|Me with one of my classes. :-)|
So I head north on the twisty and windy roads toward Mae Sariang and Mae Hong Son ( I know pronunciation is tough, but you get it while you are here) I went by sungtao, the name for a pickup truck with a fancy bench set-up in the bed of the truck. Well...at least they are good for some fresh air...and some rain to the face.
On my way out of Mae Sot on an absolutely beautiful ride through the northern jungle and mountains of Thailand...it started to rain. I didn't know at the time that this would be the beginning of 4 days straight of rain...had I known, I would of, well I wouldn't of done anything...maybe bought a scarf!! BBrrrr....Cold for the first time in Thailand. I stopped after an awesome sungtao ride in Mae Sariang and stayed the night there. I was treated in luxury with delicious green curry with chicken, yummy coffee, the sounds of rain, red silk sheets (:-O gasp!) as well as a TV!!!!!!
Out of all those things, let whichever you want amaze you or catch your interest...whether some yummy curry sounds good to you, or the red silky sheets sound sultry, or perhaps you are interested in what I watched on TV. If not, i'm going to tell you anyways, so get over it and read on !!
When flipping through the channels of Thai TV we were confronted with the following choices...
- News about the unfortunate Japan earthquake (in Thai, so not as informative as you think)
- Thai 'MTV' with the newest and greatest Thai-pop
- Ten Things I Hate about you II (yes there is a second one!)
- Raising woodstock (questionable)
- Australian hippie shows
- A live video cam of random coffee shops (no acting no sound, just the video camera recording customers, and the occasional water spill or security gaurd)
- And just when you thought there wasn't any more, the winner! A 24 hour LIVE video cam of a zoo PANDA!!!!! Yes the station shows 24/7 a video camera of a Panda. FYI since we watched some, Pandas don't do much at all but sleep sleep and walk around. Boring, but there is a TV channel showing it 24/7- only in Asia!!
|Mae Hong Song and the lake. In the back Burmese Shan tribe temples|
I moved onto Pai, the hippy village of the North. The town name is pronounced Pie or Pi and it is pretty hippy-ed out. By that I mean there are places to get dreadlocks done all around, people with dreads all around, hippy people, laid back atmosphere and full of things for foreigners to do when they cross long distances to be with other foreigners. An interesting place to walk around. But the real beauty was surrounding.I met a friend and we rented motorbikes (100 Baht for 24 hours (approx. 3 dollars- then add in gas)). First stop of the day was at Mor Paeng waterfall a couple of kilometers outside of town. A pleasant little waterfall that looked strickingly similar to Three Sisters in the San Diego county area near Julian. From there, after a strong (and possibly spiked) jug of coffee at this local hippy Thai place... we headed to a hillside Wat (temple) that overlooked the beautiful valley of Pai. An interesting thing that struck me is how brown the landscape is. Because it is March, and this month along with April and May are the Hot and dry seasons in most of SE Asia. There isn't the lush tropical forest you think of when you think of Asia...at least no this time of year. After the hillside temple, we headed to the Pai Hotsprings, but were met with a pleasant roadside surprise...ELEPHANTS!!!
There was an elephant training camp or elephant refugee place on the road and right there were two amazing elephants, Mai and Po. I was able to touch the elephants and everything. They are amazing creatures when you get up close. Videos and seeing them from afar at the Zoo doesn't do these animals justice. Just remarkable really! Their skin so rough yet soft and their huge trunks you can hug. And they love to get their ears rubbed. I can't really describe it much better than I was jaw-dropped and lost track of time just looking and touching these animals. The day's (and possibly a trip) top so far! We continued on to the Pai Hot springs and enjoyed a soak in the pools for a $2.50 (i know you are jealous) . Finishing off the day riding around at sunset through the hills and valleys and rivers of the countryside and headed to Pai Canyon. A cool little scene for a beautiful sunset.
I was QUITE the day indeed!!!
|Can you say Classy Red Scooter!?!|
|A pretty roadside cafe|
|Waxing never seemed so enticing|
As of now, I'm on a break from the bus headed to Laos. By tomorrow morning (my time) I'll be in Laos, my second country of SouthEast Asia. Until then, life is definitely good.