The Open Road

For our last adventure in Chiang Mai, we decided to follow a friends advice and take a motorbike ride around the Samoeng Loop, around the mountains surrounding the city. Renting a motorbike in general was one of the best decisions we made during our stay in Chiang Mai. For just 200 baht a day (roughly $7.00) we could rent a motorbike, versus taking taxis or tuk tuks which often came in around the same price per day if not higher. The advantage of the motorbike was that we saved money and we also saved the hassle of having to track down transportation and then haggle with them about a fair price.

samoeng loop chiang mai
Samoeng Loop

We left early in the morning and planned to spend the whole day making our way around the Samoeng Loop and also making pit stops along the way at local attractions. Along the trip we:

Saw elephants! Ok, this was my favorite moment by far. You know how much I love elephants. Well, when we were riding along, I looked over and spotted elephants from a distance. I may or may not have yelled in hubs ears that I saw elephants and that we should pull over. I blame the road noise, I had to yell. It seemed like we had stumbled upon the back entrance to one of the elephant conservation parks where they kept the momma elephants and new babies.

patara elephant farm
We made sure to keep our distance but the curious little one kept getting closer and closer. As tempted as I was to see how close he would get, I did not want to see how fast the momma elephant could rip through her chain, so we left.
thai elephants
We headed back up towards the road to sit and watch as one of the workers hosed down both mom and baby.
thai elephants

Enjoyed the gorgeous roadside views.

Samoeng Loop
Played in the Mae Sa Waterfalls. This place was awesome to spend a few hours hiking and swimming in some of the waterfall pools. There are a series of around 10 different waterfalls, all on the same inclined hiking path. The lower ones are safe for families to swim in while the higher ones just offer great views but faster moving water. Notice how hubs shorts are wet? Yea, that’s what happens when you’re not careful on slippery rocks.
Mae Sa Waterfalls
Mae Sa Waterfalls

Found some choice words at local temples

thai temples
Saw old and new collide. TIP: the red truck is a mix between a taxi and bus. In the back there are just two long benches where people pile in and it makes pit stops along the route dropping people off. It can take longer depending on who else is in there with you and where they are going but can save money.
motorbike rental thailand
streets of thailand
We’re so glad that we rented a bike for our stay in Chiang Mai. We loved the ease of it (even though there were times when the driving and traffic were a little scary!) and also being able to see so much more of the city and the country side. It was the perfect end to our favorite city.
motorbike rental in thailand
  • Robyn

    Some great road shots,looks fab.I’m thinking about doing the Chang Mai marathon in December,supposed to be really fun.

  • Bonnie Rose

    I loved all the Elephant photos. This is going to sound lame now, but we had a huge group of cows like get really curious about my boys and I this week and I made us leave our bench and seek higher ground. Though unlike an elephant trampling someone all the cows did was lick the bench to death. 😉 I really love all the traffic photos, we didnt get any of those, and they look so awesome! Especially with the older modes of transport. I miss those tuktuks.

    Bonnie Rose | A Compass Rose

  • Shio Waline

    I loved reading this and looking at all your awesome pics!! I cannot wait for the day that I will someday go visit another country! I loved the elephant pics, especially the baby ones!! Sooo CUTE!! And you totally cracked me up about the “pumpkin house”! haha! Happy Wednesday, hope your week is great so far!


  • gloyahh

    Elephants!!! gorgeous! I want to hose one down, looks like fun! =P

  • Elizabeth Mayberry

    elephants are the cutest!

  • tracey

    Loved reading this post and looking at your amazing pics!

  • The Bradleys

    We have driven from Phuket to Ranon ( then taken the boat over to Myanmar) 3 or 4 times and are about to do it again! We’re also going to roadtrip it over to Bangkok which will be about 9 hours. It’s a shame there is so much disinfo on roadtripping here in Thailand as it is so beautiful!!!

  • Steph G

    That pumpkin house is AWESOME.

  • Sam M

    A lot of times it makes such a big difference. We did motorcycles in Vietnam and it was absolutely amazing. Your picture of Thailand are so beautiful!

  • Treasure Tromp

    this is INCREDIBLE!! wow!

  • Rachel

    I’m not sure I trust Brandon to drive a motorbike in traffic! Maybe…

    I want to cuddle those baby elephants! Great photos!

  • Claire

    Love your photos! Elephants are my favorite.. ever. period. How awesome would it be to travel!? following from miscellany monday.

  • Melissa

    WOW is all I have to say!! Your pictures look amazing and man you are brave! One, I’d be terrified on a motorbike and two, being that close to the elephants! I think i just might want your life!! p.s. it would be awesome to live in that pumpkin house!


  • Emily Hornburg

    I love baby elephants!!!! So cute! And that waterfall is gorgeous.

  • Heather Marie

    oh my word!! that looks AMAZING! So jealous. I love the elephants!

  • Another Clean Slate

    That is so cool! It sounds so romantic- renting a motorbike and exploring together :)

  • M and L

    I LOVE this post! If Mitch & I ever visited Chiang Mia this is something we’d have to do — it’s right up our alley :) That pumpkin house is so magical. The waterfall is beautiful. & I bet you were thrilled to see the elephants. How neat to see them so unexpectedly.


  • Dan and Vanessa

    This looks like so much fun! Great pics too! 😀 That little pumpkin house/hobbit hole is rockin’! Might just be some inspiration for a future home of mine… haha


    Amazing photos, amazing adventure. 😀