Blogs from Mae Sot, North-West Thailand, Thailand, Asia - page 5

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Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Mae Sot January 26th 2009

After the whole journey consisting of a long track of train, bus and ferry-trips we got on a airplane - and flied to Thailand. This is something that didn't feel very nice (neither flying or going to Thailand) but there isn't really any other way to get to India from China without passing either Tibet or Burma. The first thing we did here was (strangely enough!) going to a travel-agency to book another flight - this time from Thailand to Germany (with a stay-over in India). So the whole thing led to a lot of anxiety and bad feelings for me: 1) breaking the proud line of going to the other side of the world without flying 2) missing so much of the nature and climate-changing by simply just getting picked up in a cold China ... read more

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Mae Sot January 25th 2009

Mae Sot - en forvokset landsby tæt ved den burmesiske grænse Mae Sot viste sig at være en større by end vi troede. Transport hertil skete i en minibus henover et mindre bjergpas med fuld skrue på fra chaufførens side. Der var en del hasarderede overhalinger, som vi var enige om, at vi ikke ville have foretaget. Men stik imod alt forventning kom vi frem uden skrammer og en ½ time tidligere end programsat. Vi tog til byen for at se landsbyliv og ”vilde stammer”. I stedet var det moderne butikker med guld-, smykker og ædelstene samt teakhandel, som dominerede byen. Og vi så flere store vestlige biler her end vi har gjort i de sidste tre byer tilsammen. Mae Sot ligger kun 6 km fra den burmesiske grænse. Vi lejede derfor cykler og kørte dertil. ... read more
Mae Sot
Mae Sot - Burmesisk grænse
Mae Sot - Burmesisk grænse

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Mae Sot January 24th 2009

Not long after settling into MHS I found myself already back in Mae Sot town. While I was dreading making the 8 hour journey through all the twisted curves again I had no choice but to return for a visa run in Mywaddy, Burma. I spent a week in Mae Sot which coincided with the farewell of an Australian work colleague, Claire. On the day after arriving into Mae Sot Daryl drove me to the Moei River Friendship Bridge to do my border run, which proved to be an amusing experience. He explained to the Thai immigration officer that we were there to renew my visa. The officer wasn’t that receptive to Daryl, proceeded to speak to me in Thai and had a hard time believing I was the foreigner, even after I showed him my ... read more
An orphanage outside of Mae Sot
Moei River Friendship Bridge view
Homes under the bridge

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Mae Sot January 10th 2009

Mae Sot is small town on the West of Central Thailand and sits on the border of Burma. Like many border towns it is a hotbed of illicit activities, drugs, gems and even people are smuggled over from neighbouring Burma. Due to its border location and its proximity to hill tribe regions the town boasts a colourful mix of people, Indo-Burmese, Karen, Chinese, Hmong and Thai amongst others have all settled here and many more people from the surrounding hills come to the town to trade at its markets. Mae Sot also has a large number of aid workers and NGO workers whose presence attests to the human cost of an unstable border. We only spent one afternoon here and we spent it walking around the market which spreads its way throughout most of the town. ... read more

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Mae Sot December 25th 2008

While I worked for the first half of Christmas week, Matt did his own self-guided tour of Mae Sot. He joined me on my morning walks for some great sunrise views of the paddy fields and Jac and I took him to our favourite restaurant Aiya. On Christmas day I took Matt to Wat Phra That Doi Din Kiu temple because of its breathtaking views overlooking Burma. I thought this would be a quiet place to spend the afternoon, however I was proven wrong as we sat by hanging rock listening to some locals sing “Rudolph the red nose reindeer,” over a PA system and then say 1-2, 1-2 just to make sure it was working. Who would have thought that even in the middle of the forest you could hear a PA, at least we ... read more
Jac, our favourite waiter, Matt and I at Aiya restaurant
Scenery on our morning walk
Just in time for sunrise

