On the second day we left Keng Tung and headed back to Mong Hpayak where the monks could get their lunch. The tiny market there had all kinds of bugs for sale , but I opted just for some fried rice and cauliflower and then we went on to Mong Yawng where we would spend the next 2 nights. This would be the most rugged part of out trip – and I mean rugged. From Hpayak to Mong Yawng is 80 KM of which 1/3 was just single wide crushed rock roads – the rest was under some kind of construction. Not too far up the road we lost the right mirror on our van – hit by a passing truck on the narrow road it ripped off the mirror but did not damage the side of the van. The dust and bumps were amazing – we had to cross over a mountain range where we came to a full stop because they were widening the road by cutting the hillside away – but we did get through and ultimately got to our newly opened “Nant Khat Guest House” in Mong Yawng. Sparse but adequate. The next morning, 5AM, we all headed to the local area market – still dark, but it was a full moon which was the biggest market day of the month – there must have been over 300 people there – go early get the best deals – all vendors were gone and the market was closed by 7:30.
Next we headed to a temple high on a hill overlooking the valley, here as with all the temples we visited, they did the usual blessing and chanting. Back to town for lunch and then on to a temple which had a original India Bodhi Tree under which Buddha achieved enlightenment. From here we headed to a “forest” temple and a dedication and then back that evening to deliver a full set of “Buddha Bibles” to the local Mong Yawng Temple. All the roads we were on this day were just dirt and extremely bumpy making travel speed about 5-10 KM/hr. Quite a day. The next morning up again at 5AM for market – Here the lady offered to sell me some “Shwe le maw” very strong Shan alcohol. then breakfast and on the road back. Got hung-up once in a new rock road area – the roller crusher hadn’t gotten there yet – but we made it through that area and on to the the major construction site where we were stopped coming in. It was passable but slow and then on to Hpayak for lunch. Here is where we spotted the deer heads, I had never seen any wild animals in all my travels in Thailand so this was a great surprise – we did pass several Burmese with homemade long barrel rifles but with my slow camera I couldn’t get a shot. Next time. Time to go home now. And I did get my passport back at the border crossing, all stamped and ready to go.
All in all great trip – meat is scarce and expensive so most Burmese meals are rice,fish and vegetables. I am amazed that although I ate very little each time, how much better I felt when I got back, tired but much more energy – in addition, all the rough roads and bouncing around actually massaged my back and all my back pain was gone. I was also worried about having to use the squat toilets but at all our major stops there were western sit toilets so that worked out ok too. Great group of people on the trip, although most spoke very limited English and I limited Thai, we did manage to communicate and actually they took special pains to see I was ok. I am looking forward to the next trip and will bring my high speed camera and opt for a front seat in a van so I can get more specific images.
Tomorrow I leave for a 4 day trip into Shan State, Myanmar with a group from Wat Suan Dok to visit 2 towns – First Keng Tung then I think our final destination will be Mong Yang. This is a goodwill trip by the Monk (Advisor) for Monk Chat – Phra Saneh Dhammavaro. I am told there will be at least one European with us and his Thai wife. However the Shan tour guide may not speak English just Thai – hope that isn’t the case. I also understand that recently there has been some border trouble with the Chinese and shooting in the border area – But I think we are far enough away from the affected area to miss that, at least I hope so. I am told that Mong Yang is similar to what Chiang Mai used to be like 50 years ago, so I am looking for some good photos. Anyway, start packing tomorrow and leave at 4AM Friday morning. They tell me the hotels are air-conditioned but that also remains to be seen – everything included in the 9,000 Baht price.
I just went to my first meeting of “NVC” at Sangdee Gallery on Soi 5. Great meeting and boy am I starting to learn and find that I really need the process in my daily life. Here’s a great poem from the start of a book on the subject “The language of Life”
Words are Windows (or They’re Walls)
I feel so sentenced by your words,
I feel so judged and sent away,
Before I go I’ve got to know
Is that what you mean to say?
Before I rise to my defense,
Before I speak in hurt or fear,
Before I build that wall of words,
Tell me, did I really hear?
Words are windows, or they’re walls,
They sentence us, or set us free.
When I speak and when I hear,
Let the love light shine through me.
There are things I need to say,
Things that mean so much to me,
If my words don’t make me clear,
Will you help me to be free?
If I seemed to put you down,
If you felt I didn’t care,
Try to listen through my words
To the feelings that we share.
