Chiang Mai Guide

Sawadee Khrap

Looking for an excellent “Gay guide to Chiang Mai” site.   Try Golden Ball Restuarant’s website – Chiang Mai Guide.  They have a great Google Map showing most of the main venues here.  Now you can see where and what is here before so you can plan your trip.

Bon is really developing a superb web site.   Check it out.

Ciao

Back to the border

Sawadee Khrap

Hey !   We’re going back to the border – Tak Lang Camp in a couple of weeks.  Bert, a friend of ours, will also go with us to photograph the camp and peoples.   At last nights Wat Saun Dok – Monk Chat –  we meet Mike Meallem who is organizing a entertainment group to go and entertain the kids at the refugee camp – we’ll get photos and really look forward to going.  They expect to have clowns, dancers, singers – designed to “put a smile on the face of 200+ kids that live at the camp”, it’s all volunteer and impromptu.

I also found another great article – in fact a wonderful magazine you will need to bookmark in your Thailand Travel Guide section –  Welcome to Chiang Mai * Chiang Rai * Pia * Mae Hong Sorn, I intend to use links to many of their articles in the future – their mag is really well done.

National-parks_pha-daeng_2  If you look at the top-left of the map, you will see Baan (village) Piang Luang — just a little farther to the border is the refugee camp – actually on the border. We will stay at a more up-scale Guest house at Wiang Haeng this trip – the one I stayed at in Piang Luang was a bit rustic –  so to say – and Bert wants to make sure there is at least Hot running water for his morning shower.

After we attend the show for the kids, on our trip back home, we will take 1322 route back through the Park and see what shots we can get for you there.  That should be exciting too. Up 1322 and then back on 1178 to Chiang Dao – I think we’ll leave the Mira at home and take a rental car this time, more comfort and better for the mountains.  I can get a Honda Jazz for 1200 Baht/day  $30 US — cheap enough.

Check out the article on the park called Part III Chiangmai’s Norther Areas – Pha Daeng National Park

Going to have to use the older Canon 10D – my newer Canon 350D just died and I had to ship it to Canon Service in Bangkok for repair – that will take over 3 weeks — damn just when the great weather is here – spectacular clouds, and mood-full lighting –  Oh well – life goes on !!!!!!!!!.

Ciao

Chakka Massage – And did you heard this one?

Sawadee Khrap

CRW_6002I’d like to introduce a friend of ours new massage parlor in Chiang Mai.  Khun Montree Jino (Tree) just opened his new facility  “Chakka Massage” at 13 Soi 1 Sotsuksas Rd.  Phone 053–214–201.  I’ve known Tree for almost 2 years and have Copy of 69had many of his expert massages.  I suffer from a herniated disc in my lower back and Tree’s massages have helped me manage the pain.

I highly recommend him and I am very glad to put an announcement here for his new massage parlor.

CRW_6012Offerings:  by appointment only

  • Aroma Oil Massage
  • Thai Traditional Massage
  • Honey Milk Massage
  • Cumcumber Clay Wrap
  • Mud Clay Wrap
  • Body Scrub
  • Facial Scrub

Pricing ranges from 450 Baht to 1200 Baht.  That’s $12 to $30 US

At the present time his staff consists only of masseurs, future plans include staffing several masseuse.   Every masseur is licensed and personally trained by Tree.  Quality at reasonable prices. Be sure and give it a try when you are in Chiang Mai.

 

 And I almost forgot that I heard a great story at the last Expats meeting.

“A guy was lying in his hospital bed and realized he wasn’t going to last much longer. So he pulled his wife closer to him and whispered in her ear. 

 “Honey, I have something to tell you.  I have been having an affair with your sister for quite some time, but want to you to know that I am very sorry for it.  Will you forgive me.”

And his wife said “Now, Now, I’ve known about it for quite some time and now I forgive you, just lay back quietly and let the poison work.”

Sooooooooooooooo   take heed watch your step.

Ciao

Just back from Expat meeting & ACIM plug

Sawadee Khrap

I really hope you enjoyed the photos and sideshows – I’ll have a lot more in the future.

