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I like to ride motorcycles. I've always liked motorcycles. When I was young I got a good motorcycle long before I got a good car. They seemed like personal transportation in its most efficient and elegant form. Pure transportation without without all the packaging that riding around inside a metal box weighing a ton entails. More people around the world travel on two wheels than four. Traveling in Southeast Asia where motor-scooters are how most people get around has reminded me of that fact.

Southeast Asia also has a world rewound motorcycle trip, the Mae Hong Son Loop. So I took the opportunity to rent a motorcycle (a 2014 Kawasaki 650) in Ching Mai Thailand and ride the Mea Hong Son Loop for four days. I'm very glad I did, it was the more fun than anything else I did during my time in Thailand.

Along the road to Pai, two other motorcyclists from Malaysia I talked with were also riding the route.

The road to Pai in notorious for its numerous tight curves, 762 of them to be exact. Many are of the hairpin variety. Its a very challenging route even to expert riders like myself. Its like a motorcycle road race video game.

The hot-spring just outside of the town of Pai. I stayed in Pai for two nights and went to the hot-spring and then took a side trip up into the mountains to Mae Wat Chan.

Downtown Mae Wat Chan.

Mae Wat Chan's residents are Karen tribal people. This is one of their typical houses.

An undeveloped hot-spring next to the road to Mae Wat Chan, with some Thai Army soldiers who stopped their truck to take photos of it.

On top of one of the passes between Pai and Mae Hong Son.

A Buddhist funeral procession on the highway.  

These mountains are a southern extension of the Himalayas.  

A lake near the center of Mae Hong Son, with its Buddhist temple or Wat.

Mae Hong Son's morning market.

Back in the mountains. The hill tribes in these areas used to grow opium poppies, but now they grow things like coffee and corn.


A 14th century Buddhist Wat in Chiang Mai.

A mural on the wall of that 14th century Wat

"Which way do I go?" Road signs near Samoeng when I rented a smaller bike for a one day loop trip just outside of Chiang Mai.

By the time I reached Khun Khan National Park the road had become a cobblestone one.

Originally posted to Lefty Coaster on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 09:38 PM PST.

Also republished by Shutterbugs.

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