Bo Klua Loop and other Motorbike Trips

The Bo Klua Loop is one of the famous attractions of Nan province, to do by Motorbike / Scooter / Vespa or even with your bicycle. Most people doing the Bo Klua Loop come on their own motorbike or rent one in Bangkok, Chiang Mai or Chiang Rai. But in Nan town there are also a few shops renting Motorbikes or Scooters. For more information have a look at Motorbike Rental Shops. Besides the famous Bo Klua Loop there are also other very interesting loops & routes to be made with stunning view, small villages and rivers in the mountains. And the nice thing about the roads of this loops & routes is that they are not busy, so relatively safe to ride.

As for scooters it is recommended not to rent a "small scooter" but at least 150cc. And of course ALWAYS wear a good helmet, jacket, gloves and good shoes. Also be aware that scooters are by law motorbikes and that you will need a motorbike driver-license for it (check your travel insurance).

Motorbike riding in Nan province, North Thailand


Be aware that after rain roads can be slippery. Especially in the mountains, also in the early morning with fog. In the raining season there could be landslides blocking roads or some parts of road could be washed away.


Nan is a great area for bicycling, both on road as off road. The routes here mentioned are on-road and of course all routes could also be done by bicycle, but i.m.o. you should adjust the routes a bit to avoid using the main roads (like route 101) as that is really not safe for bicycling.

When to go?

Best to be done at the end of the raining season or during the cool season, from September to February. But of course you could ride the all year long. But in the raining season be aware that due to the rain there could be landslides and in the mountains roads could be blocked or gone.

Where to go?

Within Nan province you can make 2 wonderful loops, the Bo Klua Loop in the northern part of Nan province. And the Mae Charim Loop in the south-eastern part of Nan province. Beside loops there are a few stunning routes to travel to / from Nan province coming from  or going to Chiang Rai, Phayao or Loei.



Route on Google Maps

From Nan town cross the main bridge and after about 20m take a left into a small road what is the beginning of route 1169 to Santisuk. After about 15km the road starts to go into the mountains. Follow route 1169 until a T-section in Santisuk. Going to the right is the slow route to Bo Klua via route 1257. Going to the left and continue follow route 1169 until the intersection with route 1081. Here you go to the right in direction of Bo Klua. Keep on following route 1081 until Bo Klua. This is a small village that is famous for its ancient salt pits. After Bo Klua take a left to route 1256 to Pua. This is a part of 50km full of curves, ups & downs. Lovely road to ride. From Pua take route 1081 again in direction of Santisuk. Along the route you could make a stop at Sila Phet Waterfall. In Santisuk again just take route 1169 back to Nan. Of course you could also take route 101 from Pua to Nan and make a stop at the famous Wat Nong Bua near Tha Wang Pha. For more information about Bo Klua have a look at Introduction of Bo Klua

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

Route on Google Maps


Route on Google Maps

This trip starts again on the east-side of the main bridge crossing the Nan River. Just follow the main road straight ahead  and follow route 1168. After a few km there is a round-about, here you go to the left and continue to follow route 1168. After about 40km you get at a Y-section. To the left route 1168 continues as side-trip. But you continue straight ahead (right?) on route 1243. After about 20km there is a road to the left going to Mae Charim National Park. You go straight ahead until Man Muap. There at a T-section route 1243 continues to the right, but you take a left to route 1162. Just keep on following route 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. The take a right and continue another 20km to Nan. Be aware that the side-trip extension will take about 1 to 2 hours extra at least.


Route on Google Maps

Not the shortest route to Chiang Rai, but a stunning route to ride. From Nan you 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 route 1148 goes via a T-section (take a right). I did go straight ahead and after Chiang Kham route 1148 changes into route 1021. At Thoeng route 1021 changes into route 1020. Just keep on following route 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.


Route on Google Maps

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 route 1091 until Chiang Muan where is a T-section. Route 1091 continues to the right. After about 10km there is a road to the left that also goes to Phayao, but you continue straight still on route 1091 in direction of Pong. And even at Pong we still follow the main road and continue on route 1091. About 30km after Pong you will get at a T-section where route 1091 ends and you go straight ahead on route 1021. Just follow route 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.


Route on Google Maps

From Nan go south via route 101 to Wiang Sa, from there take route 1026 to Na Noi. At Na Noi change to route 1083. Keep on following route 1083 until you hit route 1243 at a kind of T-section, take a left and follow route 1243 for a few km. Then take a right for route 1241 and follow this route until a T-section with route 1268 to Ban Khok. Follow route 1268 to Na Heao. At Na Heao change to route 2113 to Dan Sai. From Dan Sai take route 2013 and route 21 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 or end your trip in Dan Sai instead of Loei town.

Motorbike Riding in Nan province, North Thailand

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