On the motorbike in Thailand from Pua to Chiang Rai and back

Motorbike Riding in North Thailand

Motorbike trip 2019. After all kind of excuses for not motorbike riding in the best season of the year I finally was out of excuses and did hit the road again for a small trip in North Thailand. Normally I leave always very early but this time it was around 8:00am in the morning that I left but it was still nice cool weather. It was great to be riding again and I enjoyed it very much. Following is a route description with links to Google Maps and some photos I made during my trip. If you are interested to make motorbike trips in Northeast or North Thailand and need some information or help, please contact me by email at The Little Elephant Traveling in Thailand.

From Pua to Chiang Rai

Total of 210 km. My destination was Chiang Rai as I had an appointment there, so from Pua one should take the famous route 1148 to Chiang Kham and from there to Chiang Rai. But when starting in Pua there are 2 ways to get to route 1148. You could go first south to Tha Wang Pha and then hit route 1148. But this is a bit boring route (straight) so I did choose to go a bit north (route 101) to Chiang Klang and then take route 1097 to Song Kwae where you will hit route 1148. Although the first part (route 101) is also boring (and now under construction) the other part (route 1097) is a wonderful twisty route in the mountains and passing some Hmong villages. Where route 1097 meets route 1148 is a new Bangchak gasoline station with good & clean toilets, coffee shop and selling drinks. From Song Kwae just follow route 1148 thru the mountains, passing small village, Tham Sakoen National Park and of course the famous viewpoint of Phu Langkha. In the old days there was here only 1 kind of coffee shop and 1 homestay. Now there are a few homestay's & camping sites and a few coffee shops & restaurants. Things are changing fast up here.

At Chiang Kham I made a drink stop for both myself and my motorbike at the new PTT gasoline station on the south side of town. From here to Chiang Kham becomes a bit boring, although the first 30 km is still upcountry riding, but the last part is boring and even a bit busy. So I arrived in the afternoon in Chiang Rai. And to my surprise my favourite hotel was fully booked. And also 4 other hotels were full. So I stayed at Hop Inn on the south side of Chiang Rai down-town. A modern and comfortable hotel with private parking (with camera's and night security guard). Good value for money.

Motorbike Riding in North Thailand
Route 1148 in North Thailand

Motorbike Riding in North Thailand
Village along route 1148 in North Thailand

Motorbike Riding in North Thailand
Making hill-tribe cloths in North Thailand

Motorbike Riding in North Thailand
From Chiang Kham to Chiang Rai, Thailand

Motorbike Riding in North Thailand

From Chiang Rai to Doi Pha Thang

Total of 115 km. This time I left early in the morning at 6:00am, what was actually not such a good idea as just outside Chiang Rai town the rice fields were full of fog. So the the first hour was riding in thick fog and a bit dark as it was also clouded. So I followed route 1233, 1173, 1326, 1152 and then hit route 1020. And from here it started to be fun. After about 10 km I made a u-turn to take route 4018 with the so called Big Dipper and passing Ban Phaya Phipak with a stunning viewpoint. And then route 1155 up north, then take a right to route 4029 to Doi Pha Thang. From taking route 4018 all the way to Doi Pha Thang is really a stunning route with great views, small villages and a lot of curves. Just before Doi Pha Thang is my favourite Chinese restaurant, it is there already from the times it was still a real Chinese village. So I had a late breakfast here before I continued my trip back home.

Motorbike Riding in North Thailand
Early morning leaving Chiang Rai in the fog

Motorbike Riding in North Thailand
Fog in rice fields near Chiang Rai, North Thailand

Motorbike Riding in North Thailand
Motorbike Riding in North Thailand

Motorbike Riding in North Thailand
Finally sun at route 4018 in North Thailand

Motorbike Riding in North Thailand
Route 4018 in North Thailand

Motorbike Riding in North Thailand
A  formerly Chinese village in North Thailand

Motorbike Riding in North Thailand
Lunch at Doi Pha Thang in North Thailand

Motorbike Riding in North Thailand

From Doi Pha Thang to Pua

Total of 210 km. After breakfast I first made a side track to Doi Pha Thang, where I saw that they have probably made a new road to a border village. That will have to be explored next time. Then I did hit route 1093 to Phu Chi Fa and Phu Sang Waterfall where I did make a rest stop in the park. Then continue with route 4010 to Chiang Kham and then again route 1148 to Phu Langkha and Song Kwae. From there again route 1097 to Chiang Klang and route 101 to Pua.


Motorbike Riding in North Thailand
Phu Sang Waterfall in North Thailand

Motorbike Riding in North Thailand
A huge tree at Phu Sang waterfall in North Thailand

Motorbike Riding in North Thailand
View from Phu Langkha Coffee Shop in North Thailand

Motorbike Riding in North Thailand

About this travelogue

The Little Elephant Traveling in Thailand is since 2009 a travelogue to inspire traveling in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. Southeast Asia is a mosaic of ancient temples, golden Buddha’s, markets, massage parlors, delicious cuisine, silvery waterfalls, scraggy limestone cliffs and 1000s jungle topped islands. From the serene tropical beaches of Thailand to the lush green mountains of Halong Bay in Vietnam. Follow my travelogue with in between Tips and Insight Information about Accommodation, Restaurants, Best places to visit and Places you never thought of to visit. You do not have to become a (paid) member, there are no advertisements and you can use / copy all information from this travelogue as long it is not for commercial use and as long you refer to this travelogue.

About the founder & editor

I belong to that race of men that don't fit in, a race that can't sit still, so they break the hearts of kith and kin and they roam the world at will. (Thanks Mark). Born in a tiny country in Europe at young age I started to explore Europe. And from 1985 I started to roam the world at will, first in Indonesia & Thailand. Now living in Thailand I am still roaming the world. If you have a question or need help in planning your holiday in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia or Vietnam then send me an email at The Little Elephant Traveling in Thailand.

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