Along the Mae Hong Son Loop

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Along the Mae Hong Son Loop

I left Chiang Mai last Friday, the 13th. I am just realizing right now that it was, in fact, Friday the 13th. I’m certainly not superstitious, but maybe that explains the van accident on the way to Pai? No, probably not.

This post will summarize the last week that I spent on the road completing the “Mae Hong Son loop”. If you have already read the posts on Pai and Cave Lodge you can skip those sections if you’d like.

Pai

After the van accident and running into a few new American friends, I arrived in Pai, had dinner and saw a little of the town. After coming up with a plan for the next few days I decided to rent a motorbike Saturday morning since many of Pai’s attractions are out of walking distance from town.

I rode out to a waterfall called Mo Paeng and took a swim.

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Next I rode over to the other side of town to check out Pai Canyon, which I heard was pretty cool to see. It wasn’t really a canyon, more like a rock ridge that stretches on in every direction for miles. I’ve never really seen anything like it.

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After staying another night I decided to move on to my next destination. If you are not careful Pai is definitely a place you could end up staying way longer than you planned.

Cave Lodge

Out side of Soppong there is a nice guesthouse called Cave Lodge. It is run by an Australian guy and his Thai wife. He has been living in the area for the last 30 years and knows every inch of every trail and mountain in the area. With this knowledge he puts together a nice map for his guests to use for self guided hikes. This is a rare thing in this part of the world. For the most part I would not recommend venturing out on your own without a guide as it is very easy to get lost.

Its completely different from what I’m used to at home and even in Europe where I had a couple great hikes in the Alps.

I took the opportunity to get some hiking in. The first day I walked along a high ridge with great views of the surrounding area. On the way back I passed through a hill tribe village.

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The following day I climbed up Big Knob. Love the names of these mountains. They are so easy to remember.

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Mae Hong Son

After my three nights at Cave Lodge I moved on to the town of Mae Hong Son. This is the capitol of the district and where it gets its name. A few people I talked with didn’t speak highly of the town so I was only planning one night here.

I arrived Wednesday afternoon and could immediately see that I disagreed with their opinions. It is a beautiful town with just enough to see and do. It is also far less touristy than anywhere else I’ve been so far in Thailand.

After getting settled in to my room. I took a walk up to the top of the nearby hill where a temple called Wat Phra That Doi Kong Mu is located. I got some photos of the view from the top.

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I was so inspired I decided to hike back up the next morning to take some sunrise photos.

 

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There is also a night market, as with most towns in Thailand, where you can get good cheap local food.

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And a lake with a temple across from it called Wat Chong Klang.

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Mae Sariang

Later that morning I reluctantly caught the bus to Mae Sariang, a much smaller town. As soon as I arrived I regretted only spending one night in Mae Hong Son. But since I arrived at 1 am I thought I would stay here for two nights to give myself a break from public transportation.

There’s not much to report from my time in Mae Sariang. Just not much to see. The favorite pastime of the locals and the very few tourists that I did see is drinking. And thats just not much fun when you are traveling alone and there are maybe two people in the whole town who speak english.

I did get some work done on technical aspects of the blog. It is a steep learning curve and if I am going to try to expand here I have a lot more work to do.

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Back to Civilization

I’m currently recuperating from my time on the road back in Chiang Mai. I am also discovering that I didn’t have nearly enough time here last week. There is a lot more to see and do than I originally though. It’s a great town that now feels like a big worldly city after my time in the Thai wilderness.

It has been a very exciting week. I saw a lot and learned a lot about local Thai culture. I am looking forward to the next couple weeks, which could also be kind of fast paced unfortunately. I am planning on going to Chiang Khong in the next few days which is on the border with Laos. I will then travel down the Mekong river through Laos and into Cambodia. It is a lot of ground to cover, but hopefully I will slow down the pace.

Brooks

Brooks

I am traveling the world focusing on adventure and photography.

3 Comments

  • Cara

    Wow, thank goodness you didn’t listen to those people Brooks! That is a beautiful place!!!!!

    November 23, 2015 at 1:00 pm
  • timothy aikman

    the night shot at wat chong klang is incredible. try to slow down, the last thing you want is regrets. nice that you can sort out what you like and don’t like on your own and take your own sweet time seeing and learning what you like. I’m surprised you’re not speaking fluent thai by now!

    November 23, 2015 at 2:28 pm
  • Kaely

    Awesome B! Love the photos!

    November 24, 2015 at 12:24 am

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