Having spent the night in Samoeng, I really am surprised how undeveloped it is as a tourist destination, given that it is only 50km from Chiang Mai. I think I like it the way it is. The only tourists I saw in town were a nice French couple (the names of whom totally escape me – really must try to remember these things – sorry guys if you are reading this!!) who stopped to join me for a beer. We were later joined by another 2 French blokes, so I spent much of the night suddenly trying to remember my school French – not what I expected to find in rural Thailand! I remembered the occasional word of French so started to pick up a bit here and there. Somehow though, they were talking about sadomasochism. I even checked, and yes, they actually were. I didn’t ask why!
Another early start the next morning, straight into a 10km climb up out of Somoeng towards Mae Rim, then another tough, steep 10km climb towards the end of the day taking me to Pha Lin on the road to Pai . The latter of the climbs was really pretty brutal as I started it in the heat of the afternoon. I it was getting a bit late by the time I got to the top so I stopped at the first place I could find – 3500bhat which is about 70 quid for one night!! I cruised on another couple of km to find a pretty modern chalet with AC and a TV for 700bhat which I knocked down to 600bhat – the Scotsman is coming out in me there!