Night Bazaar ; nice and cheap and plenty of places to sit down if you don’t want to eat and walk!
AUM Vegetarian restaurant : lots of choice, plus it’s a bookstore so you can chill out and read while your food settles. Sit upstairs as its a lot more atmospheric and you can dine on the floor Japanese style!
Gap’s : vegetarian buffet is fantastic and the restaurant’s in a lovely setting, complete with candlelight
I caught the earliest bus (8am) up to Mae Sariang to be guarannteed some accommodation for the night. I’m staying at the North West Guesthouse for 120THB per night. The place has got real character, the room is light and airy and i had my first hot shower since arriving in Thailand. Absolute bliss!
Lonely Planet were right : there’s not a great deal to do here. It’s nestled in some very beautiful surroundings but you can see the village’s attractions (which consist of a handful of small temples) in a couple of hours.
I did consider doing a trek here but after asking around it appeared that treks in Mae Sariang do not necessarily go ahead unless enough people show an interest. So, with that information i didn’t really want to wait around and take the risk in a place where there’s nothing else to do. I had planned to take the 6:30am bus this morning up to Mae Hong Son until i met this Canadian guy, James, and several beer Changs later i was pretty drunk and it was 2am!!!
From talking to James i discovered that he’d also come here to do a trek and had been speaking to a guide, Mr Adul (who trades under the name of Salawin Tours) who had agreed for his younger cousin, Nigorn, to take him (and only him, as there don’t appear to be any other tourists in this village!) on a 2 day trek for 2000THB. He suggested i join him (my thoughts exactly!) which should then put the cost per person down to 1000THB. We’re due to speak to the guide this evening, so if all goes to plan James and i will be trekking into the forests, doing some bamboo rafting, elephant riding, and staying at one of the local hilltribe villages (where the Mr Abdul and his cousin are actually from).
Photo is of elephant at Wat Chiang Man, Chiang Mai