Suggested motorbike trips in Nan

Bo Klua Loop
Nan province is one of Thailand's last remote provinces with stunning mountains, waterfalls and National Parks.

And paradise for motorbike riding. So in a serie recommended motorbike trips I will show you some great routes to ride.

Some people will ride routes like this on a big bike in 1 day but you could also do it slow on a scooter and take 2 or 3 days (you will see much more).

All trips start in Nan city, a lovely small city with many beautiful temples, nice hotels and some good restaurant. But a but limited nightlife (although that is changing).
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Day-trip 1 : Bo Klua loop (240 km)

The trip starts on the east side of the Nan River and about 20m after the main bridge we take a left into a small road what is the beginning of route 1169 to Santisuk. The road will first follow the Nan River and go thru some small villages (ride slow!). After about 15km the road starts to go into mountain area. We just follow the 1169 until a T-section in Santisuk. Going to the right we would will take the slow route to Bo Klua via route 1257. So we go to the left what is still route 1169. We follow the 1169 until we get to route 1081. Here we go to the right in direction of Bo Klua. Here we start to go into the real mountains with amazing good roads, stunning views and some small hill-tribe villages.

We keep on following route 1081 until we are in Bo Klua. This is a small village that is famous for its ancient salt pits. Now if you look on the maps there are more routes / roads with the same numbers. Do not get confused!

Next to the bamboo bridge is a nice coffee-shop and around the corner is a nice small restaurant. There are a few hotels / guesthouses in Bo Klua. Near Bo Klua is also "Khun Nan National Park".

After Bo Klua we take a left to route 1256 to Pua. This is a part of 50km full of curves, ups & downs. Lovely road to ride. There are a few viewpoints and we are passing Doi Phuka National Park. Just follow the 1256 and we will end-up in Pua. Here are an PTT gasoline station and a 7/11.

From Pua we could take route 101 back to Nan but for the scenic view we take route 1081 again in direction of Santisuk. On the way you will be passing Sila Phet waterfall. You will end-up in Santisuk again were we take route 1169 back to Nan.

Be aware that there are not much gasoline stations, restaurants or 7/11's in this area. Actually the last 7/11 or ATM are in Pua or Thung Chang. In Pua, Bo Klua, Thung Chang and Chiang Klang are some hotels and guesthouses. For reviews of some hotels have a look at Hotel & Guesthouse Reviews in Thailand The rest of the trips are still "under construction" ... just have a look in the next following days.

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Day-trip 2 : Bo Klua extension loop (150 km)

Extension Bo Klua Lopp
You could extend the Bo Klua loop with an loop to Phu Payak and the international border crossing to Laos. Stunning area but do not forget that it is all together about 260km (incl. all the side-trips) and most road parts are in bad (put-holed) condition. But you can do it with an road bike or scooter.

The trip starts in Bo Klua and goes north via route 1081. Just follow the main road. There are not much side-roads. After about 50km you will come at a kind of T-section in a curve. Here you can take a right to Phu Payak Communist Memorial.

Continuing the 1081 another 30km will bring  us to to an intersection with the 101. Here you can take a right to the international border crossing to Laos. Take a left to the 101 in direction of Nan. Just follow the main road for another 50km and you will be passing a T-section with signs to the left for Manipruek. Continueing another 20km and you will end-up in Pua. In Pua are some restaurants, hotels/guesthouses and pub's.

This trip is 150km without the side-trips to Phu Payak and Manipruek. The side-trips will add another 110km.


Day-trip 3 : From Nan to Phayao (180 km)

From Nan to Phayao
Not the shortest route but a route with good roads and stunning views.

The trip starts on the west side of town on route 1091. Just follow the main road for about 65km and continue the 1091 until Chiang Muan where is a T-section. The 1091 continues to the right.

After about 10km there is a road to the left that also goes to Phayao, but we continue straight still on the 1091 in direction of Pong. And even at Pong we still follow the main road and continue the 1091.

About 30km after Pong you will get at a T-section where the 1091 ends and we go straight ahead on the 1021. Just foloow the 1021 for another 50km until you hit route 1 just south of Phayao. Take a right and after about 4km go to the left into Phayao.


Day-trip 4 : Mae Charim loop (220 km)

Mae Charim Loop
Be aware that the side-trip extension will take about 1 to 2 hours at least.

This trip starts again on the east-side of the main bridge crossing the Nan River. Just follow the main road straight ahead (with a few sharp curves) and follow route 1168. After a few km there is a round-about, here we go to the left and continue to follow the 1168.

After about 40km you get at a Y-section. To the left the 1168 continues as side-trip. But we continue straight ahead (right?) on route 1243. After about 20km there is a road to the left going to Mae Charim wild water rafting. We go straight ahead until Man Muap. There at a T-section the 1243 continues to the right, but we take a left to route 1162. Just keep on following the 1162 until Wiang Sa. At a T-section you will hit route 1026, take a right in direction of Nan. At the intersection with traffic lights take a left until another intersection with traffic lights at route 101. Take a right continue another 20km to Nan.

Day-trip 5 : From Nan to Chiang Rai via the 1148 (260 km)

From Nan to Chiang Rai
Again not the shortest route but a stunning route to ride.

From Nan we go north and follow route 101 for about 40km to Tha Wang Pha. There we take a left to route 1148. Just keep on following the main road. Do not forget at Song Kwae to go to the left, otherwise you end up in Laos.

Until Chiang Kham it is just following route 1148 thru the mountains. There is not much along the road here, I saw only 1 coffee shop at Phu Lanka.

Just before Chiang Kham the 1148 goes via a T-section (take a right). I did go straight ahead and after Chiang Kham the 1148 changes into route 1021. At Thoeng the 1021 changes into route 1020. Just keep on following the 1020 in direction of Chiang Rai. You will be passing a kind of by-pass road and then you will be crossing route 1 and ride into Chiang Rai.


Day-trip 6 : From Nan to Loei (380 km)

From Nan to Loei
You can ride this in 1 day, but it will be a long day. So I would anyway break it in two and stay overnight in Ban Khok. And I would stop in Dan Sai. And stay overnight so you can explore Loei province the next day.

From Nan to Loei are basically 3 route options. This is just 1 of the 3 options. The others would be to cross the Siritkit lake with the ferry. Another route would be to take route 11 highway and ride via Nakhon Thai and Phu Hin Rong Khla National Park (my favourite mountain).

From Loei take route 21 in direction of Phu Ruea and Dan Sai. At Khok Ngam take a right to Dan Sai and follow route 2013 to Dan Sai.

Ride thru Dan Sai and exit via route 2113 to Na Heao (bordering Laos). At Na Heao keep on following the main road that will change into route 1268. Keep on following the 1268 in direction of Ban Khok.

At Chet Thon the road changes into the 1047. Follow the 1047 for about 10km and then take a right for route 1083. Keep on following the 1083 (there are more routes to Nan but only the 1083 goes on-road) in direction of Na Noi. In Na Noi you will hit a T-section with route 1026. Take a right and follow route 1026 to Wiang Sa. In Wiang Sa take a left at the intersection with traffic lights and after 100m take a right at the intersection with route 101. Follow route 101 for another 20km to Nan city.