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From A to B with me

Today, From A to B with me takes us to Umphang, in the center west of Thailand near the Myanmar border.

All my favorite Trips start here at home, Dragonfly Farm near Chon Daen, Phetchabun. I choose this take off point first of course because it is actually where I live and where I hit the road for my trips and second, it is right in the center of Thailand.

This is a trip that can take you up to three weeks easy. If you are in a hurry you manage to do it in about ten days. Each stage can be made by bus or car or bike of course.


 

The first hop brings us to Khao Kho near Phetchabun.

Here we go. First, we hit the road in direction Phetchabun. Shortly after  Chon Daen, we already climb our first mountain. It’s not that far but quite curvy and some people get already sick the first time. At the top of the mountain, we use the horn three times to honor the spirits.

Along the way, we can see nice little shops selling fruit, local plants, small trees, and orchids. When we reach bottom again, we arrive in a small town named Meh Moi where we can get our breakfast in a market behind the 7Eleven.

From there it takes about half an hour to reach Phetchabun. For me, this is the town where I find the nearest center of big shops. So if I want to buy cheese or bread, which are something special in Thailand or eat a pizza, I have to go to Phetchabun. More than that and some government business I don’t go to “Phet” much.

Khao Kho Banner

Khao Kho

On the trip, I drive right thru Phet and turn left on 2196, (on maps it is still called 2258, but that has changed) direction Khao Kho, See map.

Khao Kho is a beautiful holiday destination, today mainly visited by Thai citizens. We enjoy the fresh air and an exciting drive through hills and valleys. We have a look at waterfalls and if we are lucky and early enough we can see the amazing sea of fog in the morning.

You can do the whole trip by car or bus. If you travel by bus you can rent motorbikes where ever you stay a few days and get a closer look at the scenes. Everywhere along the way, though you could find small interesting sites. Forests, mountains, lakes or temples.


 

We, The Dragonfly Farm, offers an all-inclusive trip from A to B with me.

You can enjoy the whole trip with us driving and guiding, cooking and translating. Similar trips we offer to the south of Thailand and to other regions. 

All inklusive trip


 

From Khao Kho to Sukhothai

Another scenic road, A 12, over a quite high mountain range and through the Thung Salaeng Luang National Park gets us to Phitsanulok. This town is even bigger than Phetchabun and has some very nice things to show. It is neatly built around the Nan River. It is one of the oldest cities in Thailand and has many historic sites.

Phitsanulok River Restaurants

Phitsanulok River Restaurants

is a busy town, but you will find nice restaurants along and on the river Nan. The prices are not over the top as long as you stay away from the “high so” places. If you eat in common places the food is more original and often fresher. Places, where Thai people eat, are more trust-able to me.

Il like to be in Pilo, as the locals call it. There are big markets and even a bit of nightlife. The great and beautiful temples are a must-see.In the center, near the main bridge, you find bars and a lot of markets. Everything opens in the evening. Small guesthouses you can find down the river, as well as more floating restaurants.

These are some pics of the temple Wat Nang Phaya, which is divided by the bridge. See map. The great wall paintings you find, on the left side of the bridge looking at the water, inside two very old temple buildings. These are some pics of the temples Wat Nang Phaya and Pra Si Maharthat

Pilo is also a modern town with an airport, train station, shopping malls, and a big hospital. Enjoy the unique three-wheel motorbike taxis to get around town.

To the historic sites of Sukhothai, it is a short, 50 km ride. We most often stay in Sukhothai overnight, as there are nice little resorts with pool. The places are mostly not expensive but much quieter than in the town of Pilo.

 

Sukhothai “the dawn of happiness”

The main reason to visit this small town are the ruins of the ancient city of Sukhothai. They are the remains of the oldest Siam capital, founded by King Ramkhamhaeng in the early 13 century. The Sukhothai Historical Park, which today is a Unesco World Heritage Site, has been partly restored and invites to visit many different areas of the ancient city.

A great experience is to be there during Loi Krathong, one of the biggest Thai annual festivals. The whole area is decorated and shines colorful into the night. The festival has its origin in Sukhothai and is, therefore, a huge, three-day event today.

Impressive traditional theater shows, VIP dinners, street performances and lively food markets can be enjoyed every evening during the festival. The event is very popular amongst the Thai people and rooms are scarce. Be prepared and have a hotel reservation during the festival. In 2018 the festival takes place on the 23 of November.

The historical site is a great experience throughout the year though, as there are some of the oldest and nicest Buddhist ruins to see. The Park is huge and can hardly be seen in a single day. Ancient water ditches and city walls are still visible and the parks are nice to hang around and enjoy the special atmosphere.


 

Sukhothai ⇒ Tak ⇒ Mae Sot

Beautiful view in Mae Sot district

Beautiful view in Mae Sot district

Another 170km drive through great lush nature over mountains and through natural parks. Apart from stopping at some viewpoints and market stops there is not a lot to do along the way except enjoying the view. Wild forests and cafe plantations can be seen along the road.

The shops sell local cafe and fresh fruit. We had an interesting stop at one of the small markets and bought some fresh cafe from the region.

