PHP Warning: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead in ..../includes/class_bootstrap.php(433) : eval()'d code on line 110
My Travel Story: Myanmar, Thailand, Laos -- three months in 2016 - Page 4
Page 4 of 4 FirstFirst 1234
Results 31 to 40 of 40
  1. #31
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Blue Ridge Mountains, USA
    Posts
    5,007
    Thanks
    6,185
    Thanked 3,211 Times in 1,966 Posts

    Re: Myanmar, Thailand, Laos -- three months in 2016

    Not sure I'd trust that foam, either, but the photo of the bike on the bridge is priceless.

  2. #32
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA
    Posts
    1,468
    Thanks
    12
    Thanked 341 Times in 116 Posts

    Re: Myanmar, Thailand, Laos -- three months in 2016

    Fabulous day today in Phrae. I took the bicycle out around midday, cruised through some villages, and then joined the Songkran craziness in town, getting thoroughly drenched repeatedly.

    I ended up meeting my friends and their neighbors on what is basically the main east-west street in town, called Charoen Muang (ԭͧ), which is conveniently quite near my hotel. Unlike ten years ago, they now block the street off to vehicles during the afternoon of the big Songkran parade day, which is a good idea as the street was totally gridlocked before. It was party time on the street and good fun.





    I took a little walk up the street and noticed that two nearby live music stages were hosted by so-called outlaw "one-percenter" motorcycle gangs, including the well known Mongols.

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_20160417_174939.jpg 
Views:	145 
Size:	226.9 KB 
ID:	21976   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_20160417_171719.jpg 
Views:	166 
Size:	166.7 KB 
ID:	21975  

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_20160417_171855.jpg 
Views:	234 
Size:	142.7 KB 
ID:	21974  

  3. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Tim For This Useful Post:

    emu (18-04-16), Khun Don (17-04-16), Susana (18-04-16)

  4. #33
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    30,363
    Thanks
    6,408
    Thanked 5,318 Times in 3,446 Posts

    Re: Myanmar, Thailand, Laos -- three months in 2016

    The participation of the 'Mongols' is a great surprise!

  5. #34
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA
    Posts
    1,468
    Thanks
    12
    Thanked 341 Times in 116 Posts

    Re: Myanmar, Thailand, Laos -- three months in 2016

    The dark side of Songkran


    Allow me to get a little more serious for this post. I just stated that the party on the street was good fun. And it was, including for the young children who were with our group. But then... shortly before dark something happened which changed that somewhat, and the children were quickly removed by responsible adults. I wasn't surprised because I have seen a similar thing happen during Songkran in Phrae before, some ten years ago.

    All of a sudden there were several people running down the street, and then most people cleared away completely. A fight had broken out among young guys, which appeared to be mostly a group attack on one person. There is, unfortunately, a culture of violence where young males attempt to prove their worth in this manner, in particular connected with events where lots of drinking is the norm.

    The is a lot more that I could say about this, including my impression of why nothing seems to be done about this behavior, but I'll leave it at this for now. One other "dark side" that is apparent is a few people, usually young people who are not used to drinking, get obviously way too intoxicated on the street.

  6. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Tim For This Useful Post:

    emu (18-04-16), Khun Don (17-04-16), Susana (23-04-16)

  7. #35
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    30,363
    Thanks
    6,408
    Thanked 5,318 Times in 3,446 Posts

    Re: Myanmar, Thailand, Laos -- three months in 2016

    There was a newspaper report of a gang fight breaking up a Songkran party in Bangkok on Friday-rocks, bottles sticks thrown. The perpetrators fled when the police turned up. Alcohol was also blamed.

  8. #36
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA
    Posts
    1,468
    Thanks
    12
    Thanked 341 Times in 116 Posts

    Re: Myanmar, Thailand, Laos -- three months in 2016

    Quote Originally Posted by Marie View Post
    Call me a dyed-in-the-wool skeptic. But I normally don't trust one-hundred percent what Thai authorities label as "safe"- be it zip lines, ferris wheels, tap water and the like.
    Well I didn't really expect anyone to say "go for it, no problem, if they say it's safe it must be so". And I haven't seen anyone use it when I've gone by.

    In general Thai people don't use tap water at all, and there is an extensive network to bring bottled water to most villages. Years ago during my study abroad and homestay experience, we did stay in a fairly remote village where to my surprise, bottled water was not the norm. But that village had no tap water either. On arrival, my host family told me I had a choice of their water -- either rain water collected from the roof or well water. Neither one looked entirely clear, and I chose the rain water. After seeing the village well later on, I was glad I made that choice.

    Upon leaving Phrae yesterday, we passed the free drinking water and I asked my friend whether she thought it was safe. "Not sure about that". So Thai people probably have pretty much the same level of skepticism about officially "safe" things as savvy visitors do.

  9. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Tim For This Useful Post:

    Marie (23-04-16), Susana (23-04-16)

  10. #37
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA
    Posts
    1,468
    Thanks
    12
    Thanked 341 Times in 116 Posts

    Re: Myanmar, Thailand, Laos -- three months in 2016

    House renovation in Phrae

    My friend's family bought an existing house perhaps two year ago or less. The house has an outdoor kitchen somewhat similar in style to emu's new one in Si Saket, which is very convenient for the climate here. But the kitchen had never been properly finished, and work was just getting going on the day before I left town.

    Here is the original kitchen, this part will remain pretty much the same. The grid on the left is the window of the house and the other walls are surrounding the house.