Just got back from the Saturday Expat meeting.  Dr. Saneh could not join us but several other monks came to see what the meeting was like.  Khun Boon and Jira where there to see how it went so they could prepare for the presentation that will given in October.  We are working on a presentation to raise donations, clothes, blankets, school supplies, medicine, etc, etc for Wat Fa Wiang Inn Temple.  (I posted the photos on this).

And at the meeting I meet a very lovely young lady, Stefanie Boolmann, who had just arrived 2 months ago from India.  Space was very limited so she joined us at our table.  Stefanie is a Physical Therapist – Specialist for individual rehabilitation and is planning on staying in Chiang Mai and opening her business.  Sorry I didn’t get a picture, what a wonderful smile.  If you need some personal assistance or know of anyone in the Chiang Mai area who does, please give her a call 0873–026–873. We’ll be wishing her the best of success.  I believe she is planning on attending our ACIM meetings at 9:00AM Wednesdays in the lobby of HillSide4. So you can also stop by and meet her there.

Thats a good opening —–

  • Yes, we will have a “A Course In Miracles” meeting every Wednesday morning at 9:00AM in the front lobby area of HillSide4.  Several have expressed a interest and we will be using the same format that I used in the Pacifica meetings.  Please come and join us.

Well, today is school day for Tasanai, and I need to figure out what is slowing down the computer – a Trojan or some some other nasty shit got into the system – really slowed down and right when I am adding more images to Lightroom.  So far we have 11,000 images logged with 20,000 more to enter – can’t afford to have a slow system now.

Ciao

 

Chiang Rai River Park – Dancing Shrimp

IMG_5929The last hurray for this trip – Dancing Shrimp at the Chiang Rai River Park.   Tasanai had to stop by and order this dish – he says it the best he has had, fresh and very tasty.  I wouldn’t know – the idea of eating live flopping shrimp doesn’t appeal to me. 

If you look closely you can several shrimp that have jumped out of the bowl – they just put them back in or eat them as they jump out.   They are baby shrimp, transparent and without hard shells but just the thought of eating them live truns me off.

 

Here are some shots of the local area and one of the staff children.

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Ciao    Until next trip     Hope you enjoyed the photos, Please leave your comments.

Oub Kham Buddhist Museum – Chiang Rai

Just out of town is the Oub Kham Museum.  Khun Julasak Suroyachai, a teacher and art lover, realized that soon the heritage of northern Thailand would only be able to be seen abroad – so he started to collect antiques and relics affiliated with the Lanna Kingdoms, objects from  northwest Laos, Burma, China and the area around Dien Bien Phu in Vietnam. First he founded the “Lanna Heritage Conservation Center” which late became the present museum.

It’s impossible to mention all the masterpieces here, the “Oub Kham”, a golden bowl used by the Royal, the golden throne of the Royal Palace of Chieng Tung for the Prince( the present Keng Tung is the easternmost Shan State of Burma), and mannequins fitted with the Tribal dress of each cultures that have migrated here.  

We were not allowed to take any picture inside the exhibits (Our guide did smile and turn away so I could snap off a few) but I hope you find the Slide show exciting enough to visit and see the splender.

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And to our sunrise they had several African items in the collection

Very nice museum, almost 1 hour to tour, and then they served tea and opened to question.

We were the only two there so we got royal treatment – try it  – I am sure you will too.

IMG_6015  The rest of the photos are on the

   Slide Show

 

enjoy

Mae Fah Luang Gardens

Sawadee KhrapIMG_5778

Leaving Mae Salong we headed back to Chiang Rai by the back roads and came to the “Mae Fah Luang Garden”  – one of several of the Royal Sponsored Doi Tung Development Projects for that area.  Here they cultivate local and International species of orchids, dahlia, and created this magnificent garden.  We stayed here for about 2 hours, taking photos, eating ice cream, and just walking through the displays.

Show the beauty of the place – I hope you enjoy the Slide show  – leave a comment and I will try to answer any questions.

