We’d heard from other travellers about the Samoeng Loop, and as huge motorbike fans we thought it would make for a perfect day getaway trip from Chiang Mai. Touted as the best motorbike ride in Northern Thailand, the Samoeng Loop is a fantastic 100km round trip rural circular adventure ride west of Chiang Mai!
If you spend enough time in Chiang Mai, you’ll hear locals and expats talking about the the Samoeng Loop. If Chiang Mai’s amazing coffee culture and restaurant scene is getting to you, then a day trip round the Samoeng Loop on two wheels is a good way to see a more real side of Thailand.
We heard that the Samoung Loop was an beautiful mountain route, with a glimpse of Thai rural life, farming and strawberry farms – helpfully mixed with regular road side coffee shops and eateries to recharge and stunning view points and look outs to admire along the way.
We weren’t disappointed!
View The Samoeng Loop in a larger map
The Samoueng Loop is essentially on 4 main roads, the 108, 1269, 1096 and 107.
We took a clockwise route, leaving Chiang Mai south on the 108, then cutting west on the 1269 towards Samoeng. Once you actually leave Chiang Mai, the town melts away and becomes stunningly rural. If you plan to actually go to Samoeng, then you pass the turning towards Mae Rim about 5km before you get there, meaning a brief back-track.
Once back on the 1096, you’ll twist an climb through the forests, passing strawberry farms, elephant camps and banana plantations to Mae Rim. Once there, you head south on the 107 back towards Chiang Mai.
We’ve read that the whole loop can be done in as little as an hour and a half, but we recommend take your time and take all day! The roads are great all the way, but watch out for the occasional pot hole!
It can get pretty steep in parts, so make sure your brakes are OK before you set out. We rode a 125cc semi-auto, and to be fair it was too weak for the steep climbs. Still great fun though!
The route reminded us of riding through rural Vietnam back in July 2011 – It’s hard to think that the reasonably hectic Chiang Mai is a few kilometres away.
We found the GT Rider article about the Samoeng Loop very helpful and informative, with road names and attractions in much more detail than we could manage!
We hope you enjoy some of our pictures from our Samoeng Loop adventure!