Sangkhla Buri Travel Blog› entry 29 of 49 › view all entries
Alex and I decided to visit a small Karen village about 20 km from town. Within minutes of setting off on our journey, our beautiful sunny day turned very dark and very wet. The 2 lane mountain road had lots of blind corners and steep grades and the little scooter we shared had barely any power. These conditions and the fact that Thai bus and truck drivers thought nothing of passing us on the the blind corners in the pouring down rain made for some very close calls.
For the first hour or so we were lost, but eventually, with the help of some of the locals, we managed to locate the unmarked dirt (now muddy) road to the Karen village. For about 9 km we went what Alex calls "Scooter Swimming", blowing through mud puddles that came up to our knees. Much of the time, I had to get off and walk, or help push when the bike got stuck in the mud. Eventually, we came to a mountain that we just couldn't pass on the scooter. So we ditched the bike and trekked the rest of the 4-5 km to the village.
It took us forever to hike up and down the muddy, slippery mountain, but by the time we got to the village the storm had passed.
Villagers strolled casually along the road, but the children broke from their games of marbles and football (soccer) and watched us pass, wide eyed and slack jawed.
Although Alex and I were a novelty for the locals, I didn't find the people or the village to be much different from Sangkhlaburi. I'd had images in my mind's eye of a small, jungle village, slim in modern amenities but they had small shops with Coke, candies and other essentials--like Lays potato chips. One house even had a satellite dish!