Pai to Mae Sariang Loop

Discussion in 'Northern Thailand - Road Trip Reports' started by Billy Baht, Apr 9, 2011.

  1. Billy Baht

    Billy Baht Ol'Timer

    107 1095 108; 667 Kms, Averaged 55 KL/Liter

    I finally got off my butt and made the Pai, Mae Hong Son and Mae Sariang loop-and I’m glad that I did.

    Day one started a bit late; I crossed the Mae Nam Ping river at 12 noon and headed north on 107. Nothing much of interest on this segment but I did get a bowl of pork noodle soup that was delicious and only 20 baht to boot. My waitress warned me that the chili powder was “ped maak!” and she wasn’t lying. The color was a deep red, almost scarlet and the grind was extra fine so a little dab would do ya!

    Just past Mae Taeng I hit some rain and the proverbial question “Do I stay or do I go?” crossed my mind. The weather seemed to be moving east, so I thought screw it and ten minutes later it was clear skys again.

    I rolled into Pai at about 1730 and decided on a 200 baht hillside bungalow at Shangrila east of the Pai river. Clean wooden building, hot water shower, good mattress and I would stay there again.

    I spied some crosses in grave yard, so I went for a closer look. I thought they might possibly be WWII related but all of the inscriptions were in a script that didn’t appear to be Thai, but it sure wasn’t English. A missionary grave yard perhaps?

    Entering Pai I stopped at the Memorial Bridge and reflected for a moment about all of those poor bastards that slaved away building the Death Railway to Burma.

    Up early the next day I ate a 100 baht breakfast in Pai, refuled then on the road again.

    The highway prom Pai to MHS was curvy and fun to ride. The first day CM -Pai I noticed many tourists vans, but on day two there were considerably less. The road was practically deserted and a very pleasant chang from the congestion of Chiang Mai. I found the rooms a bit more expensive in MHS, but were talking 300 instead of 200 so no big deal. I ate some Rad Na at a restaurant near the pond, then went back to my room and crashed.

    Next morning I went looking for Salawens for the breakfast that has been noted on this forum but alas, they don't open until 5 pm now.

    Up early again I pressed on for Mae Sariang.

    I found my self enjoying the ride more and more and became a little more aggressive in the turns. Ok, ok, I know my Mini Beast is a little 110cc Wave but its all relative guys.

    I Fueled up on 108 and pressed on when I noticed a sign pointing to Mae Sariang Immigration. I had almost missed the town! I drove down by the river and selected River Bank Guest House and being a discerning fellow I opted for the 250 baht room-because it had a live tree trunk that entered from the floor and exited at the ceiling. Ripley’s Believe it or Not has nothing on the Baht Man now, LOL!

    Again up early the next day about 10 kms out of Mae Sariang I noticed pools of water and debris washed up from the ditch onto the road. Must have had a real gully washer late in the night.
    Now I noticed very green and productive truck patches of cabbage and other vegetables in the valley below. The greenery was a real –and pleasant change- from the brown, water deprived hills around Mae Hong Son and Pai.

    For several kilometers 108 parallels the river and I noticed little huts for swimmers (?) to relax and catch the cool river breeze. All the necessary food, beer and other supplies were readily on hand to pamper and comfort any tourist choosing to relax there. I may have to return there just to while away the heat of the upcoming summer.

    Well, all good things must end and the scenery changed from the abundance of nature to the mundane bane of our modern existence. Some kids must have read my mind because they were celebrating Songkran early on April 9. Yeah, they got me good with two buckets of water.

    The final 25 kilometrs to Chiang Mai were congested with holiday travelers returning to their villages to celebrate the traditional Thai New Year. I headed straight for Chiang Mai Saloon and ordered a large Leo and my favorite 129 baht pork chop with baked potato.

    It was great to go and it’s good to be back.

    Billy Baht out!

    And a Happy 2555 to you…
     
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