Blogs from North-West Thailand, Thailand, Asia - page 2


Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Mae Hong Son March 29th 2015

The traditional leaf roof needs to be changed every 3/4 years. John and Nang are thinking about putting on an easier-to-maintain roof, but the leaves look so much nicer than some brightly coloured plastic. Also, having the leaf roof means that the skills to make these are passed on to the next generation, so good all round... except that I was very jealous of the roofers being able to climb around up there!... read more
New Roof

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Mae Hong Son March 28th 2015

Another day, another cave. We joined a huge group (12 guests and 3 guides) to go to a very newly explored cave. In John's book there is a story about when they first found the cave and thought there was a bear living in the entrance. No bears this time. 4km of stream until a rock fall has blocked the path, but this makes for a bunch of fun climbing and scrambling up to ledges and to try and find chambers. So here is what I learnt from this trip - cave stream walking is definitely an art form; there is no set of rules to learn in order to get it right and not split your calf open! The stream is half ankle high, half swimming. The swimming parts are fine because you can go ... read more

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand March 25th 2015

There was supposed to be a storm coming, but there was only the lightning and thunder with a few spots of rain. LOTS of bugs came out, followed and eaten by the geckos. Also, I learnt how to prime the pump, which pumps water from two wells in the dry season so we can have water in Cave Lodge. There is always lots of conversation about turning the pump on, don't forget to turn it off or the well will dry up, and who turned the pump off etc... A small disaster would be a power cut for a couple of days during the dry season. We would have to limit water use and send people to the river to wash. Oh, and we made fried bananas. They were good :-)... read more

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Mae Hong Son March 24th 2015

No photos from this cave yet as I thought it was going to be wetter than it actually was. It is a passage through a mountain, a few low crawls but nothing unending. A massive stair climb to get to it, then once on the other side there are 3 more caves (2 of them with coffins) to explore. One is just a big playground! Such a steep dusty climb up then down, but fun :-) I'll go again, definitely in the rainy season as the low crawls become apnea swims :-) :-)... read more

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Mae Hong Son March 23rd 2015

John took us along with him to see the excavation of a coffin cave he found some years ago. There are potentially a hundred skeletons, around 1200 to 2000 years old. The expert who is going to make a model of what a face would have looked like is staying at the lodge.... read more

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Mae Hong Son March 22nd 2015

Nang and John took us to a Shan town near Mae Hong Son to see a ceremony/celebration. Boys from local families were becoming novices, and they get dressed up, process to the temple, kneel and bow in the temple, then process out, take their finery off, and go to see if they want to become a monk. Their feet can't touch the ground, so when they're not in the temple they are carried around on men's shoulders. We then stayed at the temple for a big lunch which was delicious.... read more
Poi Sang Long

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Mae Hong Son March 21st 2015

This is the middle of the dry season so there are lots of forest fires. The Thai government don't like the fires because they cause poor air quality (particulate matter in the 150 - 200 range), but they clear the leaf litter and make it much easier to walk through the forest. Also, they're quite pretty at night, I tried to take a picture of the line of fire coming down the hillside opposite Cave Lodge but no combination of settings seemed to do it justice.... read more

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Mae Sot March 20th 2015

See the TWO (2) White Temple panoramas above Look at the photos below. Click on any photo to enlarge. Text is of limited interest. Another couple of months...another visa-run. March 13, 2015: Rather than take the most common visa-run from Chiang Mai north to Mae Sai / Tachilek border, I thought it would be interesting to see a less used border crossing south-west at Mae Sot. Mae Sot is a little further away, 6 hour bus ride rather than 4 hours, but is less used. There is a refugee camp manned by many young volunteers and a small expat community. Many of the local workers in Mae Sot, Thailand are from Myanmar and speak no Thai or English. Precious stones from Myanmar are popular and there's a gem market on Saturdays with many shops (photo) cutting ... read more
Mae Sot border crossing
Mae Sot Market
Breakfast Eels

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand March 18th 2015

Today, after helping clear away breakfast, we did nothing! It has been a very lazy day. We ate lunch of cold noodles and fried fish wrapped in lettuce leaves fresh from the garden, very spicy but delicious. And then at about 3pm, we walked to see Pen, the woman who owns the guest house we stayed in during the TU, and then to see Gao who also owns a guest house and we met during the TU. We walked back through the river and back to laziness :-) in my defence; it's quite hot.... read more

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Mae Hong Son March 17th 2015

Lots of lovely things happened today that made me feel like I was settling in to my new surroundings. The first was that Ing-Ka suggested I try something new for breakfast. She clearly felt comfortable enough with me to criticise my rice-soup habit, and made me an omelette. Another thing was rearranging my bedroom (see picture). Another - Lii laughed when I asked her for a watermelon shake (to my un-Thai ears, the conversation went (me) "tang moo pan", (Lii) "eh?!??", (me) "tang moo pan", (Lii) continue to look blank, (me) *get watermelon from fridge, (Lii) "ah, tang moo pan", (me) "ban?", (Lii) "pan", (me) "pan", (Lii) *nods and smile "pan" then walks away laughing and talking about tang moo pan to the other Thai speaker). We played in the river with Dtae and he's getting ... read more

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