It’s not as well known as the Mae Hong Son loop, or the Samoeng Loop, but it’s a real beauty. In fact, almost nobody knows about it. A winding Highway 1346 that runs straight south from almost Fang to Phrao. Oh my. I’d done it once before a few years ago, and sort of remembered some of it. Today I took the big bike, and managed to drop it twice while stopping to take photos. Was unable to right it by myself, and had to have the help of people who stopped just to do that.
The turning radius is a lot longer than I’m used to on the scooter, the bike is much taller and heavier, and the boxes on the side make it hard to stand it up. It’s sort of like trying to get a horse to stand up that can’t bend it’s legs. With the saddle boxes on the side, the wheels are sticking straight out and you can’t get under the bike and close to the wheels to right it. At least I couldn’t. I’m not as nimble or as strong as I used to be
There were two police traffic stops on the one-hour right, to catch methamphetamine being transported from the Burma border. The Burmese army makes it, then gets impoverished hill-tribe people to risk their lives driving it down to Chiang Mai and Bangkok. Every week in the papers there are stories of shootouts with police and army, and trucks stopping with little men running off into the forest. Then they confiscate two million more methamphetamine tablets. Maybe it’s like in America, where the mice eat the marijuana in police custody. Maybe those tablets just magically find their way back into circulation.
The other unknown beauty road within a few hours of Chiang Mai is the road from Chiang Dao to Wiang Pa Pao. It meets the above mentioned road in Phrao.