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Published: April 6th 2011
I quite enjoyed the 4 hour bus trip to Mae Sariang, with winding roads through the forest and a few nice villages along the way. Once there I ran into a guy I met in Mae Hong Son, so we made plans to hire a couple of bikes the next day. We were pretty lazy in the morning so we just went to the local swimming spot and then up to a temple on a hill in the afternoon. Next morning we rode the 40km to a small village on the border with Myanmar called Mae Sam Laep where you can take boats up river into a national park. Unfortunately we didn’t have the time to do this so we headed back to Mae Sariang with a quick visit to another national park on the way. The following day we rode south about 50km to visit another national park where we had a swim in the river and passed some traditional villages in the area. Mae Sariang is definitely worth visiting if you are in the area, looking for somewhere quiet, and willing to venture out on motorbikes.
After 4 nights in Mae Sariang I took the 3pm bus to
Chiang Mai which arrived at 7.30pm. From there I boarded the 9pm bus to Bangkok arriving at 6.30am, and then hopped on a 7am bus to Kanchanaburi which arrived at 10am. Not long after I heard there had been an earthquake in Northern Thailand just as I had boarded the bus in Chiang Mai. Fortunately I didn’t notice a thing and nobody on the bus seemed like they did either.
I quickly got a cheap $10 room right on the river and had a sleep for a couple of hours before having a quick look around the tourist area. I went for a drink at a small bar just up the lane from my accommodation and really enjoyed listening to a jam session. After the bar closed me and another guy went with the owner and one of her staff up the road for some noodles, getting to bed about 3am. I had already been to Kanchanaburi last year where I had done a lot of the touristy things, so I hired a motorbike and took off the other direction down the river to have a look at a couple of temples. The temples were quite large and impressive
but they looked fairly new so I didn’t go in but once again it was just good to be on a bike instead of a bus.
After a couple of nights in Kanchanaburi I caught a minibus to Hua Hin where I thought I would stay a night or two before heading to a couple of islands down south that I hadn’t been to before. Unfortunately that was the time the floods started and I have been more or less stranded here until now, which has been about 10 days. I must admit over this time the weather here has been very good with very little rain, no flooding, and the last 5 days of sunshine. I have just been taking it very easy, enjoying a drink at some of the bars, watching EPL games, the cricket final, and catching up with a bit AFL last weekend. Yesterday I decided to walk south down the beach a couple of kilometres and found that there are a few kite surfing schools here. The 3 day courses are quite expensive but would have given me an option of something to do all these days. I have also come to the conclusion
that Hua Hin is a great option for a relaxing holiday on the beach without the crowds of Pattong and Pattaya, and only 3 hours from Bangkok. I actually spent my first few days here staying at the back of one of the bars. They had a very good live band that sang a lot of Thai songs which helped bring in a lot of locals as well as the usual falang standards. Since then I have been staying at a very lovely small guesthouse called 'Mamas' with very good value rooms close to the night market and away from the noise of the bar area. Anyway, I have booked my overnight bus trip for tomorrow night which will take me down south to Hat Yai where I will hopefully get a minibus to Satun, and then get on the ferry bound for Langkawi, Malaysia.
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