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Around Mae Sot

Around Mae Sot

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I am on my way to Mae Sot, border with Burma. It’s 9 p.m. and it’s rush hour to get to the bus station of Mo Chit, north of Bangkok, where i am going to meet Alain, we must book our tickets for the midnight bus.
That’s done, the journey goes well, i do not feel like sleeping, i feel good, although i am really tired !!
We get down at Tak, and catch another bus that will take us to one of the three bus stations of Mae Sot, around 8 in the morning.

At Muay’s, well, rather at her sister in law’s place, surprise, i was expecting a small town apartment, but in fact it is a big house, with one floor, all in varnished wood, there is a long outdoor kitchen and a big terrace, all this bound by a big piece of ground, with snakes as inhabitants, and lots of scruffy dogs in heat, all after the only female dog, a real bitch ! The snakes are deaf and silent, but the dogs growl, bark and fight all day and night long ! The only thing to do, push them outside, and shut the big doors, pretty good idea, until somebody gets in, and never shuts the door…. Thais do not mind the noise and even feed the damned dogs !

Miss Pim joined us in the evening, and it is now time for Muay to show us the great bargain of the month : “Vin de Bordeaux”. It is a kind of mixture sold in the casino, where she gambles since a few weeks, it’s a Thai business, based in Burma, all this being usual.
The so called “wine” is in a large box, it’s called “Franzia”, written in enormous letters, underneath a beautiful photo with a glass full of the precious liquid and ice cubes, indeed, it looks good, but it’s real garbage…. Muay filled nicely, generously some big glasses….but i drank Leo beers ! Pim never drinks alcohol, but she made an effort for half a glass, and Muay who hardly ever drinks, sipped lots of it, after a third glass down, we saw a funny show … “i am pissed” like a teenager ! And well… we all laughed for a good two hours.

Next day, a stroll to the hot water springs, and that is just a hose in the middle of a basin, where the Thais cook hard boiled eggs for their picnics. They put the eggs in a kind of bamboo fish net, hanging on a stick and deeped in the water !

In the fields around us, it’s rice harvesting, the workers are mainly Burmese. Thanks to Muay, i am allowed to take pictures and we will give them some photos, when printed, to thank them, of course. It’s also the season to harvest beans and Mexican marigold (roses d’inde) they will be used for religious offerings.
Next day, we discover Taksin Maharet’s National Park, a beautiful outing in the deep jungle, full of surprises.
Butterflies, perfects imitations of a dead leaf , showing magnificent blue and orange colors when they spread their wings. Daring forest crabs, giant ficus and strange flowers coming straight off the ground, and a cascade, it’s like being in a dream.
A paradise for Muay and Alain, slightly altered by the obvious presence of leeches, first experience for my friends and first prize go to Alain for the blood pouring, and public ovation for panic screams of miss Muay. We could not even bare in mind to “meet” the tiger, for at least a week !
After this “little trip”, a massive attack of mosquitoes was enough for the day, as regards nature !
Good for us, some kind Thais tourists soothed our aches, applying scarring broken leaves, tobacco and tissues, the legendary “take care” of Thais people.
We will be lucky to see small villages (where some guys dare give their sister to wed) local markets, walk in the fields, we met farmers, observed fishermen and picking of shellfish in the puddles.
Mae Sot is not a highly cultural spot in Thaïland, but life around it, is quiet and colorful, because of the Burmese near by, and this deserved to be visited and appreciated.

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Around Mae Sot

par Stéphane Bidouze time to read: 5 min