Roadtrip to Mae Hong Song

February 22, 2016 at 10:15

Simona did want to move on. Mae Hong Song was her next destination. We made a 3 day and 2 night road trip out of it.

There was only one Honda 125 cc with semi automatic at AYA. Over 70.000 km on the clock and really old. But better than nothing so we took it. Turned out it was another really week one. Sometimes I had to help with my feet to get the bike going. There are some steep hills on the way to the viewpoint for example

The Viewpoint

At the view-point
At the view-point above the view point down at the road

View towards Pai
The view towards Pai – you can see – you can not see! Smoke from the fires

View towards Mae Hong Song
View towards Mae Hong Song. This site is not as dry so it is still greener. And less smoke.

Wat Tam Wua Monastery

We had to stop here to look around. Lots have changed since I was here last time. They did build many bungalows all over the place. If you want to come here – it is free to stay and if you like you can donate. I know people who go every year for a few weeks and are happy every time they return to Pai.

What to expect:

5:00 Wake up – individual meditation.
6:30 Offering alms to monks in the main hall, followed by breakfast.
8.00 Group meditation in the main hall.
10:00 Offering meal to monks, followed by main meal (no eating after midday)br>
13:00 Group meditation in the main hall>
16:00 Community chores: sweeping the grounds, cleaning the hall and monastery areas, laundry
17:00 Relax time, Afternoon tea
18:00 Evening Chanting and meditation. Usually finishes by 19.30 than practice meditation in your bungalow.
22:00 Sleeping

Yellow flower at the Forest Monestary
Nice yellow flowers

Forest Monestary
View over the lake towards the mountain

Forest Monestary

Painful death
Painful death – something went wrong!

The Su Tong Pae Bamboo Bridge at Wat Pu Sama

There is almost a full blog post from last year about that temple and the bridge so I do not post the same pictures again.

Broken Bamboo Bridge
Last October five tourists from Bangkok were injured when a section of the Su Tong Pae bamboo bridge collapsed. Thousands of Buddhists were offering alms to monks on the bridge to mark the end of Buddhist Lent. You can see the new part on the picture.

Monks in the temple
The monks where not sitting here last time

Monks in the temple

Simona in the temple
Of course Simona had to make a wish as well

Simona in the temple

Pang Ung

Pang Ung is a Shan Minority Village high in the mountains not to far from Mae Hong Song. The locals call it Tomato Village. We went there for the reservoir. It does have a European feeling with the trees surrounding the lake.

Black Swan Taxi at Pang-Ung Maehongson
Black Swan Taxi

Lake in the evening sun
Lake in the evening sun

Pang-Ung Lake close to Maehongson.

We where low on gas so I did stop at a small shop. The owner did speak good English. We did not expect that here. Turns out that they have a homestay and the local English school was here as well.

Ben and Ten’s Tomato Village Learning Center

Ben and Ten’s Tomato Village Learning Center (TVLC) has been providing English lessons to children in Huay Ma Kay Soam, Mae Hong Son province for 10 years. TVLC opened in 2004 after Child’s Dream worked with Ben to build and fund a classroom and toilets. The school offers English lessons to the children of this poor and remote area of Northern Thailand to improve upon those taught at the local school.
If you think you can help -> This is from their web site: TVLC welcomes English-speaking volunteers to come and teach. Over the years more than 40 volunteers have come to the school, all of whom have been cared for and instructed directly by Ben and Ten. Food and accommodation are both available, allowing you to live in the village whilst you teach. You can contact them over the web site: http://tenandbentrekking.com/

Teaching at the homestay
Simona did teach 1,5 hours that evening

Quick coffee stop
The next morning we went back to the lake for sunrise. The bamboo at the coffee shop is still there.

Pang-Ung Lake in the morning
Pang-Ung Lake in the morning

Marc at the lake
It was still a bit chilly

Pang-Ung Lake

Good bye homestay
Mr. Ten and his youngest. To bad Ben was not there to say Adios

Ban Rak Thai

Next stop Ban Rak Thai a Kuomintang village near the Myanmar border. It was founded by former Kuo Min Tang fighters from Yunnan Province after the Communist takeover of China.

Pineapple plantation
Pineapple plantation above Ban Rak Thai

Pineapple plantation

Ban Rak Thai
Our ride – a bit cramped with Simonas bag but for a few hours it is OK

Restaurant in Ban Rak Thai
The famous Chasa Ruk Restaurant

Mae Hong Song

After Rak Thai we stopped only one time to see a water fall without water. Not really impressive. Did stay the night at Friends guest house. The next day Simona went to Johnnie guest house.

