One thing you think of when you move to a hot country such as Thailand is the idyllic scenery on open roads surrounded by mountain views. Chiang Mai is surrounded by countryside, rainforests and mountains; it’s the perfect destination to set up home in Thailand! If you’re looking for a drive to see the surrounding areas of Chiang Mai, the 100km Samoeng loop should be high on your list. Allowing 3 or 4 hours to stop and admire the scenery, the Samoeng loop is a great day out for Motorcycle driving enthusiasts.
Starting in the centre of Chiang Mai, take a 40 minute drive to Mae Rim. Driving along the open roads, the scenery either side is incredible! Once you get to Mae rim, you take a drive through a tourism hotspot where there’s the option to visit an elephant camp, watch a snake/crocodile show, visit an insect farm or drive an off road ATV. You can also visit Elephant PoopooPaper park, where they literally create paper, notebooks and bookmarks out of elephant dung! I even brought a bookmark myself for the collection, interesting to visit if you’ve got time!
Stop off at the Queen Sirikit botanical gardens, well worth the visit even if flowers aren’t really your thing! You’re able to drive your motorbike around the gardens and stop off at multiple points along the way. Started off by driving through rows of different species of banana trees, took a short nature trail up to a very old jungle hut where you can look down at an incredible view beneath of all kinds of different plants and flowers! Continuing through to gardens, we arrived at the white flower zone. Now in the right season, this area would look incredible, as it turns out we were a bit too early and there wasn’t a white flower in sight! However we did manage to see the biggest limes I have ever seen, probably the size of a large pineapple in comparison! Don’t miss out on the numerous greenhouses too, full of exotic flowers and cacti and you might even spot a tiny orange frog along the way!
After leaving the gardens, continue along the well planned out route, with some incredible scene’s to stop and admire. Head to a place called Mon Cham, a small Thai village right at the top of the mountain. Stop off and have lunch in a bamboo hut with the most stunning of views, I don’t think I’ve even seen anything quite like it! Food is a little on the pricey side for Thailand but so worth it for the stunning view below.
Continue on the loop and you reach the top of Samoeng, where there’s another viewpoint to match those incredible views.
Just try not to almost run out of gas along the way, be aware there is nowhere to top up for a few kms (we found out the hard way)! Head into the Samoeng village, where there finally is a small self-service machine selling gasoline! Restart the engine on a full tank and arrive in a strawberry lover’s haven! Although there isn’t a huge amount to do in the village, you can buy anything from strawberry flavoured spirits to a strawberry Som Tam (papaya salad). I didn’t try it out though I’m afraid, will leave that one for another time! Leaving Samoeng, you arrive on the straight road to the Hang Dong area of Chiang Mai which leads the loop back into the city where we started out.
If you’re stuck for ideas and love driving through stunning scenery, the Samoeng loop is a great day out of central Chiang Mai. Just make sure you leave enough time to make the most of your stops, and don’t forget that gas!