…The Great Northern Road Trip 2020 : Day 5
The story starts HERE.
Day 5 was a challenge … by design. I was heading from Tak to the small and not very well-known town of Mae Sariang. It’s roughly halfway between the better-known towns of Mae Sot (where I was yesterday) and Mae Hong Son (where I hope to reach tomorrow.)
I had a choice. I could head back over the mountains to Mae Sot on the same road as yesterday, and then head up the challenging-in-places road along the Burmese border. Nice views, but mostly easy driving. Or, I could head north for an hour on the boring Highway 1 before plunging vaguely westward on a variety of wiggly mountain roads to reach Mae Sariang. The blue road below…
Well, that’s not a choice at all really. I wanted to experience real mountain roads and views. Plus, I had driven the other road about four or five years ago, so wanted something new. I must admit, it was a challenge in places. 2nd and 3rd gear bends with frequent snick-it-into first uphill hairpins. For four hours.
Traffic was quite heavy in places, and get stuck behind a large truck and you can be stuck for twenty minutes. Get stuck behind ten other vehicles that are stuck behind a truck and you might as well sit back and enjoy the view. So I did. And you’re wondering why you can’t enjoy it too.
Well, on these particular roads there was not one place to stop that had a view. No laybys, viewpoints, food stalls, nothing. Stopping on a twisty two-lane road with no verges would have been both
So, what about Wat Phrathat Thingy in the article’s title?
It was a day of wats. I’d planned to visit three. All of which were in the middle of nowhere. Pretty-much the whole route was the middle of nowhere. Small villages were 20-30kms apart. Anything that might be called a town at least 50kms apart. The rest of the route was full of nothing but mountains and trees.
So, Wat Phrathat Ha Duang I found by accident. I was driving though one small town when I noticed an archway – which usually means there’s a wat on the other side somewhere – with a long driveway.
So, I did a quick u-ey and headed down the driveway…
Hmm, nice place. I wandered around…
And then asked Maxie to get a quick aerial shot…
A good find. Onto the next one.