Picking up from the Long Neck Karen village experience (see previous post), where we met Alex- the stranger certified in First Aid that carried an entire survival kit with him making my knee feel way too comfortable than it already was. He told us about Ban JaBo.
A magical place between Mae Hong Son city and Pai, somewhere on top of a hill where locals are nice and mornings find you sitting above the clouds. My travel buddy – Melissa and I looked at each-other and simultaneously came to a decision without even talking. We had the time, the resources, the spirit of adventure. What else can you expect from two girls that are already ready for a challenge?
It took us about two hours to reach the tiny village on the hill – the shortest amount of time we spent on the road since we started the Mae Hong Son Loop. As we explored the place, we couldn’t help but be mesmerized by the beauty that was surrounding us. It was a one of a kind view and as usual, pictures can never do it justice.
We were almost ready to change our minds of staying overnight and were contemplating jumping on our bikes and driving up to Pai (being faced with the decision of driving well after sunset) when luck and human kindness shined on us in the form of a group of Thai travellers that stopped for the night in Ban JaBo renting an entire guesthouse before leaving to Myanmar in the morning.
You probably won’t believe it when I’ll tell you that they offered us their prime spot bungalow for free. Yeap – Free, no strings attached. One of the ladies literally took us to the bungalow, packed her suitcases and moved them upstairs in the main house where she was to share the room with the rest of her friends.
I was still busy being speechless while Melissa was setting us up with an all you can eat dinner for an incredible deal. I realized a lot of things during that night and the following day. Or, better said, I realized how little you need to be happy.
Little house on a hill
First moment of pure happiness came when reality hit while sharing dinner with these kind strangers (now friends). They accepted us in their family, gave us food, danced with us and were absolutely one of the most hospitable people I’ve ever met in my entire life.
In the evening we joined the locals for a traditional dance around the campfire. We took a moment to enjoy the sky and the stars from our bamboo balcony, taking the time to appreciate the fact that we had the opportunity to experience such an unique place. In the morning I lived my second moment of pure happiness when we woke up for the sunrise, grabbed our blankets and moved to the same balcony to take in the vast surroundings with a cup of warm tea in our hands. That’s it. That’s all I needed to have that moment of pure joy, blissfulness and appreciation. It was the Power of Now.
Alex had a big influence on our lives when he told us about Ban JaBo without even knowing. It makes you think how important are the people that come into your life even if they’re there for a short period of time. As for the village in the clouds- it left us with friends, learning lessons and irreplaceable memories. If you’re in the area, don’t forget to turn left when you see the big sign and experience something new. After all, that’s how all the adventures start!