Thailand Jeep Trip – Part 3: Pai to Mae Hong Son

After a few days in Pai, Fabien, Sylvia and I left for Mae Hong Son. Mae Hong Son is a town further out and a jumping off point to go visit local hill tribes. The drive there was stunning and having a giant Dutch girl stuffed into the converted half backseat of the Suzuki was pretty funny.

As time passed, I realized that Fabien was right, and we had a major liability on our hands. Sylvia complained about everything during the trip: the music, the bumpy road, her desire not to stay in some of the smaller villages to which we drove after being fed and invited by some extremely generous locals. She also made unbelievably awkward comments, saying things like, "Well there are three of us now. Who is going to become the third wheel?" Or "I really just want to travel all over Southeast Asia; all I really need now is a boyfriend to do it with." For reasons I can't explain, this sounded so desperate, and it made every moment with her unbearably awkward.

Her complaints continued all through Mae Hong Son and into the following day when we visited Long Neck Tribes on the border of Burma. That was the day that Sylvia got sick, and although she was puking into plastic bags every hour on the hour, she insisted that she come. She tagged along and spent the day dry heaving and puking; she required babysitting in the car for hours at a time. I was nearing my wit’s end and Fabien had already blown his fuse a few times.

The giant Dutch girl had to go.

We dropped her off in Mae Hong Son, so she could catch a bus. We continued on to Chang Rai, the northernmost large city in Thailand and the gateway to the notorious Golden Triangle: the place where Thailand, Burma, and Laos meet.