Mae Hong Son
Mae Hong Son Travel Blog› entry 8 of 34 › view all entries
Well today is our anniversary, so I figured I would treat Cindy to three hours of sitting in the Soppong bus station, really nothing more than a tree with a bench around it - quite a thrill. The highlight of the morning was taking pictures of a little boy then showing them to him on my camera. The first bus that came was full and it ended up being three hours until the next one - my ass is sore from sitting on a wooden bench that long. Hopefully the trip to Mae Hong Son won’t be too bad.
We had found a place with a good looking website that was recommended by www.travelfish.org - this was their first miss. When we arrived at the Mountain Inn, the girl behind the front desk was much more interested in the game she was playing on her PC than helping us.
We had dinner at a great little place called the Fern Restaurant that was highly recommended by the locals. Dinner was really tasty grilled pork, a chicken and eggplant red curry dish and a spicy morning glory salad with shrimp and pork (and you probably guessed, several large Singha beers :-D). After dinner, we wandered around the lake and watched old women doing tai chi and waited for a non-eventful sunset, hoping the lights at the two Wats across the lake would come on (they didn’t). At one point, a pickup truck of three guys showed up and they had a little tailgate party, munching on big shrimp and drinking whiskey from the back of the truck bed. Spent the rest of the evening updating the blog and breaking my damn card reader before strolling home for a crappy night’s sleep on a rock hard bed….
Breakfast at the not so lovely Mountain Inn was a sorry excuse for food (abominable in
The first stop was a Paduang
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They wear brass rings that appear to stretch their neck (but actually, it weighs down their shoulders, somewhat painfully it appeared from the bruises beneath the rings).
The Kayaw or Big Ear people wear those ever increasing sized earrings to stretch their earlobes out to gigantic proportions and also where lots of coin jewelry. Looks much better on them than on the young, disaffected kids with the ear stretcher rings we see at home!
The next stop was Tham Pla or the Fish Cave which ended up being a pretty little park with no real cave to speak of, just a stream fed from an underground river where lots and lots of fat carp sit and wait to be fed by the tourists, mostly Thai’s.
After the non-cave, we were off to the Pha Sua water fall which was pretty nice for a waterfall, with six levels going back into the jungle. We hiked down towards the base and enjoyed the cool, misty air. When we got back to the car, our guide told us about a tourist last year who neglected to listen to the man at the entrance and hiked up to the top of the fall and had his girlfriend take his picture, right before he fell over the falls (maybe about 100 feet and rocky). They found his body three days later downstream - pretty freaky last picture!
Next was a small Hmong village called Ban Na Pa Pack where we were invited into the house of an eleven person family (see the kid’s pictures below). Let’s just say that the interior of their house won’t be in Architectural digest anytime soon.
We wound up a very hilly road to the Kuomintang
On the way back to Mae Hong Son and the airport for our quick, 25 minute flight back to Chiang Mai (instead of an eight hour bus ride! Well worth the $30….) we stopped at a “spa” that is supposed to be the first and only natural mud bath in