I did not expect to find any Malaysian tourist in Mae Salong. So, can you imagine my disbelieve in finding a fellow Malaysian from Kuala Lumpur staying in Mae Salong.
One morning, I took a Toyota pickup from Mae Salong to Mae Sai market just to walk around. By the time the pickup reached my pickup point, it was already full of people, and vegetables and goods. Being the only guy (where have all the men gone to, I wonder?), I had to take up the worst possible position. The road down from the mountain has countless bends and you can imaging what would happen to me if an accident were to occur.
Toyota pickup: I was sitting like this man in Checker Shirt
On arrival at Mae Sai town, I found out there is a Chinese-looking lady with a small boy in her arm. She was doing a Visa-run at Mae Sai, like many Farangs do. She asked me in English where I was from. I told her of my country of origin, my trip, and she related her story. Below is Madam X’s story.
“X and her husband used to live and work in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. A few years ago her husband had nose cancer. After a few treatments, the growth was contained. But his condition did not improve. A friend told them about a paradise known as Mae Salong where the air are fresh and water is clean. It will be ideal place for him to recupurate. As the cost of living is low here, he can afford to stop work temporarily and live on their savings. They took up the offer, packed and came to Mae Salong with little knowledge of what to expect. They rented a small house for 1500 Bahts per month. They could even afford a domestic helper.
They have lived there for 2 years. During this time, the husband’s health improved. She later gave birth to a baby girl (wonder if they named her after MaeSalong), their second child. She later told me that her husband has fully recovered and is now working in Hong Kong. She was planning to pack up and go back to Kuala Lumpur soon so that the kids can go to a Malaysian kindergarten.
I am sure Madam X will be missed by their neighbors, and similarly she will miss Mae Salong which is now part of her life.”
Who knows, I may be the next Malaysian sojourning or retiring in this lovely place.