"Cycling in rural northern Thailand" Thailand Off The Beaten Path Tip by riproy

Thailand Off The Beaten Path: 267 reviews and 235 photos

The roads in Thailand are pretty hairy (i speak from a Canadian point of view - others may find them tame) and a little bit daunting to the average cyclist. They are very busy with many types of traffic. i enjoyed cycling Bangkok for the adrenalin rush, but not for relaxation.
There is one road i found that i think would be a treat to cycle but i didn't get the chance. It runs from Mae Sariang in Mae Hong Son province to Mae Sot in Tak province, straight south along the Burmese border. Road is paved but narrow in spots and not a major thoroughfare. No buses. A daily song tao (truck converted to public transport) makes the trip, which is about 230 km. It is hilly, wandering, treed, and peaceful. If you have been in Thailand before, you know that a stretch of road this long that is not heavily travelled for some length is rare.
Because it is so peaceful and sees little traffic, there are almost no places to eat or stay overnight. There is a village about halfway and about 1 km off the main drag that you can get food at, and see if someone is interested in taking in foreigners on bikes, but i would be armed with a little Thai language to do that, even though it isn't a Thai village (Karen language would suit better). Or tent it.
There are Burmese refugee camps along this road.
It should also be mentioned that occasionally there are armed scuffles of the military sort along the Thai-Burma border that can make the trip more dangerous than it should be. Keep you eyes on the English press to see if there have been any recent problems along here. I would have no qualms about doing this route as i don't think the danger is military in nature. More likely it would be heat stroke, so drink lots of water.
Alternately Mae Hong Son town down to Mae Sot would would be scenic the whole way, but the highway is a little busier between MHS town and Mae Sariang.

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Feb 25, 2003
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