Podcast: 1483km by motorbike in North Thailand

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Last week I completed a long 1483Km motorbike trip with my sister Laura through the mountains of North and North West Thailand, you can listen to the podcast we made along the way by clicking above.

The road between Mae Sot and Umphang

Setting off from Chiang Mai, we headed North East through the mountains to Mae Hong Son (via Pai), before heading South to Mae Sot and about 650KM along the Thailand/Burma border to our final destination – Umphang. Surrounded by national parks and wildlife reserves (and classified as a UNESCO World heritage site), Umphang is one of the most beautiful, but least accessible districts in Thailand. Nevertheless, it has one major tourist attraction, Thi Lo Su Waterfall, the largest waterfall in Thailand – 200 metres high and 400 metres wide.

Remarkably, Laura had only learned to ride a motorbike two weeks prior to the trip – she drove a 125 CC Honda Dream Scooter and I drove my 200CC Honda Phantom. In total, the trip took seven days of actual driving, with two days ‘resting’ in Mae Sot and Umphang.

This podcast features a lot of the sounds we heard along the way, from the jungle sounds of cicadas & birds of paradise, to frogs, Lisu musicians, a Thai kick boxing match, rafting near Umphang, and an interview with Tasanee at Safe Haven Orphanage.

You can view photos of the trip by visiting our Flickr account.

Route information

Click here for the motorbike trip route mapThe route we took was Chiang Mai – Pai – Mae Hong Son – Mae Sariang – Khun Yuam Sunflower fields – Mae Sariang – Mae Sot – Umphang – Mae Sot – Chiang Mai. (See the map on the right courtesy of Travelfish.org)

The approximate distances are below.

Chiang Mai to Pai – 135KM
Pai to Mae Hong Son – 139KM
Man Hong Son to Mae Sariang (via the sunflower fields) – 250KM
Mae Sariang to Mae Sot – 242KM
Mae Sot to Umphang – 176KM
Umphang to Mae Sot – 176KM
Mae Sot to Chiang Mai – 365 KM
Total: 1483KM

Video: Samoeng loop motorbike trip, Chiang Mai

The Golden Triangle Rider website describes the Samoeng / Mae Sa valley loop as “…the best 100 kms ride in North Thailand“. We have done the loop several times now, and would highly recommend it to anyone wanting to get out of Chiang Mai and see some of the surrounding countryside and mountains for the day.

A few weeks ago, on a sunny weekend day, a group of us decided to do the loop to get out of Chiang Mai for the afternoon. It was the first time Tina and I had taken the video camera out with us on the bike…you can see the resulting 5 minute video below.

The Samoeng loop is usually about 100kms (if you follow the route on the GT Rider website), however we took a bit of a detour through some villages and rice paddies to go to the Mae Sap cave which meant that the trip ended up nearer 130kms. Unfortunately, as we didn’t have a torch/flashlight with us we weren’t able to venture more than a few metres inside the cave…so if you’re planning on heading there, take one!

If you’re interested in doing the trip yourselves – we recommend referring to the map on the GT Rider website. We would like to thank Death in Vegas for using a sample from the tune ‘Aisha’ in the video.