Amazing weather, scenic landscapes, and diverse terrains. 

These are just some of the reasons motorcyclists love to ride in and around Chiang Mai. 

Embarking on two wheels through the enchanting landscapes of northern Thailand is not just a journey; it's an immersive adventure into a realm where the roar of your motorbike echoes against the serenity of ancient temples and lush valleys.

But what are some of the most popular destinations or routes that one must take?

Here we break down some of the top motorbike trips from Chiang Mai.

The Mae Hong Son Loop

The Mae Hong Son loop is one of the most famous routes for motorcyclists, both enthusiasts and experienced bikers

It is about a 600 km journey that takes you from Chiang Mai through Pai, Mae Hong Son, and Mae Sariang. 

However, you can add detours to hotspots and beautiful attractions such as Ban Rak Thai or Doi Inthanon. This will definitely add considerable kilometers to your journey but can be super rewarding.

Check out this detailed travel guide of the Mae Hong Son loop for more information.

Doi Inthanon National Park

In case you don’t visit Doi Inthanon National Park as part of the Mae Hong Son loop or simply want to take a shorter trip, then make sure you visit this place on its own.

It is the highest mountain in Thailand, so the journey might be challenging but also incredibly rewarding with phenomenal scenic views.

The journey is about 92 km from Chiang Mai and takes about 2 hours, one way. The ride will take you through lush forests, and villages, and past several waterfalls.

Here is a little guided tour about riding a motorbike to Doi Inthanon.

Chiang Mai to Pai

Another way to cut the Mae Hong Son loop short is by just driving up to Pai. 

This alone is an amazing motorbike journey as it takes you through scenic viewpoints and landscapes.

The main highlights are the iconic 762 curves or switchbacks. 

It might sound dizzying, but you also have an opportunity to visit some beautiful attractions along the way such as hot springs and waterfalls.

Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai via the Golden Triangle

The 3+ hour journey between Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai offers motorcyclists a blend of beautiful scenery and cultural gems.

Along the way, you will encounter hidden gems and quaint hill-tribe villages.

It is truly a joyful and memorable experience riding between two of northern Thailand’s most famous destinations.

There are multiple routes you can take. If you really want to see the unseen, then take the longer routes through Phayao or go north from Chiang Mai using Route 107, followed by Route 109. 

Chiang Mai to Phayao

Speaking of Phayao, Chiang Mai to Phayao is another beautiful motorbike journey that takes about 2 to 3 hours depending on how fast you drive there or if you take stops along the way.

It is approximately 150 km between the two cities.

Phayao is known for its tranquil vibes and slow life. There is also an iconic lake in the middle of the city where there are lots of restaurants, cafes, and nice hotels.

You can also loop around the province taking routes 1092 and 1148 which take you higher up in the mountains passing past scenic countryside, villages, cafes, and stunning valley landscapes.

If you make it all the way to eastern Phayao, consider going further into Nan where you can visit Road No. 3 or Highway 1081. The reason why it is called so is because the road curves like the number 3. It has become a famous landmark in northern Thailand.

Chiang Mai to Doi Ang Khang:

Doi Ang Khang is one of northern Thailand’s gorgeous hidden gems, known mostly to Thai tourists and motorbike riders.

The motorbike journey from Chiang Mai to Doi Ang Khang is a breathtaking ride through jaw-dropping scenic landscapes. 

Winding roads, lush mountains, panoramic viewpoints, and terraced fields will force your head to turn in all directions.

There are also lots of lovely traditional villages and hill-tribe communities on the way, which will make you completely forget the modern cities. 

It’s an out-of-this-world destination worth visiting.

Chiang Mai to Lampang

The neighboring province of Lampang, just 100 km from Chiang is another popular trip amongst motorbike riders.

The journey includes both cultural and natural wonders. Along the way, Thung Kwian Forest Park treats riders to lush greenery and a peaceful atmosphere.

And there is another trending iconic landmark that might be worth visiting for some unique photo opportunities and that is California Lampang. Basically, It's a set of wide, interconnected roads surrounded by barren brown land that some say gives the feeling of being in California. You can really rev up your engines here and test your speed limits.

If you are traveling alone and want to meet and travel with other motorcyclists, there are plenty of guided motorbike tours in and around Chiang Mai as well.

Some tour companies you can check out are:

You can also search Viator for some tours directly. 

Before setting off for any motorbike trip, make sure your bike is in good condition, and you have the necessary safety gear. Also, be aware of local traffic rules and road conditions.

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