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This I though was a very interesting statue –

It was very hot out this afternoon so after ice cream we headed back to Chiang Rai — we had seen a museum on the way out of town that Tasanai wanted to stop and see – They had the largest collection of Buddha statues  (very old originals) in Thailand  – so we had to stop.

Next stop  – Oub Kham Museum.

 

Ciao

Chiang Rai – Doi Mae Salong Trip

Sawadee Khrap

We began this trip early in the morning at Chiang Rai – IMG_5467On leaving our hotel we passed by a regular morning event – local monks going out with their bowls for merit donations from the residents.  I’m not sure what Wat these monks were from but we gave them a small offering as they passed by.  More pictures are in the slide show.  After breakfast we headed for Doi Mae Salong. Not too far out from Chiang Rai we came across a Hot Springs area – there seemed to be 2 capped springs there, but no pools to bath in.  Both were venting steam.

IMG_5481IMG_5527 I got a great shot (or so I think of a metal bridge across a small stream to a back field – looks like a old railway bridge) and here is a shot of the surrounding countryside.

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The above shot is the inside area of a Chinese Warrior Monument to the fallen warriors escaping from the war and persecution in China – they moved first to Burma and then were forced out to settle here and built this monument and created Mae Salong Village  – Opium poppies were the main crop until a few years ago when the Thai Gov’t began to teach them how to grow tea and stop the drug trade.  The little figure is really neat – we bought 3, each a different doll – first soaked in cold water to load them up – and then hot water poured over the head of the doll  – well you can see what happens — and quite a distance.      It was about lunch time now so we stopped at the Doi Salong Villa in town.

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Here is several shots from the Villa – more are in the slide show, including a great shot of the young lady who waited on us, and more shots of the view.  If you look very closely at the first picture you will see the temple in the background – after lunch we drove up the mountain to the temple.

Here is a image of the Temple, but I think there are much better shots in the Slide Show – check it out

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IMG_5747 And here is a photo of some of the local tribal people you can find working in the jungle and surrounding fields, collecting mushrooms, tending to the tea plantations.

When I stopped to take these pictures of the old ladies, this shot and several in the slide show, all of them only knew “10 Baht, 10 Baht, 10 Baht” of English – they love to get their photos taken, but only if they get their 10 Baht – that’s about 25 cents US.

Ciao

Lak Tran Refugee Camp

 Sawadee Khrap

This is the 3rd posting for the trip to Piang Luang and is about our trip to the Shan – Lak Tran refugee camp just out side of town and near the temple.  Here is a panoramic shot of the area around the village – This is a very large file so expect some time to load.

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We arrived with gifts for the people of stuff like candles, medicine and some money for the small temple at the camp center.

IMG_4825And were greeted by a small band which called all the camp people out.  Almost all of the adults were off working so that left only the children and seniors in the camp – but out they came to greet us.

IMG_4835  Here are some quick shots I took – First the boys playing lag.  I almost wanted to join them – I haven’t played marbles in over 60 years – I can still remember some of the games we had in Omaha and what a great collection of cat’s eyes, steelies, tiger, and other names I can’t recall.  Everywhere in the camp I could see lines in the ground where they had started a game.

And this had to be one of the best shots I got of the children – I loved here smile – don’t you ?   And isn’t this a striking young girl IMG_4927in her doorway.  I was really impressed how clean both the people and camp were. 

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These were people with little or nothing, and yet they had peace of mind and you could see it everywhere – I created a SLIDESHOW of the rest of the images we took at the camp.  We visited several huts, one – home to a old man and his wife – the Dr. gave them some medicine (his wife has cancer and no one to take care of them, no children).  The camp helps out but each there still has to care for their family – but through it all these seniors had high spirits.  What a great visit and we plan on going back again next month when the Dr. makes his run again.

Here’s a shot of the sunset from the camp temple grounds.

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Ciao

 

 

Wat Fa Wiang Inn Temple

Sawadee Khrap

IMG_5079Six years ago during a border skirmish, the Burmese army advanced to the center of this temple area and established what they now call the border.  It cut the temple grounds in half with the larger newer temple claimed by the Burmese.