Thai Cave Promo

Once you arrive Mae Sot you should have a closer look at this somehow special Thai town. The fact that it is a border town and also the main gateway to Myanmar gives Mae Sot a different character. You find a lot of markets selling goods from the neighboring country.

Lines of shops selling gems fill the downtown. Be careful what you buy though, there is a lot of fake stuff sold to unknowing tourists. Beautiful jade stones and sculptures are offered. Also, teak wood products from over the border are on sale here.

My favorite was the fabric market in center downtown. Loads of different stalls under one big roof sell all kinds of colorful traditional fabrics. We bought quite a few rags which we turned into cloths later. The materials are good quality and we still wear the shirts and pants until today, about 7 years later.

A few kilometers down the road the friendship bridge connects Myanmar and Thailand. Right at the border, you find the Rim Moei Market inside a large pavilion. Herdes of people are selling and buying stuff here but I thought it wasn’t too special. Shure worth a look but the things sold here are the same things you find on every marked spread all over Thailand. The price we paid here is not really cheaper than in other places.

Wat Manee Praison

Wat Manee Praison

The hill tribe market is another favorite attraction you can visit in Mae Sot. A huge variety of fruit and vegetable dominate the scene.

If you look carefully though you can find some products different than the things you find everywhere in Thailand. Herbs, dried roots or local honey, also some freshly harvested products, I do not know what they are called or used for.

Other than the shopping adventure one should definitely go see the Wat Manee Praison. To me, it seems more like a sightseeing temple than a real mystical center but it is really nicely built and worth some photos.


 

R1090, the Death Highway to Umphang

The last hop on our little trip to Umphang takes us another more or less 200 km through the mountains along the Myanmar border direction south. Why it is called the death highway has two reasons.

First, while the road was built, separatists and ethnic groups were fighting and shooting the Thai workers that built the road. there were multiple victims and the Thai army is there to keep the region safe until today.

Second, and that is unique in Thailand, to get to Umphang you will have to pass 1219 curves and some of them are really steep. Car accidents occur regularly as there is quite a lot of traffic on the narrow street. Don’t worry, if your car is in order and you drive carefully it is no problem. Some of the locals, delivering goods to Mae Sot drive too fast with too heavy loads and sometimes lose control over their vehicle.

Thi Lor Su Waterfall

Thi Lor Su Waterfall

If you leave early morning from Mae Sot you can enjoy the ride and have enough time to see all the points of interest on the way. There are some waterfalls and viewpoints, as well as a stop in the middle where you can get a lunch and purchase original traditional clothes from the region.

Rafting in Umphang

Rafting in Umphang

Umphang is a small mountain village which has developed into a favorite place for relaxed nature holidays here in Thailand. Most visitors you see here are actually Thai. A variety of beautiful but not luxury resorts offer rooms for something over 1500 Baht.

There’s not much done for foreign tourists, and restaurants mostly serve Thai food. No problem for you though, by now you are used to the national kitchen and know what to order. In case of emergency, there is always the 7Eleven in the middle of the village.

In and around Umphang domains nature. Kanoe rides or mountain trecking are the activities to do here. Tripps to nice waterfalls or just following small roads into the wild forests and discovering the region makes a lot of fun. Like Khao Kho, Umphang is not a sensational tourist place but quiet and relaxing.

The road to Umphang is a dead end road by the way:)


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All-Inclusive-Trip

This whole trip and some more adventures you can enjoy without problems. We offer an all-inclusive trip from Bangkok airport to our guesthouse in Phetchabun and from there all the way you just saw in this post. Discover central Thailand with us.

We provide a vehicle, SUV or minibus, pay for accommodation and catering. We are the driver, translator, guide, and private cook. You can learn how to cook Thai cuisine and speak the Thai language a little, all for the same price.

For details please contact us early enough so we can organize the project.

dragonflyfarm52@gmail.com  or  +66 (0) 96 515 5943

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More posts for you right here

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Places where its not so hot

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6 Comments

  1. Ooooooohhhh – this is so definitely on my ‘to do’ list now. What great places – all those wonderful spiritual temples and a world heritage site. Just need to manifest the money now but I’m on it! Keep up with the inspirational posts. What a great big world there is out there to explore. Thank you.

    • Hi, Gail and many thanks for the visit.
      I am glad you like my article and hope you come back to see more. More than that I hope of course that you will be able to visit Thailand for real soon. I wish you all the best and hope to hear from you again.
      Stefan

  2. Another excellent post Stefan! It is great that you are offering tours, which is a great way to see the best of Thailand. If a person only had a week or two, would that still be enough time to see some of the best of your recommended places?

    • Hi Irma, Thanks for coming back.
      Yes, the tours are a new feuter the Dragonfly Farm offers. We are very flexible about all details. If someone wants to use our service only for one or two weeks I see no problem with that. Of course, the number of places one can see in a shorter time is limited.
      I think it is also a possibility to travel with us for some time and then spend the rest of the holiday without us at some favorite place.
      Have a great time Irma and I hope to see you again.

  3. Nice post and Great place .
    Its like having been there already.
    Keep on posting those pictures and sharing the experience.
    Cheers!

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