Sunday, March 15, 2015

Loop to Chiang Rai - Tha Ton

The Mae Hong Son Loop usually ends in Chiang Mai but we decided to cut off the last 45 kms or so and head north on another loop: Tha Ton to Mae Salong to Chiang Rai then back to Chiang Mai; while hoping for cooler temps as Mae Salong is at 1000 meters (~3300 ft).

We were slightly apprehensive about getting from Pai to to Tha Ton as it involved an on-the-side-of-the-road dropoff in Mae Malai, then catching bus No. 1231 on its way north to Fang where we would switch to a Songtheaw (pickup truck with benches in the back) to Tha Ton; total time about 6 hours if all goes well.

All did go well. The 8:00 minivan pulled out of Pai on time. A local woman with some English who also wanted to catch bus 1231 to Fang got dropped of with us on the side of the road in Mae Malai. She knew the way, about 200 meters, to the well-marked bus 1231 bus stop. Although the first passing bus 1231 did not stop for some unknown reason, the next one came by 30 minutes later and was headed all the way to Tha Ton - Woohoo! - no need to change to a pickup in Fang. And we did arrive in Tha Ton just after 2:00 pm - 6+ hours.

Tha Ton is located on the Kok River about 100 kms west of northern tourist hub Chiang Rai and is the start of downstream boat trips to Chiang Rai and terminus of upstream trips from Chiang Rai. No boat ride for us. After hitting the very cold pool, we walked up to the temples above town for a sunset view of sorts (very hazy), had a tasty dinner, and hit the sack early to get up for the 8:30 pickup truck to Mae Salong.

View out the front of the minivan as we head south on Route 1095 through some of the 1800+ curves between Pai and Chiang Mai.
Tha Ton, Thailand

There are no 100% vegetarian restaurants in Tha Ton but next to our hotel there was a noodle shop where the nice lady cooked up some veggie noodle soup with big flat rice noodles plus pickled vegetables, and a veggie papaya salad.
Tha Ton, Thailand

Tha Ton, Thailand

The air was hot, the pool frigid.
Tha Ton, Thailand

Looking towards our hotel from up on the hill.
Tha Ton, Thailand

Buddha with beehives.
Tha Ton, Thailand

Standing Buddha.
Tha Ton, Thailand

View?
Tha Ton, Thailand

Beautiful Stupa.
Tha Ton, Thailand

We make ourselves a radler!
Tha Ton, Thailand

The bridge - it's a hangout.
Tha Ton, Thailand

And view of the Kok River from the bridge just after sunrise.
Mae Salong, Thailand

Mimosa fun. Link: here.

2 comments:

Liz said...

All these wonderful pictures of Asian vegetarian food resulted in me ordering Chinese take-out food for us for dinner. :)

john said...

LOL