Hot-Kong Loi- Mae Tho-Cave-FAIL 108-1270

Discussion in 'Northern Thailand - Road Trip Reports' started by Johpa, Dec 7, 2010.

  1. Johpa

    Johpa Ol'Timer

    Took a ride with my brother-in-law last week to meet up with pals of his, a forestry official and a tambon development officer, to visit an undeveloped cave and wilderness area inside the Mae Tho National Park south and west of Mae Chaem. We took the 108 down to Hot and west to Kong Loi where we turned onto the 1270 to Mae Tho and Om Phai. Once past the paved section to Mae Tho the road quickly becomes a ball and vehicle breaker: bumpy, rutted, and already many parts are dusty with all the roadside vegetation covered in various shades of dirt and mud. It was brutally slow going. However the area is scenic with a mix of both forest and heavily cultivated hillside with kilometers of PVC piping irrigating the crops. There is a mix of Mong and Karen villages and even a Lawa village. About 4km from Se Lo Sa we turned off the main dirt road onto an even smaller dirt road which plummeted down the hillside to a small valley where a few Karen families lived. Fortunately the steepest sections of this path were paved in order for trucks to haul out the produce. Alas, the folks who we were depending upon to host us failed to show up and so we headed back, not wanting to impose upon these families, the same way we arrived as we were told that would be the quickest route back to Chiang Mai. I hope to return someday and do the full loop starting from Mae Chaem and not starting from my home north of Chiang Mai, which is just too tiring for this old fart riding a smaller bike. Riding this loop in a clockwise direction should keep the sun at your back for most of the ride.

    Here are some pics of the 1270 past Mae Tho.
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    Here is our smaller road heading down the side of the mountain. Note that the main 1270 was not a steep ride, just a rough ride.
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    Here we found a few families living apart from a main village.
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    They provided us with not only a very tasty lunch.
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    But also provided after the meal entertainment with Pati (uncle in Karen) playing the water buffalo horn (uu kwae in Karen)
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