About 45 km north of Mae Hong Son and just a couple kilometers south of the Myanmar border sits the Chinese village of Ban Rak Thai.
|Adobe and bamboo houses surround the reservoir|
Ban Rak Thai is all about tea.
As you approach the village, tea bushes dominate the landscape and local woman dot the hillsides harvesting the fresh leaves. Up the hill overlooking the lake is a beautiful resort with adobe style cottages surrounded by tea bushes.
|I very rarely edit my photos but this filter brought the real life color back to my sun bleached original|
There are about a dozen tea shops in town serving up tea by the pot, mostly oolong blends. The shop owner typically brews up a trio of teas for you to sample and we sampled away until the caffeine kicked in. I bought a delicious ginseng tea from the first shop and unsampled variety called milk tea from the second shop because it sounded tasty.
|This was a new serving method for me-pour tea into shot glass, place tea cup on top and flip quickly, slowly remove shot glass and then your tea is ready|
|Shelves stocked with tea stretch from floor to ceiling|
|Cute, without being too kitschy|
I was looking forward to trying one of the Yunnanese restaurants in town, but since its is the off season many of the restaurants and shops were closed. We were directed to a noodle shop overlooking the lake that served this noodle soup that reminded me of spaghetti and meatballs.
|Wish I knew what kind of leaves are in my soup. Melon, cucumber?|
On the way back to Mae Hong Son we took a detour up to Ban Ruam Thai, a small village full of guesthouses serving Pang Ung, a mountain reservoir and up and coming tourist destination sometimes called the “Switzerland of Thailand”.
|I got super excited when Tee translated a sign for an orchid garden, alas the orchids bloom in January|
|A little butterfly love for the Pheebs|
|This was the only flower in bloom in the orchid garden|
We also stopped in for a quick look at the roaring Pha Suea waterfall in the Tham Pla – Pha Sua National Park. I prefer the little trickling waterfalls that I can safely swim beneath.
Ended a long day on the motor bike by stretching our legs with a walk around the lake.