Chinese New Year in Mae Sot
Mae Sot is on the Thailand/Myanmar border. Friends took us there for Chinese New Year and on the way back to Nong Khai we stopped at Sukhothai.
My description of the holiday I put on a NEWS page I had on the website. What I said is shown here.
WRITTEN ON 31/01/01
Our friends Yai and Ai and four year old son Tata took us to Mae Sot last Thursday night. Departing at 9pm Yai drove via Udon Thani, Loei, Phisanaloke, Sukhothai and Tak to arrive at about 6am. He worked there for four years and has friends and relatives there. After a rest we had a tasty Chinese breakfast and a walk through the extensive market back to the hotel. Then we went to the new bridge over the river to Myanmar. As in Mae Sai you can pay US$10 to Immigration to walk over for the day if you want to. At the bridge there is another big market with lots of carved wood. I have some photos to show you of figures about two metres high which are carved from teak. Then it was off to lunch with a friend of his at one of Thailand's prettiest restaurants; I think it is the prettiest. It is a work of art, with swans on the water and a resident pelican. Dinner was khantoke style but the guys sat on top of the cushions so I was comfortable. This was at another very good restaurant with more very good food. After dinner we spent some time in the "Crocodile Tear" restaurant listening to good musicians who played requests in English and Thai. It was shades of Crocodile Dundee with Australian decorations.
Saturday morning was spent trying to see where the action was from an early hour. Then it was at the corner and it was dragons, drums and fire crackers. The photos just cannot do the spectacle justice as they do not come with the deafening noise and the smell of the clouds of smoke.
After breakfast it was back along the road to Tak to a temple and then to a large market and a cup of coffee from freshly ground, locally grown beans. The restaurant jutted from the side of the hill to ensure a good view of the green forest in all directions.
An agricultural research station growing temperate plants was a pretty stop before getting to a waterfall for a lunch of the market bought produce after a short walk. This was 66km from Mae Sot. Then it was back to town to see a couple of Wats including one in Myanmar style with alcoves containing statues all over the place. Dinner was at a Chinese restaurant with the usual high standard Mae Sot food.
We didn't leave the next morning until about 8.30 and drove to Sukhothai Historical Park to take photos of the impressive remains of Thailand's first capital. Driving around was easier than walking as I have in the past. There are rubber-tyred trains for groups. There were more foreign tourists than Thais most of the time and some of you will no doubt be seeing Tata's combat stances from his favourite cartoon shows.
We had lunch there and then headed back to Phu Rua where we stopped off at Chateau De Loei to see the vineyard. There are 2000 rai (800 acres) of grapes, including both wine grapes and table grapes. Wine is for sale in the highway shop. Coffee and food are also available. We reached Nong Khai at about 8pm.
The restaurant we had a meal at in Mae Sot equalled any I have been in for ambience.
RESTAURANT IN MAE SOT
We went out to see the Dragon going around town to get donations from businesses to look after any Chinese people who got sick during the year.
Photos that I took during the stay in Mae Sot are shown here.
The photos show the young boy of the couple we went with.