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On the way to Pang Mapha, also called Soppong, a village situated between the famous Pai and Mae Hong son, a six hours bus ride from Chiang Mai. The road is twists and turns, and has a steep climb, the poor old bus spits its gas, and really has a job to go over 30kms/hour. In my ears, the music of Takeshi Kitano ‘s Hana-Bi, composed by the genius Joe Hisaishi, is rather soothing next to the noisy engine’s agony on the tarmac. The windows are opened and let in the exquisite fragrances that the tropical forest developed after the night thunderstorms.
The arrival to Pang Mapha is really enchanting, a guesthouse near the river, made of several small wooden bungalows, beside a swimming pool and some splendid luxurious bedrooms. From the house, a suspension bridge allows to get to a path in the forest. One hour’s walk and we meet lots of different species of spiders. We end the walk just before the thunderstorm !
Next morning, up at 6 o’clock to wander around the village of Ban Nong Tong, where a Lisu tribe lives, they are harvesting red beans.
The way they sort them out and clean them is very clever, they just put them in front of a very powerful fan/ventilator. The bad bits beeing light just fly away ! Or the other technic is to lay them on a griddle and they rub them by hands, with a piece of cloth, easy !!