ADVrider

Go Back   ADVrider > Riding > Trip Planning > Asia Pacific
User Name
Password
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 05-02-2013, 09:47 AM   #1
Just Max OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Just Max's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2012
Location: PA Amish Country
Oddometer: 197
Weekend in Thailand - anyone wanna play tourguide?

So, it looks like I'm going to spend a week in Bangkok for a conference this June (16-21). I have to make a stop in Singapore on the way, so I'll be flying into Thailand the friday before.

I would really hate to miss the opertunity to ride some of the local countryside, but I don't have a lot of, let's say, experience in that situation - and I'm not too keen on learning to ride on the wrong side of the road in Bangkok...

Any locals want to show me around? I was thinking I could fly into Chiang Mai, maybe meet an imate for the loop, and then grab a commuter back to bangkok sunday night / monday morning.

As most of this trip is on the 'man - It would be worth it to me to fund significant portions of the trip.


Just Max is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2013, 06:41 PM   #2
Witold
Studly Adventurer
 
Joined: Jul 2004
Oddometer: 661
Out of Bangkok, it's going to be a PIA. You can go to Kanchanaburi and it's alright. But BKK is sprawling and it might surprise you just how far the concrete jungle extends. It's like trying to get in and out of NYC. What I personally did was pay taxis to get me into/out of BKK because I didn't have a GPS.

Chiang Mai, on the other hand, you could easily do yourself. Fly in, rentals are easy and cheap, everything is very central in CM, and Mae Hong Son loop is straightforward. They even sell a MHS Loop maps at rental places, and it's really hard to screw up and make a wrong turn. Getting in and out of the city is also very straightforward. The Loop takes 1 day, but it depends how often you stop along the way. Some people stretch it out to 2 days which is not a bad idea. It is newb friendly, with very minimal traffic.

So if you don't get any offers to show you around in CM, you should still consider doing it by yourself. This loop is very newb friendly.
Witold is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2013, 11:21 AM   #3
Just Max OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Just Max's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2012
Location: PA Amish Country
Oddometer: 197
Thanks Wiltold, that's my current plan - fly into Chiang Mai and fingure it out..


I have a few more specific questions.

If I fly into CM, what are my options for 'secure storage' of my other things. I'll have at least a carry on sized bag with some 'valuable' things that I don't want to drag around. Is it un reasonable to think I can leave these things behind at a hotel? (behind at the hotel after checkout?) Are there other options? airport lockers?

Gear. Can I get away with some cheap rain gear and a lid? I'll be traveling for ~14 days, but only riding for one or 2. I'm thinking I'll pick up some BILT stuff here and do my best to come home w/ it..

Is the loop all tarmac? or is a dual sport a good idea? are there any 'spurs' that are worth it?


Thanks again!
Just Max is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2013, 03:39 PM   #4
Just Max OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Just Max's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2012
Location: PA Amish Country
Oddometer: 197
Hotel recommendations?
Just Max is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2013, 11:47 AM   #5
Witold
Studly Adventurer
 
Joined: Jul 2004
Oddometer: 661
Quote:
Originally Posted by mheitman View Post
Thanks Wiltold, that's my current plan - fly into Chiang Mai and fingure it out..


I have a few more specific questions.

If I fly into CM, what are my options for 'secure storage' of my other things. I'll have at least a carry on sized bag with some 'valuable' things that I don't want to drag around. Is it un reasonable to think I can leave these things behind at a hotel? (behind at the hotel after checkout?) Are there other options? airport lockers?

Gear. Can I get away with some cheap rain gear and a lid? I'll be traveling for ~14 days, but only riding for one or 2. I'm thinking I'll pick up some BILT stuff here and do my best to come home w/ it..

Is the loop all tarmac? or is a dual sport a good idea? are there any 'spurs' that are worth it?


Thanks again!
I know that at the BKK airport there are secure lockers, but I'm not sure about CM airport. Personally, whenever I needed to leave things behind, I never had any problems leaving them at various hotels. I was never refused. I just told them that I'll be back and don't want to carry things and they were more than happy to put it in their office somewhere. Ask the manager and they will probably say yes. (I would be surprised if they said no.) That said, I never left anything very expensive. I would just leave things that are worth a few hundred bucks combined... In one instance, I left things behind for about 8 weeks at a BKK hotel, and in another instance I even left things behind for 4 months in a New Delhi hotel. If the hotel looks relatively professional, it will generally work out. Very small amount of risk, IMO. Just talk to the manager and make sure they recognize you and know you and that they will take care of your things.