IMG_5120This is a shot from the Thai side looking up toward the temple now considered Burma.  From another advantage point I got another shot where if you look closely you can see the Burmese soldier sitting with his rifle on his lap watching us.

IMG_5081He’s rally hard to see and the enlargement doesn’t help – but he is there.   They then land-mined the gully area between the IMG_5353two parts of the temple grounds – If you  look at the bottom of the image you can see the old monk and school metal building. – this is no “no-man’s-land” and heavily mined.  Here is a image of the Thai soldiers that guard the border now – they came down to share in the lunch we brought.  Nice to know they are on patrol and alert.

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This is a shot of the “Old” temple located in the present temple area.  I didn’t get any inside shots at this time  – that will be on a later visit – probably at the end of this month.  

The Abbot of the temple is Phra Than Preecha. They also have a monk school (68 novice monks) and a school for the local children.  Here we meet a Israeli volunteer teaching English to the novice monks, Yoram Barouch.  (standing)

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And the teacher for the local children school (Sorry, I didn’t get his name this time).

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 IMG_5258Here are some shots of the lunch they had ready – not really for us but for the novice monks  – normally they just get a bowl of rice & vegetables (they say that all 68 monks are fed with 250 Baht of food each day – Thats about   8 dollars US$ – meat is a treat —– sooooo this meal was a real treat and IMG_5232everyone was there.  Another volunteer I met was Idthipath Lertchaisak (Khun Boon).  They are planning on developing a charity donation drive through the Chiang Mai Expats Club and Khun Boon will be a speaker for the project.

Some of the stories I was told about the hardships of the young boys and monks are really sad.  One young novice, 12 y/o, had to travel for 7 days through the jungle to get here. Another 10 y/o had a 10 day journey fleeing across the border to get here. One slightly older boy had spent over 3 months in prison before getting here.  Most are Shan tribal people from Burma call Thai Yai.  The temple refuses no one so they are integrated into the novice program along with the local students.

IMG_5303 Here is the table set up for Mr Boon and myself – quite a feed, and so delicious.  I have more images in a Slide Show of the monks, ladies who volunteered to cook, children,  and school/general area of the temple – I am working on some panoramic shots and will show them later.  But here is another shot of the surrounding area.

 

IMG_5369Next post will be about the Shan refugee camp close by.

Ciao

 

 

 

 

 

 

Piang Luang Trip

Sawadee Khrap

This will be the first in a series of posts to cover my recent trip to the Wat Fa Wiang Inn Temple at Piang Luang and the Thai Yai refugee camp at Lak Tran not far from the Burmese border.

Dr Saneh and fellow monkI was invited by Phra Saneh Dhammavaro, Director of Academic Affairs, Mahachulalongkron Buddhist University at Wat Suan Dok to go with them as they visited the local temple and the refugee camp nearby. 

We traveled North to Chiang Dao and then West toward the Burmese border past Wiang Haeng village to the much smaller Piang Luang village.  This route is 72 km, almost all climbing over the steep mountains – it put quite a strain on my little Mira car but she made it fine.  The views were spectacular but I didn’t get any shots on the trip there, but the next post has some panoramic taken at the camp.

IMG_4772  We had a choice to stay at the temple or in the village guest-house – I choose the guest-house – but that even proved to be very rustic.  The room had a water-heater for the shower but I was told that the gas ran out about 3 years ago and so I was left to take a cold shower in the morning – Oh well it was only for one night.  At least it had some mosquito netting on the windows so it was fairly safe.

The next morning I got up about 6 Am and went out to the road and got some shots of the locals going to school, work or just starting their day. (see the slideshow)

IMG_4773 IMG_4778  Here is a shot of the Dr. Phra Saneh and  Phra Sinlapachai Santikaro and the two young daughters of the owner of the guest-house – these were really great girls – they showed me to my room and brought water and what I needed for the night —– the other shot is the truck load of items the Dr. brought for the temple and area locals to share.

The next post will cover the trip to the temple and the third will cover the trip to the refugee camp.

I have also created a Slide Show of the remaining photos for this leg of the trip.  Please enjoy and leave a comment if you like this kind of presentation.

