Mitch and I decided to rent a motorbike when we went up to Pai, and from there we figured it would be the best way for us to go across Northern Thailand. Here is a map of where we went in less than 2 weeks:
According to Google the total trip was eight hundred and some kilometers but with extra trips to do site seeing and according to our bikes odometer we did well over 1000 km on two little 115 & 125 cc bikes. Keep in mind we had our large backpacks on our back too. But it was absolutely amazing.
Step 1: Chiang Mai –> Pai
We detailed this trip in our Pai blog. Took about 4.5 hours going up with stops.
Step 2: Pai –> Chiang Dao
About 4 hours total with stops.
We stopped at this little coffee and icecream shop right before the turn off onto the main highway headed to Chiang Dao from Pai and it was awesome. 2 Scoops of Icecream for around $0.75 CAD (20 Baht) and they gave us free tea and oranges with it.
We stayed in Chiang Dao overnight at a little guesthouse we found online. It was a comfy bed and a nice little place to stay actually.
Step 3: Chiang Dao –> Chiang Rai
About 6 hours drive time total with stops.
The next morning we found a little coffee shop in Chiang Dao and had breakfast before heading out for the day. The coffee shop owner was so nice and actually tried teaching us some Thai. The food was great and cheap and left us in good spirits for the long ride ahead.
This ride was breathtaking. Unfortunately I don’t have many great photos because the breathtaking parts were the parts we’d see while driving with no places to stop on the road and take pictures. Just large mountains surrounded us and came out of nowhere and were beautiful to look at while driving.
We actually ended up staying in Chiang Rai for an extra night just to give ourselves a break from all of the driving and wash some clothes.
Step 4: Chiang Rai –> Phu Chi Fa
About 2.5 Hours with stops
This was a fun ride. Lots of mountains, ups and downs, and steep roads which made the ride really fun.
Step 5: Phu Chi Fa –> Back to Chiang Rai
Around 3 hours with stops.
We took a longer route back but it was just a straight path rather than a bunch of turns which made it easier for us to enjoy the ride.
We then stayed in Chiang Rai for one more day, again to just relax. We actually ended up going to this cool restaurant in the mall that serves sushi and hot pots. It has all the ingredients you could want to put in the hot pot on a conveyor belt that circles the seats. So you just grab a plate of food whenever you’d like and cook in in your hot pot on your table.
Step 6: Chiang Rai –> Chiang Mai
About 4 hours total with stops
Finally Mitch and I decided to go back to Chiang Mai and end our little tour. We stopped at a few coffee places along the way including this coffee plantation.
Our last stop along the way was this little strawberry stand where we sat and ate fresh strawberries
Riding on the motorbikes was more than half the fun. Plus we were able to see lots of small towns along the way that we never would have seen. It was nice because we actually got to see Thai people going about their day, rather than just the touristy sites. We loved northern Thailand and we’re so glad we chose this as our way to see it!
After this, we stayed in Chiang Mai for a few more days, hanging out with friends we’d met Nicole and Catherine before catching our plane to Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam (better known as Saigon).
*** Remember we also motorbiked 2 hours up and down (4 hrs total) to Doi Inthanon that wasn’t even included in this trip so we really put some miles on those bikes!
Thanks for Reading!
Next stop –> Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam (Saigon)!