Monday, March 09, 2015

Mae Hong Son Loop - Mae Sariang

In hindsight we were lucky to just show up at the Chiang Mai Arcade Bus Station and then get on an 8:00 am bus to Mae Sariang, a hilly 180 kms to the west. Now, some 500 kms into the so-called Mae Hong Son Loop, we have learned that local buses are often full+.

The 600 km Mae Hong Son Loop starts in Chiang Mai, makes a loop west to the Burmese border before returning to Chiang Mai and can be done either clockwise (south first) or counter clockwise (north first). Our plan is clockwise with overnight stops in Mae Sariang, Mae Hong Son, and Pai.

So we head out on the 8 am local bus, no air-con, but don't get going until at least 8:30 as we wait for a straggler. I'm sweating already. Around 9 we pass the Chiang Mai Airport, about 10 kms from where we started. Whew. Then through the aptly named Hot at 10:30. Eventually we gain some elevation to 800 meters (2000 ft) but the thermometer on my daypack does not move from 95 F, and then its back down to 200 meters.

Not many buses pass through Mae Sariang each day so when we pull in to the station it's a bit chaotic as folks simultaneously try to embark and disembark (us) with cargo stashed under the bus and in the aisle. But there are a string of comfy guesthouses along the river just one block from the station and soon we are installed in the Good View Guest House with a balcony overlooking the river which is just more than a trickle in the dry season.

We grabbed seats on the back row of the bus where there was breeze from the always open rear door. Note that the locals like to keep the windows closed even thought there is no air-con.
Mae Sariang, Thailand

Mae Sariang, Thailand

As the rear door was always open....
Mae Sariang, Thailand

Pine trees are planted at higher elevations to prevent soil erosion.
Mae Sariang, Thailand

Some shots from the Good View Guest House balconies. First, sunset.
Mae Sariang, Thailand

Breakfast.
Mae Sariang, Thailand

Buying mangoes at the night market.
Mae Sariang, Thailand

Night market + Temple.
Mae Sariang, Thailand

Front yard papayas.
Mae Sariang, Thailand

The principle Wat/Temple.
Mae Sariang, Thailand

A couple of shophouses built with teak.
Mae Sariang, Thailand

Mae Sariang, Thailand

Gasman.
Mae Sariang, Thailand

Eggman.
Mae Sariang, Thailand




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