Saturday, September 30, 2006

chiangrai 2005 - 09 Phu Chi Fa - Mae Salong

[131205] overwhelmed by size of breakfast back in Rai Phu Fa:

photo by YK

never expected to be so well-fed in e mountains of this remote corner of Thailand. but then again, Thailand is e land of food & constant snacking. e sinful omelette was fried e exact same way - with crispy edges - as e kind e cat used to eat at e homes it stayed in in Bangkok. nothing spectacular, but brought to mind childhood memories of learning to eat khaaw4 tom4 (porridge) with e super hard stick-like version of baa4 huu1 (pork floss) =)

one of e many interesting plants on e grounds of Rai Phu Fa:


close-up by YK:


e flower buds (at bottom left) are so cute!

with e wonderful Phi Daeng & her daughter:


we were prepared to spend one more night at Rai Phu Fa as we thought we wouldn't make it down from Phu Chi Fa in time to catch e once daily morning bus back to Chiangrai city. but it so happened that Phi Daeng's husband was about to leave Rai Phu Fa for their home just north of Ban Pasang, which was enroute to Doi Mae Salong, e next place we were planning to explore. managed to arrange a ride on his 4WD all e way to Ban Pasang for 250(?) baht - not cheap by Thai standards but a lot of time & hassle saved.

& so it was a smooth air con ride all e way from Rai Phu Fa to Ban Pasang via Thoeng & Chiangrai city, stopping along e way to pick up e driver's sis. amazing how snugly e 4WD hugs e winding mountain road even at e speed we were going. Phi Daeng's husband dropped us off right at e Ban Pasang songthaew 'terminus', which is just an empty lot with parking space for 2 songthaews:


e white pickup (above left) is waiting to turn into Asia Superhighway No. 1, e not-so-super-looking highway that connects Bangkok (many hundreds of kilometres to e right) with e Mae Sai border checkpoint, Kengtung (Myanmar) & Yunnan (all somewhere to e left & way beyond). in front of yellow-shirt guy (above right) is all e barang YK & e cat brought on this trip, minus e old clothes for donation (left behind at Baan Bua Guesthouse).

songthaews leave only when full, or if someone mao2 roht2 (charters entire vehicle), & so we were more than prepared to wait. there were Phu Chi Fa postcards to write & mail home, a small provision shop behind e songthaews with junk food & drinks, a noodle shop directly across e road in case we got hungry, & toilets behind e noodle shop.

more than 1.5 hours later, there were still only e 3 of us & e songthaew driver. yellow guy finally offered to pay 100 baht per person, if YK & e cat would agree to that rate too, & soon we were winding past fields of pineapple & small vineyards, Akhas working in e fields, & their rice & maize storage barns & field huts. view from back of e songthaew:


up, up & away into e mountains =)) along e good quality sealed road built partly(?) to facilitate military access to e Thai-Burmese border region to guard e border & crack down on opium production & trafficking. e air started to get cooler as we gained altitude.

at Ban Sam Yaek (lit. 3-way intersection village) we encountered another military checkpoint where a road branches off north to Ban Thoed Thai, & from there on to a few isolated points along e border that traces e 'spine' of e Daen Lao mountain range. Ban Thoed Thai used to be known as Ban Hin Taek when it was e HQ of drug warlord Khun Sa & his Shan United Army until 1982, when Thai forces finally drove them into Shan state.

[ filed under: chiangrai_2005 + thewanderingstraycat + thai1 ]

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good, but not really understand your actual road route.Thailand is full of Wonder nearest to our Singapore and very much different than Malaysia unless those state near Thailand Border.Like Taratao Island,Phuket,(M)Lankawi,and Kelantan,Tumpat.