Chiang Mai and around for Songkran next weekend!
Replies: 4 - Last Post: Apr 7, 2012 7:34 PM Last Post By: whiskieman
Apr 6, 2012 7:02 AM
Chiang Mai and around for Songkran next weekend!Hey guys!
First post here on these forums, but I've been an avid reader for a while now!
I'm a novice rider, but after driving around Ko Pha Ngan and Phuket for a few days, I believe I'm hooked! So I guess it's time to step up the game a little... I'm looking from some expert advice regarding my plans for Northern Thailand during/after Songkran.
So, I managed to buy the very last ticket on one of the overnight trains to Chiang Mai, and will be getting into town on the 11th. I'm hoping to spend that day down in the thai elephant rehab center, and then from the 12th to the 15th it's time to get wet, apparently!
On Monday 15th I wanted to rent a bike (thinking Honda Dream/Wave125cc semi-auto or full-auto... Opinions?) and head up to Pai for two nights, getting back to CNX Wednesday 18th evening, in time to get an overnight bus to Udon Thani (and then onto Laos, as current visa expires on 19th..)
Now,, for the questions:
- How's the weather?!? Has the haze finally began to clear up? has it rained at all these last few days/weeks?
- since Songkran is over the weekend, I understand Monday and Tuesday will be public holidays. Does this affect anything important I should be aware of? Will most people head home by Monday? Or later? Really didn't want to drive in heavy traffic, although I'd imagine heading up north isn't as bad as heading down to Bangkok (is that right?)
- The route! I thought abt going fir the MHS loop, but it really seems a stretch to do it over three days, especially for a lone unexperienced rider such as myself... Ideally I'd like to be riding 3-4 hours/day, not 8-9 hours... So I came up with a mix between the northern section of MHS loop and the shorter Samoeng loop, with a real backroad (Samoeng-Sop Sa) to link the two... As it stands, the plan is:
Day1 - CNX-Samoeng-Wat Chan-Sop Sa-Pai
Day2 - Pai-Soppong-Pai
Day3 - Pai-Mae Taeng-Mae Rim-CNX
How does that look? feasible? Anyone has any info in that Samoeng-Sop Sa road? Is it even a road?!?!! Lol.
Anyway, this is getting quite long already,, so I look forward to reading your comments!
Thanks in advance,
Apr 6, 2012 8:09 AM
Apr 7, 2012 12:06 AM
2especially for a lone unexperienced rider such as myself
Have you thought this through? You'll be on your own, riding around where people don't speak English, on roads you don't know, at Songkran when many Thai drivers are pissed and the death rate is incredibly high. Really not a good time of year to be learning.
Perhaps you should head to Pai, and rent a bike there to get some experience.
Anyway, don't take my word, get yourself on ThaiVisa.com forums and ask what they think on the motorcycling branch, or the Chiang Mai branch. They are the experts.
Apr 7, 2012 7:05 AM
3Best to wait until the 17th. I'd say. The trip took me 4 and a half hours (with a coffee stop ) on a 125 Honda Dream many moons ago. No real speed can be got as you just zig zag up and around the mountain. With increased tourism, the roads will be busier than normal, kids may still throw water into your helmet (if you wear one) and also full of drunks. It is the worst possible time of year for a rider, let alone a newbie rider. I'd expect the 17th to still be busy though, as people move to CM from Pai or from CM to Pai, either way be careful. A better option would be going up in a minivan and just renting a motorbike to check out the hot springs, canyon, hills, and waterfalls.
Apr 7, 2012 7:34 PM
4Thnks for the input guys!
I guess I'll wait till I'm in town and get a feel for how things are going before making a decision, but really do think Im going for it.
Is it as easy/cheap to rent a bike in Pai as in Chiang Mai??
(4 star Hotel)
From US$112.12 per night
(4 star Hotel)
From US$185.20 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$36.36 per night