Blogs from Mae Hong Son, North-West Thailand, Thailand, Asia - page 5


Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Mae Hong Son April 2nd 2009

While the main procession through the streets of Mae Hong Son began on the 2 April 2009, we had seen the Shan, parading around the town with their young boys over the last 2 weekends. They had travelled around the market, shops and temple where stall holders had given them offerings and gifts. The “gonging” sound of their chimes was a familiar sound but nothing compared to the noise that resonated throughout the night before the procession, with the Chinese temple being quite close to our humble abode. Families were preparing their sons for the big spectacle the next day through the streets of MHS and no doubt the men had been drinking long into the night. They had to celebrate as well! The noise at the Temple was just an entrée for what was to ... read more
The colourful procession
The boys and family
The boys

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Mae Hong Son March 11th 2009

Nat, one of the trainers who was living in MHS and working in the camps a couple of months before we moved up here, took me around Camp 1 so I could gain a better understanding of the people, their tradition, culture and lifestyles. At first glance it was hard to believe that the camp is nearly inhabited by 20,000 people but as we traversed along the unpaved, rough and rocky roads, crossing many waterways and through various sections, I realised the large land area the camp covers. She first took me to the Vocational Centre where students are able to learn trades, such as motor mechanics. There is a tree at this Centre depicting the three religions, symbolic of the faiths that are practiced in the camp. It is currently school holidays so you will ... read more
Kayah woman and baby
Grandmother with baby
In the traditional section, women weaving

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Mae Hong Son March 8th 2009

As I said MHS is a small town where you can get to know the locals fairly well. Or for that matter they get to know who you are pretty quickly because there are but only a few foreigners who call MHS home. So much so, that we were invited to our local tuk tuk driver, Khanit’s monk ordination. When I had first arrived in MHS the girls had introduced me to friendly Khanit who we see regularly at the night market where his brother has a stall. Attending a monk ordination was definitely a first for me and it is fascinating learning more about Buddhism and Thai culture. Basically every Thai Buddhist male is expected to be ordained a monk during his lifetime, duration decided by him or his family. They are not considered mature ... read more
Locals making merit and receiving blessing
Khanit after a parade around the local area
Khanit arriving at Pang Lor for monk ordination

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Mae Hong Son March 7th 2009

As temperatures begin to soar during the afternoons in MHS we have discovered where locals go on their weekends to cool off - Pai River. About only 5 km out of town raised above the river are several bamboo framed, leaf thatched huts. Small tables are within these huts for people to sit around and relax, eat or go swimming. Numerous restaurants are located along the river bank where you can order food and hire rubber tubes to float in the water. Pai River is 180km in length and starts in the Thanon, Thongchai and Daen Lao mountains. It is located close to the Burma border and a common destination for white water rafting. The 3 MHS girls, joined by 3 Thai friends spent a relaxing afternoon in one of the huts along with many other ... read more
Pai River
Pai river and dining/seating areas to relax in
Local families enjoying their weekend

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Mae Hong Son March 3rd 2009

So yes, I have added a further kilo to my body this week. I can't blame anyone or anything other than myself, as I just can't stop gorging on this highly delicious food! And apparently it's noticeable as not only do the children like to poke my 'muffin tops' and stomach, and not only does the headteacher make comments like "your trousers are too small because your fat", but my boobs have also become a topic of conversation at school with both the kids and the teachers. Yes the Thai people don't have boobs, and yes mine are quite large for my body (even more so now.....), but I have never had them touched so much by small children and women in all my life! They are truly obsessed! The headmaster of the school even decided ... read more
Me and Balloy
Me and child
The boys!!


Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Mae Hong Son February 23rd 2009

Two more weekends, alot more teaching.............will I ever have a weekend off?? Well yes, the weekend coming up is completely mine, but that's not the point!! I've been working very hard again for the past 2 hard in fact that I have spent today doing absolutely nothing at school (there's been me and one other teacher in so we've left the kids to it all day!) and when I was laid on the floor resting just after lunch, the kids obviously thought I looked a bit tense, and 2 of them started to massage me - it was rather wonderful!! Anyway back to 2 weekends ago, and English camp in Maelanoi...... It had been a long week at school, I woke up with a cold, and it was very very hot, so I didn't work ... read more
The kids

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Mae Hong Son February 13th 2009

Last week was hectic!! At school when I wasn't teaching, I was sat at a computer planning for the teacher conference, and at home, when I wasn't eating or sleeping, I was sat on the floor planning for the teacher conference!! Stressful times!! My head felt like it was going to explode from looking at powerpoint all the time, and I think Sum-see thought I was absolutely crazy working all evening. I kind of wish my effort had been less after how the weekend went, but more on that later............. The food at home also took a bit of a turn last week. Sum-see gave me something spicy on Monday night (and made omelette as well, in case I couldn't handle it) and when she realised that I liked it she actually applauded me and said ... read more
My hammock!
The result of giving kids your camera.....

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Mae Hong Son February 6th 2009

Taken from a few resources (UNHCR, CAL & TBBC), below is information about Camp 1. As its the biggest in the MHS region I will be spending most of my time here. Camp 1 is located 25km (approx one hour drive) from Mae Hong Son and was initially opened in 1996 to accommodate around 1,800 refugees. Due to the ongoing fighting in Burma, newcomers have arrived making the current camp population according to UNHCR figures in June 2008, 19,380. The camp population is 94% Kayah/Karenni, broken down into various sub-groups who speak different dialects and who are mostly farmers. Non-Karenni residents are Karen, Shan, Burman and Pa-o. Of the population in the camp 48% are Animist, 42% Christian (predominantly Catholic) and 10% Buddhist. The Karenni people call themselves Kayah Lee or Kazah Lee, meaning Red People. ... read more
The camp
Unpaved roads make it a steep and rough journey
Children passing by

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Mae Hong Son February 4th 2009

Tovabbra is Mae Hong Son kornyeket jarjuk be motorral, holnap mozdulunk tovabb Pai-ba. Eleve MHS is egy igen jo hely, de akarmerre indulunk el, mindenhol csak tavakba, vizesesekbe meg fennsikokba botlunk. Felhaboritoan magas az egy fore juto franko helyek szama. Mivel egy kep tobbet mond 100 szonal, feltoltottem nehany ezer szonyi kepet..... read more

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Mae Hong Son February 1st 2009

For those who love the outdoors, nature, mountain scenery, culture, peace, tranquility and the simple life, Mae Hong Son (MHS) is the dream destination. Isolated from the outside world, with little western influences, it is rural Thailand at its finest. MHS definitely offers the change in lifestyle I was looking for, a slower pace in life and an opportunity just to relax and enjoy the simple things. Being a small town the local people are very friendly and smiling daily or greeting strangers is a regular occurrence. I feel like I ride or walk around constantly with a permanent smile on my face. It is hard not to feel content when these are your surroundings and you have no exposure to the western influences of consumerism or desire of continually wanting more. I think the fact ... read more
Nong Jong Kham Lake
and more..
Around MHS town

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