It would be hard to imagine a better day on the road than what we had today! The morning started off lazily, like all our other mornings so far. We decided to leave the National Park via Mae Cham, and as soon as we left the park we were driving on amazingly scenic, vegetation dense, windy road. Within only about half an hour we saw a sign for a waterfall that we decided to stop and see. It was such a spectacular setting; even the carpark looked like nature’s paradise. We walked the 100m or so into the waterfall and it was so lovely that we ended up spending the best part of an hour there. We climbed out onto a large flat rock in the middle of the falls, and watched birds, literally hundreds of butterflies, and of course the waterfall.
After lazing in the sun there, we thought it best to hit the road again. The narrow windy road continued for probably another hour or so before we stopped in Mae Cham for lunch.
We then continued along less scenic roads towards Khun Yuam; as this journey progressed it got more and more smoky as we got closer to the forest fires in Khum Yuam.
Although we were all a little apprehensive about driving through all the smoke, even that, unexpectedly, was very enjoyable! Of course our view was very diminished, which was the only undesirable part, as the trees burning were all sandalwood or a minty/euycalyptus type trees (like the ones in Laos we use to start fires and smell great) and so it was the best possible smoke experience because it smelt so good.
We tried to stay in Khum Yuam but because of all the forest fires the only hotel was full with film crew for news channels so we headed on to Mae Hong Son.
This, as it turned out, was the best decision to end the day on a high! The road was the best road we’ve been on, with huge sweeping corners the entire way and excellent quality roads. We got to go fast for the first time today, and the endless corners were just so much fun. (The roads prior to this were just too narrow and small to go fast).
On arrival in Mae Hong Son we rode around the lake and found some cute little bungalows to stay in and then wandered around the town on foot for a welcome break from sitting on motorbike seats all day. We had dinner and then returned via the lake with beautiful views of the stupa reflecting in the lake. A good day all round!