Samoeng loop around Chiang Mai, Thailand

posted in: ASIA | 6
Green hills around Samoeng Loop
Green hills around Samoeng Loop

If you’re an adventurer and you like to explore deeper the places you’re visiting, then the Samoeng Loop around Chiang Mai is something for you. It’s one the most enjoyable alternative things to do in Chiang Mai, if you are able to ride a motorbike.

Do you want a break from all the temples and the markets of Chiang Mai? Would you like to see some beautiful green landscapes? Do you love riding a motorbike? If yes, this guide is for you!

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What is Samoeng Loop

It’s basically a loop around the green hills of Chiang Mai, around 100km of up and downhills. Samoeng is the main town that you’ll come across during your trip, and it can be considered the furthest point of the loop. There are many attractions along the road:

– Orchids and butterflies farms
– Snakes and monkeys show (please avoid those places!)
– Waterfalls
– Beautiful and unknown temples
– Local restaurants on the creeks
– Stunning views all around

See the map below

Map of Samoeng loop
Map of Samoeng loop

To enrich the loop, we also added the famous Doi Suthep to it. So our loop has a bonus! Let’s see in details what to see during the trip.

Samoeng Loop: Alternative things to do in Chiang Mai

Riding a motorbike on the scenic road around the green hills is a great experience, but it has some dangers. Doesn’t matter if you’re on holiday, we have a few recommendations for you!

First, make sure you have an international licence for the motorbike (at least 125cc), for two reasons:

– In case of accident, if you don’t have the licence, the insurance will not cover you and your damages. Even if you’re right, probably you’ll have to pay everything by yourself. That’s Asia, baby.

– The police in Chiang Mai actually stops all the motorbikes, and they give fines if a driver doesn’t have an international license for motorbikes. The fine is around 400 Bhat, and after that you can drive “legally” for 3 days.

In any case, let us be boring: Ride slowly, wear the helmet and be careful!

First stop: Doi Suthep

Doit Suthep
Doit Suthep

This is one of the Thailand’s most famous Buddhist temple. It’s a 45′ ride from the old centre of Chiang Mai. The road is mostly made of sharp curves, as soon as it begins to go uphill to the temple. The day we visited the temple was a religious holiday, called Asarnha Bucha Day and Khao Phansa. It was packed with people, both locals and tourists. They were offering lotus flowers to the shrines with Buddhas and performing traditional rituals. Doi Suthep has many Buddha statues, decorations and beautiful golden stupas, and it’s a pleasure to stroll around.

Doit Suthep - Praying
Doit Suthep – Praying

To continue the Samoeng Loop, you have to go down the same road. On the way down, go slowly! Be careful because there are many tuk tuks, minivans and cars that don’t care that much about road rules.

Second stop: Mae Sa waterfalls

Mae Sa Waterfall chiang mai
Mae Sa Waterfall

These waterfalls are quite nice. There are 7 different levels of waterfalls, we went to see 4 of them. The 4th one is quite impressive, and there is a natural swimming pool were you can refresh yourself.

The entrance fee is 100bhat per person, while the motorbike parking costs 20 Bhat.

Third stop: Lunch break

Restaurant around Samoeng Loop
Lunch break!

There are many options for having lunch along the road, however we suggest you to stop in one of the restaurants after the waterfalls. If you’re not hungry yet, you can continue and stop in Samoeng.
We stopped around 10km after the waterfalls, where we started to spot some restaurants. They’re incredibly exclusive!

They’re built directly on the creek. We sat on a bamboo platform and ate with our feet close to the water. The menu is just in Thai, but there is a photo of each dish. Well, the photos are blurred. Just point your finger and eat what you’ll get!

Fourth stop: Panoramic point

View point
View point on Samoeng Loop

The panoramic point is one of the highest points on the road, and it’s worth a stop. On sunny days, you can see the whole valley below. During the rainy season, you can see clouds and fog, like we did 🙂

Never mind, it was a nice view anyway.

Fifth stop: Samoeng

If you’re looking for something to eat, you can stop in Samoeng, that gives the name to the entire ride. The town is nothing special actually, but there is a market and a couple of cheap restaurants.

Sixth stop:On the way back

From Samoeng to Chiang Mai, the road becomes more and more scenic. We stopped many times to take photos and enjoy the view. We also went a bit offroad: We took a random road up the hills, towards an unknown village, and the landscape all around was so lovely. Check the gallery!

The Samoeng Loop represents one of the best alternatives things to do in Chiang Mai. In a nutshell, here is what you’ll find along the road:

  • Nice waterfalls
  • Amazing views
  • Cool restaurants and coffee shops
  • Hidden temples
  • Some fresh air!

Have you ever done this motorbike loop around Chiang Mai? Let us know in the comments!

6 Responses

  1. Bruno Beheyt
    | Reply

    We triedbto do the loop and entered thenmain attraction in Google mapsnbut itvdidnt show us this loop. How is that possible?

    • Enri & Zuz
      | Reply

      Hello Bruno, sorry for the late reply. There is an option on google maps to create a route by entering all the points. We used it to create the map that you found on our website. Maybe you didn’t put the final point to close the loop?

  2. Sharon
    | Reply

    Also a lovely route in a car.

    • Enri & Zuz
      | Reply

      Definitely yes! At least you won’t get wet when it rains 😀 :D.

  3. Zhi Feng
    | Reply

    Great article! How long did this loop take?

    • Enri & Zuz
      | Reply

      We took it easy, it was around 8 hours. I think you can do it in less time but part of the fun is stopping along the way and take pics 🙂

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