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Thailand Fly & Drive – Part 18
Before this year, I had never known about the famous Mae Hong Son Loop. It was only thanks to the community of road-trippers at Road Trips – Asia FB that I was introduced to this legendary road circuit around the most mountainous parts of Thailand that has enthralled driving and riding enthusiasts for years.
This circuit, although covering a distance of only about 600km, is not to be taken lightly. The roads are paved and in generally good condition, but are narrow at times and the climbs and descents rather steep. Additionally, with its 1864 curves, many quite severe and in quick succession, the route poses a challenge even for the most experienced drivers and riders.
You have to be very careful here. Don’t expect to cover more than 40km per hour, and give it at least 3 days of driving to cover the entire loop.
Drive conservatively, and don’t speed, especially if the roads are wet. It is very easy to lose control and skid off on the slippery roads. Avoid driving after dark, because it gets REALLY dark without street lamps.
As a reward, you will get treated to some heavenly mountain and valley scenes, as beautiful as any you will find anywhere else in the world. There are plenty of attractions all around the loop, but do remember to get your Certificate of Conquest from the Mae Hong Son Chamber of Commerce to mark your achievements!
The temperatures in December are comfortably cool in the day times, but will plummet at night, so do be appropriately covered up. We drove the loop most of the time with the car windows half winded down, both to enjoy the cool weather but also ease the feeling of motion sickness for our daughter behind.
Most people plan to do the loop in a clockwise manner, saving the most winding roads around Pai for the last. For us, we decide to do it anti-clockwise, staying one night at Pang Mapha, and two nights at Mae Win. On hindsight, we should have chosen to stay one more night around the Mae Sariang district because the leg between Pang Mapha and Mae Win was way too long, and we didn’t get a chance to see many of the sights that day because it was too rushed.
We will just have to come back again another time. Too many sights to see!
Do join me in my subsequent blog posts as I share all the juicy bits and also the down moments of our maiden journey around the Mae Hong Son loop!
- 2019 Thailand Fly and Drive
- Off to Bangkok
- Review: Ibis Styles Bangkok Sukhumvit 50
- Sara Jane’s @ the Empire Place
- Amazing Young Musician on the Streets
- Drive from Bangkok to Khao Kho
- Review: Tonkho at Home, Khao Kho
- Sunrise at Khao Takhian Ngo
- Temple on a Glass Cliff
- Tea @ Pino Latte
- Visit to the Weapon Museum
- Amazing Dinosaur!
- A Tale of Two Dinners
- Drive from Khao Kho to Chiang Mai
- Review: Ibis Styles Chiang Mai
- Chiang Mai Tribal Museum
- Wacky World of Insects!
- Driving the Mae Hong Son Loop
- Drive from Chiang Mai to Pang Mapha
- Pai Historical Bridge
- Pai Canyon
- Pai Land Split
- Review: Ban Keawmora, Pang Mapha
- Drive from Pang Mapha to Mae Win
- Long Neck Village
- Car Woes on the Way to Mae Win
- Day Trip to Doi Inthanon
- The Royal Twin Pagodas
- More Vehicle Misfortune and an Angel on a Motorbike
- Review: Mae Win Guesthouse and Resort
- Another Flat?! Drive from Chiang Mai to Chiang Khan
- Review: Phu Chiangkhan Hostel
- Chiang Khan Walking Street by Day
- The Majestic Mekong
- Chiang Khan Walking Street by Night
- Drive from Chiang Khan to Khon Kaen
- Review: Pullman Khon Kaen Raja Orchid
- The Problem of Laundry
- Birthday Day Out!
- The Nine-Storey Stupa
- Aura Farm
- King Cobra Village
- Khon Kaen City Museum
- 2019 Thailand Fly & Drive (Bangkok, Khao Kho, Chiang Mai, Mae Hong Son Loop, Chiang Khan, Khon Kaen, Khao Yai, Pattaya)
- 2019 Cameron Highlands Brothers Drive
- 2018 Bali Drive
- 2017 Hungary Winter Drive
- 2017 Hokkaido Winter Drive
- 2019 Drive from Singapore to Thailand (Krabi, Phuket)
- 2018 Drive from Singapore to Thailand (Bangkok, Rayong)
- 2017 Drive from Singapore to Thailand (Krabi, Phuket)
- 2016 Drive from Singapore to Thailand