During the months of November/December the wild sunflower fields are supposed to be in bloom. We took a detour on our way to Khun Yuam (sunflower fields are marked on the map) but, alas, we were just a little too late. There were still a few here and there but most of the flowers had already bloomed.
Once in Khum Yuam we checked into our hotel, The Yoont Hotel. It was nice enough, although the hot water in the shower was lacking. A little convenient store in the hotel is open until 10PM which is, well, convenient. The breakfast doesn’t consist of much, coffee and toast, so we stopped to grab some fruit from a roadside stand once we were on the road the next day.
The front desk manager did provide a bunch of information. He told us about a nice spot to watch the sunset. It is in the nearby little village of Bon Thapae. Here, the sun sets over the rice paddies next to Wat Tor Pae. While we lost our way and didn’t get to see the sun set, we did make it there to spend a few peaceful minutes in the dusky early evening. Here are the directions so you don’t have to miss it like we did: Heading south from the heart of Khun Yuam keep your eyes peeled for the 7/11. Turn right on the street right after the 7/11. There will be a sign pointing to Bon Thapae. Follow that road into town and turn left following the sign (pictured below) to the temple. Walk toward the back of the temple for a nice little seating area to look out onto the rice paddies. It is really a peaceful way to spend some time.
Khun Yuam also has a night market (in an open lot next to that corner where you turned down to Bon Thapae) complete with neon lights and a bouncy castle. It is small but you’ll find many meats and things on sticks as well as some dessert and clothing, hair accessories, blankets, and even mattresses. You could easily find enough for dinner here if you’re not particularly picky or you can head down the road to an open-air restaurant that is supposedly open until 10PM (this restaurant is located about 1KM south of Yoont Hotel).
Of course, if you’re a history buff, you can always pay a visit to the Thai-Japan Memorial Museum. We skipped that though and continued on to Mae Hong Son.
Road conditons: poor; potholes everywhere; drive slow, homie.