Lisu New Year Report

Discussion in 'Northern Thailand - Road Trip Reports' started by Maarten, Jan 29, 2004.

  1. Maarten

    Maarten Member

    On 21-23 of Januari a group of motorcyclers drove to Soppong to witness the Lisu new year festivities. This is a report on our trip.

    The man with the plan was, you guessed it, David Unkovich. According to David it would be fun and somewhat entertaining. Both would turn out to be correct. I was a little reluctant at first to join because I've been only been riding for less than a year and all the others are very very experienced riders. But since David invited me through the message board I decided to come along. Didn't regret it a single minute. About 10 am I parked my bike outside the Kafe and soon all the guys started dropping in, David being the last which I understood is sort of a tradition -:). According to plan we drove off about 11.30 in a group of seven. After we had lunch in Pai we arrived at Soppong at 4 pm. David had arranged accomodation and we split the group between Little Eden and Soppong River Inn



    which both have nice huts for about 400 Baht a night. Not long after dinner at Little Eden everybody went to bed. The fireworks that kept some of us awake at night indicated we missed a good party and the next morning we learned that the locals had been at it until seven o'clock in the morning. But no worries, the next night they would be doing it all over again. After breakfast we all went up the road opposite the River Inn. It takes only 800 meters to arrive at the first village, Nong Tong. Their collective hangover didn't stop the villagers from being extremely friendly and open towards us. The Lisu girls were all dressed beautifully and had no problem at all to have their pictures taken. The friendliness of these people was illustrated by the little boy (about 4 years old) who offered to share his icecream with David (or was he just intimidated by the size of the man? -:)). Soon we were all invited by two Lisu girls to have a drink at their house and the local whiskey was poured out quickly. That the stuff was too strong for me came as no surprise, but even the experienced whiskey drinkers (everybody else in the group) struggled to keep a straight face after drinking it. Man, this stuff was strong. After a siesta we all had diner at the River Inn, which was absolutely fantastic and I can recommend to anyone that spends a night in Soppong. After diner we went up to the village again to see what was going on. The people were going from house to house, dancing in a big circle




    to music made on some kind of banjo. Of course, the whiskey was flowing again and generously offered to the farangs. We didn't stick around long enough to find out at what time the party ended this time, but the emptiness of the streets in the village the next morning/ early afternoon suggested that they went for it all the way again.

    The next day we drove up to Mae Hong Son. A very pleasant town that deserves spending there a day, which we did. The next morning the group split up. Some had to backtrack to Chiang Mai to be back in time, David stayed to explore some tracks and the others completed the Mae Hong Son loop.

    I wanna thank the group for having me along and not bitching about me slowing them down -:). I had a very good time.
    Moral of the story: everybody should do the Mae Hong Son loop and if you're interested in visiting hill tribes, Nong Tong at Soppong will be excellent. To those who passed on the opportunity: don't miss your chance next time.

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  3. SilverhawkUSA

    SilverhawkUSA Ol'Timer

    Good summation Maarten. For you guys that went, remember we promised to send some photos. Here's the address:

    Ami Laoli
    73 Moo 7
    Nong Tong
    T. Soppong
    Mae Hong Son 58150

    OR if you drop me an email I will send you my telephone number and I can meet you in Chiang Mai. I will be going back up soon and can deliver them for us.

    Dave Early

    Ever notice that "What the Heck!" is usually the right answer?
  4. sri

    sri Member

    Hope your having a good time out on the road, Maarten.

    For those of you who might not have seen it yet, we have posted a photo of David Unk and a Lisu friend that he made while up in Soppong for Lisu New Year. Here is the link:

    If anyone else who was up there with us has some photos they would like to post (or any stories that they don't mind telling publicly!), please go ahead and post them there in our forum.

    By the way, if anyone would like us to deliver some photos up to Baan Nong Tong, no problem. I am not how effective it will be posting them directly to Ami will be, so if you would like us to take them up there, our address is:

    356 Moo 1
    T. Soppong, A. Pangmapha
    Mae Hong Son 58150

    And Dave...still planning a trip up sometime soon??
  5. SilverhawkUSA

    SilverhawkUSA Ol'Timer

    Actually thinking about maybe coming up for a night or two next week. I am waiting for some bike parts to arrive that were shipped from Singapore and some mail from home. Want to be here when they arrive.

    Where are the Lasu villages in relation to your place? I'll let you know how my plans go.

    Dave Early

    Ever notice that "What the Heck!" is usually the right answer?
  6. sri

    sri Member

    Dave- There are several Lahi villages in the area. The best one that I have visited for Lahu New Year is Baan Huay Krai. That is about 6 km down the road towards Mae Hong Son, and then another 1 km off the road on a good concrete road. Also, if you saw the Lahu music guy in the post on our forum about Lahu New Year, that is where he is. According to our "research", Lahu whiskey is stronger than Lisu whiskey, but the 7 or 8 km back to Soppong is on a good road!
  7. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    25-26-27 January 2009, it's on again.

    Good places to go will be
    1. Doi Chang / Wawi
    2. Khun Jae R1150 Phrao - WiangPa Pao
    3. Pai
    4. Pangmapha
  8. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Chinese new year is coming up again, so Lisu new Year should be on at the same time again Feb 14.

    Joy still has rooms at Soppong River Inn if you want to enjoy Lisu new year in Pang Mapha / Soppong.

    I'd love to go, but will be in Laos; however more than likely I will be on for Lahu New Year in March. ... t3754.html

    Check em out you guys & get some new photos & trip reports.
  9. madjbs

    madjbs Ol'Timer

    Damn! I was at the Sopping River Inn on the 24th-25th. If I had known about this I would of loved to have joined.

    Oh well, there is always next year. :(

    EDIT: oops, just noticed that post was from years ago.
  10. Rhodie

    Rhodie Ol'Timer

    Just an update the Lisu New Year took place on Saturday 13th Feb in the yard above Soppong.

    The Lahu New Year is taking place according to Joy of the Soppong River Inn on the night of the 18th Feb[2010].
    Check with her first and book a room if she has any left.
    If you haven't seen this do make a point of going as it has yet to be sullied by Baptists dressing up in local garb and showing their 'kinship'.

    See the report from 2008 as a cracking time was had by all.

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