Day 11: Pai waterfalls & canyon
10:00 — 'Porridge'
Claire: I should’ve stuck with my watermelon breakfasts!!!! Today I ordered ‘rice porridge’ which was actually like a watery slushy spicy pork soup with coriander and chilli. Just what you want at 9am! I was so embarrassed, I had a mouthful but it wasn’t happening. I spent the rest of breakfast working out what to say when the waitress would come back to see it’s not even been touched. Thankfully, for me, the Thai’s ‘saving face’ came in handy! They wouldn’t want themselves or myself, to be embarrassed, therefore we both ignored the full bowl of ‘porridge’ and I left. It would never be spoken about again.
Gav is a very good scooter driver and it was ace having some independence to explore the countryside. Everything is spread out there’s no way we’d do it on foot, and having a taxi just felt so boring.
Our first stop was Baan Santichon, just one of the 3 traditional Chinese Villages in the Mae Hong Son province. Nothing like the ChinaTown of Bangkok, these villages are populated with Yunnanese hill-tribes who crossed the border in mid-20th century to escape Chinese communist rules. Nowdays it’s geared up for tourists (although 2000 people still live there!) — it offers tea tastings, Yunnnan dress up photo ops, pony rides and traditional food… although we couldn’t help but feel it had an Alton Towers-esque vibe!
Next stop was the Yun Lai viewpoint offering beautiful views of the region. We’re not sure if it’s part of the Chinese villages but it certainly had a Chinese theme. We later read that the 20 THB entrance fee included a pot of green tea… we certainly didn’t get that. Doh!
Back on our scooter we headed to Mo Paeng waterfalls (with a pit stop for lunch). A slippy climb through the rocks (Gav lost his sunglasses!) to a pool gushing with fresh water from the mountains. I even love the sounds it makes!
16:00 — Lastly, the canyon!
Incredibly beautiful but also incredibly dangerous! You’re just left to your own devices to walk and climb around which feels crazy to us English folk. Keeping low and using our hands to climb down and support ourselves we ventured in to explore. I was really hoping we’d catch the sunset but the clouds kept rolling in… never mind! If I was was a morning person I’d venture up here for sunrise, but we all know that’s not going to happen ;)
Gav's day 11 takeaway
- RICE PORRIDGE is Claire's favourite, I think it's the mix of spicy rice and deep flavoured watery pork that she just can't get enough of first thing in the morning.
- We took the Dope-mobile (scooter) for another day, this time we made it to more waterfalls via the Chinese Town time forgot.
- I went climbing up the rocks and slipped on some sludge and although I didn't completely stack it, I lost my sunglasses before 'heroically' rescuing them.
- Had yummy lunch up the hill where the water is brown
- Went to this canyon place where the sunset is supposed to be amazing. But it was cloudy like Blackpool.