I am so grateful to have been introduced into this Tuesday afternoon meeting at the Sangdee Gallery and have a chance to develop my communication skills – When the student is ready the Teacher will arrive – now to stay alert and learn.
Be sure and check out and bookmark the new “Gay in Chiang Mai Guide”
Thanks to Peter, Bonton Productions, and www.Radchada.com
Just got back from visiting the CityLife Garden Fair at JJ Markets this morning. Kevin, Mike and myself went together and had a great time and good food. There was a very large attendance and some great booths there – food , artist, clothing, hand made items, including some hand made pop-up birthday and occasion cards. I bought several. And you know me I am always on the alert for photogenic guys. For me the highlight of the day was meeting “Latte” (hope I spelling right).
I think the most miserable and also the best part of our trip was staying here at Chiang Dao Hut & Kitchen.
As I pointed out in the last post we stayed at the “White House” – but it was very cold and damp, hard to sleep, but we were really rewarded with a amazing view in the morning – no fog and such a wonderful place. Truly worth the stop – we caught a quick breakfast here but I insisted on a western place for lunch, very tired of Thai food all day. So off we went to Mae Teang and the elephants. On the way we passed some monks doing their morning walk for alms. And finally at Mae Teang we stopped at the first major resort we came across – Sibsan Resort & Spa – 5 star – as posted on the internet. It’s an amazing place but definitely 5 star with the prices to go with it. We had the buffet lunch (total 1,400 baht) which was good but not exceptional, but the grounds were emulate, service exceptional, and loaded with guests. A very cute driver drove us from the parking lot to the main hall for lunch – in fact all the guys were very cute and handsome – great eye candy. After lunch we headed up the main road to the elephant camps and the rapids area. Not enough water to really take a “white water” raft ride down but still very picturesque. And both of us had already been to the elephant camps before so that didn’t spark a need to stop and check them out.
The slideshow is in order and takes you through the day.
Now that the main images have been posted I intend to go back and choose some of the most sticking of them to do Photoshop work on.
At 7 Am we had breakfast at Tangerine Villa and then off to Chiang Dao. It was very foggy almost all the way there so no photos. Not too far from Chiang Dao mountain the fog broke and we got a great look – (the slideshow is in time order). We stopped at this amazing Wat, don’t know the name and my GPS wasn’t working at the time so I cannot locate it now – sorry. The most important thing here is the depiction of Buddhist Hell and the type of suffering and torture that they think takes place. In the back temple area they were even raising their own wild hog – big. From here we headed toward Chiang Dao Cave, but both of us had been there before so we continued on to the Baan View Resort – a very small tribal resort (if you can call it that – mostly for campers)perched on the side of a hill. Great view and I had a Thai style omelet over rice – but the strangest thing was the dead mouse hanging on the wall next to the radio – I didn’t ask why it was hanging there – afraid what the answer might be. Everything is in sequence in the slideshow
We then headed back to the Chiang Dao Hut and Kitchen for a quick lunch and on the way to Sri Sung Wan Waterfall and from there on to the Pong Arng Hot Springs. Leaving the Hot Springs we ran across a field of garlic – neat rows – first time I had seen garlic planted this way. Then on to Wat Phar That Doi Mon Ching a Burmese (Thai Yai as they are called here) style temple. Not far from the temple we spotted a field of blossoming Mango trees – I had never seen these before so got a couple of shots. And on the way back we spotted some young boys enjoying a swim. The Chiang Dao Hut & Kitchen, where we were going to stay for the night – the “White House” we took went for 1200 Baht/night – and with no heat it was terribly damp and cold that night- cuddling helped but still cold. Better view in the morning so I’ll post that next post on the Mae Tang part of the trip tomorrow. Again the Slideshow is in order.
Tomorrow I will post about the final Mae Tang portion of the trip.
Just got back from a trip to Doi Angkhang, Chiang Dao, and then to Mae Tang and back to Chiang Mai – 3 days. Over 600 photos so I will make several posts to cover it all. I was joined by a friend “Narin” and we had a great time.
First we went to Doi Angkhang Agricultural Station near Fang. The flowers are spectacular and the mountain area so peaceful.
And then back to Fang and stayed at the “Tangerine Villa” for the evening – Nice accommodations – 850B including breakfast. We did have to move to a new room when a group of young Thais moved into the room next door and started partying – but the Hotel moved us quickly so no problem. Nice place to stay and good night sleep.
