Monday, January 30, 2012

Mae Sariang

January, 2010

...awoke to watch the sun rise over the lake. The wats across the way looked much nicer without the overkill of tacky disco lights and Buddhas with disco halos.

Another early bus, this time bound for Mae Sariang. Unlike the previous two journeys, this time the road was straighter, running through a forest of tall trees. There was only one mountain range to cross, and in the valley below, a very large village fed by the terraced rice. The bus was large, comfy, and nearly empty.

Mae Sariang was another stroll of less than an hour. We had lunch at a very popular restaurant, my beef in tomato sauce unanimously elected the tastiest dish in country. the wat out front was noisy. Farmers shoot bottle rockets into the air to petition the sky gods for rain. The tell-tale Shan silver wedding cakes were here replaced by roofs of gingerbread.

Our Guest House had a riverside balcony, and it beckoned. Yet another day passed nearly horizontal beside water. Goats and cattle grazed on the opposite bank, their caretaker napping in a tree. Buffs waded nosedeep, ears twitching. The sky became mottled with cloud, the sun eventually backlit the jungle in orange. After dark, flashlights appeared, bobbing on the other side of the river: boys night fishing. Deserves a quiet night. The frogs seemed to protest. And my body molded itself to my chair. The backpacker trail has the occasional town conducive to chilling out, a short respite from the rigors of travel. Yet all Thai towns can fit the bill...

...after a few days in the wild west of Thailand, a region of wooden saloons, country BGM, and red dust, we closed the theme by following a river valley that was straight out of New Mexico. It led to a town of Hot, where I craned my neck looking for punnable English signs, but only spotted the "Hot Police Station." Wish I'd seen the firemen. I got greater mirth in a town called "Hang Dong." Arrived midday in Chiang Mai, where we'd spend the next five days...

On the turntable: Generation X, "Kiss Me Deadly"

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