Addicted to the Samoeng Loop


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Serious bicyclists do it in a morning. It takes me that long on a motor scooter. The amount of concentration it takes just to stay focused and not kill yourself is intense. Some places the road has disintegrated and you come upon it without warning. The sheer up and downhill of it is exhausting, even if dead dinosaur grease is doing all the work.

Yesterday I returned to the little road, not much more than a driveway that goes to the Hmong village and provides a very scenic shortcut to the already scenic highway. It rejoins the main road at the top of a ridge, where it is a thousand foot plunge to Hang Dong on the right and Samoeng on the left.

We went into Samoeng for lunch, which adds another twenty minutes to the trip. It sits in an important agricultural valley. Three trucks absurdly overloaded with garlic were in front of us on the road out of town.

My goal is to organize and expedition of like-minded schooter riders to go to Pai from Samoeng. I figure we’ll have to leave Chiang Mai at first light to comfortably make it up the twisty road before dark. Getting caught in the dark on a very minor road in the deep woods would be no fun at all.

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