I will continue the adventure in the next couple of posts.
Looks like I visited Mae Klang Waterfall at the right time last week – See post before – the latest storm really dumped a lot of water and just saw this video posted by Khun Sakaussawin on his Facebook page. – Click on image to start the video
You can also check out Thai Visa’s announcement.
Just got back from driving Team to CMU, 4 AM, so he could get in position to greet the Freshmen on their annual walk to Wat Doi Suthep. This is a 12 KM hike ( 8 miles). Since he’s already a Bachelor Graduate, he will be stationed somewhere along the path to assist the new students in their merit climb. I hope to have some personal photos to post when he gets back tonight.
He just got some photos at the start with his Faculty of Medicine Group before they started up the trial – but no shots as the climb went on – he also came back with the start of a bad cold – also check out this video from the University. Ciao
Today we went down to the base of Doi Inthanon in Chom Thong District for a morning drive and chance to get away. Walked to each waterfall and got some photos but didn’t stay for along time – had to get back and get some house chores done.
Mae Ya Waterfall
Mae Klang Waterfall
Both real beautiful falls but it’s been a dry, wet season and the rivers are real low – last time I was here you could not approach the falls because of the high fear from the fast currents and possible flash floods. – but today everything seemed quite calm. Nevertheless if was a good morning and luckily we got back before the overcast skies let loose any rain.
Last night Mike and I attended the Carmina Burana Concert presented by The Chiang Mai Youth Philharmonic Band and Symphony Orchestra Foundation of The College of Music, Payap University, at the Kad Theatre – Kad Suan Kaew Shopping Center.
Click on the image above to view the short video
A masterpiece by Carl Orff. Solo trumpetist Jakrapan Chaiya and conductor Chaipruck Mekara. Far beyond my level of sophistication but never the less a great evening.
I used the new Sony A7R11 and shot at 16,000 ISO for the images in the slideshow – There was noise but nothing like the older 7D. It was well attended and the theatre was fairly dark – I did shoot some at 5000 ISO but the shutter speed was too slow – so for the balance of the performance I used the higher .
Just got back from Sriphat Physical Therapy Center for the second ultra-sound and lumbar traction session. Both shoulders and lower back received 7 minuets each of ultra-sound deep massage and then in for 20 min of lumbar traction = total cost 300 Baht $9. I was at Tao Gardens 2 weeks ago for just lower back ultra-sound and was charged 1700 Baht. Quite a savings.
What I thought was a flair up of the herniated disc, turned out to be a case of aggressive muscle spasm. The doctor at Sriphat spotted this right away and set me up for physical therapy to cure the problem. I’ve scheduled 2 sessions a week for the next 2 weeks to bring everything back to normal. Along with stretching exercises at home I should be discomfort free soon.
I also bought a pair of new shoes and this really helped too – I tend to wear them down in the lower outside area which causes me to walk off center and aggravates the back muscles and this in turn causes the vertebras in the back to pop out of position causing more muscle spasm. I don’t usually notice it until the spasms get so bad that they start to affect the sciatic nerve and I get sever pain down both legs. I’ll be more observant as to how the shoes are wearing down and make sure to get new ones when needed.
However, at 300 Baht a session, I definitely can afford a once week, or at least every other week, visit to the Therapy Center in addition to my normal weekly 2-hour Oil massages to keep my back in good shape. That amounts to 4600 Baht/Mo or $130/Mo. And I tip well – you could do the same here for half the price. Think about it – that’s 4 private (young men) massages in my condo + 2 therapy sessions. Try that somewhere else.
Thailand retirement is affordable and pampers me like a baby. Gay heaven with affordable health care and living expenses so that I can exist in style on my US retirement pension.
Just got back from a heavenly body scrub and oil massage at Bubble’s Massage. Kuhn “A” was terrific. One hour body scrub and one hour oil massage = 500 Baht $14 First the body scrub – using a mixture of::
- Sea Salt
- Thanaka – yellowish-white cosmetic paste made from ground bark.
WOW – after the hour, which was also a great massage I might add, I took a shower to rinse off the mixture and never felt so clean – amazing. Skin really smooth and ready for the oil massage. Next the hour oil massage – “A” is really strong and gives great attention to the real tight muscles – I am real picky but really loved his technique asking if I had any problem areas and then took special interest at them – not once rushing the time. He deserved the tip I left.
All I can say is – TRY IT