Driving the 1,864 curves of the Mae Hong Son Loop in Northern Thailand

Northern Thailand is the kind of place that lingers in your heart long after you leave. Offering a stark contrast to the southern beaches and islands, the cooler, mountainous region offers all sorts of activities, including trekking, volunteering with elephants, incredible temples, and one of the country’s most famous motorcycle trips, the Mae Hong Son Loop.

Mae Hong Son Loop

Is the Mae Hong Son loop worth it?

Starting from the gorgeous city of Chiang Mai, the Mae Hong Son Loop is a 600km journey that takes you through the Mae Hong Son province. The main towns that you visit will be Mae Sariang, Mae Hong Son, and Pai, and you can tackle the loop in either direction. For those who wish to explore authentic Thai towns, cascading waterfalls, limestone caves, and rugged wilderness, this is the adventure for you!

Unveiling Key Stops: Highlights Along the Mae Hong Son Loop

The road is notoriously difficult for inexperienced riders, with the stretch between Chiang Mai and Pai alone boasting 762 hilly curves. For this reason, we recommend doing the loop in a clockwise direction, heading through Mae Sariang first. The road is not too busy for South-East Asian standards and is quite flat and simple – a good way to build your confidence up before you start heading into the mountains.

Navigate with Confidence: Tackling the Mae Hong Son Loop

You can do the Mae Hong Son Loop all year round, but the best time to do it is between November and February. In this period, the weather is cooler and it will not rain too much. If you go between March and June, it will still be dry but a lot warmer. The rainy season starts around June and ends in November, so that's the least favorable time to travel there.

How many turns are there in the Mae Hong Son loop?

The road is extremely windy and steep, counting 1,864 curves.

How long does it take to drive the Mae Hong Son Loop?

Located in the Mae Hong Son province, the Mae Hong Son Loop is likely the most beautiful route in northern Thailand. With vast mountain landscapes, cascading waterfalls, and authentic Thai villages, this is one of our favorite regions in the country. Starting and finishing in the fascinating city of Chiang Mai, this 600-kilometer or 372-mile loop takes at least 4 days to complete. In this article, we share our complete itinerary for the Mae Hong Son Loop along with all the information you need to do the trip yourself, the must-visit stops along the way, and some travel tips. 

Is it safe to drive Mae Hong Son Loop?

The Mae Hong Son Loop is frequently hailed as one of Thailand's most picturesque routes. While it offers a rewarding adventure for seasoned motorbike enthusiasts, its treacherous hairpin bends, steep ascents, and slippery roads pose considerable risks to inexperienced riders.