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Kevin’s Travel Log: Sunflowers and other Wonders- Mae Hong Son Thailand

 Our founder Kevin McPherson has relocated to Thailand. As Kevin explores his new home, he is snapping some photos for all of us back here in New England.

Here are some photos and notes from Kevin’s recent adventures, as well as some additional information about one place he and Nok visited-Northern Thailand. Read on to learn about the popular destination of Mae Hong which is famous for its exquisite and bountiful Sunflowers.

Travel Log

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Kevin and Nok traveling

IMG_1200“View in Pai, a hippy town in Thailand near the Laos border.”

 

FullSizeRender-5“Village clinic in San Patong just outside Chiang Mai.
We met A lady in her late 70s who ran it.”

 

IMG_1203“Sunflowers in Mae Hong Son”

Learn about Mae Hong Son

Northern Thailand is known for its beautiful scenery all year round, but from November to December things get even more extraordinary. This is the time of the famous sunflowers. One particularly lovely Sunflower hotspot is Mae Hong son. This is Thailand’s second Northernmost provincial capital. The town is sheltered by high mountains and had once been isolated from the rest of the world due to poor accessibility.  There is a strong Burmese influence here, which is exemplified in the many temples and Burmese style architecture. 

The drive to Mae Hong Son is the best way to catch some of the countries most rewarding views, but also includes navigating many narrow, bendy roads through the mountainside. If you’re up for the trip, you will  also be able to stop along the way to see some worthy road side attractions, such as the Long-Necked Women. These women belong to the  Pa Dong Karens tribe. This is a community of rice, tea and tobacco farmers, who are known for their exotic aesthetics. Women in this tribe wear many brass coils around their necks, a practice which is begun at an early age. More coils are added over time, which elongates the neck and is believed to enhance beauty. Older women may wear as many as 20 coils.

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Another popular attraction is the Pai River. People love to raft, boat and hike along this river.  Mae Sam Laep, a  hamlet off the Salawein River, is also popular for rafting. This area of the Salawein divides Thailand and Myanmar.

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Mae Sam Laep

North of Mae Sanang are the Mae Ha Cave and Mae Na Hot springs. The Namtopk Mae Surin National Park is home to the Mae Surin Waterfalls, believed to be the highest waterfall in Thailand.  The forests of Doi Mae U-Kho are made up of 250 acres of Sunflowers, which you can see in the photos below.

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Doi Mae U-Kho