Dear Thailand road planning department……


……. Following a bike ride from Chiang Mai to Samoeng, your roads leave something to be desired.  This involved 2 SERIOUS climbs 2500 and 2000 high as shown at the top.  I’m not sure if this was feet or meters though.  Thinking about it, it could only be feet – no way it could be so hot at 2500m! This is not what I have a problem with.  Though the surface of Thai roads are fantastic, they can be on the steep side – a climb will amble up for a few km, then WHAM! You hit a road so steep that most cars seem to wheel spin as they make their way round the hairpin bends.  The inside of the hairpin bends are so steep that it is hard walking up them, let alone ride up them, and that’s without a bike!  I opted for the slightly easier option of cycling on the wrong side of the road at the really tight ones. On some of the downhill sections I had to adopt a mountain biking technique of hanging my backside over the back of the saddle for fear of falling over the front of the bike.  It’s as if the road builders got 2/3 way along and suddenly realised they were only 1/3 way up the hill and crapped themselves so just pointed the tarmac straight up the hill! 


A tired Scottish cyclist

I’m staying at the Samoeng Resort, which looks like it used to be something quite nice 20 years ago.  It has lots of quaint cottages scattered amongst several million mosquitoes.  I think it’s the only place in town, so I’m certainly not complaining. 

I feel I’m going to be in a routine of getting up early (6.15 this morning) cycling in the morning, then hiding away from the sun in the afternoon, which is pretty hot.  Anyone interested can look at where I am planning on cycling in the next 10 days or so by googling ‘Mae Hong Son Loop’  I blame Abby for me doing this bonkers hilly route as she gave me a map for the Mae Hong Son loop (cheers Abby – not seen that map anywhere!)



7 responses »

  1. I remember you showing us that map from Abby – it looked pretty hilly! But yes, they must be feet, as the highest point in the whole country is 2500 – odd metres. Keep up the malaria pills.

  2. You’re welcome! Or ….sorry! I did that route mostly by bus and mostly asleep so had no idea how hilly it was. Oops. But worth it though, definitely. Are you going to Mae Sarieng? Let me know if you are and I’ll see if my mate still lives out there. Pretty sure you could stay with him if so.

  3. Poor Johnny, out there in all that heat and open road with nothing to surround you but midges!! STOP BLOODY COMPLAINING AND GET UP THEM HILLS WHITE BOY!!! Its what’s on the other side that counts….

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