Harley Guys on BMWs for 5 Days of Temples, Caves, Great Food and Great Roads
Asian Trails with Luzi and friends’ trip report from January 18 – 22, 2020
“Born to be wild” was the name we gave this amazing group that set up a whatsapp group before the tour even started. The moment they “met” their bike, I knew that some of them had never ridden a BMW motorcycle before. I was dealing with Harley Davidson guys again. We spent a good hour getting everyone in gear and had a short briefing about the features on a BMW and safety. This group has been riding and living in Thailand longer than I have lived in Thailand!
We rode this 5-day customized Chiang Rai and Mae Hong Son Loop with Mr. Luzi and his friends. The first day ride was quite short, but since we left Chiang Mai at 10 am, I had to change the plan a little bit. Instead of riding up the curvy mountain through Phrao, I went straight on the main highway. The first stop was at a hot spring where we took a short coffee break before lunch. Then we rode to Doi Chang for our first lunch together. Everyone was fed with Thai food and pizza. After lunch we went water crossing on the motorcycles before we made a short stop at the White Temple. Nobody went into the temple, but just took a quick group photo since they’ve been there quite a few times already.
The first night, the group was quite ecstatic with the hotel in Chiang Rai by Kok River – the Legend Chiang Rai Boutique River Resort & Spa. I got an invitation from Luzi to stay in his fabulous hotel for two nights in Chiang Rai while we were riding up to Phu Chi Fah and returned the next day.
Our first dinner was very exciting with Luzi’s choice at Hungry Wolfs Steak & Ale House. We all shared a huge 1.7 kilogram steak called a “Tomahawk”, which was cut by an American chef from New York at the table.
A mountain was calling to us on the second day up to Phu Chi Fah with an unexpected short off-road detour and fun throughout the day. It was a great ride with good weather and a panoramic mountain view at lunch up there. A special birthday arrangement was made before dinner by Luzi for a father and son who shared the same birthday. Everything was quite special, memorable and well prepared for the “born to be wild” group.
Day 3 had us about to start the 1,864 curves as we left Chiang Rai to head to Pai. We were enroute to Chiang Dao to have lunch there before riding straight to the hotel in Pai. This day was about conquering a hundred curves. We ended in Pai, where we had dinner by the Pai River before everybody split up to enjoy massages and the famous Pai Walking Street.
We woke up fresh and ready for another journey, but I had a special request to stop by Tham Phi Man Cave on the way before lunch. I promised them that I’d take them for a ride across the Myanmar border and do something fun. The cave was quite exhausting since it’s 300 meters trekking up the mountain, but we were able to laugh about it. We were all hungry and ready to ride to lunch at Ban Rak Thai. We had a little accident before lunch after a photo stop at Chang Coffee – I lost Luzi and Rowland, but managed to rescue them back in Mae Hong Son. We all had a very good Chinese lunch, then headed out to the border. I called ahead to the school that we were coming with some donations. The military post let us pass by quite easily since we were going to the school. When we got to school, the children were very excited to see bikers again in their parking lot. The teacher told them to line up and we started to hand out our supplies that we brought from Thailand. After finishing handing out donations, we went for a boat ride to the Long Neck village. Soon after, we found ourselves sipping an ice cold beer by the infinity pool at Fern Resort. There’s nothing else compared to the view of the rice paddies, sunset and a group of the riders holding an ice cold beer in their hand at the moment.
The last day of our long journey back to Chiang Mai had a war museum visit, Doi Inthanon and waterfall. The road conditions were not quite smooth but still had some good curves and tarmac to compensate. Since they had been off road in Phu Chi Fah, this was just an easy task for them. We went to the highest point of Thailand, Doi Inthanon after lunch just for a photo. They were skeptical about the waterfall, but we went and they weren’t disappointed. They loved the waterfall and also got a good picture there. After a good coffee we continued to ride straight back to Chiang Mai and returned the bikes safely.