Saturday, January 31, 2015

Trail Riding From Mae Hong Son

 Trail Riding From Mae Hong Son

We had originally planed a bigger loop than the one we followed but due to the trail coming to a dead end we had to turn round half way and head back.

The GPX file for this 120km ride can be downloaded here.

We left Mae Hong Son and rode out of town. The first part of the track as you head off the road was a mixture of paved/unpaved, this lead to some dirt trails. We rode through a lot of farm land and paddy fields.

The trail follows and crosses the Cha river numerous times which was a nice refreshing break as the temperature seemed to be continuously rising. 

After an hour of two we hit the road again. Heading West and then cutting south we started the second part of the trail. Again we rode through farm lands and through the river, some points crossing that was very nearly at the limit with what the bike would be comfortable with. Put it this way I had water in my boots.

We followed the trail, compared the to the previous riding that day this seemed untouched. There were no double tracks where cars or trucks had been down there.

The trail seem to be closing in on us and after a few km it felt like not one had been there for a long time. The trail started to run out forcing us to ride down the riverbed which seemed to the the only option until it simply turned to forest. We was at a dead end with no where to go.

There were drops offs that came out of no where, it could of been quite easy to pickup an injury or damage the bike. We had a chat amongst ourself and decided that the sensible option would be to head back to the road and then Mae Hong Son.

We took some video footage on the way back which can be seen below.

We're currently sitting in the airport t Bangkok waiting for a flight to Cambodia where we will be joining 8 people with The Big Adventure Co for a two week trip..... Keep an eye out for updates from the trip.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Mai Sariang

Mai Sariang

Leaving Mae Hong Son on our way back to Chiang Mai, we rode what I think are the best driving roads I have even been on/seen (including on television). There are no less than 1,864 corners, beautiful sweeping bends with not a straight line in sight with stunning views all around.

We stopped off at a 7/11 for a quick drink and to get some petrol. Outside was what seemed to be the happiest dog in Thailand. Pining for attention and with a tail that didn't stop wagging. We might have given him an Oreo cookie and some water but he was eager to please.

We hit the road again to continue on our journey, the amazing roads continued.

We planned a night at Mai Sariang. On arrival we had a bit of a mix up as they were expecting us to stay for two nights. The girl behind the counter simply handed me a piece of paper with our names on and "22/23 = 2000B" followed by "I do not speak English". We dumped our bags in our rooms and had a quick shower.

We took a walk down the road to the bridge over the river. As we have been out mainly during the day on the bikes taking pictures I wanted to get at least one with the light changing. 

A local family had also decided to pay a visit to the bridge, bringing some food for the fish along with them. We later found out that fishing in this part of the river is prohibited which explains why there was such an abundance of fish around.

The evening light was reflecting nicely on the a local temple.

I've been trying to get my hair cut for the last week. Numerous barbers simply wouldn't cut it. They would look at me and simply give a shake of the head and carry on their business. I'm sure if we were in Bangkok or a popular tourist island it wouldn't have been a problem, but around these parts it was proving to be quite a challenge.

Walking back from the bridge, I ask this man (the surgeon looking type), he surprisingly said yes so I took a seat and waited while he finished his other customers hair. Then I was in the seat.....

Try explaining to your dog how you would like your hair cut because thats as much use as I was trying to explain. My Thai is relatively non existent and the barber couldn't speak a word of English (there we go assuming everyone should know how to speak English). In the end it was done and looked ok from the front, the back is a different matter. I can't see it so who cares.

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Thursday, January 22, 2015

Pai to Mae Hong Son

So we've had our time in Pai, we stayed for 4 days before heading on to Mae Hong Son. While at Pai as well as the Huey Helicopter trip we had a few days out around the town. 

Whilst out riding through some of the local villages we stopped for some petrol at a local shop, it definitely wasn't Shell. The petrol is pumped by hand by the shop owner.

We stopped along the river to take some quick pictures before heading along the trail. This is when we came across some buffalo that were wallowing in the forest where the rain water had settled.  

The next morning I woke up at 6am to get out and get some pictures at dawn. The sun rises behind the mountains in Pai which gave me the chance to grab the below photos. The local villages already had fires going and the you can see the smoke filling the air.

On our penultimate day we had decided to check trip advisor and see what local attractions were around the area and have a bit of a tourist day out. These included Thom's Pai Elephant Camp, Pai Memorial Bridge, Pai Piranha Fishing Park and Pai River.

Heading back to Pai, I finally took some picture of the river and bridge that we'd been crossing everyday.

The next morning we headed out to Mae Hong Son, 100km of mountain roads with tight curves and sweeping bends. Some say a bikers paradise.

We stopped at a lookout to soak up the views and grab a cup of coffee.

Stopping on route for a break watching the world (mainly) ride by.

On the tripadvisor list of attractions for Mae Hong Son was the "Fish Cave". This cave which is actually pretty small has been built into quite a big attraction which schools and tour buses frequenting the car park.

This is the entrance to the fish cave.

This is the small hole of water which is linked to the main river, I'm guessing the fish congregate here due to the fact there are so many tourists feeding them lettuce?!? and fish food at this point so they have learnt this is a food source for them.

There were also people lighting candles and praying just out side the cave.

Even the monks were paying a visit (while checking Facebook).

We had arrived in Mae Hong Son, and talk a walk about town and down to the lake. This is the centre of the town and is home to the Wat Hua Wiang Temple.