Following the bus journey from Pai to Mae Hong Son (approx 4hrs) we arrived outside town in the blistering heat and thought it would be a good idea to walk into town! It was boiling with our packs on our back - but fortunately a local lady pointed us in the right direction. We had heard about the lake in Mae Hong Son and already thought we'd stay by the side of it. After 15mins or so walking we found 'the lake', unfortunately there was just a puddle with a digger doing something in it! Shame really as there were 2 temples by the side of it and it would have looked beautiful at night all lit up with the reflections in the water.
We had read about a nice restaurant to eat at from our guide book (if anyone reading this wants a good guide book then get a footprint one!). We had Burmese food and it was awesome, cant remember what I had now though!
We hired another scooter and set out the next day towards some waterfalls. Again the scenery was amaxing - you can definately understand why it is called the Switzerland of Thailand. It was just mountain after mountain and view after view. We rode through some hill tribe villages and then arrived at the waterfalls. It cost 150 THB (just under 3quid) for the scooter each day and 70 THB (just over 1quid) to fill it up, and would supposedly do 70km. The waterfalls were wuite good for a change and as I say, the area was amazing and we had a great time. We saw tours also going to the waterfalls and villages and I think they cost 1000 THB each - and we got it for 220!! And its more fun doing things yourself.
The roads to the waterfalls were very steep and very slow going up hill, even more so with Stacy on the back! ha ha ha. I tried to take pictures that showed just how steep they were, but dont know if I managed to pull it off. Upon returning to the town we went to the KFC for a bite to eat! lol. We stayed another few days in Mae Hong Son because we enjoyed it so much, the people were very friendly and helpful and the food was great. Definately recommend it - along with friend gusthouse - who also did our laundry for a pound :D
Once we finished in Mae Hong Son we set off for Chiang Rai, but didnt get off to a good start when we were told it was 10.10 and our alarm clock said 09.30! So we legged it to the bus stop. 12 hours later and 3 bus rides later we landed in Chiang Rai. We stayed in a guesthouse called Mae Hong Son Guesthouse, which seemed appropriate! It wasnt too bad apart from the cockroach that greeted Stacy when she walked into the room for the first time. We managed to catch the weekend market and it was huge, selling all sorts. At this time we didnt realise it was only on for Saturday night and returned to an empty road on Sunday! lol. Shame as well because I had convinced Staycto try some fried crickets!
We only stayed in Chiang Rai 2 nights because it wasnt all too great and nobody would cover us for damage on scooters so we decided it wasnt worth the risk. Back on the road!
Another bus journey to Lampang that has horse drawn carriages, although the horses look a little underfed (so we didnt go on). We stayed in the riverside guesthouse which was great - we ate at the riverside restaraunt which was also great until I ended up with severe D&V!! Ended up quite dehydrated and decided to see a Dr., I knew what was coming though and he said I was dehydrated and he wanted me to go to hospital. We got a songthaew to the private hospital nd there I was back in ED again! Although I must admit it wasnt quite like RBH - seemed to be missing the usual drunks and que of ambulances outside! 2 days later we were back on the road, but unfortunately the delay meant we had to get the train to Bangkok and a bus from there to Cambodia, so we missed some places we wanted to visit :(
Sorry about the pics for this - all the pics are mixed up for some reason and I couldnt be bothered re-arranging them coz it takes ages on these slow PC's! Will try harder for next lot.