This is a continuation of our road trip around the north-western part of Thailand. To read from the start, click HERE.
After five days of rather exciting events, we didn’t achieve an awful lot on the sixth. Breakfast was served at the Good View guest house and included sun-dried bananas which tasted a bit like prunes. Our grand plan was to drive out to the Mae Surin National Park to visit the waterfall and camp using our tent for a night, but once we arrived (two hours later) we discovered that entry to the park was a bit on the expensive side – 200 baht per person compared to 20 baht for locals. When you convert the currency it’s still rather inexpensive, but we are really penny-pinching here, and so turned back around.
We drove back through Khun Yuam and then, joining up with trusty old Highway 108, drove all the way down to Mae Sariang and checked into Pangsariang Guest House. Then we took an evening walk though the town. The highlight was a little dessert shop named Pinkymilk, and Caroline managed to order something from the all-Thai menu. What arrived at our table was a mountain of chocolate ice, sitting in a moat of chocolate sauce. Drowning deliciously in the chocolate moat was a perimeter of little bits of soft toast (stay with me here) coated in condensed milk, slowly soaking up the sauce. The whole tower was sprinkled with corn flakes and had a generous dolloping of thick, chocolate sauce on top. And that was dinner.
Are we becoming old? Asleep early and up with the sun? Shying away from drinking and partying, and rising up when the monks walk the earth in search of food? Yes. And that’s totally fine. The alarm went off at 7am and we biked up a hill to see another giant gold Buddha as the sun rose. “They must go through a lot of gold paint,” remarked Caroline, and coincidentally we came across a large, used pile of gold paint cans a couple of minutes later.
We rode south and came to an impressive wat being constructed on the side of a hill in the Burmese style. We chatted with the workers and were told that the name of the temple was Wat Suk Wan Na Khom Kham. Unfortunately we were only given this name verbally, and so can’t confirm the spelling. What we can give you, however, are the images.
Getting back on the highway and continuing south took us down a road that became more and more rural. Once again we found ourselves bumping over pot holes, hanging on down steep gravel inclines, and dealing with bum-pain. We eventually came to the lovely little town of Mae Sam Laep, an apparent harbour of smugglers and refugees. Expecting villains and treachery, the reality was that we only met a goat-herd who helped us with directions, and a fisherman who was hauling a heavy bag of catfish up a sand dune. The villagers we passed smiled and waved, and their houses had walls of beautifully woven bamboo.
But the reason we had come here was to see the incredible Salween river, which forms the border between Thailand and Myanmar.
To continue, click HERE