Mae Hong Son

I decided to leave Pai.

Its a nice little place, but I never really found the hippy culture and music everyone was raving about. I heard a Thai band play some Jazz but that was it. Maybe I’ll try again.

I saddled up early in the morning, dumped my large rucksack with the friendly bungalow owners, and packed 2 small bags with supplies for a few days. I rode into the mountains 2 villages over to a place called Mae Hong Son. The first 30KM of the 3 hour drive was murder. They are working on the road so it was a dirty, rocky, one lane “road’ that hugged sharp mountain turns. When large construction trucks would come through, they would raise so much dust that I couldnt see 5 feet in front of me. The road was strewn with baseball sized rocks that seemed strategically placed to send a driver like myself into ouchie land. I took it slow and made it with no problems other than ending browner than most of the Thais here. The only white left on me were circles around my eyes from my sunglasses.

As usual, I rolled into town with no idea where to go.

As luck would have it, I passed right by Maya, my German friend from Pai, and she told me about a friendly guesthouse that sits on a lake here. Its 100Baht (about US $2.50) and worked out great. There are also celebrating the monk initiation festival here and banged drums and danced from about 08:00 until after I went to bed around 23:00. They really like to party.

There are way less tourists here so as a result, way less English. Less English speaking Thais and less signs in English. I thought maybe the Thai that I had learned would come in handy, but people still have trouble understanding me. Looks like its back to hand gestures and charades. I think they are not used to foreigners mis-pronunciation of the Thai tones and also speak more Burmese slang/dialect here. Its still good practice for me, however.

The good thing is that this place is cheap. There are large markets, water is free, and the internet is 20Baht an hour! (.50 cents)

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