Cool off in Hot

Hot! Frankly the best thing about this place is the name, which vies with Fang for top of the unusual names of Chiang Mai province table. There’s a small market, convenience store, several noodle shops and a karaoke bar but that’s about it — though it does have one decent play to stay at.

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There is a certain remote, middle-of-nowhere cachet to the place and locals, who see few foreigners in these parts, are friendly so you won’t have any drama if you are cycling and wish to stop, or are on a scooter but don’t want to head too far in a day. Hot is however definitely one of the few small towns in these parts that nobody has yet suggested might be the ‘new Pai’!

Lunch in Hot. : Mark Ord.
Lunch in Hot. Photo: Mark Ord

The town’s small, but busy and prosperous, lying in the wide, fertile valley created by the confluence of the Ping and Chaem rivers. To the west is an extensive range of hills rising to more than 1,500 metres, stretching all the way to Mae Sariang in the west and including the nearby Ob Luang National Park.

Separated from the border by these highlands, the town’s inhabitants are predominantly Northern Thai rather than Shan, though surrounding villages are still very largely Red Karen and you’ll see plenty of the group’s women shopping in town. Hot is neither picturesque nor gifted with tourist sights as such, so the interest lies in just discovering a typical Thai country town. Check out the local wat, see the sights at the local market and grab a coffee or noodles somewhere. Those locals are ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 500 words.)

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