This entry is to record my journey and hopefully can be a reference for others and my future self. It took seven days to complete and was done around Christmas break of 2015. Also known as Mae Hong Son 1000 corners.
Below was the trip schedule, all hotels are book before the trip so it is important that I arrive at destinations as planned.
Dec 24 – Penang to Hua Hin (956km)
Dec 25 – Hua Hin to Mae Sot (750km)
Dec 26 – Mae Sot to Mae Hong Son then Pai (503km)
Dec 27 – Pai to Chiang Mai (147km)
Dec 28 – Chiang Mai to Hua Hin (878km)
Dec 29 – Hua Hin to Hatyai (747km)
Dec 30 – Hatyai to Penang (215km)
Gears as follows
Bike – 2015 BMW F800GS
Rear pannier rack – Holan
Rear top rack – Holan
Crash bar – Holan
Panniers – Ortlieb front roller city (was used for my bicycle touring)
Navigation – Garmin Nuvi 205W with ram mount
Charger – DIY DC-DC converter
Helmet – Nolan N104
Jacket – Rev it Sand 2
Gloves – Taichi Leather Glove
Pants – Taichi Drymaster
Boots – Sidi short Goretex boots
Day 1 – Penang to Hua Hin
The first day and the longest ride of all the days. Bad news is that it was a public holiday so there was a big crowd at the Malaysian-Thailand border. Leaving home at 6am, I was only able to clear customs at 10.15am (Malaysian time). Due to the late departure, I arrived in Hua Hin after dark. It was raining throughout the way but my gear kept me dry and comfy. Accomodation is Chaba Chalet in the center of all the action in Hua Hin.
Day 2 – Hua Hin to Mae Sot
I didn’t go directly to Mae Sot but diverted to the tiger temple in Kanchanaburi for some pictures first.
Left the hotel before breakfast is served at 7am, I considered this late as it would be 8am in Malaysia. It is quite a slow route since some of the road is a single carriageway. The road after the turn towards Mae Sot gets pretty technical as it includes steep climbs and descend. Not remembering very clearly, some part of the route is unpaved. Accomodation is Baan Rabiangmai in Mae Sot, this hotel is surprisingly clean and probably new. Rented a bicycle from the hotel to witness the friendship bridge.
Day 3 – Mae Sot to Pai
This would be the meat of the journey where the corners would be conquered and presented with the certificate.
In the map above it would be route 105 and 108. Towards Mae Sariang I would like to stress that there is a part of the road being fireroad. This is already being tricky for newbie rider like me, the thick fog that reduces visibility and condensated on my glasses didn’t help. Refuel at Mae Sariang since it is about 200km from Mae Sot and the bike can do at most 330km on a full tank.
I couldn’t agree more if somebody said that the roads is made for motorcycle. This is a pilgrimage that has to be done if you are around here.
Mae Hong Son is a town in the hills and I immediately located the Mae Hong Son Chamber of Commerce by asking a motorcycle repair shop.
Planning to eat in Pai, nothing else was done in Mae Hong Son. It also worth mentioning that the road to Pai is quite technical which can be dangerous. Accomodation is Diamond De Pai hotel. I’m thoroughly impressed with the variety available at the Pai Walking Street market. Temperature wise, my bike thermometer indicates 18 degrees while standing still, so it is understandable that the room is not equipped with aircon because it is not required!
Day 4 – Pai to Chiang Mai
This is the shortest ride throughout the journey, I took my time having breakfast and packing. You’ll be faced with similar climb and descend like on the way to Pai the day before. Also parts of the road being unpaved, I feel bad enough to throw the GS onto these roads so I’m not sure how I would feel not riding an adventure bike. Arrives at Lanna Palace hotel before the room is even ready, this gives me ample of time roam around Chiang Mai.
Day 5 – Chiang Mai to Hua Hin
This route was designed to avoid Bangkok traffic. It heads to Suphan Buri and onto route 321. I was able to reach Hua Hin before its dark, left Chiang Mai when it is still is. Note that some part of the route was foggy so more care is needed. Staying at Chaba Chalet again in Hua Hin.
Day 6 – Hua Hin to Hatyai
No drama here except that I started to ration the last gas fillup so that I didn’t put more RON91 E10 gas than needed. The rain rinses the bike from the dust it gathered a few days before. Accomodation in Hat Yai is Leevana hotel, this looks to be a new hotel where tv channels are in HD. And there are a few muslim restaurants nearby.
Day 7 – Hatyai to Penang
This is a short ride compared to the other days, 200km and includes immigration crossing. What can I say, happy to be home.
I’m grateful that the bike and all the gears work flawlessly so to make this journey to go as planned. Also not forgetting friends and family for their constant support. For me at least, I think it is very important to have mobile internet so that you can seek information anywhere and keep in contact with friends through instant messaging. I got a tourist package sim card (true move h for 299 baht) at a 7-11 which has good coverage throughout the journey.