The first place I've been to without a 7-Eleven

Mae Sariang Travel Blog

 › entry 14 of 100 › view all entries
There wasn't much to Mae Sariang, a little town on a little river. The only reason to go there is to break the southern route from Mae Hong Son to Chiang Mai, or to go trekking. Jungle treks are big in northern Thailand; you visit minority villages and walk through jungle and ride elephants and things like that. Thing is, you have to pick your trekking company well cos if you don't, your trek will be crap. The minority villages will be souvenir stalls and nothing else; the walking will be along wide trails that your guide has walked along every four days for the past six years.

The Lonely Planet reckoned you're less likely to get a crap trek if you go from one of the smaller towns, and they recommended a guy in Mae Sariang called Mr Salawin. If he was unavailable then I probably wouldn't get another chance to trek before Chiang Rai. But I got lucky: he had a trek leaving tomorrow, and three people already signed up. Two Australians and a Danish guy. All in their fifties, though, which worried me. Told Salawin I'd go away and think about it.

By nine o'clock that night I'd decided to go, and I went back to Salawin's office to tell him. I thought it'd take five minutes, and I'd go and have something to eat straight after. Didn't work out like that.

Salawin was sitting on a mat in his office when I arrived, with a couple of lads wandering in and out. He was drinking Thai rice whiskey and watching the news on telly. When I entered he invited me to sit down and have a drink. So I did, and I ended up there for an hour and more talking to the guy and drinking his booze. He was a bit drunk, and he wanted to talk politics. At length.

Anyway, when I left it was past ten o'clock and all the restaurants were shut. Walked back to my room in a slightly wobbly line.
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Mae Sariang
photo by: Vibrant_Goo