470 kms. See Map. Routes 107, 10891, & 118. The route Chiang Mai – Fang – Tha Ton – Doi Mae Salong / Mae Chan – Chiang Rai – Wiang Pa Pao – Chiang Mai. Routes no. 107 / 1089 or 1130 / 1 / 118.
A stunning view of R1089 powering on up the ridge line from the Kiu Sataa checkpoint.
For the serious biker, this is possible as a one day BLT ride – Breakfast in Tha Ton, Lunch in Chiang Rai and Tea back in Chiang Mai. Done in a day this is a fantastic ride, but if you have the time it is better with an overnight stop in Chiang Rai.
The Chiang Rai loop is best ridden in a clockwise direction from Chiang Mai – Tha Ton – Chiang Rai. From Tha Ton there are two choices, the long way via Doi Mae Salong & route 1130 or the short way via Mae Chan & route 1089. The Mae Salong way is 20 kms longer, steeper and more winding for approximately 1 1/4 hrs extra riding; the Mae Chan way is faster and less winding, but still a great winding motorcycle road. Return to Chiang Mai direct via Wiang Pa Pao, or with a night in Chiang Rai return the long way via Phayao – Wang Nua – Mae Kachan – Chiang Mai.
Recommended drink / eat stops are (1) Chiang Dao Hill resort, on 107, 100 kms north of Chiang Mai), (2) Apples at Tha Ton 175.7 kms north of Chiang Mai, (3) Chiang Rai town and (4) Charin Garden resort on 118, 37.6 kms south of Chiang Rai / 137.9 kms north of Chiang Mai. Charin Garden Resort has the best coffee / cakes and pies in North Thailand – don’t miss out!
But better again for this Chiang Rai trip, is to make it a 4 or 5 a day ride around the Golden Triangle area. (Take a GT Rider Golden Triangle guide map to get the best out of this area).
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