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IanForbes

My Thailand And Why I Love It.

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Nice zoo. Definitely not phuket zoo ah.

Why is it that your young friends have all the ugly girls and you get the better looking ones at 2x their ages?

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Ian, thank you for sharing your experience, your life and your always beautiful pictures.

Antonio

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ALL of Ian's Thailand pictures -- and I mean A-L-L of the pictures, not just the ones he wants you to see on TV -- are available on his website:

http://gallery.fishb...umName=album209

.. and there are also a lot of fish pictures.

... and ain't it always those last 2000 words or that last half chapter that is always the reason why the book isn't finished ... Ms. Lebowitz would be proud.

The reason the book isn't finished is my first draft was too negative and I had to go back to all the places I visited over the past 50 years just to put a more positive spin on the subjects I was writing about. The chapters in the book are excerpts from my 50 years of diaries. The fishing and the topography has changed a LOT in that time and not for the better... even though there is some hope for the future. Then, after reading chapters from my book to a writers group in Chiang Mai they gave me a lot of positive and creative feedback. That also caused me to take a slightly different direction. Anyone who has done any creative writing will tell you that an essay or book seems to take on a life of its own that even the writer doesn't know where it's going. I personally want to thank all those in the Chiang Mai writers group led by Lee Thomas. Oh, and after today I am down to only 500 words left now.

But back on topic...

There are many day trips that can be arranged by tourist companies and they tailer them to fit the person. Some require a bit of physical effort while others are suitable for anyone who can walk a 100 meters. An easier day trip is to the highest point of land in the Kingdom... at Doi Inthanon. It is a few hours drive south west of Chiang Mai and two Royal buildings are situated almost at the top. There are boardwalk trails around the forest at the top of the mountain. For the nature enthusiast there is birdlife and butterflies unique to only that area.

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The gardens around the two temples are truly lovely

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And the sculptured art work is amazing.

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Kings_Palace_artwork_1.jpg

Edited by IanForbes

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And most tourist companies don't take you to just one location. They usually add a few more scenic spots... like this water fall. Somebody please correct me about the name of this waterfall. I have it listed as the Siriphum water fall, but I think it's near Mae Wang. In any case it is a beautiful falls so typical of many mountain streams in Thailand.

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Any foreigner who stays longer than a 30 day holiday in Thailand has to at some point go out of the country to get an endorsement on their visa. In Chiang Mai that means a border run to Mae Sai and a walk across the creek to Tachilek on the Myanmar (Burma) side. It is about a 5 hour bus ride from Chiang Mai to Mae Sai and a 4 hour bus ride back. It's quicker if you take a private van. The cost is about 600 baht on a VIP bus, and cheaper if you don't mind the puddle jumper bus that stops every couple of kilometers. There is a 500 baht charge to cross the border. If you take a private vehicle I suggest a stop at the glass castle on the way up. It is truly impressive and worth the stop.

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The VIP bus stops at the station about 5 km from Mae Sai and you take a 15 baht songtaow from there to the border. Try not to go on holidays or there might be a wait at the border. Somebody ALWAYS has over stayed their visa and the whole line comes to a halt.

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A small, shallow stream separates Thailand from Burma, and at night there are illegal crossings. That is the reason for all the police bus checks on the highway.

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Mae Sai is the most northern point of Thailand and the topography changes from flat, river valley bottom land to mountainous terrain.

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It takes a full, 12 hour return trip from Chiang Mai to Tachilek and it's rather tiring, so an alternative is to stay over night at one of the many guest cottages along the river. It also gives you time to do a little shopping in one of the thousand stalls on both sides of the border. But, once the border shuts down about 5 PM all the shops start closing. There is not a lot to do at night but drink.

I suggest a steep walk up to the temple at the top of the hill where there is a good view point for photos.

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Gig got a little tired because she's not used to walking up so many stairs.

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It is worth it though.

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2000 words left ... and now 500 words left ... then a few edits and illustration changes ... this picture -- no that picture ... and pretty soon we are at Zeno's half-way paradox.

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Hate to break the news....but it will never be 'your' Thailand and Thailand does NOT care about its trees..... absolutely not.....

Just the facts........nice pics though regardless.

You sound like an expert (Ha Ha Ha)

If you stay here a while and pay attention you will find that there are strong spiritual beliefs and feelings about trees (not just the Bo tree) - Have you seen the trees in the roads that were NOT cut down? And, there's a reason Thai men piss in the grass instead of on trees in the forest.

But you will NOT make it here for very long, Mr. "Not-here" (at least not in a meaningful way, you will head off to be an expert in another fourth-world dirty stinking country) - Just the facts.

Nice pics Mr. Forbes. Thank you for showing us your Thailand. It looks a lot like mine and I love it, too.

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Excellent pictures Ian!! Nice reminder of what a nice city it is.

I can add a couple myself too. Note that not all pictures are mine.

First some city pics:

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Sunset.. With the mountain in the West you don't actually get 'true' sunsets in Chiang Mai City. This is as good as it gets.

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City moat is nice.

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The Big Market / China town area that Ian also mentioned.

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First glance this looks like a run down little shop. But look how magnificent that building really is. The wait is for someone to turn this into a beautifully restored landmark, possibly an upmarket restaurant or part of a boutique hotel..

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Chiang Mai has a hundred temples. And a good number of ex-temples, where only the pagoda still stands but the rest turned into something else. This one is in the middle of a gas station.

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Atypical pagoda shape. (Wat Ku Tao)

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Some tuk tuk drivers even are nice!

Edited by WinnieTheKhwai

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And some out of town pics, not too far from Chiang Mai town:

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Terraced rice fields; you don't see that too often in Thailand.

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Scenic rice field about 20 mins South of my house.

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Waterfalls

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Big waterfall

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The Royal Flora, seen from Wat Doi Kham temple

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The Tiger Kingdom place in Mae Rim

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Nobody will guess where this historical site is. (Also below) Hint: It's not Wiang Khum Kam.

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Edited by WinnieTheKhwai

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feelings about trees (not just the Bo tree) - Have you seen the trees in the roads that were NOT cut down? And, there's a reason Thai men piss in the grass instead of on trees in the forest.

That's hilarious....thanks for the giggle.

I'll give you some contacts re the care and attention Thai's lavish on their BIG trees in this country.......if you care to ruin your dream like state.

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feelings about trees (not just the Bo tree) - Have you seen the trees in the roads that were NOT cut down? And, there's a reason Thai men piss in the grass instead of on trees in the forest.

That's hilarious....thanks for the giggle.

I'll give you some contacts re the care and attention Thai's lavish on their BIG trees in this country.......if you care to ruin your dream like state.

Sure, give me your contacts. :lol:

I'm sure you speak Thai, being an expert and all. So you've seen some of the Thai feature films about tree poaching and the exploitation of forest lands. Good stuff. In your opinion, when you see the wardens shooting the tree poachers do you think they were following instructions of the gov't or getting paid off by the logging companies. I'll give you the answer if your contacts can't provide the answer.

Thanks for waking me up from my dream state.

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I am a beach person at heart, so even though I have been to Thailand three times, I have never been to Chiang Mai. Now I must go.

The whole of the mountainous north should be taken in....quite spectacular!:clap2:

Edited by zzaa09

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If you visit Chiang Mai you will see plenty trees and greenery. I'm aware of the rape that happens to Thailand's jungles when there's a buck to be made, but really there are some very green towns around, with very well looked after trees.

In fact the legend goes that when the huge tree at the Chedi Luang temple dies, Chiang Mai will fall down too..

This one:

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