Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Mae Hong Son to Chiang Rai on 125cc Scooters

Heyya..

After me and Wadin had dinner in Mae Hong Son, we came back to Baiyoke Chalet Hotel and planned where to go on the next day from Mae Hong Son.

Wadin Bfull wanted to see the White Temple in Chiang Rai but I mentioned to him that the distance from Mae Hong Son to Chiang Rai is 500 km and it may take more than 8 hours to reach Chiang Rai because of riding in mountain, hilly and slippery terrain when it rains and we were riding our 125cc scooters.

But I questioned myself when else Wadin would experience Chiang Rai in the future and it would be a waste if we did not ride to Chiang Rai as we were already in the North of Thailand.

It was totally an adhoc ride plan to Chiang Rai as we never planned before. The route is Mae Hong Son - Pai - Chiang Rai (by pass Chiang Mai) and towards Chiang Rai Hot Spring.

So we opened our road map and studied the route to Chiang Rai before we went to sleep.

I woke up late at 4.40am as I over slept but by 5.00 am, we managed to check-out from the hotel and started our journey to Chiang Rai..  We had to miss the hotel breakfast as we were against the time and must reach Chiang Rai before 2.00 pm..

The morning  was still dark and very cold..


Wadin was not still familiar with the same route back to Pai and Chiang Mai because it was dark and no one likes riding in the dark. Our strategy was to ride approximately 200 meters apart so Wadin could see my braking point and which turn I was taking into.

Riding in the dark and cold environment makes our scooters to run very smoothly. Hence we could not tell how fast we were riding.

By 8.00 am, we reached Pai town.  We refueled our scooters and had breakfast at PTT Station heading to Chiang Mai on Route 1095.


We reached at Chiang Mai-By-Pass at 10.30 am after few coffee breaks between Pai town and Chiang Mai. We had to make few coffee breaks as I noticed Wadin was riding too fast while chasing me although I had pushed my riding style with late braking into corners and hard acceleration out of cornering.

Safety is always my priority and I know most riders would have crashed as they gained more confidence in speed after riding through many corners until the front tire could not handle the grip and they might have a low sided crash. It is advised to stop for few breaks and alert the riders that they have been riding too fast.




We were riding on Route 107 back and finally reached Chiang Mai-By-Pass on Route 11.  

Then took Route 118 that leads us to Chiang Rai. The landmark to before reaching to Route 118 is Chiang Mai Central Festival Shopping Mall on the left. 
Chiang Mai Central Festival
There are many routes to get to Chiang Rai but I chose Route 118 because of the hilly scenery and there are many river streams from the mountain including Chiang Rai Hot Spring.

On the way to Chiang Rai on Route 118, we stopped for a lunch break and refueling with Petrol Kiosk at Chiang Rai Hot Spring.
Lunch at Chiang Rai Hot Spring 

We continued riding to on Route 118 and met Route 1 which leads us to Chiang Rai. Finally along Route 1 , we reached Chiang Rai White Temple also known as Wat Rong Khun. Wat Rong Khun is located next to the junction of Route 1 and Route 1208. You will never miss the White Temple on your left while riding towards Chiang Rai.



Wat Rong Khun is a contemporary, privately owned, art exhibit in the style of Buddhist temple. It was opened to visitors in 1997 with no admission fees. Previously, it was in a bad state until a local artist repaired and completely rebuilt the temple with his own money. 



 After the Wat Rong Khun tour, we headed to Chiang Rai which is 15 km away on Route 1.

We finally successfully reached Chiang Rai after riding 8 hours from Mae Hong Son with our 125cc scooters. We have covered 500 km through the mountains, slippery road surface, steep and sharp corners, city, hot spring and paddy fields.


We checked in at Red Rose Hotel for 700 Baht per night. Red Rose Hotel has many varieties types of room unique designs.








 


After checked in at Red Rose Hotel, we went for a city tour with our scooters. 

First, we went to the empty airstrip that is now turned to recreation purposes for the locals. Previously, it used to be an Chiang Rai Airport.








It was nearly 6.00 pm and we headed to Chiang Rai Night Bazaar for gift shopping and dinner. 



Chiang Rai Night Bazaar Food Court




HooRahh!!

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