Drive from Chiang Mai to Pang Mapha

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Thailand Fly & Drive – Part 19

This was our first day on the Mae Hong Son loop, and the 5th day of our road trip from Bangkok. We have a full breakfast, pack up and check out of our hotel in Chiang Mai. It had been a most enjoyable stay, albeit too short. We will definitely be coming back, as we have only just scratched the surface of what Chiang Mai has to offer.

Today would be a tough drive, especially being completely new to the road conditions along the loop. Thankfully, we have done the Tapah route up Cameron Highlands many times over the last decade, and that experience of navigating winding mountain roads certainly came in handy here.

Our destination today is Pang Mapha, the northernmost district of the Mae Hong Son province. The 170km journey makes for about three and a half hours of driving time, but we plan to make a couple of stops in Pai to check out some of the attractions around the area.

As we make our way up the mountains, we are amazed to see monks walking up the same winding roads. ON FOOT. Much respect… I wonder how far these monks have to walk every day.

We are grateful for the clear skies. The complication of rain would really throw a spanner in the works, but thankfully it was completely dry for us around the loop.

We find a spot where all the cars seem to be stopping by the side of the road… so we stopped as well to take a look.

Turns out the people are stretching their legs and taking the opportunity to take a photo. The view is slightly blocked, but still beautiful nonetheless, making for a decent panorama>>

After that pit-stop, we get back in the car and proceed on our left-right-left-right journey, opening the windows to let the fresh air into the car to ease the motion-sickness. We make good progress, and by 1 pm we approach the pretty little town of Pai, ever increasing in its popularity with visitors both local and foreign.

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