police checkpoint soon after.

There is some fantastic riding around Chiang Mai, but in order to keep to your schedule, I would stick to the Lampang-Sukothai option.
 

Flip

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Thanks for that, I think you're right. I doubt this will be my only trip 'up North' - whenever I've toured elsewhere, I see things on the way that I would like to visit but doing so would interupt the schedule so simply note them for next time. I can spend more time around Chiang Mai on a future trip.
 

Flip

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Sorry to say but for personal reasons I would have had to cut my trip short. I didn't want to do that - prefering instead to do the trip at a later date. Very disappointed but other matters took priority.
 
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