Chocks away! We shook tentatively on the breeze in a small 12 seater Cessna 208B Grand Caravan as its tyres kissed the tarmac goodbye and we slowly climbed into the candy floss cloud filled sky. The flight was to be one of two in just 24-hours, after Citylife was invited to experience Mae Sot; a hidden gem on the border of Burma, with beautiful secrets, often missed by your local and international traveller alike.
While in the air, we all had the chance to admire the views, flying low alongside the border to Burma, easily denoted by the winding River Moei to our right. With only two flights from Chiang Mai a week with Kan Air, we had exactly 24 hours to explore Mae Sot, enjoy the food, sights and smells, and then rest our heads in the newly opened Centara hotel.
Landing at around 11am, we were welcomed by the Tourism Authority of Thailand, the owners of Centara hotel and even the Tourist Police. Given the size of Mae Sot, not many tourists make their way to such a remote location, but that is what makes it even more charming.
First stop was to the Pa Wai Waterfall, located around 40km southeast of the town. As it is so remote, there are no permanent staff manning the waterfall so it is advised to go with a guide if possible. With no mobile signal and just the sounds of nature and crystal clear running water, this wild tiered waterfall is a must see and the perfect escape. Pa Wai literally means rattan forest, with trees, vines and mushrooms populating every square of dry land dotted between basins, cracks, holes and cascades of water. Imagine scenes from your favourite fantasy novel and you have imagined Pa Wai Waterfall.
Next stop, Mae Sot’s famous rose garden, with acres and acres of amazing roses, fruits and sunflowers for you to feast your eyes on. Located in Popphra, Pathompetch Farm sits on the edge of rolling plains of flower fields and grassy knolls, scenes more appropriate to the British Home Counties or the French countryside. Beautiful roses are preserved using sand and other non-chemical dehydration techniques, then sold in little glass time capsules, keeping them as beautiful as the day they were picked for up to ten years.
Mae Sot also hosts one of the best golf courses in the area, the Dong Sak Golf Course, attached to the beautiful Huen Kam Fah resort. With beautiful wooden decor and thirty incredibly large rooms, fully furnished with four poster beds and hot water bath tubs, this Lanna style golf resort is a perfect getaway location.
For those of you looking for a little evening excitement, hop on a taxi and make your way to the Myawaddy Complex; a casino, restaurant and duty free complex just over the border into Burma. The best part is you don’t need any passport to cross over, just hop into the boat that ferries people from bank to bank and enjoy Burmese beers, a little bit of gambling and some cheap wines and alcohol. It’s open 24 hours too, so anytime of night you feel you need a top up, head on over. We however, after a long day of adventure, head to bed.
And so, as soon as it begun, it was over. The next morning, bags were checked in, props started to spin and soon we were dancing among the clouds once again. One last look at the city from the large underwing windows of the little Kan Air plane, and we were homebound. Mae Sot is that perfect place for that short getaway to a place unseen by many.
Centara Mae Sot Hill Resort
100 Asia Road, Mae Sot, Tak
055 532601 – 8
Huen Kam Fah
843 Moo 2, Mae Sot – Mae Ra Mad Road, Mae Sot
Facebook: Huen Kam Fah Golf Resort
15/1 Moo 6 Chong Khep, Pop Prah, Mae Sot