Just a few random pics of traveler life for you with a few short stories. The image above of the Mor Paeng Waterfall has a special memory. I was traveling solo in Thailand several years ago, when my buddy Ric (Ricardo), (my buddy from from this post) met me in Thailand when I was staying there as my main hub one year. He was working in Tokyo, where we met and decided to travel for a month.
Ric had no plan as it was kinda last minute. No problem, “meet me in Bangkok”, I said. Cool. Among the places we bussed, trained and motor biked to was Mae Hong Son province in Thailand. This is in the Northwest on the Myanmar border. We went off to Pai, a sleepy backpacker town full of many ethnic Shan people as well as many Karen (Ka-yin) and other hill tribes near by.
There was still actually some rebel groups fighting the Myanmar (Burmese) government as well as Thai military involved in skirmishes on occasion. Of course the average backpacker back then was oblivious. Pai is a backpacker heaven. (See some more recent beautiful pictures by Amy Rollo!) A decade later it is still the sleepy countryside but with improved wi-fi for flash-packing digital nomads!
So off we went motorbiking wherever and going of of the main road down dirt roads with random opium hawkers popping out from behind trees and out of the jungle! HAHAHA! Man it was funny, but people popping out of the brush like ghosts can spook you! We almost got stuck on unpaved tracks because of mud and big holes! Ric and I met random Karen girls who sent us in the direction of local “undocumented” families still on some land. Off we went!
On our way back to town we detoured and dragged our motor mike through dirt roads and mud, up hills, to a clearing in the jungle, and were rewarded with this now semi popular Mo Paeng waterfall seen in the photo above! Back then there was nothing near and people were basically told by word of mouth.
Mor Paeng Waterfall Kills my Camera!
Of course I went to the top of the rocks, trying to get some shots looking down to the clearing, only for my not so small 250lb self to slip an fall right in! At the time I had a brand new point and shoot camera that went in with me! As I was falling I tossed it in the air trying to hit the brush and not the water but I didn’t make it! Ric almost caught it and scooped it up within a second. But…..Damn.The Camera was done! I was all wet, and I still had at least 6-8 weeks left on the road with no camera! It powered up but acted strange.
To make matters worse, we had a flight from Bangkok in a few days to Hanoi, Vietnam. Dejected, I looked up a list of Hewlett Packard offices world wide, hoping a major city in Asia would be on the list as it was a huge worldwide corporation. I still had a full warranty on the camera and low and behold! There was a Hewlett Packard office in Bangkok!!!
I sauntered down there as soon as we made our way back on an overnight train from Chiang Mai. I had a copy of my warranty with me and the proof of purchase. (No smart phones then). I was at least hoping for a repair that I could pick up at a later date. I still considering shelling out for a pocket cam for Vietnam. I explained to the clerk that It was acting funny and moisture was the problem. Her English was OK, but she sent for a tech from the back and his English was fine. It was very super humid and rainy at the time and he was too busy for the full story, although he was nice as could be. He just took the camera to the back to check it out.
I sat around and relaxed and he came out about 45 minutes later with a brand new camera!! I was there for maybe an hour tops, and they couldn’t get it to power up to check it. They must’ve been busy or just wanted to see me smile! WOW! He even had everything filled out for me so my warranty was still intact to continue on from the new camera. One of the many times I got lucky while traveling. I was already thinking how much a new one would cost me! We caught our flight the next morning and all was well!!!! Sometimes you actually get something for some accrued good karma I guess!!!
That was a fun group of memories and of course there are more. Why don’t you make your own? Here are some links you may find helpful.
This a pretty good book to prep you for South East Asia’s mainland with Northern Thailand , or a pre order for just Thailand for the newest publication. These Oboz, which I never heard of before last year, were the most comfortable hiking shoes I have had yet. (Women’s version.) I am a heavy guy and my feet were happy on my 10 weeks out last year.
Thanks again for stopping by and leave a comment below! I would love to hear if you have been to the Mae Hong Son or Pai region! If you have a moment add a like to my FB page from the link in the header! See ya!