When I was in CM, I jumped around from various hotels and guest houses and eventually settled at The Small. I thought it was good value and had nice rooms. I just checked their website and for the sample rates of 8xx Baht, I wouldn't even bother to shop around. Just ask for a room that has one big bed instead of 2 twins, and I think you will not only find it sufficient, but quite pleasant. You're not going to find a substantially better deal. Even if you go way out of town, it's not going to be much cheaper - in my experience, at least. The location is also pretty good. It's just far enough from the center to be cheaper, but it is still just a few minutes walk to the moat road and everything you will need.

If you don't care for the above recommendation, I would check out both Agoda and Latestays.com and see what currently has the biggest discount and if it's close to the moat road. (it doesn't matter if it's S, E, W, or North of the moat road, as long as it's very close.) You should probably do this anyway just to check what is out there...

If riding for 2 days, I wouldn't plan for the rain personally. Chances are the weather will be good. Even during the rainy season, the rain often comes at night, or when it comes during the day it rains heavy for 1 hour and then the Sun comes out and dries things quickly... I would skip rain gear and just bring safety gear.

The loop is all pavement. It's mostly really good pavement, too. There are just small bits and pieces where you may see some dirt, but very little. The only thing stopping me from dragging knee in some spots was that some turns had truck oil and road warping, plus I wasn't feeling the way my suspension was setup and I also figured the tires are cheap and not grippy. (I had an Kawasaki ER-6) That said, the loop is very easy to follow on the road, but there is definitely a contingent of riders who come to this region to ride dirt, get dual sports, and hit the small trails and dirt side roads... This is popular as well.

Anyway, there are lots of moto rental places along the moat road. New ones seem to open up every season. As far as I can see, they are all perfectly legitimate. (In contrast to Phuket/Pattaya, where there are some shady, shady places where I wouldn't want to rent anything for any price.) Mr Mechanic and Mr Beer have been around for a long time now and I haven't heard any complaints. But there is one sticking point with renting motorcycles in Thailand: If you want a "big bike" and not just a scooter, they require you to leave your passport with them. Every place requires it for "big bikes" and the only time I heard of someone not leaving their passport is if they put down a massive deposit or if they knew the owner/operator. People that argue that this is hypothetically a bad idea are right, but no one has ever been able to point me to a rental place that doesn't require leaving your passport for 'big bikes'. This is how it's done in Thailand when it comes to 'big bikes' - and not just scooters. (for scooters, they just want a copy of your passport and that's it.) Obviously, you should have multiple copies of both your passport and visa and multiple points of contact to the rental place. You should also have your IDP. That's basically how vast majority of riders do it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mheitman View Post
are there any 'spurs' that are worth it?
What is 'spurs'?
Witold is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2013, 05:14 PM   #6
Witold
Studly Adventurer
 
Joined: Jul 2004
Oddometer: 661
Update... please check this thread in regards to the passport/'big bike' issue. If 10,000 baht deposit is all it takes to keep your passport with you nowadays, that is an easy decision. Hopefully someone in that thread will confirm this.
Witold is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2013, 06:09 PM   #7
Just Max OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Just Max's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2012
Location: PA Amish Country
Oddometer: 197
Witold!!

Thank you good sir. I'll look into those hotels.

I had read in a few other places that a cash deposit was becoming more acceptable - I'll go that route, I'm not comfortable leaving my paper work behind.


sorry, spur is probably a backpacking term, don't know where else I would have picked it up. just an out and back (backtrack) kinda thing. I'm fishing for ideas, I'm not going to have much time to explore, so I would like to have a few possibilities in mind before I land.

I'm sure I'll have a few more questions before now and june
Just Max is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2013, 06:54 PM   #8
Witold
Studly Adventurer
 
Joined: Jul 2004
Oddometer: 661
Quote:
Originally Posted by mheitman View Post
Witold!!

Thank you good sir. I'll look into those hotels.

