Blogs from Mae Hong Son, North-West Thailand, Thailand, Asia - page 5


Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Mae Hong Son July 19th 2009

After having a disagreement at Yangon airport with the woman collecting our departure taxes because she refused to accept any of our US$20 notes, I couldn’t wait to return to the sweet sound of Sawadee ka and the traditional wai Thai greeting. The Burmese government only accepts brand new, not ripped, crinkled or torn US notes which is almost impossible when you have been travelling for 2 weeks! However there seemed to be no problem in the country giving us their kyat notes which are all tattered, weathered and sticky taped together. Fortunately we were able to do a money exchange with another traveller in Baht who was waiting in line. As much as I appreciated our Burma experience, the people especially, there were moments such as these that were frustrating and were reminders of how ... read more
View from the road: MHS to Pai
Matt on the road to Pai
Panoramic view of Wat Phra That Mae Yen

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Mae Hong Son July 6th 2009

After leaving rainy Pai we headed South going to the far West of Thailand where it meets the Burmsese border and the town of Mae Hong Son. The roads here are very windy and the roads along here are famous for having 1864 turns up and down the mountains which makes for a fun time in a small bus where the driver struggles to get up and neglets to use his brakes coming back down. We had to laugh when we passed a truck carrying a huge digger that had got stuck and couldn't get up the road, who knows how he would have got out of that one. Our main reason for wanting to visit this town was to go and visit the refugee village which is home to the Long Necked ladies or Kayan ... read more
Long necked leg coils
Long Necked lady

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Mae Hong Son June 12th 2009

When I heard that Camp 2 was in the heart of the jungle and very picturesque I had to see it with my own eyes. This would have to be one of the most remote camps I have visited. To reach the camp you travel 1.5 hours from Khun Yuam town by 4WD on a muddy and rutted track through beautiful bamboo forests and dense jungle, over numerous streams and rivers. It is that bumpy that for most of the ride I found myself holding on to the passenger handle so my head wouldn’t bang against the window or car interior. Our own Thailand rollercoaster ride! Camp 2 is located in a really beautiful part of Mae Hong Son area and I would definitely love to walk the track rather then be in the car. It ... read more
Camp 2
Just as intrigued by us
Children finishing school

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Mae Hong Son June 3rd 2009

Pai is a small but very beautiful and peaceful town in Maehongson Province (north of Thailand) Today, Pai is quite popular among travellers who love beautiful nature and art because there are many chic and unique gallerys as well. MAE HONG SON is nestled in a deep valley hemmed in by high mountain ranges, Mae Hong Son has long been isolated from the outside world. Virtually covered with mist throughout the year, the name refers to the fact that is terrain is highly suitable for the training of elephants. We stayed at a small but nice&beautiful resort named Sip-song-pan-na meaning 12,000 rice fields which can be described this resort scenery....very beautiful!! ... read more
garlic field
bamboo house

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Mae Hong Son May 11th 2009

May has been a busy month with a visit from Mum and Dad and an Australian work colleague, Michael. Mum and Dad joined me in Thailand for a couple of weeks to celebrate my 18th birthday. Ok so I may have made a slight typo but they say you are only as old as you feel! I took some leave from work and we spent a couple of days touring around MHS including 3 days in Soppong and a week in Chiang Mai. In MHS we visited the following sights: Thursday 7th May Pha Sua waterfall 26 km from Mae Hong Son on the way to Ban Rak Thai. This waterfall is usually about six levels and 20 metres high in the rainy season but unfortunately as you can see from the photo it is not ... read more
The coils increase as the women get older
Rings not so comfortable
Having dinner with Michael and other work colleagues

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Mae Hong Son May 1st 2009

It’s pretty amazing, if a little nerve-racking, flying into the next place you’re going to live without ever even having been there before. It’s funny but this is something I’m getting quite used to, starting with our move to a beautiful-sounding town picked out of Frommer’s France ‘91 back in 7th grade. I had heard rumors about the flight from Chiang Mai to Mae Hong Son, and although it didn’t quite compare to the Rwandair Express flight from Arusha to Kigali—on a turboprop so old it had been sold to the airline by a now defunct Ethiopian one—it gave me goosebumps (for a variety of reasons surely). Although we were flying over Thailand’s mountainous area, it was the peak of the hot season which is notorious for forest fires that are so numerous the sky is ... read more
Where I work
Sunset over a hill
Mae Hong Son night market - temple in background

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Mae Hong Son April 30th 2009

With a monk's blessing of our workplace at the end of March and a request to teach the monks English at our local temple Pang Lor, I was definitely immersing myself into Thai culture. Khanit our friend had come out of monkhood and asked if I would be able to teach the monks English. Surely this wasn’t only culturally enticing but a way for me to gain some merit! I started teaching the monks English on the first week of April and have since committed Lou to help me with the cause. We both teach around 11 monks, age ranging from 9-32 years old once a week on different days. They are very eager to learn, mimic our sentences like parrots and we get a lot of enjoyment out of teaching them. Not only are they ... read more
Rainbow after storm - view at home
View from favourite walk
View of MHS - our home is back to clear skies

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Mae Hong Son April 6th 2009

We were able to get the best of both worlds on our long weekend away. We watched the Poi Sang Long celebration in Mae Sariang, upon arriving by bus relaxed the whole afternoon in a restaurant overlooking Yuam River and we hired a motorbike the next day to do some sightseeing and enjoy the scenery. We made a long motorbike journey to the Salween River, Mae Saem Laep, near the Burma border and through many Karen villages. We tried to get a boat ride down the Salween; however we struggled to communicate with the operators who mainly spoke Karen or Burmese and finally gave up after waiting around for a while. The drive through to Mae Saem Laep was mountainous and beautiful. Unfortunately in the Mae Hong Son area, slash and burn is underway in the ... read more
Mae Sariang scenery
Restaurant view
Claire & Lou relaxing by the river restaurant

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Mae Hong Son April 5th 2009

After travelling 3-4 hours south of MHS in a bus with no air-conditioning that had the back door wide open and me thinking that I would fall out at anytime, we found ourselves in charming Mae Sariang and met up with our friend Claire, from Chiang Mai. While MHS is a quiet country town, this goes a step further. Home to only a small number of guesthouses and trekking companies, it is a place visited by very few tourists and is in a tranquil, country setting overlooking Yuam River. Even with the noise and celebration of the Poi Sang Long ceremony underway in Mae Sariang it was peaceful. As you can see from the photos the Shan are doing a similar procession as in MHS, just on a smaller scale. The Shan in MHS would also ... read more
Lots of would be novice monk Shan boys in a car
Beautiful Shan boy
Parading down the streets

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Mae Hong Son April 2nd 2009

While the main procession through the streets of Mae Hong Son began on the 2 April 2009, we had seen the Shan, parading around the town with their young boys over the last 2 weekends. They had travelled around the market, shops and temple where stall holders had given them offerings and gifts. The “gonging” sound of their chimes was a familiar sound but nothing compared to the noise that resonated throughout the night before the procession, with the Chinese temple being quite close to our humble abode. Families were preparing their sons for the big spectacle the next day through the streets of MHS and no doubt the men had been drinking long into the night. They had to celebrate as well! The noise at the Temple was just an entrée for what was to ... read more
The colourful procession
The boys and family
The boys

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