The race HQ is at the amazing Cave Lodge in Ban Tham village. Ban Tham is 8km north of Pang Ma Pha (Soppong) on the main Chaing Mai to Mae Hong Son road, and just a few kilometers from the Burmese border.
First, get to Chiang Mai by plane, train or bus. From CM to Ban Tham (182 kms) takes about 4 to 7 hours on a slow mountain road.
From CM options are:
- Rent a mini van from CM to Ban Tham. Aoy (0869208666) at Aya services are a large company with lots of vans, or Mr Oy (081 961 9547) will take you. Cost is 4,000 to 4,500 baht.
- Take a taxi from CM airport to Ban Tham for 4,500 baht.
- Hire a mini van, car or motorbike in Chiang Mai. Hertz and Avis have branches at CM airport. Their prices will be (about) from about 1,800 baht/day for a small car to 2,500 baht for a 12 seater mini van.
- Public bus to Pang Ma Pha (Soppong). Cheap and slow, but you’ll get to meet the locals.
- Mini-buses from Arcade Bus Station in Chiang Mai to Soppong are 250 Baht and depart at 06:30/ 07:30/ 08:30/ 09:30/ 10:30/ 11:30/ 12:30/ 13:30/ 14:30. Also cheap and slow. They take about 5 hours. Then take a motorbike taxi or hire a pick up to Ban Tham.
- Privately-run shared minivans from CM to Pai are 150 baht per person. They leave every hour during the day. You can book the private vans at just about any travel agent in CM or go to to the bus station to book the government ones. You would then need to get a bus or taxi to Pang Ma Pha (Soppong).
From Pang Ma Pha (Soppong) you can hire a motorcycle taxi or pick up truck to Ban Tham (8km / 15 to 20 minutes).