Mae Hong Son loop with a saleng!

Our crazy road trip around Thailand and Laos on a tricycle (saleng).
  • Saleng expedition #33
  • Mae Hong Son to Chiang Mai
  • 241 km / 150 miles

As the explorer Sir Edmund Hillary mentioned; 'It's not the mountain that we conquer but ourselves!'. Now, try to ride the Mae Hong Son loop with more than 1864 curves and over 600 km / 373 miles through the mountains on three wheels in four days! Let's call it a challenge! Some parts have shaken off, we lost some screws and pieces of the cover, but we made it back alive with the engine still running! We did it clockwise in four days: Chiang Mai, Mae Sariang, Mae Hong Son, Pai, Chiang Mai.

Click here for day 1 and 2!

Day 3, Mae Hong Son to Pai.

Mae Hong Son, it can be cold in the morning.

Putting air in the tires, many times!

Many many curves and turns.


Coffee break, Thai style Starbucks with mini mart as well.

Enjoying the mountains from the viewpoint.

Souvenir shops at the viewpoint!

Som Tam, spicy papaya salad.

More flags on the saleng, yellow for the King of Thailand.

Kanravee Guesthouse, with a open air bathroom and own patio.

Accommodation recommendation: Kanravee Guesthouse, Pai
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Night market / Walking street of Pai. (dried squid on a stick)

Hot and cold drinks in bamboo shoot.

Lee Wine Ruk Thai.

Fill your own sushi box, 5 or 10 bath (0,15 or 0,30 Euro) a piece.

Durian fruit, love or hate it!

Funny fluorescent bar in walking street.

Day 4, Pai to Chiang Mai.

Rock and roll!

No idea.

Promoting school sports!

Time to go! Get ready for a dusty construction road.

Hairpins and great nature! Causing traffic jams with the saleng...

DUST!!! Look at the trees covered in dust!

Vegetables in the shop means you can have loads of healthy green Thai food!

Traffic jams back in to Chiang Mai, enough time for people to look and laugh!

The guard wanted us to park at a special spot (for disabled people).

Top North Guesthouse, a budget hotel with a good ambiance, swimming pool (pool bar) and nice bar street.

Accommodation recommendation: Top North Guesthouse, Chiang Mai
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Top North Hotel; modern, big and comfortable.

Accommodation recommendation: Top North Hotel, Chiang Mai
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Day 3 and 4 on the map.

Some tips if you want to drive / cycle the Mae Hong Son loop yourself:
  • Bring mosquito repellent, sunscreen, a face cover and warm cloths!
  • If you get motion sickness easily, bring some tablets as well.
  • Rent a scooter at POP Motorcycle Rent (Kotchasan Road, close to the gate)
  • Take more than four days so you can stay two or more nights at towns to relax and explore.
  • Fuel up before you run low, especially climing up the hills the engine can shut down because the fuel doesn't reach the system.

  • 2799 km / 1739 miles done total
  • 3201 km / 1989 miles to go
  • 38 days done
  • 54 days to go
  • 23 provinces crossed
  • 22 provinces to go

Phuket - Phang Nga - Ranong - Chumphon - Prachuap Khiri Khan - Phetchaburi - Ratchaburi - Kanchanaburi - Suphanburi - Ayutthaya - Lopburi - Singburi - Chainat - Uthai Thani - Nakhon Sawan - Phichit - Phitsanulok - Sukhothai - Uttaradit - Phrae - Lampang - Lamphun - Chiang Mai - Mae Hong Son - Chiang Rai - Bokeo - Luang Namtha - Udomxai - Luang Prabang - Vientiane (khwaeng) - Vientiane (prefecture) - Kamphaeng Nakhon Wieng Chan - Bolikhamsai - Khammuan - Nakhon Phanom - Mukdahan - Kalasin - Roi Et - Maha Sarakham - Buriram - Nakhon Ratchasima - Nakhon Nayok - Pathum Thani - Nonthaburi - Bangkok

