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“Smooth roads and mountainous views”
Review of Mae Hong Son Loop

Mae Hong Son Loop
Ranked #1 of 4 Tours in Mae Hong Son
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed June 12, 2013

Great road trip - a good way of escaping the crowds and getting out into the mountains.
The loop runs for 600km through forested mountains and paddy field valleys, passing Karen villages and some nice towns along the way. Two of us squeezed onto a 125cc scooter, which was fine for the main roads, but if I did it again I'd rent a larger 200-250cc bike so that I could explore more of the rougher/steeper side roads.
Take it slowly. The roads are such good quality (smooth fresh blacktop snaking through the mountains) that I got carried away perfecting my cornering and arrived back in Chiang Mai 3 days earlier than I planned!
If you stay in Mae Hong Son (which you should) stay in Baan Mai Guesthouse on the north side of the Jong Kham Lake - easily the best guesthouse in town. It's cheap (200-300 baht a room) and you'll find yourself being mothered by the owner. There's free hot chocolate/tea/coffee and breakfast - we woke up to mago and sticky rice waiting for us in tiffin tins outside our door...
If you want to save the best till last, travel the route clockwise i.e. leave Mae Hong Son and Pai to the end of the trip. We did it the other way round and regretted not spending more time in there. And wear a visor or sunglasses - I got hit in the face a few times by beetles the size of my fist!

8  Thank yacoule
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviews (146)
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81 - 85 of 146 reviews

Reviewed June 1, 2013

There is many many things to see along the routes. Waterfalls, temples and view points with breath taking vistas. Many terrific restaurants in all the small towns. If you like riding just for the fun of riding this loop is basically mandatory if you visit the north. Easily done on a 125cc auto scooter but i would suggest staying one person per scooter. Gas, food, guest houses are plenty along the roads and it's almost impossible to get lost if you stay on the main roads.

While some passages can be dangerous if you drive like a tosser, stay on the correct side of the road in ALL corners and keep a look out and you will be fine. Drove the loop twice just because i could.

3  Thank bob l
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 21, 2013

If you are planning to come to Mae Hong Son. Plan your journey by travel overland to this charming town. Rent a car and get your self drive from north via highway 1095 and down the south passing highway 108 is great for mountains and nature lovers.

2  Thank tourmerngtai
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 11, 2013

Just did the Chiang Mai - Mae Hong Son via Pai and back bike ride on a 250 cc Honda CBF.
I am a female rider not too experienced, in spite of all the frightening reviews I read on forums, decided to take the plunge by myself and it was fantastic!
The crosser was perfect as the road is very swervy and goes off road at times from Suppong towards Mae Hong Son. There are some raod works there.

Just watch for the oncoming traffic as often you will find a car on your side of the road as you turn the bend so do slow down there as you don'tknow what's coming. Sometimes dogs even.
Met an ex racer on a sports Kawasaki on one of the stops and he commented that he would have a better time on a crosser.
Also, some bits have slippery signs going downwards, but agaih, didn't have any trouble whatsoever, if the speed is adjusted, including the notorious Chiang Mai - Pai road.

I suggest taking a detour from Supong towards Mae Lana as there are some nice dirt roads there and interesting villages there.

All in all, 70%of the road was better quality than my national highway.

I have learned a lot and had a great time.

Tanja from Serbia

3  Thank TatjanaS723
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 22, 2013

probably the best mountain road in all of Thailand. I usually rent a car in Chiang Mai, head down south on #108 and turn off towards Doi Inthanon (#1009). Can't miss it, there are plenty of signboards. Then after some 40km one can either go up to Doi Inthanon (once is enough I guess) or turn left and head for Mae Chaem, a small, sleepy town, and spend the night there. There are some shops selling locally produced garments, just past the market and accross the bridge, then to your left. The next stop should be the little B&B at Mae Na Chon, a (German?) foundation training hilltribe kids for jobs in the service industry. There are also nice, very reasonable bungalows there, right next to the river (rafting!). Then head on to Khun Yuam or turn off just before and see the Mae Surin waterfall (or the sunflower fields; heaps of busses in the season). Both attractions depend on the right time of year.
From Khun Yuam the road winds up to Mae Hongson, spectacular vistas along the entire stretch.
Next stop could then be either Bang Mapha (a tribal market, people still wear their tribal outfit) or Pai. As I'm not too fond of the ongoings in Pai I quite often head up to Wat Chan (turn right about 13 km outside Pai). Great for the night, very peaceful, a small village nearby, great off-road to Samoeng-Chiang Mai. Other then that one can move on towards the highway #107. Before you get there, there is a small place with swimmingpool we very much enjoy. It's the Ban Rai Lanna, off a small road to the left. Again very peaceful, set in nature, a nice little pool and great food.
Back on the main road one can either go down south to Chiang Mai or, what we very much prefer, move on up north towards Taton and Chiang Rai province with plenty of places to explore. A nice side-trip is Doi Ankhang, the royal project on the hill. Reasonable accommodations (in season advance booking necessary!), off to your left near Fang.
It's advisable to get the red GT-Rider map for this trip as it is very detailed and gives an accurate state of the available roads. And it makes the trip so much more enjoyable.

5  Thank herbertbkk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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