Three days ago I started in Chiang Mai to drive up to Pai. It is a 140km ride, the first 50 km or so thaistyle highway, then as you go up the mountains its a nice ride. Its a long and winding road as John (Happy Birthday btw.) and Paul would say.
But before that I was stopped by the gentlemen in brown:
So what they do is, on the one and only main exit direction north they have a checkpoint and stop all farang sriding a bike. If you do not have an international or a thai driving licence you have to pay a fine of 500 Bath. You get a receipt, and with that you can drive for 3 days, before you get fined again. But they DO check your national driving licence. I do not know what happens if you do not have a driving licence at all, so better bring both.
The road condition is not bad, but it gets worth once you cross into the Mae Ho Song district. Maybe they do not have that enough money?
The area of Pai is really nice, a beautiful landscape, the problem is, there are just too many tourists up here. I am sureyou all know how Khao San madness road looked before the crackdown. Now imagine that in a former mountain village. Its banana pancake all over the place, i guess its really a good place to go to if you are 25.
But I was very lucky and found a nice place to stay. The name is Pai village Boutique Hotel. If you go there make sure you book a villa down at the river, that way you wont hear the noise from Pai Walking Street.
If you come you really should get a scooter or motorbike that way you still can find some peaceful scenery:
ok not so peaceful at the waterfalls maybe...
Beware of backpackers at waterfalls lol.
OK guys thats it for now, tomorrow there will be a long riding day for me.
Take care and all the best.