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.



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. 








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.

IMG_4982-Panoramic copy




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.


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)








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


 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.