Marc in Ban Rak Thai
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Roadtrip to Mae Hong Song

Simona wanted 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 a meal to the monks, followed by the main meal (no eating after midday)
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, finished by 19.30
19:30 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 the Buddhist Lent. You can see the new part in the picture.

Monks in the temple
The monks were 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 too 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 were 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 website: 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 website:

Teaching at the homestay
Simona teached 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. Too 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 waterfall 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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