Thanks to Google Maps – here is a overview of our Fang trip.
We had a very good breakfast (included in the room cost) and then headed out to the Thaton temple area again. Nestled on the slopes of the densely forested mountain range that separates the northernmost part of Chiang Mai province and neighbouring Burma, lies the Thai Yai or SHAN village of THATON. 100 years ago, the Mae Kok river used to be the border between Thailand & Burma and cut the city in half – Now the border is 2 km North and both sides of the river are Thailand. This is the view from the great Buddha statue, one of the 3 massive sculptures looking down on this valley.
This is a fairly large file so have patience to see the full size version – but such a incredible vista.
If you look closely at the photo above you can see two(black spots), massive wild bee hives in the Nagas or the Serpents – here is a close-up – these were over 6 ft. long and about 1 ft thick.
All 3 sculptures are situated on the side of mountain looking down on the valley – and they are very impressive to see as you drive by on the main highway through town.
Next we headed to the Hot Springs at Doi Pha Hom Pok National Park.When we got there we could not see any activity from the geysers. As you can see from the picture only a couple of small jets were alive and all of the creeks were empty.
Again this is a large file – please be patient if you want to see it full size.
We were told by the snack vendor that the geysers and springs were only active for about 40 min/day and as our luck would have it – this wasn’t the right 40 min. We got some water and snacks but decided not to wait around for the next activity – maybe next time – so in the car and headed back home.
Our next stop was at Tab Tao cave in Chai Pra Kan – now that’s a mouthful.
This is the entrance to the cave – too dark to get any good shots – we will have to bring several flashes to get any inside shots – maybe next time. These caves form a network – connecting together throughout the Chiang Dao Mountain Area. From here we headed back to Chiang Mai.
Several guys from the Expat Club of Chiang Mai are revising the Photographic Group and I am helping out. We are planning on having evening meetings about twice a month, with time for critiquing photos, tutorials (film & digital, lighting, processing, editing, and framing) , and live product presentation by local businesses. So far plans are to have the first full meeting about mid September at Tusker’s Bar & Grill. I plan on helping out where I can – great group of guys and some professionals as well. Great learning experience.
We really like Tusker’s —– so if you are in town make sure you don’t pass it by. Next month they are having a BBQ party, sponsored by ThaiVisa and Tasanai and I plan on attending – August 18th. This should draw people from all over Thailand. I’ll try and get pictures of the festivities.
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.
Last weekend Tasanai went to Fang for a Spirit Ceremony project. Here are some shots from that trip – First the Fang valley and dancing at the City Pillar.
And some Temple shots in the area. We are planning on a trip there soon and will plan on visiting each and getting more descriptive shots. Tasanai had a project to do and so had limited time to really capture the splender of the Fang Province.
Here are some snaps of the many temples in the surrounding area.
And he caught a peaceful monk sleeping at To Rung Temple.
Fang has many caves – Tab Tao Cave has been used as a temple for over 1000 years –
Something catch your eye – let us know and we try to get more detailed shots on our next trip. We plan on making it a mini-vacation too – staying overnight and enjoying the relaxed country life.
Question of the year – “Who is sleeping with Bloggy the Bear?”
A friend of ours, David in London has a rather erotic gay blog site and a mascot called Bloggy the Bear and he sent me this puzzle to try and solve. But I found that some of the pieces were missing and this is as far as I could get.
I guess if we want to know who is Bloggy’s friend then we will just have to go to his web site to find out the answer.
A little PhotoShop trickery –
Finally over my cold, that was a mean one. Took a lot of Thera-Flu. I am so glad that I had a friend bring over several boxes with him when he came to visit – I cannot find this product on any drug store shelves and ordering it is impossible here. Thanks John.
Here’s a panoramic view of the storm cloud I showed last time – you can really see how strong it was here – since the start of the monsoon season began much earlier this year so we don’t know what to expect. Today it’s just drizzle.Tomorrow – God knows
Tasanai has signed up for extended schooling and will begin next month to go for his prep for University. This will take 1 1/2 year but worth it – make him more competitive in the future.
This weekend we will have another photo shoot with the model I showed a post back. These will be done at a friend’s gorgeous apartment here in our Condo. A specific session focusing on capturing the erotic nature of the Thai male body. Should be fun – I really look forward to it
Later gator !
Here’s what our monsoon storms look like as they approach Chiang Mai – this is a shot from our balcony facing South – First they are hitting Lampang and the currents are now causing the storms to go further North encompassing Chiang Mai.
This was about 4 PM yesterday – and rained till about 11 PM –
Tasanai was stuck in Lampang until the raining stopped there and then he caught a bus back home.
Here is also a link to the Weather Report for the
storm tracking service
Interesting but it looks like Chiang Mai is going to be fight in the path of storms for a while now –
Still haven’t gotten over my cold – so this is brief.
We asked for rain and now we got it – a monsoon a month early, global warming ????
In any event it is really starting to rain – heavy overcast here in Chiang Mai but heavy, heavy rain in Lampang and most of Thailand now – severe flooding in the South and around Bangkok, severe winds in Mae Hong Song and flooding expected there too.
2 years ago it flooded in Chiang Mai 3 times – major floods – looks like this year might be a repeat.
Tomorrow, Saturday, we will go to Lampang for a gathering for the 100th day since the death and cremation of Tasanai’s Uncle. Service in the morning and then party in the afternoon and on into the evening – Tasanai will stay until Sunday and take a bus back – I plan on leaving Sat “early” afternoon – make an appearance for the family and have lunch and go back to Chiang Mai.
Last Thursday we started shooting our first model for gThaiStudio and I’m checking out the photos now –
He’s from North of Chiang Mai and very, very cute – 21 – here’s a sample shot when we went to Doi Suthep – he hadn’t seen Chiang Mai before so we did a little tour – and aren’t the little tribal girls cute too.
We have some great shots of him in traditional Lanna style dress and without
Maybe I can put in some teaser here to show you what the new site will have – ??????? let’s hear your comments.