Motorbike Tour Across Thailand

Motorbiking in Northern Thailand

  • Posted by: ASA Admin
  • December 4th, 2015
  • Categories: Motorbiking

The idea of motorbiking in Northern Thailand has appealed to me since I moved to Thailand 10 years ago and a friend and I finally got to experience it with a 6 day, 5 night tour through Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Phayao, Nan and Lampang in November 2015. This is the first of 6 blogs about motorbiking in Northern Thailand.

Day 1: Chiang Mai City – Doi Pha Hom Pok National Park

Chiang Mai Motorbike Tour Map

Having rented my motorbike from Tony’s Big Bikes in town the evening before, we packed our gear and set off on the 177km first leg of our journey heading North out of the city towards our first stop, a campsite at Doi Pha Hom Pok, which is Thailand’s 2nd highest peak at 2285m. My motorbike was a Honda CB 300 which was recommended for being light but with enough kick to make the drive fun, as well as being comfortable enough for the long distances. The first hour or so was pretty uneventful with relatively flat, straight roads with quite heavy traffic heading towards Mea Rim, but soon after that the traffic thinned and the roads started winding in between some beautiful mountains and valleys.

Riding past Chiang Dao is always a fantastic experience as the mountain looms ominously over the entire region, rising over 2000m over the surrounding plains and by lunchtime we were making good ground and spririts were high. As we continued on the 107 highway past Pha Deang National park the traffic had all but disappeared and we started to get a sense of the remoteness of the area. By mid-afternoon after a couple of coffee breaks and lunch we turned off the main road which eventually started weaving up the side of the mountain towards the campsite.

Motorbike Tour in Chiang Mai

Along the way there were stunning views of the valley below, as well as some picturesque villages dotted around the mountain sides. Having arrived we found ourselves completely alone and had the campsite all to ourselves which was a pleasant surprise in Thailand, where generally you find yourself shoulder to shoulder with the next tent in what has been described by some as a refugee camp! The rangers were all too keen on helping out and they were very enthusiastic to come across 2 foreigners which must be a rare sight.

Doi Pha Hom Pok National Park

We set up camp and with accommodation sorted we had dinner on our minds so we set off back into the town of Mae Ai for supplies. I would recommend stocking up before heading to the campsite as it was a long drive to the nearest convenience store and the drive from the campsite to town was 17km each way. Once back the rangers very kindly helped light our BBQ (open fires are rarely allowed in National Parks) and we cooked dinner and relaxed, taking in the stunning views after a very enjoyable day. The GPS coordinates of the campsite are: 20.063230,99.173334 and the facilities are very nice, the bathroom facilities looked newly built and were very clean, the staff were very friendly but spoke little English.

Top Tip: Buy food supplies from the nearest town which is Mae Ai, the shops are spread out but you can buy fresh meat and vegetables at various outlets. Generally all National Parks will supply a BBQ but occasionally you will need to buy charcoal and lighters. This particular campsite provided the BBQ only so be sure to buy charcoal in Mae Ai too.