I had read in a few other places that a cash deposit was becoming more acceptable - I'll go that route, I'm not comfortable leaving my paper work behind.


sorry, spur is probably a backpacking term, don't know where else I would have picked it up. just an out and back (backtrack) kinda thing. I'm fishing for ideas, I'm not going to have much time to explore, so I would like to have a few possibilities in mind before I land.

I'm sure I'll have a few more questions before now and june
This is really good news. Although I have never heard of anyone ever getting in trouble because of the passport issue, it could definitely ruin your day/week if some cop really wanted to get you in trouble for some reason. But with a measly 10K Baht deposit... easy choice and very welcome.

Your best bet is to read some MHS ride reports and pick and chose what you would like to check out. Take a look at http://www.gt-rider.com page and forums as well to get some ideas. They have some great region specific info.

As for navigation, all you really need is a MHS Loop map (motorcycle rentals around town will have it.) Then get past touristy Pai as soon as possible so you can spend more time in more remote areas further along the route. And when you're coming back, it is a bit more tricky but just follow the biggest roads with the most cars and that will almost certainly get you back all the way to the moat road/center CM. Really easy route...
Witold is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2013, 08:29 AM   #9
Just Max OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Just Max's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2012
Location: PA Amish Country
Oddometer: 197
ok.

flight from BKK to CM booked. I arrive on June 14.

I have a room at the raming lodge - planning on a few day trips, and spending the evenings in CM. GT rider maps inbound.

Mr. Mechanic confirmed a 10,000 bht deposit will rent a big bike.



Any good bars or more importantally restruants I need to checkout?


Thanks again!
__________________
I put the F in luck
Just Max is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2013, 11:50 PM   #10
Just Max OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Just Max's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2012
Location: PA Amish Country
Oddometer: 197
2... Days....NOT ........ Enough


I will be back.

__________________
I put the F in luck
Just Max is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2014, 02:52 PM   #11
SilkMoneyLove
Beastly Adventurer
 
SilkMoneyLove's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2007
Location: Minneapolis
Oddometer: 1,882
Thanks!

Thanks for all the info in this thread. Could you please put up a few pics from the trip (anyone?) because it looks good and I am noodling on how to get myself out there for one of these:

http://www.thaimotorcycletouring.com/


I like the inspiration and if you are like me, any excuse to post awesome trip pictures is welcome!
SilkMoneyLove is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-2014, 12:23 PM   #12
speed_racer
Studly Adventurer
 
speed_racer's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2011
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Oddometer: 704
haha you can always get one of the girls from a bar to jump on the back for about $35AU a day. Plus you get a massage at the end of it *wink*
__________________
13' KTM 1190 Adventure R
KLX650R

RIP - BMW F650 GS Twin
speed_racer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2014, 03:35 PM   #13
pne
Studly Adventurer
 
pne's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2007
Location: Alberta, Canada
Oddometer: 669
bumping this thread, headed to thailand and possibly vietnam for a few weeks to play. What is the best way to bring money over? Travellers checks? Cash? Are the rates from the ATM's going to be the same or is there a better street rate to be had when bringing american cash?
__________________
Touring USA on a KTM Superduke, I have no idea what I'm doing:
http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=890358
pne is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2014, 03:39 PM   #14
Just Max OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Just Max's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2012
Location: PA Amish Country
Oddometer: 197
Atm in county is the cheapest I believe. Get it at the airport. Cash it's king, everything is negotiable and the places that you find that take plastic, you probably won't want to use it.


Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I337 using Tapatalk
__________________
I put the F in luck
Just Max is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2014, 06:35 PM   #15
speed_racer
Studly Adventurer
 
speed_racer's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2011
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Oddometer: 704
Totally agree.. Cash in the country is the best way, I negotiated between a few different companies and banks in Australia for the best rate and ended up getting it from Amex cash exchange.

Once I got to the country, I found using your card at the cash exchange ATM's were better than the rate I got from amex..

All up over 3 weeks I pulled about $1500AUD and at the end it cost me about $80AUD (1AUD = about .90USD) in fee's.. I was happy with that rather than carrying more than 10,000 baht with me as 99.9% of thai people are friendly.. but the .1% would kill for around that sort of money. So keep maybe 2000baht in your wallet and the rest in a money/passport holder on your body.
__________________
13' KTM 1190 Adventure R
KLX650R

RIP - BMW F650 GS Twin
speed_racer is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Share

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

.
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


Times are GMT -7.   It's 10:57 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2014