5X Mae Hong Son Loop Pro Prep Tips

The Mae Hong Son loop is an exciting motorbike route of over 600 km in the North of Thailand. The Mae Hong Son province offers a very wide variety of landscapes. Ranging from waterfalls to large cliffs, canyons, rice fields to cultural buildings and a hippie village. About 90% of this mountain province is covered with forest and nature reserves. To prepare you for this awesome motorbike trip I’ve listed 5 pro tips, to make sure you will have the best time! 

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5X Mae Hong Son Loop Pro Prep Tips

Drive The Mae Hong Son Loop In The Right Season

In Thailand there are 2 very distinctive seasons: the wet season and the dry season. It’s important to drive this route during the most appropriate time, the dry season! Because you won’t like it when you have to drive 600 km through the pouring rain?. 

The dry season starts in April and ends in November, the other half of the year it is the wet season. 

When you are packing for this trip, do not forget:

  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses 
  • Long pair of pants
  • Sweater
  • Mouth cover 

They should protect you from the sun, wind and dust in the air. 

Also Read ➳ The FULL Mae Hong Son Loop Itinerary (With A Map)

Drivers License And Gear

One thing is very important (and is often forgotten): an international driver’s licence! Many drivers licenses are only valid in few countries. Therefore, an international driver’s licence is needed to drive legally in Thailand. 

It is easy to obtain an international driving licence in your home country.  You can apply for one one at a travel agency or a travel store

In the Netherlands I ordered one at the ANWB. It took only 30 minutes, a passport photo and 20 euros to arrange everything and it’s valid for 1 year. 

Besides your drivers license, your motorbike itself is important. There are many motorbike rentals in Thailand who scam travellers. I’ve written an entire article about how not to get scammed when renting a motorbike here.

Drug Checks When Driving The Mae Hong Son Loop

In Thailand drugs are illegal and possession can result in a prison sentence. Therefore, in Thailand you will come across drug checks along the sides of the road.

The police sets out perimeters where you are asked to stop. Here the police checks your motorbike and belongings. The Thai police is friendly, and as long as you do not have drugs with you, these checks are nothing to worry about.

Also Read ➳ 10 Things You Wish You Know Before Traveling In Thailand

Prevent Blisters During The Mae Hong Son Loop

When you are going to be driving the Mae Hong Son Loop, be prepared to spend many hours on your motorbike. In order to prevent blisters on your butt I would advise you to drive a maximum of 150 km per day (about 4 hours) and a maximum of driving 1,5 hours in a row.

This was not a joke, the blisters are real! You will come across many sharp curves and steep roads. In total there are 1864 curves in the Mae Hong Son Loop! The first day of our trip I literally had blisters on my butt because I was constantly shifting on my seat. 

Tip ➳ When we drove the Mae Hong Son Loop, we planned our route on Google Maps. But we found that the time indications on Google maps were not always accurate. For example google maps said a specific part of the trip would take 2 hours, but in reality it took 4 hours. So, do not underestimate the distances and take your time. 

Also Read ➳ Complete 3-Week Thailand Itinerary

Prevent Sandy Roads

Most of the main roads in Thailand are well-paved and maintained. This makes driving the loop really easy!

However, on some places the roads are not as ideal, and you can end up on a sand road. Sand roads are tricky to drive as you can easily lose grip, so be careful! When you arrive at a sand road, drive slowly and only use your rear brake. This way you will have the most control over your motorbike. If you have the opportunity to avoid a sand road, please do so. 

➳ Check the Mae Hong Son Route Guide here

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