Ready for an adventure!
After realizing 2.5 weeks just passed us by as we did practically nothing in Pai we started to feel we should get out there, somewhere, and see/do something! After some humming and hawing we decided to drive ourselves to Soppong, spend a day, and then drive back. Soppong is a very small town located between Pai and Mae Hong Son. It offers very little in tourist services except for a few guest houses. But, it offered a not to far away location for us to adventure to on the back of some scooters.
Our mode of transportation
From what we could tell, the drive involved heading up over a mountain and then back down again with a guarantee of some steep roads and tight turns. Not wanting to repeat what happened in Phayam, we decided we should be smart with our scooter rental for the trip. First of all, helmets of course! Second, we each ride our own scooter and third, spend the extra money and rent the more expensive scooters. Something that is guaranteed to not break down and have enough oomf in the motor to get up that mountain! In Pai, the best you can get will only cost you a mere 150 baht per day.
Scenic mountain views
With a dag bay packed and the rest of our stuff stored safely with Peter and Anne back at Darling View Point Bungalows we were ready to hit the road! The ride through Thailand’s mountain country side was quite spectacular. Being the dry season the terrain was often quite dry, so dry infact control burns were in effect just a few metres away from the highway to help prevent forest fires. We could hear the roaring sound of the fires and then feel the extreme heat blast our faces as we whizzed right by. The fires were so close to the road we felt it wasn’t safe to stop and take a picture. But, mixed amongst all the dry terrain and burned up ground was bountiful green plantations of rice filling valleys for as far as we could see.
One of many turns of the drive
The ride is definitely not a newbies drive. I would not recommend it if it’s the first time you’ve ever been on a scooter. Tight turns at the bottom of a steep hill, or tight turns that suddenly lead you straight up a steep incline. The first time I ever driven a scooter was only a few weeks earlier on Scott’s birthday but that day sure helped me feel confident enough to do this ride.
Found the best road in Thailand!
A couple hours later we arrived to Soppong. We decided to stay at The Cave Lodge which is located a bit outside the town, but the road that leads you to it was one of the best and most interestings drives we’ve experiences in all of Thailand. It winds you through many hill tribes of smiling faces as you pass by. Also, a large chunk goes through forest only on a beautiful freshly paven road. Something you barely ever find in Thailand! The need for speed comes on strong here and Scott and I soon found ourselves zipping along faster then usual and taking corners like a pro.
Our serene front porch at The Cave Lodge
The Cave Lodge is a great guesthouse in Soppong, located on the cliff side of a river bank with extremely easy access to many caves, hill tribes, and trekking. We didn’t make use of any of the treks they offered as we felt we got our fill of cave experience for this trip in Khao Sok! Instead, for the day we spent our time enjoying the peaceful serenity of the area, took another ride on the awesome road through the forest, met some nice people, and enjoyed the fresh bread from The Cave Lodge’s bread oven. They even made us a home made stew for dinner!
Looking back at the road we just drove up from the summit of the mountain between Pai and Soppong
Now driving like pros, the ride back to Pai went far faster then the ride to Soppong. We both feel quite confident on the back of a scooter. (Well, by ourselves that is!)