Tag Archives: Chiang Mai

I'm back – But not yet fully functional!

It seems like a lifetime but it is only five months since I posted ‘Taking a break’ on October 17.

Only now do I realise that post was inaptly titled. The five months have been anything but a break; more a physical and mental ordeal I promise myself never to undertake again.

House warming
House warming

I have now built two houses in Thailand which, for an amateur developer, is quite a daunting challenge. Both have been vastly different experiences and I could easily write two books; novels even!! Continue reading I'm back – But not yet fully functional!

Fires already?

I have written many times on the subject of atmospheric pollution and although I am taking a break from blogging for a while I cannot contain my emotions when it comes to being exposed to deliberately started forest fires.

While I am managing a building project in Northern Thailand I am staying on the hill slopes of Huai Kaew village, 30 kms north of Chiang Mai, bordering the forests. The climate at this time of year is comfortable. Cool at night and early morning rising to 30c + in the day with no rain except the occasional shower.

But now the burning season starts when the monsoon rains have gone and farmers burn off the dry dead grasses and stubble to stimulate new growth next year around May/June’; then Cutting back excessive growth, clearing land and deforestation for fruit and vegetable farming. Continue reading Fires already?

Goodbye Chiang Mai

Goodbye Chiang Mai goodbye.

Just for now, maybe forever.

I’ll miss you so goodbye

But ne’er forget you ever.

 

Remember you are where I go.

I’ll see you often afore I die.

Not as before for now t’will be

Forever, always, my mind’s eye.

 

For in my heart you’ll always be.

You took me in and set me free.

Your valleys and your farms.

Your jungle and your mountain charms.

 

Fields of green and gold.

Your fertile earth where seasons play

With scents so subtle sometimes bold.

The food you give us everyday.

 

Your rivers flood and mountains stream

The lifeblood of your garden fare;

Never sleeping ne’er to dream.

The source of life and love laid bare.

 

For in my heart you’ll always be.

You took me in and set me free.

Your valleys and your farms.

Your jungle and your mountains charm.

Misty morning and a yellow hue pervades the valley north of Chiang Mai
Misty morning and a yellow hue pervades the valley north of Chiang Mai

How the Hill-Tribes of Chiang Mai sell their wares

An Akha village, with the traditional thatched...

An example of an Akha village, with the traditional thatched roofs, found in Laos and Northern Thailand. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Sunday market at Tha Phae Gate – Chiang Mai. [Jamoroki Art]
Hmong people
Hmong people (Photo credit: rEkOM)

The Hill-Tribes in the north of Thailand are industrious, quiet and respectful people. Theirs is another world away from the hustle and bustle of the cities and rural towns. They live their lives in the mountains, forests and hills that make up most of the landscape of northern Thailand bordering Myanmar and Laos. Continue reading How the Hill-Tribes of Chiang Mai sell their wares

The best way to see Thailand – Excerpt (9)

THAILAND DIARIES – VOLUME 2 – DRIVING THAILAND

Driving Thailand is the second Volume of my Thailand Diaries and is now complete. But before I publish it as my second FREE e-book I have decided to post a selection of excerpts which I hope will encourage you to download and enjoy the whole book.

NORTHERN PROVINCES – CHIANG MAI & CHIANG RAI (Part 3)

Loi Krathong
Thailand’s ‘Loi Krathong’ festival in Chiang Mai is in full swing. My village is buzzing with activity and it is party time again for three days, this year from 16th to 18th November. Those are the official days allocated but that never seems to stop anyone from letting off fire-crackers days in advance. The villagers have been busy building their colourful floats for the street processions and many banana trees are being cut down so that people can make their little decorative Krathong boats to float (loi) in the river at night. Continue reading The best way to see Thailand – Excerpt (9)

The best way to see Thailand – Excerpt (8)

THAILAND DIARIES – VOLUME 2 – DRIVING THAILAND

Driving Thailand is the second Volume of my Thailand Diaries and is now complete. But before I publish it as my second FREE e-book I have decided to post a selection of excerpts which I hope will encourage you to download and enjoy the whole book.

NORTHERN PROVINCES – CHIANG MAI & CHIANG RAI (Part 2)

Different regions, as in most countries, have their own food specialties and Chiang Mai is no exception and in some ways exceptional. Fruit and vegetables are plentiful as this is the main crop growing area which supplies Bangkok and the South. In the City there are many eating places some of which are apparently very famous. I have a strong suspicion you will not find them listed in Egon Ronay’s good food guide but tuck into Khao Soi Gai with pickled cabbage and you’ll forget Egon for a moment. Another delightful culinary experience from the north is Tod Man Pla (deep fried fish pattie). The small rural villages are very friendly and tidier than those of Isaan and it’s very easy for expats to integrate into comfortable country living.

Lemon Curd
Lemon Curd

Continue reading The best way to see Thailand – Excerpt (8)

How did Thailand escape the poverty trap?

Abundance of food today

When you see the abundance of natural produce that is readily available to the whole population of Thailand it is easy to forget, or ignore even, that many of the rural Thai people, were on the ‘bread line’ less than 40 years ago. Those people now represent 70% of the Thai population and comprise primarily farming families. Fresh food markets abound in the cities, towns (large and small) and villages all over Thailand and they are very busy. Continue reading How did Thailand escape the poverty trap?

Thailand’s King approves Coup

In a Royal ceremony today Monday 26th May 2014 General Prayuth Chan-0cha will be given formal approval by King Bhumibol Adulyadej to establish an interim constitution and to govern Thailand.   The constitution was suspended last Thursday and former Prime Minister Yingluk Shinawatra was released from detention on Saturday and ordered not to involve herself in any political activity or leave the Country without permission. Continue reading Thailand’s King approves Coup

Could Thailand be facing 'civil war'?

It’s a terrible thought but the fact that Thais are talking about the possibility of ‘civil war’ is extremely worrying. Thailand’s politics are a mess and the Country has a history of coups,19 in all since 1932. So the people, generally, don’t seem too fazed about it as it has happened so frequently. But Thais have a habit of keeping their innermost thoughts and feelings close. Continue reading Could Thailand be facing 'civil war'?