We left Chiang Mai later than expected as we had to first get a new battery – ours just died. So with half the day left gone, we left and headed for Fang – arriving there about 2 PM. We did stop for lunch along the way but didn’t get any shots. We booked into the Tangerine Villa – the largest and newest of Fang’s Hotels. cost 1000 Baht/night $28 US — high because of the low US dollar and high Baht – nice place, comfortable, but not quite up to most of Chiang Mai’s four star class.
Next, we headed out to see the Old City’s (before the Lanna Kingdom) King’s & Queen Monument. temple and grounds.
and then on to Mai Ai and Thaton. Along the way we side-tracked to Tak Mok to see the waterfall there – Boy!, was that a steep climb in the hills. The little Mira just made it – didn’t overheat but we did have to stop and add more water at the top – seemed like a real deserted road leading straight to Burma. We kept going wondering where the waterfall was (no signs posted) and near the top we came to a tribal village. This was the Lahu ( Musur) tribe.
These people originated in southwest China and migrated first to Burma before being forced by the Burmese Army into Thailand. We hesitated on getting shots of the village as they were a little surprised that we were there – maybe they didn’t believe that our little car could have made it. On the next trip I want to spend a lot more time there and get some shots of village life – we will need to have some coins to give them to get some pictures.
Still we didn’t see the waterfall so we headed back down and several curves below the village we saw some boys playing in a rode-side pool. I didn’t see them on the way up so this was really a sunrise. They were real friendly and loved posing for the camera and seeing their pictures.
Really wanted to join them – it was about 92F now and little breeze. But as you can see several of the boys were skinny-dipping and we didn’t want to cause any problems. So we just got some shots and headed back down to the valley floor.
On to Mae Ai and Thaton, it was getting late and the sky was getting very cloudy.
In Thaton we stopped at lower entrance of Thaton Temple and went only to the base of the first pagoda (Chedi) – had to start back as the clouds were really starting to build and it wouldn’t be long before a real downpour started. We planned on going back tomorrow and see the whole complex.
And I mean down-pour, as we headed out of town it started to rain in earnest and I mean rain – rivers of water on both sides of the highway – could barely see at times it was coming down so hard, but about half way back to Fang – it stopped.
After dinner we wanted to see what Fang held for night-life. A friend suggested that we stop at Chaba, a local bar and his favourite hang-out. Here we met Dang the owner – he was from Fang went to Chiang Mai and moved back to start this place. Very nice, lot of people there. A great place to start the evening.
We had a couple of drinks and chatted with Dang for a while and he suggested we also stop by the club on the corner of the same block called 69Club. It was the favourite spot for the gay community in Fang – and they were there. What a great crowd – friendly – with good music and atmosphere – not to mention the beautiful boys there.
Here’s their card for reference. These are two spots we don’t want to miss on our next visit to Fang.
It’s late – so we headed back to the Hotel.
The rest tomorrow.