A quick report on a day drive from Chiang Mai (well, Hang Dong actually) to Mae Sariang yesterday.
Left Hang Dong in a hired pickup after 9am and headed out on the 108 through a mixture of town snarls and wide open freeway until taking a right at the 109 up to Doi Inthanon. Did quick stops at a couple of waterfalls and paid the fee on the way up to the underwhelming summit. Some interpretive work has been done, but the 430bt fee for me, lady fondo and the car doesn't seem to be going very far.
Back down to the checkpoint and a right onto the 1192 to Mae Chaem . Good, narrow, winding road through tight jungle. Views open up a bit as you get closer to Mae Chaem to reveal naked hillsides and small communities. Mae Chaem was larger than I had anticipated and looks prosperous. Lunch of something over rice at a nice place in town.
Down the 1088 to rejoin the 108 and take a right to Mae Sariang. 1088 is in great condition for about 10km out of MC and then turns to s**t. There is road plant out there with a couple of km up for resealing as we speak. Nevertheless, a decent drive flattening out through a couple of intensely farmed valley floors close to the intersection with 108.
108 is two lane and busy for the 70km into Mae Sariang. Managed to negotiate a convoy of very large trucks before the road straightens out a bit for the last 20km or so into MS. Had the wipers on for about five minutes.
Into MS after 4pm; covered 250km and a bit knackered from the driving. MS is sleepy and quaint.
Thanks for the report -- many (any!) travellers in Mae Sariang? Have always liked that town but don't think there has ever been another traveller there any of the times I've visited.
Doi Inthanon enrance fee -- there's some great value for money ... not.
I've spotted a few white faces, let's say four, so not many about. The town is just my style, laid back, quiet, old teak houses and shops along the water.
The rain is late, everything is looking very dry and it was stinking hot yesterday. Took a short walk through the Salawin National Park and spent the rest of the day cowering under the AC. Have driven up to MHS today.