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IanForbes

My Thailand And Why I Love It.

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Thanks for the pictures, Winnie, I hadn't even gotten to the temples around town, but everywhere you go in Chiang Mai there is a temple of some sort... either ancient or new.

And, the debate about trees is an entirely different subject. It could go on and on from polarized viewpoints. I'll just say that when there is money involved in ANYTHING then there will be people who will exploit it with no thought of the damage it does or who it hurts. Thais, for the most part, do love their trees. They also love their children, but I see many examples of Thais using their children as pawns to be used as a source of income.

As Winnie pointed out there are temples everywhere and most are wonderful examples of sculpture. The dedication to the intricate carvings and art work is amazing.

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I sometimes wonder, though, about the opulence of the temples in contrast to the poverty of so many people earning bare minimum wages. That has always bothered me about religion.

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Be shure to add Doi Tung to your travels.

These photos bring back memories of my 5 month stay in Chiang Mai.

I must say I have experienced most if not all of you travels and photos you posted.

Good job and many thanks

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I love Chang Mai only been there once but have promised the missus we will go next time back in Thailand.

Ian have you ever gone to the Queen Mothers palace in the mountains of Chang Rai if not it is worth a look it is spectacular.

If I remember correctly you turn off the road between Chaing Rai and Mas Sai mate.

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You are a lucky and happy man Ian, thanks for the photos.

Hope the cost of Chiang Mai accommodation doesn't go up too much after the visitor influx you are creating.:)

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The Publishing Industry has been stung lately by their publishing of what proved to be 'fictitious' non-fiction memoirs including the most recent 'Three Cups of Tea' by Greg Mortenson, Founder of The Central Asia Institute (CAI) and often mentioned as a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Three Cups of Tea (18 APR 2011)

Then there was Oprah Winfrey being stung by A Million Little Pieces and by a fraudulent account of holocaust survivors.

Even the most innocuous of memoirs are now requiring careful scrutiny by editors and fact-checkers lest some claim be proved over-blown or mis-represented and the Publisher's credibility be put at risk.

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Thank you to both Thaitot and Robbo for their suggestions. I have not visited the Queen Mother's palace near Chaing Rai, nor have I been to Doi Tung. I'll check them out in the future.

In the past I mostly traveled with friends in their vehicles and I went along as a passenger. Or, I took the tourist trips through agents. I was a bit unsure of traveling on my own without a GPS and taking a wrong turn. I don't read the Thai language and was a bit worried about taking a wrong turn which is easy enough to do even when you know where you are going.

I"ve taken a compass with me when traveling by bus, but with all the little side roads they take to let off passengers it's easy enough to get confused. I've got a pretty good sense of direction, but even WITH a GPS I think I would get lost in Bangkok. :lol: In the hazy light it's hard to tell where north from south. :)

But back on my travels.

Pai is a small town north west of Chiang Mai. For some strange reason it has become a popular tourist destination. The few times I've been there it doesn't look any different than any other sleepy little village in Thailand. There are sad little hotsprings nearby, but not much else. I've heard it became popular with the Back packer crowd who wanted some place cheap to stay away from the city life, and a place to smoke a little weed. It certainly is attractive if you like a quiet farming valley beside a slow moving stream. A whole series of inexpensive stream-side huts were set up to service the back packer crowd that are mostly made up of young foreigners in their twenties. The town is pretty quiet during the day and comes a bit more lively on one or two streets in the evening. From what I could determine there are few if any drinking establishments wtih the attending bar girls and pool tables. We went there to see if the river was worth fishing, but discovered the locals eat anything and everything that swims. Maybe we just have to go further into the hills.

What I discovered is it is the RIDE to Pai that makes the trip worthwhile. It truly is a spectacular trip if you are not in too much of a hurry. It takes about 4 hours to reach Pai. The highway from Chiang Mai to the turn-off near Mae Tang is pretty boring and you have to pay attention to the crazy Thai traffic. From the edge of the moat in Chiang Mai it is about 34 km to the turn onto Hwy 1095. It is pretty well marked and unless you are asleep it's hard to miss it. The road sign at Mae Tang says "Pai - 98 km" but don't think you can speed. Highway 1095 gradually climbs for about 20 kilometers until it hits the mountains, and then it REALLY goes up in a series of tight 180 degree switch-backs. Once on top, the road runs along the crest of the hill before it switch-backs steeply down to Pai. Only the silver tourist vans seem to speed and cut corners on the hills. For that reason alone I stay under 70 km per hour.

On my most recent trip. My friend and I went from Chiang Mai to Pai to Mae Hong Son and down to Mae Sariang where we returned to Chiang Mai in a 600 km circle. There were many mountain passes with lots of switch-backs up the steep roads to the height of land at about 5000 feet or more (1530 M). From the top we could see down into two separate valleys. It's been voted as one of the 10 best motorbike rides in the world. It was a great trip along winding, curving roads! We rode my two bikes and they both performed well in the mountains even though they are both a little under powered. For safety sake, we seldom took them over 75 km/hr. I brought along my Garmin GPS that I had loaded with Thailand maps. It is great for finding places to stay, and seems to be spot on. My son made a bracket for it and I have it plugged into the battery so it's always on without losing power.

