Photo: Khao soi in Chiang Mai.

Now we’re not adding this to the Chiang Mai see and do section — nor even suggesting this for “hikes and walks” or “entertainment”. This is, frankly, just a boring-looking pond surrounded by some comatose anglers. But the pond does have an interesting story behind it.

Salouang Lake

What lies beneath?

“Lake” is a bit over the top to describe this large pond but the offical Thai name is Mae Nam Salouang. It’s located in the village of the same name and was discovered on our recce of the Temple of the Four Buddha Footprints.

Villagers tell us however that the more common local name is Ghost Waters or Ghost Lake due to its macabre reputation. In recent years, this innocuous looking stretch of water has seen no less than four mysterious deaths: two girls from the village, a fisherman and someone else they couldn’t remember have all drowned in the calm waters of the water-filled former sand quarry.

According to villagers the two girls — both reportedly strong swimmers — and the unnamed person were “pulled under the water” by a “ghost” or clearly malevolent monster that dwells in the lake, while the fisherman drowned in 2 feet of water. (Locals do admit that, while the fisherman might have been a strong swimmer under normal circumstances, he was at the time absolutely smashed on local whisky, which might have something to do with his tragic end!?)

Monster of the deep?

Monster of the deep?

(Yes, okay, it’s a moray eel but we don’t have any real monster pix in our catalogue …)

We all know that reports and rumours of Loch Ness-type monsters occur in many rivers and lakes throughout the world but we’d never have believed one was in Mae Rim — until now. Forgotten relic of the dinosaur age, rogue giant catfish, evil water spirit, it sounds to us like a job for Jeremy Wade — biologist and extreme angler. So expect to see Mae Rim appearing in the next series of River Monsters and in the mean time, think twice before swimming there and don’t drink too much if you’re fishing!

Last updated on 6th May, 2011.

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Where to next?

Where are you planning on heading to after Chiang Mai? Here are some spots commonly visited from here, or click here to see a full destination list for Thailand.

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