Wat Chumphonkiri, Mae Sot

Mae Sot: Diary

I’d rather dismissed the town, coming here only to use the Friendship Bridge (over the Moei River) but when I arrived to get on the minivan Sukhothai to Mae Sot a girl I’d met at the archaeological sites was also travelling and she was just coming here to see the town so I wondered if maybe I should do more than arrive and depart and at least stay a day and have a look round.

A lot of Police checks on the road as you get closer to Mae Sot. One even wanted to check everybody’s ID/passport but the policeman got bored after the first few and just closed the door with all these Thai people thrusting their passports in his direction. I wonder if it has anything to do with the refugee camps one about 40 miles (65 Km) north off Mae Sot, the other 30 miles (50 Km) to the south. Probably not something I should go into any great detail about online for a bit.

UNHCR Refugee Map - ThailandFrom RTG/MOI-UNHCR Verified Refugee Population 31 Dec 2019 (Thailand Border Operation, Mae Sot)

Amazing countryside on the second half of the trip here (between Tak and Mae Sot) very mountainous, continuous steep hills and valleys. Thorough this section the road forms the boundary to three National Parks: Lan Sang National Park, Taksin Maharat National Park and Khun Phawo National Park. In effect they are one big National Park, the Lan Sang National Park and the Taksin Maharat National Park being separated only by the road and the Taksin Maharat National Park and the Lan Sang National Park being separated only by a 1Km (½ mile) wide strip of mountainous countryside.

Mae-Sot Tak National Park Map

Mat Sot is different from other areas in that it’s much more Chinese. I had difficulty finding my hostel because the name of the place was only written in Chinese. Restaurants all much more Chinese. Shops the same.

Although it’s a major route, I wonder about how many people stop here. First restaurant I went in and they immediately brought me a glass of water … straight from the tap (n.b. you don’t drink tap water in Thailand, only bottled water). Then next restaurant orange juice full of ice made tap to freezer (crushed) and into my glass (bugs and all). It was all declined but that they do it automatically makes one wonder about how many travellers they get stopping here.

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