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Brad at the highest point...

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First time I have looked at this thread, very good Ian.

Havent seen a decent hill since I was last in NZ.

I should be up your way in July, will give you a PM then, perhaps we can meet and talk fishing and things.

Robby

Just looked again and see you go back to Canada in April so that wont work, still maybe next trip.

Edited by Robby nz

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If you intend to stay in Pai then this is what to expect. We stayed at the Brook View Resort for about 400 baht per night, but there are many cheaper places and some much more expensive.

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As I already mentioned, it is a pretty sleepy little town.

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But it is quite pretty along the river where back packer cottages have popped up everywhere...

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We tried a little fishing but nothing seemed interested even when we got away from the town.

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It really is just a sleepy little farming community over run by the back packer crowd who just want to chill out with friends.

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Almost as important to any author these days as getting published is getting yourself on the first page of a generic Google Search i.e. one that does not have your name or refer to you specifically. A Google search for My Thailand (all with no quotes) is hopelessly crowded. However, thanks to all the posts herein and links for the creeper spiders to find, Kuhn IF now appears on page 3 of a search for My Thailand Love and pops up right on page one for My Thailand Love It ...

And if this thread keeps progressing who knows where this 'best of worlds' guy could show up? -- maybe soon page #1 on My Thailand ... BTW I have many generic searches where I show up on the front page due to extensive commenting on refereed websites, blogs, association memberships, my own websites, etc ... and everybody knows that NO ONE looks beyond the first Google page.

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Thank you to both Thaitot and Robbo for their suggestions. I have not visited the Queen Mother's palace near Chaing Rai, nor have I been to Doi Tung. I'll check them out in the future.

I have. I've been almost everywhere.

Doi Tung:

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Thank you to both Thaitot and Robbo for their suggestions. I have not visited the Queen Mother's palace near Chaing Rai, nor have I been to Doi Tung. I'll check them out in the future.

I have. I've been almost everywhere.

Doi Tung:

Thanks for those, Winnie. I'll have to check out Doi Tung when I get back to Thailand. The garden photo reminds me of The Royal international floral show in Chiang Mai. It's always worth a visit if you enjoy plants. I especially love the variety of orchids. We only have a few varieties of wild orchids in Canada, but Thailand has many and it's an ideal climate for growing them.

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Thanks to the now 2000+ views -- every one of which creates about 25 or so links to Kuhn IF's website photos -- a search for MY THAILAND LOVE on Google now ranks this ThaiVisa thread on the Google front page (although under the heading ' I Love My Thai Wife') ... clever for an old codger -- makes a good show & tell for a potential book publisher.

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Thanks to the now 2000+ views -- every one of which creates about 25 or so links to Kuhn IF's website photos -- a search for MY THAILAND LOVE on Google now ranks this ThaiVisa thread on the Google front page (although under the heading ' I Love My Thai Wife') ... clever for an old codger -- makes a good show & tell for a potential book publisher.

Thanks for pointing that out. I hadn't even thought of it. My book is about Vancouver Island which I have been very familiar with for over 50 years. This topic is about Thailand; a country I've gradually come to love in the past 15 years.

As anyone knows who has been following my posts on Thai visa knows, I love my fishing and I've searched all over Thailand to find what I enjoy. The fishing in Thailand does not match what I have in British Columbia, but there is enough to keep me happy for 5 months of the winter. Virtually ALL waterways in Thailand hold fish of some description, but only a few species are truly sport fish. Many of the species that anglers fish for in Thailand have been introduced from other countries. Most are contained in pay for play fishing parks scattered around major cities. But, even the locals enjoy the little dug-out ponds that owners have stocked with the various species. Fishng in Thailand does not require a license, but on private ponds you have to pay the owner a small fee. Many species are on a catch and release basis only. I prefer fishing many of the reservoirs scattered around the country. The only fly in the ointment is you must have your own boat or know someone who does. That means having a Thai friend who can do the negotiating for you. I'm fortunate that I have a few Thai friends like that.

In the big reservoirs our target species are Giant snakeheads...

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And Jungle perch

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Both are great sport fish that will feed on surface lures and flies that look like minnows or frogs.

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Occasionally we will catch other speces such as Pacu, which is a form of pirhana. The pacu can be little guys like this one...

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Or much larger ones that weigh up to 4 or 5 kilos

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In one pay for play pond south of Hua Hin I was fortunate to catch an Arawana that are actually an expensive aquarium fish. It fought and jumped like a tarpon, which I initially thought it was.

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But the most common pay for play fishing pond fish is a giant Mekong River catfish. They are mostly taken on bait but we catch them on white rabbit fur flies that look like bread.

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They are very powerful fish and can grow to over 200 pounds. The record is over 600 pounds.

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But my favorite is still the giant snakehead that is very ferocious and has the teeth to cut another fish in half with one bite.

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