The road to Mae Aw

Discussion in 'Northern Thailand - Road Trip Reports' started by monoplex, Apr 12, 2012.

  1. monoplex

    monoplex Active Member

    Davidfl in his post about the steep track leading up to the Meo Microwave Station also mentioned, as a possible contender, the Pha Sua road onwards to the 'Chinese Tea' village of Mau Aw.

    The day before leaving MHS on our November 2011 trip we took a ride up to Mae Aw, stopping at the Pha Sua waterfall on the way there and having a look at a government special project station on the way back. Here we couldn't read any of the signs but it looked like flowers, coffee and sheep were the main experiments.

    I remember the day as being a gentle trundle on a bright day in cool air (for a change). It was just a day off from touring and being busy doing nothing except for seeing where the road would take us.

    It's a good road up to Pha Sua and beyond, steep and twisty as David says but what caught my attention that day was, from the apex on one of the uphill hairpins, a fleeting glimpse of a body of water and what looked like a dam.

    Deja vu, for I have been on this road before in July, 2005 when I took my first trip around the MHS loop. Then, I didn't know anybody or anything about North Thailand and had just rented a CB750 dog from Mr Mechanic (it did the job tho') and headed for the hills in the rain.

    So, on the way back from Mae Aw this was something to investigate. Eventually we found a road that crossed the river leading downhill from Pha Sua and it took us right up to a little reservoir with some kind of long concrete flow control where the water continued its rush down to the MHS valley. It was an idyllic, isolated spot surrounded by hills and trees with the artificial waterfall making that great phasing sound that can send you off to sleep.

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    Google Earth view where you can see how close it is to the road but when you are there it's virtually invisible.
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    The GPS track to reach it. My tracks are always a bit spikey since the sampling is triggered by distance rather than time to save memory.
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    The day started well with breakfast.
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    On to the Pha Sua waterfall.
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    Mae Aw village. If you want to buy anything to do with tea, this is the place.
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    The lake at the village.
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    This photo I took in 2005 and we got lost on this trip looking for it again. Why didn't I take another photo? I don't know.
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    Having a closer look at Google Earth I can see there are quite a few reservoirs in the area - a nice project for another lazy day.

    Jim
     
    DavidFL likes this.
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  3. Rod Page

    Rod Page Ol'Timer

    Some great shots from what is a wonderful outing.
     
  4. ronwebb

    ronwebb Ol'Timer

    This looks a great little ride out of MHS. Where was your breakfast restaurant as that also looks good?
     
  5. monoplex

    monoplex Active Member

    It's the Imperial Tara at Mae Hong Son - a lovely hotel but not so posh you can't work out a little deal at the front desk.

    Jim
     
  6. David Race

    David Race Ol'Timer

    Yes I agree this is a great days ride out of MHS.
    I did this ride in January when it was quiet cool up there in the Chinese village and by the lake.
    I also noted by the lake that they had Australian Black Swans nesting by there bridge environment walk they also have tents there for camping its a great picturesque spot.
    A trip that is well worth while.
     
  7. Johpa

    Johpa Ol'Timer

    If your riding to Mae Aw it is also worth to take the side trip to Pang Ung reservoir. The road is a short beauty of a ride. The coffee at U Bala's guest house, first on your left when entering the "village" advertising coffee (I can't recall the actual name, U Bala is the Burmese name of the owner) is worth the ride alone, not to mention the chance of being served, if you are really lucky, by U Bala's rather attractive daughter. This forestry department development may be one of the great retreats during the hot season.
     

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