Keen to escape the city and explore the surrounding countryside, we embarked upon the 100km Samoeng Loop which took us deep into the Mae Sa Valley. We needed a scooter so headed down to Mango Bikes and picked out a handsome looking beast. This was easily the most professional outfit we’ve come across since hiring bikes and they had good quality helmets for both and actually made us sign a contract with insurance.
We were less than 7 minutes on our way before we caught pulled over by the police. We were tempted to plead ignorance and speed off but thought better of it and stopped.
They wanted to see our international drivers licence which we hadn’t obtained and therefore they stuck us in a queue with at least 10 other tourists having all been caught for the same. It was a racket and they wanted the equivalent of £12 and we were sent on our way. Those sort of things always leave a bad taste but we wrote it off and got on our way.
Our first stop on the loop was the Nam Tok Mae Sa waterfalls.
Set amid the most lush tropical rainforest, the chain of cascading waterfalls each had their own plunge pool. We climbed to ‘level 6’ and jumped in. The waterfall was a great power shower, massaging all the knots in our backs. We pretty much had the place to ourselves and when we got bored of one pool, we simply climbed to the next.
It was an awesome little place and easily could have made a full day of it but we had a lot of miles ahead of us so we got back on our way.
Next stop was the wonderful Queen Sirikit Botanic Gardens. We couldn’t understand how quiet this vast place was.
Spread across 227 hectares, the gardens featured immaculately tended greenhouses and trails.
There were some beautifully creative displays and it was a lovely place to wander around with an ice cream.
We ended the trip with the canopy walkway through a corpse of jungle trees.
Back on the bike, the road climbed into a high altitude basin surrounded by terraced fields farmed for rice and vegetables. We continued on, in awe of the epic scenery all around us before stopping off at Proud Phu Fah for a late spot of lunch.
This place was an absolute gem of a find. It’s a stylish boutique hotel and restaurant in the middle of nowhere. We had delicious local Thai dishes overlooking sweeping lawns and mountains.
We even had a swim in their awesome pool which yet again we had to ourselves. The little touches here were so gorgeous. Long swings, mini veg patches and cute rocking horses all added to the eclectic nature and we loved it.
We tore ourselves away to tackle the remainder of the bike loop. The route took us through incredible scenery and ample curves and mountains which made for such an enjoyable ride.
Gary was in his element here and had I not been riding pillion, he’d have been tearing it around the bends. The road was empty and in amazing condition and the late afternoon sun drenched the thick forest in golden sunlight. We’d pull into lay-bays at the summit of a big climb to take photos and marvel at the beautiful scenery. It was easily one of the best days we’ve had on this trip and we felt so lucky to have explored the loop in relative solitude.