The route: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/186151357 (67km – total 5291km)
The chat: Another short but sharp day – almost 2000m of climbing (but more descending!) to the only city (really just a town) on the route – Mae Hong Son. After enjoying the colourful market at Soppong – where tribal women traded wild mushrooms and moonshine for mobile phones and shampoo – we ticked off another few (lowish) mountain passes, stopping for noodles en route, arriving at Mae Hong Son mid afternoon. I’m sure it was harder than that at the time, but with wonderful valley and mountain views, the day was no hardship.
Mae Hong Son apparently has a significant Burmese influence – it felt pretty Thai to us, and none the worse for it. The ubiquitous pagodas are a little different in design, the food is more mountain-y (more red meat and heavier in style) but the people and culture are undoubtedly Thai.
After checking out the various accommodation options (Emma insists on it) we plumped for the shared bathroom budget room at Coffee Morning – a bookshop cum cafe cum mini guesthouse. As the only guests, we had the whole place (including the shared bathroom) to ourselves – bargain!
After dinner at the difficult to find but very good Burmese influenced Ban Phleng, we waited out a proper monsoon shower before hitting the sack.