Sunday, December 18, 2005

Mae Hong Son'in it up

Well we had originally only planned to stay here for a couple of days and here we are a week later...
We rented motorbikes for two days and saw some stuff out of the city. I am now much more careful on the motorbikes because our friend Ori e-mailed us that he got into a small accident and had to get stiches, nothing serious but at least he was wearing a helmet and had insurance. Almost no Thais wear helmets and the majority of traffic is motorbike. They also seem to play a game of "How many Thais can we fit on one motorbike?" We have seen a family of four.
Anyways, I am young and but not invincible, also inexperienced on motorbikes. So we go slow and take it easy, but there is really no other way of traveling to where we wanted to go, unless you want to pay up the ying-yang.

On the first day we drove far away first to this "fish cave" that was really a sham...It advertised 1 meter long fish...and a cave...but really it was hardly either, But the area was really pretty.
fish from Tham Pla
scenery from Tham Pla
After we went to this Chinese tea village minutes from the Myanmar border, which was really pretty
Mae Aw Chinese village
I like this picture
Villager. Its really hard to get pictures of people because you have to ask and they are usually hesitant, or they say no. And you don't want to make them feel awkward.

On the way back we went to a waterfall, but couldn't stay long because it was getting dark.

When we got back we encountered the beginning of a week long festival and there were hundreds of lanterns being let off, that was so unique to see, like a whole other sky with orange stars. Many that were let off had fireworks attached to them making it more exciting.
I know, Giant flaming flying condoms right?

That night we went to the festival, which was huge and saw I guess the equivalent of Thai Idol, weird.
dancer at Thai Idol
Traditional dance- all are actually men!
Festival night

The next day we decided to go even further to try and see a 12 km long cave threaded by a river, but when we got there the guide we found said that the river was too high and that we could see two other caves instead, and wow they were so neat. Our guide was a tiny Shan lady but wow was she ever fit, we had to walk uphill for a long time on the way back and while we were huffing and puffing, she hardly broke a sweat! We drove over 100kms that day.
Sales lady
I bought two bracelets to get this picture, en route to the caves.

steep bamboo ladder into Coral cave
Coral cave
cave spider, yes it was really big

Coral cave

Wierd formation in Coral cave

This is a video of Dan playing the 'cave drums' which is actually a huge broken stalactite on the cave floor-I hope this works for you.

Diamond cave

Diamond cave
More Diamond cave
Again with the Diamond cave

Beautiful sunset after a long day of caving...can you see the cows?

Other than that I finished reading the very long 'The Borne Identity', it was good but not till the last quarter. I also read 'The curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime' (thanks for the recommendation Cathy) in one day which was very touching and really well written, a book can be so simple and so still so good.

By the way these photos are a very limited selection and you are welcome to see all the ones that we have downloaded,
there is also a link at the bottom of this page
I would love to hear comments or questions about photos...

Now, err tomorrow we will be on our way to Mae Sariang, a smaller town but still has internet. We are hopping to be able to do a trek from there.
I hope that you are all doing well and oh yeah...


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