06.05.2009 - 06.05.2009 35 °C
When we first arrived in Mae Sariang I wondered whether two days were too many. Most people seem to stay only one. I wondered how we would spend our second day here. The answer was obvious really - I would go for a bike ride and Katherine would shop.
Last time we travelled together through Thailand Katherine was shellshocked. There was a lot of new sights, smells and experiences to take in. This time she has a lot more confidence so she is more relaxed and enjoying it more. She even managed to get fleeced in the market all by herself. Go Katherine! So Katherine wandered around town doing what she likes best.
And I did what I like best - I biked to one of the entry points to Salawin National Park. There is a park headquarters on the Salawin River, north of Mae Sam Laep where we were yesterday. There is a road to it too I discovered today - 37km through the park itself. No, I didn't bike all the way there, I just did a short trip out to the closest park headquarters. And despite being on a borrowed bike that was too long in the reach and had seen better days, I enjoyed myself immensely.
I stopped at the visitor centre to look at photos of the park and read the only two paragraphs of English I could find (apart from some signboards). The park headquarters was a further kilometre down the road and I was the only visitor. I located the nature trail and had a happy hour traipsing through the forest looking for snakes. I didn't see any but did see a few geckos and a couple of birds. The nature trail had 15 stations and if I could read Thai I could tell you all about them. It actually took some time to walk the trail and just as I was wondering whether I was going to turn up several kilometres from where I'd started I popped back out to the park headquarters.
Next I biked through some rice paddy fields to a wat with a building on a hill. It provided great views over the valley and was a peaceful way to spend a few moments, contemplating the world. I could have visited a couple of Karen villages too but it was lunchtime and I was thirsty and I feel a bit awkward walking through villages looking at people's lives. I think I have seen plenty of villages now, like I have seen plenty of wats, so I don't feel the need anymore.
Later today I'm going to put my sweaty clothes back on and bike to another wat for evening sunset views over the valley.
I'm looking forward to the next place we are going to in Mae Hong Son as it has a swimming pool! Cool.