    The next pic is looking the same direction from all the way back in the corner, to reveal the unfinished part. The wall immediately to the left is not connected to the house, it's the back of an outdoor toilet and shower.



    Next are a couple pictures of the chain link to be torn out. A concrete block wall with windows will replace it, a new sink will be installed, and the stove will be mounted so it vents outside.



    And below is how it looked early on the second day of renovation, just as I was ready to leave for the bus station.

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_20160420_202258.jpg 
Views:	112 
Size:	164.9 KB 
ID:	21978   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_20160420_205303.jpg 
Views:	130 
Size:	164.0 KB 
ID:	21979  

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_20160420_202341.jpg 
Views:	118 
Size:	151.9 KB 
ID:	21980   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_20160420_202421.jpg 
Views:	109 
Size:	82.3 KB 
ID:	21981  

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_20160421_165250.jpg 
Views:	109 
Size:	142.1 KB 
ID:	21985   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_20160422_092405.jpg 
Views:	109 
Size:	91.7 KB 
ID:	21984  


  11. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Tim For This Useful Post:

    emu (24-04-16), Khun Don (23-04-16), Susana (23-04-16)

  12. #38
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA
    Posts
    1,468
    Thanks
    12
    Thanked 341 Times in 116 Posts

    Re: Myanmar, Thailand, Laos -- three months in 2016

    Of course, one method of keeping construction costs down is the use of child labor.

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_20160421_165334.jpg 
Views:	110 
Size:	195.0 KB 
ID:	21986  

  13. The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to Tim For This Useful Post:

    emu (24-04-16), Khun Don (23-04-16), Marie (23-04-16), Susana (23-04-16)

  14. #39
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA
    Posts
    1,468
    Thanks
    12
    Thanked 341 Times in 116 Posts

    Re: Myanmar, Thailand, Laos -- three months in 2016

    Mukdahan -- and bicycles!

    Alright now, I'll back up in time to when I was in Isaan. Last I mentioned about that, I took the third-class train to Ubon Ratchathani. I had a pleasant but rather uneventful time in Ubon, partly because I was taking it easy and staying out of the sun much of the time, since I got slightly sunburned on my face.

    From Ubon I took a bus to Mukdahan, a small town on the bank of the Mekong River across from Savannakhet, Laos. According to the sign below it's the easternmost part of Siam, but looking at a good map tells us that's not quite so. Still, let's not let undue attention to accuracy spoil a pleasant story, so we'll go with it.


    Mukdahan is now officially on my personal list of the "wickedest good yet largely unexplored" provinces of Thailand, along with Nan and Loei. Now, as some who know me a little can guess, one reason I like these places is because I love riding bicycle and all of them are great for that. Mukdahan, however, has perhaps the most wonderful owner of a bike shop anywhere in Thailand. His name is Nikorn, and he runs the eponymous Nikorn Bike shop in Mukdahan. There is a nice article about his shop at this web site.

    Here is Nikorn preparing my rental bike for action.


    And below are a couple shots of his store.


    Trust me, I'm crazy about bikes and the bicycle culture, and this guy ticks all the right boxes. He has even raced professionally for the Thailand national team. He told me that he could make more money if he devoted his bike shop time to other things, and I believe it.

    Here is the main bike Nikorn currently rides. Heh, a Bridgestone!


    My two mountain bikes back in Minnesota are both Bridgestones.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_20160326_173718.jpg 
Views:	107 
Size:	177.7 KB 
ID:	21988   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_20160326_173553.jpg 
Views:	114 
Size:	179.7 KB 
ID:	21989  

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_20160326_165156.jpg 
Views:	115 
Size:	189.6 KB 
ID:	21990   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_20160326_163129.jpg 
Views:	112 
Size:	231.7 KB 
ID:	21991  

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_20160326_164818.jpg 
Views:	109 
Size:	149.5 KB 
ID:	21992  

  15. The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to Tim For This Useful Post:

    emu (24-04-16), kfchugo (24-04-16), Khun Don (23-04-16), Marie (23-04-16), mikeheart (24-04-16), Susana (24-04-16)

  16. #40
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA
    Posts
    1,468
    Thanks
    12
    Thanked 341 Times in 116 Posts

    Re: Myanmar, Thailand, Laos -- three months in 2016

    One sight easily visible from central Mukdahan is Wat Phu Manorom (on the map labeled Wat Khao Manorom), where they are constructing a massive 80 meter high Buddha image.





    Since I had a top quality bicycle and felt like some physical exertion would be good, I decided to head up there. It was a long, hard climb but I nearly made it all the way up without stopping. I finally stopped about 200 meters from the top, figuring that passing out on the roadway might be bad form. I rested in the shade for quite a while, finished my water, and walked up to the top.



    From the top were excellent views along the Mekong River and into Laos.

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_20160328_132620.jpg 
Views:	109 
Size:	69.5 KB 
ID:	22014   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_20160328_132626.jpg 
Views:	110 
Size:	124.8 KB 
ID:	22013  

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_20160328_142035.jpg 
Views:	101 
Size:	180.4 KB 
ID:	22012   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_20160326_103719.jpg 
Views:	115 
Size:	55.3 KB 
ID:	22010  

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_20160328_125113.jpg 
Views:	108 
Size:	76.6 KB 
ID:	22011   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Screenshot 2016-04-27 at 20.32.51.jpg 
Views:	125 
Size:	89.6 KB 
ID:	22009  


  17. The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to Tim For This Useful Post:

    billyboy (27-04-16), emu (27-04-16), kfchugo (29-04-16), Khun Don (27-04-16), Susana (28-04-16)

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •