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Car hire itinerary

Norwich, United...
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125 posts
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Car hire itinerary

We are off to Thailand in Nov this year and after spending 3 days in Chiang Mai we are thinking of renting a car to explore a bit further. We have thought of these possible itineraries:

Night 1 - Thai Elephant Conservation Centre

Night 2 - Phrae

Nights 3 and 4 - Sukhothai

Night 5 Mae Sot

Nights 6 and 7 Mae Sariang

Night 8 San Pa Thong

Or

Night 1 TECC

Nights 2 and 3 Sukhothai

Night 4 Mae Sot

Nights 5 and 6 Mae Sariang

Nights 7 and 8 Mae Hong Song

Either way we would need to be back in Chiang Mai by 17.00 on day 9.

Any thoughts?

Hell, Norway
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1. Re: Car hire itinerary

If you are really going to risk driving a car in Thailand (Its nothing like driving in England), then you should consider http://www.doitung.org/ (Doi Tung - a beautiful place in the mountains near the Burma border, but safe). The loop through Mae Sarieng/Mae Hong Song is quite challenging and not for the faint hearted, and takes a lot longer than it might seem on the map, roads can get washed away and are very steep, and get too close to the unsafe border with Burma. The only safe route into Mae Hong Song is from Chiangmai via Pai.

Uttradit is well worth the effort and has some very pretty scenery, especially in and around the village of Lap Lair.

Bristol, United...
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2. Re: Car hire itinerary

dragonc was correct regarding the deceptive distances on the 'Mae Hong Son Loop' but I'd recommend it as an experience.

It is my favourite driving road, even though you do need to take care. I've been driving it for 4 years and never had a problem beyond having to slow down and take extra care when road works are in progress.

In November the rains should have finished and repairs be progressing.

On the hills (hairpin bends and very steep) you'll find yourself behind crawling lorries - watch for signals from them. The drivers will usually indicate right if there is oncoming traffic you can't see as a warning not to overtake, and left when it is safe for you to pass.

If you intend driving back from Mae Hong Son to Chiang Mai in one day you will need a good night's sleep (at least - the driver will) and an early start.

I normally allow about 3 1/2 hours from MHS to Pai and around 4 hours from there into Chiang Mai itself.

You could do it faster, but you would miss the stunning views and probably scare yourselves into the bargain.

I'll probably be back in the UK just before you set off - have fun!

Norwich, United...
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125 posts
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3. Re: Car hire itinerary

Thanks for the info. While we haven't driven in Thailand before we have done a lot of driving in remote parts of Europe and Australia - so we're used to taking care in tricky conditions. We'll have two drivers so may well do the Mae Hong Song loop - and share the driving on the way back to Chiang Mai.

Regards.

John

4. Re: Car hire itinerary

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