We took a bus from Sukhothai to Mae Sot, with the intention of continuing to Um Phang for trekking. After a 3 hour minivan ride, we were barreling through the Mae Sot municipal market toward a dead end drop-off point. We careened past 2-wheeled bicycles and scooters, bicycle carts loaded 6 feet high and almost as wide with boxes of clothing, bags of produce, or random propane tanks and engines, and women with giant baskets of flowers and what-not balanced on their heads.
Mae Sot is a border town on the western edge of Thailand; a trading outpost about 5 mi. from Burma. It is also fairly rural, and this all leads to an interesting mixture of Thai and Burmese nationals, as well as Karen tribespeople. In the midst of all this diversity, we certainly didn't go unnoticed. This was not a heavily-frequented tourist destination, so we really stood out and got a lot of stares, especially from children. Our stay in Mae Sot consisted mainly of walking the market and eating - we followed Lonely Planet's recommendation and sought out a hole-in-the-wall Indian restaurant across from the mosque. The rotee was amazing, as was my chicken curry and naan. For some reason, everything goes well with Coke in developing countries.
The plan was to head south to Um Phang, but we decided to go directly to Chiang Mai instead. We considered taking one of these (a songthaew) on a 10-hour counter-clockwise loop:
Instead, we opted to back-track a bit to Tak, and take a nice normal bus for 6 hours:
We arrived in Chiang Mai around 6pm, tired out of sheer boredom, but glad to be somewhere with a market that sold more than boar's heads and rice cultivation equipment.