Touring Chiang Mai
Highway 1004 starts at the highway 11 intersection in Chiang Mai and runs all the way up to Doi Pui. On the way it passes several viewpoints, waterfalls, mountain temples (Wat Prathat) and a palace. It finally finishes at the summit of Doi Pui.
You're nowhere near the mountain at this point. The highway begins inside Chiang Mai City, Highway 11 intersection.
Viewpoint of Chiang Mai- Lower
It is not just Doi Suthep that has a good view of Chiang Mai, Wang Bua Baan viewpoint is located a short way up the mountain road and has a good view of Chiang Mai and a river runs by it (see roll-over pic).
After the viewpoint the journey up the mountain is still gradual.
This stretch of road is where the Monthatarn waterfalls are. Turning is just on the right here (see sign on roll-over pic). They charge 200 baht for foreigners to enter. They lowered it to 40 Baht on producing a thai drivers license.
From here on in you'll need to be extra careful. The rainy season this year (2007) has eroded this route in two key places. The picture below shows you approaching a left hand bend. Take it slow cause around the second corner bend is a suprise (see pic 8)!
I'm actually pulled over to the right-hand side of the road here, taking these photos weren't easy. Many of the areas where at blind corners, but it's all in a days work for Watch Rider :)
This is a view point location, just pull over to the left and theres a small clearing with decent views of Chiang Mai.
Viewpoint of Chiang Mai- Middle
This viewpoint surpasses the lower one and it is worthwhile for photography but a small clump of trees still obscures a small portion of Chiang Mai. If you want the full view then Wat Prathat is a good place to get it. Be warned that cloud can often obscure what would be a perfect view where a clearer one could be had at the lower levels...
This is the second and worst section of erosion on the route to Doi Suthep, take it into allowance if you are pushing the speed.
You're nearly at Wat Prathat, Doi Suthep now. Around this corner is a left hand bend. After that your practically facing the stairs.
You've arrived at Wat Prathat, or at least the entrance points to it the ascent! You can park your bike at the bike park on the left (just out of sight) or just blaze on through to continue exploring the highway. Phu ping Palace is the next major destination followed by Doi Suthep (The summit) and finally Doi Pui.