Saleng expedition, intro
Phuket Town to Laem Phrao, and we're off! (Saleng 1)
Laem Phrao to Khao Lak, the Dutch bobsled team! (Saleng 2)
Khao Lak to Praphat, thumbs up! (Saleng 3)
Praphat to Ko Phayam, saleng on board! (Saleng 4)
Ko Phayam, time to relax! (Saleng 5)
Ko Phayam to Ranong, hot springs & Loy Krathong! (Saleng 6)
Ranong to Thung Wua Laen (Chumphon), coast to coast! (Saleng 7)
Thung Wua Laen (Chumphon) to Bang Boet Bay, scenic route! (Saleng 8)
Bang Boet Bay to Thap Sakae, we have a problem! (Saleng 9)
Thap Sakae to Prachuap Khiri Khan, aircrafts crossing! (Saleng 10)
Prachuap Khiri Khan to Hua Hin, snakes and dead end roads! (Saleng 11)
Hua Hin, we need business cards! (Saleng 12)
Hua Hin to Petchaburi, visiting a tropical vine yard! (Saleng 13)
Petchaburi, amazing cave temple and aggressive monkeys! (Saleng 14)
Petchaburi to Kanchanaburi, discovering the walking directions of Google Maps! (Saleng 15)
Kanchanaburi, King's Day & Light & Sound Festival 2015 (Bridge over the river Kwae)! (Saleng 16)
Kanchanaburi, Bridge Over The River Kwae! (Saleng 17)
Kanchanaburi to Ayutthaya, being the attraction and escort service! (Saleng 18)
Ayutthaya, writing Thai and some cultural differences! (Saleng 19)
Ayutthaya, ruins, strange tuk-tuks and Christmas time! (Saleng 20)
Ayutthaya to Lopburi, going Dutch! (Saleng 21)
Lopburi, bikers in monkey town! (Saleng 22)
Lopburi to Pho Prathap Chang, why didn't we get a car? (Saleng 23)
Pho Prathap Chang to Sukhothai, HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY Birthday! (Saleng 24)
Sukhothai, saleng at UNESCO World Heritage site! (Saleng 25)
Sukhothai to Phrae, we're not the slowest! (Saleng 26)
Phrae, think big! (Saleng 27)
Phrae to Lampang, 2000 km done! (Saleng 28)
Lampang, ladies not allowed! (Saleng 29)
Lampang to San Kamphaeng, visiting an elephant hospital! (Saleng 30)
San Kamphaeng to Chiang Mai, we made it before Christmas! (Saleng 31)
Chiang Mai to Mae Hong Son, Christmas time in the tropics! (Saleng 32)
Mae Hong Son to Chiang Mai, Mae Hong Son loop with saleng! (Saleng 33)
Muay Thai in Chiang Mai! (Saleng 34)
Countdown party 2016 in Chiang Rai! (Saleng 35)
Saleng to Mae Salong, the little engine that could! (Saleng 36)
Mae Salong to Chiang Khong, opium at the Golden Triangle! (Saleng 37)
Border crossing with saleng, we're in Laos! (Saleng 38)
Luang Namtha outdoor adventures! (Saleng 39)
It's too cold in the tropics! (Saleng 40)
Off the beaten track! (Saleng 41)
Relaxing in Luang Prabang! (Saleng 42)
Peak performance: Saleng at 1900 meters /6233 feet! (Saleng 43)
Tubing in Vang Vieng! (44)
Eating dust while reaching 4000 KM / 2485 miles! (Saleng 45)
Fixing the bike, one more time! (Saleng 46)
Reaching base camp, Thakhek loop with extreme cold weather! (Saleng 47)
Konglor Cave, underground river adventure! (Saleng 48)
Finishing the Thakhek Loop with the saleng! (Saleng 49)
Relaxing in Thakhek! (Saleng 50)
Border crossing with an unidentified object! (Saleng 51)
Farang in Isaan! (Saleng 52)
Reaching 5000 KM / 3107 miles around Roi Et! (Saleng 53)
Tree hugging and Khmer temples in Phimai! (Saleng 54)
Tasting new latitude wines in Khao Yai! (Saleng 55)
Cruising through Khao Yai National Park with the saleng! (Saleng 56)
We made it to Bangkok! The final chapter! (Saleng 57)
SOLD the saleng! (Saleng 58)

To be continued, stay tuned!

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