Ciao

 

Finally, I’m posting again

Sawadee Khrap

Yesterday I went to “the Spirit House”  for breakfast and took some shots: 

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Owned by Steve and Wanchai, the Spirit House is unique in Chiang Mai.  Steve was a well known pastry chef in New Orleans for over 8 years. 

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The restaurant and bar also features classical music, DVD’s, and Asian antiques from all the surrounding country.  Open all week, they serve breakfast, lunch and dinner in European style, but they also have Thai food for the locals.  If and when you visit Chiang Mai make sure you don’t miss this place.  BreakfastFruitBowlExtremely reasonable pricing – for example my breakfast started out with a glass on passion fruit juice, then a fruit plate with mango, pineapple, melon, mangosteen, and jack-fruit.  After this the meal was ham, scrambled eggs with Cheddar cheese, onions, and mushrooms, toast and pot of herb tea – all for 100 Baht ($2.50 US).

I forgot to get a picture of the full meal – I ate it so fast I forgot to get a shot.  Believe me it was delicious.

From here I tried to find a new massage spa managed by a friend “Tree” – but I must have passed it by -I’ll have to ask a friend where they are located and have some shots later. Sorry about that.

So on I went to the Golden Ball to get some shots of the staff.  Here is a link to the Golden Ball staff website gallery Tasanai made for them – enjoy and plan a trip here to savor the food and service.

Ciao

Golden Ball opens

Sawadee Khrap

Well it was Opening Night at the Golden Ball Restaurant in Chiang Mai.  I posted the business card before and here are the images from this afternoon/evening.

Bon was busy setting up for the first customers so I really didn’t bother them – more pictures will follow when the full staff is there and the place is running smoothly. But here are the first shots:

GoldenBall-Bon GoldenBall-Bon-MenuHere is Bon – a little nervous and really excited about getting started.  Here’s his menu – in Thai of course – I’ll get the English version soon.

Full training of the staff wasn’t possible – the final paperwork for the purchase was delayed and so this was a hurried opening  – but as they say the show must go on. 

Here are shots of the rest of the Restaurant and Bar– There is a inside and a outside restrauant area and the bar area itself.  Very, Very nice

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Stay tuned – the staff pictures will be posted soon and I am sure you will want to stop by just to say hello –  –   –  But of course we want you to have something to eat and wash it down with a great drink and warm conversations.

I feel like I’m coming down with a cold and I have to do another shoot at the Temple tomorrow morning at 6 AM – soooooo I’m gona take my Thera-Flu and go to bed.  It’s 9 PM now – hope I can sleep.

Ciao 

 

 


P.S. Here is a link to the Golden Ball staff website gallery Tasanai made for them – enjoy and plan a trip here to savor the food and service.


Fustrating Day so far

Sawadee Khrap       

Now is when I feel homesick – or at least homesick for the advantages offered in the States.  I just spent 3 hr driving all over Chiang Mai trying to find a machine shop or someone who could fabricate a mono-pod mounting bracket for my camera.  NO SUCCESS   I just bought a new mono-pod and it requires that the camera be connected and used in th landscape mode – I prefer to also be able to shoot in portrait mode.  I bought a swivel head for the mono-pod but that swivels to the right to allow portrait and is really off balance.  I’m having the same problem trying to get a strap grip for my camera – all that is available is the standard Canon one and what a piece of crap – 1400 Baht or $40 —–  the simpleset things I always could get in the States are real problems here.

Chiang Mai really doesn’t have a directory of businesses available – one yellow-page book is out there but only in Thai – so no help.  You just can’t find anything unless you know where it is located – almost everything is mouth to mouth — they don’t even like to advertise.  You can spend all day f@!5*ing around trying to find anything.  And every job is broken down individually– for the car for example: fixing the electrical, fixing the body, exhaust, locks,  I take it to the best mechanic I have found and he sends it out for any of the above.  And their scattered all over town– AND NO DIRECTORY or YELLOW-PAGES..

I’m just letting off steam – I’ll post after the monk pictures.

Ciao