Sunday, January 11, 2015

North Thailand - Long Neck Karen Village in Mae Hong Song

Mae Sariang to Mae Hon Song - Highway 108

For that day's ride, I wore another windproof jacket on top of my riding jacket. The winter in Thailand was clearly underestimated despite friends' warning.

We started the day with a punctured tyre on Mike's Sertao 650 and scouring Mae Sariang for a bike repair shop where Mike's tyre tubes was patched.



Wei Jie tasked me to lead the way and stop wherever I want. I stopped at the below place where I whipped up my selfie monopod for a group photo.



During our rest stop at PTT, Cherie noticed her rear tyre deflating slowly. The puncture was very small to be noticeable. Since we do not have a basin of water to check for the leak, we poured soapy water along the tyre. Any small leak would be noticeable by bubbles forming.

Cherie patched with the leak with her handy the tyre repair kit and we were good to go conquering the many corners of Highway 108.

Vegetarian's fantasy
At around 17km away from Mae Hong Son Town, I spotted this coffee house which looked like the one Sharon and Weng recommended.

Go slow, look out for this place between Mae Sariang and Mae Hong Son.
The coffee shop looks over the Samat river and valley.
Wide selection of nuts and beans.
We were given lots of nuts and beans to sampled by this kind lady. I bought a few packets of roasted soya beans for snacking.
The son of the lady, Geng, treated us to another round of roasted banana with some tea. He refused our payment. 
The traditional way of boiling water over woods.
You can sit by the edge on this platform and appreciate the view with tea or coffee.

Cat found a cosy spot in my my rain cover.
Mum and Geng Coffee Shop
Phabong View Point, Highway 108

Mae Hong Son

At Mae Hong Son, we bumped into a friend Palmer and later we also met other another group of Singaporean bikers whom I met at Doi Inthanon the day before. 

After sorting out our accommodations, Palmer and us met for dinner at the night market next to Chong Kham Lake.

I began having frequent trips to the loo to blast the toilet bowl. I had eaten everything that the rest ate. I guess the culprit was the rice cake I bought from the station vendors on the train. I took charcoal pills and loperamide but they did not help. The last resort was a trip to the pharmacy where I could easily obtain antibiotic over the counter which eased my problem.

Sa Ban Nga House. Bargained to 450baht a night for 4 pax.
Saban Nga House
14, Udom Chao Ni-Thet Road, Tambon Chong Kham, Amphoe Mueang, Mae Hong Son, 58000
Tel: 053-612 280


A bikers' mess in the den.
Wat Chong Kham
Customised pancakes 



Cherie was clearly enjoying her gastronomy loot.
Thumb-licking good.

Long Neck Karen Village

For that day's ride, I had brought my toilet paper with me in case I need to blast the loo in the middle of the rural village.

Due to persecution by Burmese Army, many Karen people are displaced from their villages with some residing in refugee camps straddling between Myanmar and Thailand. These villages are mainly sustaining on tourist avenue.

They made very colourful shawls selling for only 100baht each ($4). I grabbed a few as souvenirs for my friends and family.

The road to the village was unpaved for some distance. On the way out, I was stuck on uneven ground. My legs was not long enough to reverse my bike. The only way to get off the bike was to drop it. There I was dangling on the bike with my stubby legs kicking around.

The locals passing by laughed at my predicament and kindly offered a push so that I could make a turn.

Seeing the locals riding through those bumpy and rocky roads on their humble kup with ease, I could not help but to find a big touring bike ostentatious.

The road to the Karen Village.

In need of a bike wash at the river, I don't know why.





Pha Suea Waterfall




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