2012 - Backpacking to Northern Thailand day 11,12 @ Mae Sariang – Mae Sot

Northern Thailand Adventure, Mountains, Rivers and Temples
6th to 27th November 2012

breakfast in this shop - photo taken with the proprietor

Day 11 (16.11.12) Mae Sariang - a day trip to Mae Sam Laep (45km)

After a good pork and egg porridge breakfast opposite our Mit A Ree Hotel, we walked to the morning market and took the songthaew (B80pp) to Mae Samlaep, a river border village on the Thai side. The road journey took us 1.5 hrs on a dusty winding hilly road. The other side of the river is Myanmar. We then hired a boat to take us upstream on the Salawin River for an hour which cost us B600 and if you wish to visit the village further up would be B1,300. We returned to Mae Sariang on the same songthaew at 12.30 pm and took a rest before walking out at 4.30pm to the Museum and two temples. We were surprised that the beautiful museum building has nothing to display and not in used. We had dinner at Inthira Rastaurant again.

Sleeping: Mit A Ree Hotel at B400 a/c room for 2pax

a good pork and egg porridge breakfast opposite our Mit A Ree Hotel
Mae Sariang is a small town alongside the Yuam River in Mae Hong Son Province, along the Myanmar border has many links to Burma, such as its architecture and a large population of Burmese Muslims.

we took this songthaew (B80pp) to Mae Sam Laep - it was also loaded with groceries and hardware

Bernard helped to unload some of the hardware to the villages along the way

a simple bamboo house

heavy traffic along the hilly winding dirt road to Mae Samlaep

many a time were also on wet muddy road

on more windy mountain roads to Mae Samlaep

tribal Karen village houses dotting along the road up in the hill

all the way down from a hill top on this dirt road to the border town of Mae Samlaep

the areas around Mae Samlaep are mountainous and forested

loading more passengers along the way

a Burmese refugee woman

Burmese refugee houses along the road

bamboo huts with leaf roofs, built by refugees, dot the hill slopes

another Burmese refugee houses along the road

arrived at Mae Sam Laep a town of multi tribal ethnic cultures and life styles sitting on the bank of Salawin River opposite Myanmar's Kayin (Karen) state

photo taken with a Burmese refugee family

Mae Sam Leap lies near the Burmese border on the Salawin River - across the river is Burma
Salawin River forming the 120km boundary between Burma and Thailand is about 2,815km long, that flows from the Tibetan Plateau into the Andaman Sea

Bernard registering our boat trip on the Salawin River to the Border Police - the boat skipper is on the left

at the harbor

Salawin is too cold to swim in, it’s not the temperature but the very fast current

an hour-long trip along the river, with Burma on one side of us, and Thailand on the other

the water level is at its lowest at this time of the year - highest in June to August

there are many Thai soldiers patrolling along the river
after a great river trip, we were back on the windy mountain roads to Mae Sariang.

Mae Sariang Museum at the intersection of Hwy 108 and Hwy 105, the museum is a single-storey raised wooden building in a design which blends traditional Thai Yai wood-carving with northern Thai architectural styles. However, there is nothing inside the building.

Wat Jong Sung

the wooden monastic buildings of Wat Jong Sung

built in 1896, Wat Jong Sung has slender, Shan-style chedi

notice a dragon swallowing another dragon - do anybody knows why?

overlooking a Karen village from the temple Wat Jong Sung

Wat Sri Bounroeng - buildings in this temple with multi-tiered roofs showing the Burmese style

had dinner at Inthira Rastaurant again
Day 12 (17.11.12) Mae Sariang – Mae Sot (232km)

Getting to Mae Sot about 230km from Mae Sariang was actually suffering in happiness – a 5 and a half hour ride on a songtaew starting at 9.30am and arriving at 3pm. There was no lunch break or wee-wee break except upon request. We had 3 border police check along this mountainous road. We passed by a large Burmese Karen refugee camp along the road. Evening we had KFC for dinner and walked around the town and the Saturday night market beside the Mae Sot Police station.

Sleeping: Baan Tung Guesthouse at B500 a/c room for 2 and B150 for additional bed

in front of Mit-A-Ree Hotel, Mae Sariang

this is the songtaew departing for Mae Sot at 9.30am

waiting at the Mae Sariang mini bus station

Getting to Mae Sot about 230km from Mae Sariang was actually suffering in happiness – a 5 and a half hour non-stop ride on a songtaew starting at 9.30am and arriving at 3pm. There was no lunch break or wee-wee break.

we rode up higher into the mountains on dirt road, through teak forests

one of the border police check points

One interesting thing we saw along the way was the refugee camps for the Burmese people who have fled the fighting in their home country. The buildings themselves were fascinating to see: the walls appeared to be (unrolled) bamboo, and the roofs are thatched with teak leaves.

the roofs are thatched with teak leaves

it was full load on board the songtaew

arrived at Baan Tung Guesthouse, Mae Sot

Mae Sot is very much a border town, located just 7km from Burma, populated by ethnic mix of Burmese, Karen, Hmong and Thais, plus NGO expats who work mostly with the refugees from Burma, many of whom live in camps nearby.

its not fried noodle, but, fired noodle at the food court in Mae Sot town

a lion looking puppy dog
Sleeping: Baan Tung Guesthouse at B500 a/c room for 2 and B150 for additional bed

Day Expenses  THB total per pax
11 Breakfast 150 30
Sawngthaew to and from Mae Samlab 800 160
Boat ride along river border with Myanmar 600 120
lunch at Mae Sariang 160 32
fruits 70 14
Dinner @ Nathira Restaurant 500 100
Soya bean 25 5
Mit A Ree hotel1  B400 x 3r 1,200 240
12 breakfast 180 36
sawngthaew to Mae Sot 1,000 200
seven 11 416 83
lunch at mae sot bus station 230 46
tuktuk to Baan Tung Guesthouse 100 20
dinner at kfc 627 125
pinapple bread and jam 150 30
Soya bean 45 9
rooms @ Baan Tung (500 X 1) + (650 X 1) 1,150 230

Day 1,2 @ Chiangmai
Day 3 @ Chiangmai – Thaton
Day 4 @ Thaton by River Boat to Chiangrai
Day 5 @ White Temple of Chiangrai

Day 6 @ Chiangrai - Mae Salong and Mae Fah Luang
Day 7 @ Chiangrai – Phu Chi Fa
Day 8 @ Phu Chi Fa – Phayao
Day 9,10 @ Phayao – Chiangmai - Mae Sariang
Day 11,12 @ Mae Sariang – Mae Sot
Day 13,14 @ Mae Sot - Bangkok
Day 15,16 @ Bangkok – Kanchanaburi - Sangkhlaburi
Day 17,18 @ Sangkhlaburi – Ayutthaya
Day 19-22 @ Ayutthaya - Bangkok – Butterworth

1 comment:

  1. I've read about Mae Hong Son Province of Northern Thailand, but have no ideas it has so many villages like Mae Sariang, Mae SamLaep or Mae Sot. Guess there're 100s of the smaller villages around. Life looks so different as compared to that of Bangkok or Hadyai. Apart from dirt roads, the areas seem so placid and where time stands still into the 60s or even 50s. Sharing with Myammar along the river that flows more than 200kms keeps the two nations apart. History told us the two countries were warring for centuries. Thailand has been benevolent to allow Myammar refugees to saty on when they crossed border. I thought they were mainly The Karen tribes. Not knowing some of them are Muslims. Looking forward to read more about your final few days in Thailand.