Temple over Mae Hong Song
View from Wat Doi Kong Mu Temple

Tempel over Mae Hong Song

Plane in the evening sun
The last flight to Chiang Mai

Sunset over the mountains toward Myanmar
Sunset over the mountains toward Myanmar

At the temple museum
At the temple museum downtown – well now you know!

Green Tea Salad
Burmese green tea salad at the Salween River Restaurant

At the Immigration office
The next morning after breakfast I drove Simona to the Immigration Office

At the Immigration office - View towards Mae Hong Song
View towards Mae Hong Song

Good Bye Simona
Good Bye Simona

 
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The Su Tong Pae Bamboo Bridge and the Temple on the Hill

March 12, 2015 at 16:14

This is the second part of the day. You find the first part here: Driving to Mae Hong Son. We wanted to visit the long bamboo bridge Su Tong Pae and did not find the place. After we took some pictures at another temple we drove back to a village and asked the locals. They did point out the right temple for us.

The name of the bridge translates as ‘successful prayer’ in the Tai Yai language. It does link the temple and the village of Kung Mai Saak. Build very simple out of bamboo and supported by wood to lift it over the rice fields. The villagers constructed the bamboo bridge so the monks have it easier to come to town and go back to their temple.

View from the temple to the bridge
View from the temple towards the bridge and Kung Mai Saak

No see no speak no hear
No see no speak no hear

Inside the main temple
Inside the main temple

The Four Faced Buddha
The Four Faced Buddha

The Four Faced Buddha
The Four Faced Buddha – the other side

Smaller temples on the side
Smaller temples on the side

The smallest bananas
The smallest bananas i ever saw!

Make a wish temple
Make a wish temple – that is what I named it. Clever biz idea. We gave 20 Bath each for a piece of bamboo. The monk seemed pleased and so where we 🙂

Make a wish temple
Kathleen did put her wish up

Best whishes
I have to say that Grace is deep when she is not in her Kung Fu world…

Make a wish temple
And up with it!

Does he still play?
Does he still play?

Yes! I can not see that any longer
Yes! I can not see that any longer

Lalalalaaa
Lalalalaaa

Only a few more tiles guys!
Only a few more tiles guys!

Sunset over the Shan Mountains
Sunset over the Shan Mountains

Why two shades???
Why two shades???

Temple and lake in Mae Hong Son
Temple and lake in Mae Hong Son

Fish feeding
Fish feeding

Inside the temple  in Mae Hong Son
Inside the main viharn at Wat Chong Klang temple in Mae Hong Son they have a Ratan Buddha. Never saw one of those before!

Inside the temple  in Mae Hong Son
You can get one of the boats to let it float in the fountain behind.

Bungalow view in Mea Hong Song
The view from my Bungalow in Mea Hong Song

Loosing my hair
Loosing my hair – that hurts all the time

On the way to Mae Hong Son

March 11, 2015 at 16:14

After breakfast we left the guest house. The Sonic needed a drink so I stopped at the gas station. Than it was off to a little village in the mountains.

Lisu Bus
The Lisu had to fill up too – now they drive back to their mountain village

Lisu Bus and Me
Its me and my small bike

Next day on another hill
We did stop for a picture and the Greek had to smoke a pipe. Canada had to go and get water – these girls can not be without water longer than 21 minutes. Why like this?

Flower in the Mountains

Small Village in the Mountains
Nestled into the limestone mountains

Small Village in the Mountains
Another rest at the temple. We got some food and a drink. While the girls went and toured the temple.

Small Village in the Mountains
Grace was happy to make an offering to the monks. After that is was back to the main road.

Not everybody is unhappy about the pot holes
Not everybody is unhappy about the pot holes

Easy Rider
Easy Riders

Easy Rider

Offering to the Gods
Offering to the Gods on a hill-top. Dead bird with rice.

Green fields
We did stop for a coffee here. Nice green field.

There is always a cat somewhere
There is always a cat somewhere

I knew from the map that the little road to the Su Tong Pae bamboo bridge is somewhere after about 80 km out of Sappong. But there are so many roads. Nice to have the iPhone with an offline map that is fast. We did find the road and passed the little village where the Temple is. There was no indication and I really did not see it from the road. But we did find another temple so it was ok.

Greek with Buddhaa

Big penis horse
The girls did try to find out why there was a horse with a big penis. But the interweb was not working so we will never know…

Big penis horse

Buddhaa Tree

Since this post is quite loooong you find the rest of the day at the next post.