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Mae Sot December 21st 2008

Wie ich euch ja in meinem letzten Blog geschrieben habe, war Tak echt keine schoene Stadt und ich bin froh, dass ich mit Sack und Pack nach Mae Sot gegangen bin! Schon das Ban Thai Guesthouse, in dem ich fuer eine Nacht eingecheckt habe, war wirklich super huebsch und ich habe mich gleich wohl gefuehlt. Nachdem ich ein richtig leckeres Burmese Potato and Aubergine Curry with Brown Rice gegessen hatte, bin ich Richtung Grenze, damit ich meinen zweiten Visa Run starten konnte. Schon der Hinweg zur Grenze war ein kleines Abenteuer. Ein aelterer Opa mit einem Fahrradtaxi wollte mich unbedingt fahren, ich glaube jedoch er hatte nicht ganz begriffen, wohin ich eigentlich wollte... die Grenze liegt naemlich 7km von Mae Sot entfernt... Wir sind dann ein Weilchen fast im Schritttempo gefahren, bis ich am Strassenrand Motorrad-Taxis ... read more
On the way to Myawadi
My guide and the taximan
Shwe Muay Wan

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Mae Sot December 13th 2008

This was the last weekend that I would spend in Mae Sot before moving up to picturesque Mae Hong Son. Daryl and I decided to venture out on our motorbikes for the afternoon so he could show me some other sights before I left the region. We started off at a Temple on the way to Tak which housed a beautiful gold plated Buddha statue. We then visited the Shrine of Pawo located on top of a hill on the main freeway. Pawo is called upon by Thais to protect them during times of travel, especially emergency situations. Out of respect for Pawo all vehicles passing the shrine will toot their horns as they drive past, making it a pretty noisy destination. We then visited a peaceful water reserve tucked away from the main town and ... read more
Corn fields on the track - it is located in the faming area
Gold plated Buddha statue in a temple towards Tak
Daryl and Thai tourists wanting a photo with him

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Mae Sot November 30th 2008

Jac and I were lucky to have our local tour guide Daryl take us around again for the day to see what else Mae Sot has to offer. We were accompanied by his wife and son and it felt like a real family outing. We saw 3 waterfalls and each one was great in its own way. The first one, Tara Rak was not far from town and you could see the waterfall from the road. Jac and I think this may be our spot to celebrate Christmas with a bottle of Baileys, who needs turkey, ham or seafood! You can also go to the top of this waterfall by motorbike. Pha Chareon waterfall was the second sight we visited, which is also referred to as"97-step Rom Klao" and named after the nearby village. There are ... read more
Climbing up Tara Rak
Jac and I
Under Tara Rak

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Mae Sot November 28th 2008

Over the last 2 weeks I observed adult cultural orientation classes at Mae La camp for refugees bound for resettlement to the US. Separate classes are conducted for kindergarten aged children, youth and adults, while young ones are taken care of in the childcare centre. Adult participants generally attend 5 consecutive days of classes, 5 hours per day and sizes can vary from anything of up to 30. In my first week observing, the class was mixed Burmese and Karen and 2 interpreters were used to translate information to participants. Given the considerable amount of topics that need to be covered in the time given, the trainers do extremely well particularly when there are 3 languages being used in class. There is a wealth of information comprised in the five days and the focus is ... read more
Learning about life in the US
Group learning exercises
Activities/games incorporated to help make learning fun

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Mae Sot November 23rd 2008

Jac and I were fortunate enough to have a Manager at my work, Daryl take us around the sights of Mae Sot for the day. It not only helps having someone who knows the area but an added bonus when they are fluent in Thai. Quite ironic really, everyone speaks to me in Thai because I look the part however it is Daryl the American they should be talking to, who has lived in Thailand long enough to be considered a local. And yes we have lots of fun with how we pronounce our English words, the Aussie accent versus the American; we are both learning quite a few different slang words. Who said English was easy even for the native speaker? I still think I prefer rubbish over trash and petrol instead of gas so ... read more
The lower level of Wat Wattanarum
The upper level of Wat Wattanarum
This had a mechanical Buddha parade rotating around the sides which played music




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