Time to leave Mae Sot. If I don’t want to backtrack and go the same way as I came, the only option is a 220 kilometres trip by a dusty and noisy song-taew. When I planned this northern loop, I feared most for just this part, the trip from Mae Sot to Mae Sariang. I left Mae Sot at 8.30 o’clock in the morning. The first 150 – 160 kilometres went rather well, the road was rather flat and we passed some villages and I had some glimpses of a huge Karen refuge camp. The last 60 or 70 kilometres after when we left the Tak Province for the Mae Hong Son Province, the road went steep uphill and soon start to winding and long parts was like a serpentine road. Welcome to Mae Hong Son Province and it was just as I remember it from last year. During the last part of the trip, the average speed was so low as 30-35 km/h. Finally after 6 hours I arrived to Mae Sariang. From the bus station it was a short walk to River House Hotel, which was number one on my list. River House Hotel turned out to be a beautiful teak house with a huge veranda facing the Yom River. I got a very nice and beautiful room, even the toilet was made in teak wood, maybe not so practical but nice anyway.
On my pre made list of where to go and what to do on this northern loop trip. For Mae Sariang, I had only one note over what to see, Salawin River. On this my one and only full day in Mae Sariang, I decide to go on an organized day trip to Salawin River. After an early breakfast at my hotel, there I actually was freezing, the temperature might be something about 17-19 °C in the morning. I must admit that I missed my jacket, which I have in deposit in Chiang Mai, but I wished very much that I had it here and now. However, 8.30 o’clock a new 50 kilometres song-taew trip took off. Uphill, downhill, sharp left and sharp right in an uncountable times for one and a half hour until I arrived to a small village along the a river which supposed to be the Salawin River, one of several rivers which marks the border between Thailand and Burma or if I should be very correct, Myanmar. From the Thai village I joined a one and half hour long tail boat-trip downstream the Salawin River.