Turning a lonely day into a memorable one at “Mae Ngao”

Story
              When taking about popular and peaceful tourist destinations in Northern Thailand which reflects local people’s slow pace of life, Pai would be among them.  The charm of Pai not only draws the attention of local tourists but also attracts a huge number of foreign visitors.  If you want to spend time at a destination with traditional lifestyle among the beauties of nature and want to escape from the chaos of the city, we recommend “Mae Ngao National Park”, a national park in Mae Hong Son Province, which might not be familiar to you but is surely a place that fascinates you.

            “Mae Ngao National Park” is located in Sop Moei District, a small district connected to 3 provinces – Mae Hong Son Province, Chiang Mai Province, and the South of Tak Province.  The Ngao River runs through the park, and the water in this large river is crystal clear.  During the dry season, one can find their shadow at the bottom of the river, which gives its name (ngao means shadow in Thai).  Moreover, there are magnificent tropical rainforests lying along the river, which cannot easily be found elsewhere.  Clearly, the national park has well-preserved nature and breathtaking natural environment.

There are guesthouses, places for putting up tents, and washrooms available for visitors in the national park.  Also, there are a lot of interesting activities for visitors to enjoy, such as bamboo rafting along the Ngao River, which all members of a family can enjoy.  Those who like something adventurous should not miss trekking to Oloh-gro Waterfall and trekking to the top of Doi Pui Luang Mountain in order to see the Sea of Mist, a trip which takes three days and two nights by foot.  As the top of the mountain is not accessible by car, the journey might sound tough for some, but the scenery there is so beautiful that could make the trip a worthwhile and memorable one.  This has been confirmed by many groups of mountaineers, who are greed that the journey, despite being very tiring, is worthwhile.

After roaming the national park, you might visit the Karen minority people village by car and stay overnight with the local in homestay.  You can see the simple and peaceful life of the local and how they earn a living.  Clearly, money cannot affect the local people’s way of life as they still dye fabrics using natural dyes, cultivate crops for living, find food from the forest, and collect and chop firewood.  Visiting the village is a good opportunity to explore a new place and meet new people.  It allows us to experience a sustainable way of living and exchange ideas and stories with the villagers and the village’s teachers.  It gives us tips, motivation, and new ideas of doing things.

The national park has a cool climate throughout the year because it is located above sea level.  The view at night is also captivating.  All the villages in the area of the national park use solar cells and hydro turbines as sources of energy at night.  The local people usually go to bed around 8 and perfect peace and calm descends on the area.  Only lights from candles are there and millions of stars appear as if they are there welcoming visitors.  In the morning, there are sounds of animals such as chickens, birds, and wild gibbons waking you up and cheering you up.

Ask yourself when was the last time you willingly stopped your car for hitchhikers or were shown respect by a kid walking along the street.  If you cannot remember these scenes clearly and want to find a new place to relax, Mae Ngao National Park is an ideal place for you.  The only thing that you should remember when visiting the place is that you should appreciate, notice, and respect differences, and you should not try to change them.

 

Directions

There are two possible routes

1. Go from Bangkok to Mae Sot District; go along Highway Route 105 (Mae Sot-Mae Sariang) for 190 kilometres until reaching Baan Mae Ngao, which is the entrance to Mae Ngao National Park; go along the concrete road for 4 kilometers until reaching Mae Ngao National Park headquarters.

2. Go from Bangkok to Chiang Mai Province; go along Highway Route 108 (Chiang Mai-Mae Sariang) for 191 kilometres until reaching Mae Sariang District (Baan Jom Jang); turn left and go along Highway Route 105 for 40 kilometres until reaching Baan Mae Ngao

There is orange omnibus service between Mae Sariang and Mae Sot (passing the entrance to Mae Ngao National Park)

 

Mae Ngao National Park

Address: Moo 8, Baan Mae Ngao, Mae Suat Sub-district, Sop Moei District, Mae Hong Son Province 58110

Phone: 053 071 471

Sources:

http://park.dnp.go.th/visitor/nationparkshow.php?PTA_CODE=9112