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  1. #1
    Thailand Expat jandajoy's Avatar
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    Mae Sai. Anyone been there recenty?

    I'm going up on Saturday, first time, any one got recommendations for an overnight guest house?

    Cheers.

  2. #2
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    Nothing that could be suggested as decent JJ.




    I suppose you could check a few out on the 'Google' sites
    we tried a few places over the years, back in the 80's,
    they were filthy in general.

    That's being kind as well, the food!

    I feed my dogs better.

    Hence we always stay out of town nowadays,
    north of Chiang Rai.

    I daresay if you got there early, it would give you time
    to have a good look around, but you would probably be
    better off getting your visa renewed
    (I'm assuming that's the reason for the trip)
    and head down to Chiang Rai for accommodation.

    Shops and accommodation, are mainly Chinese run,
    there is a massive trade in 'human cargo' ever present there.
    Especially with regards to children.

    Pure Evil.

    There's plenty of cheap fakes, useless copy medications,
    cigarettes and more besides.
    Be careful:- The whole town is a holding sector
    for thieves, drug running, prostitution, and as mentioned children.

    A fair old melting pot it is. Chinese, mixed tribes,
    Thai, Burmese, Laotian, Indian and funny hillbilly's
    who would eat you if they got hungry.

    Little China really:-



    You could always get your head down in the
    Than Luang Cave, but that's a fair run
    and the service is awful.

    We were in Mae Sai just last year and the hooks
    almost broke into our hire car, they did some damage as well.

    We were lucky, I was pretty sure
    (by the way a couple of them looked) who was responsible.

    Changing their appearances really did cross my mind.

    I thought better of it though.

    It's a straightforward crossing affair into Tachilek,
    you can spend a few hours there if you want.

    About $10 each if my memory serves me right.

    The Burmese, love the dollars, don't they.

    Some good buys regarding 'gems' but if you don't know the ropes,
    careful.

    If you have a visa to tour in Burma of course,
    you can use the airport in Tachilek, (it's only small)
    and fly to Mandalay, you cannot cross country by
    car or bus for instance.

    Unless you do it illegally, in which case anything could happen
    it's very dodgy to say the least.

    You can get a Visa to stay perhaps two weeks around Tachilek, but again, they are reluctant to issue the same to 'Farangs' and you would no doubt be escorted everywhere and have to sleep in shit etc along with poor quality food coupled with zero hygiene levels, if you did manage to obtain one.

    All visas can only be obtained in Bangkok,
    you cannot get a travel visa for Burma at the
    border crossing here, or any other come to think of it.





    Some nice mountains in the vicinity, if after leaving town
    you head south, take the first major right.

    This is the 1149

    What a road.



    Everything you would want to see.

    No food or accommodation though.

    However, very interesting, but again be careful, there is little or no law out here and the hillbilly's will shoot you for the hell of it.



    They seem to be protecting their crops.


    There are one or two strange looking outposts.



    Attention.





    He reminded me of a Chinese type Benny Hill.

    Years ago this place really was wild.

    There was little or no law, what happened, happened.





    They don't have much going for them
    whichever way you look though.

    I think I have some photographs from Mae Fa Luang.

    An interesting spot indeed.

    I'll check around over the next few days, given half a chance.
    All the women take their blouses off
    And the men all dance on the polka dots
    It's closing time !

  3. #3
    Thailand Expat
    Mathos's Avatar
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    Flying visit.

    The majority of folk you do come across in these border regions with Burma are of strong Chinese origin.






    The home comforts attained by some are indeed much better than some of the hovels the majority exist in.





    We have noticed many times, there are strong colour traditions applicable to most, if not all of these groups.

    Must be tribal ritual.

    Note the use of purple/mauve in the above photographs especially.



    From time to time, you might just notice the use of flowers and bushes for added attraction.



    However, you don't get very much above the levels of the basics.



    Again, the Chinese origin is very apparent.

    Most of these were refugees and mainly descendants of course from the Communist takeover in China.

    These villages vary in size, ranging from several hundreds to 3,000. Chinese refugees total about 60,000 according to conservative estimation.

    I am aware that there are many Chinese refugees in the mountains of Laos, Burma, Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia even, just what these figures would total I have no idea. I am of course referring to refugees from the Chinese civil war, not the influx of Hill-tribe people. I have heard figures quoted of 80,000 in Thailand alone. I rather think that a comparison to a spill over Old Trafford crowd, is no comparison to the true numbers one might found in these isolated havens.

    (Mai Sot thoughts)Mai Sot thoughts ( (Mai Sot thoughts)1 (Mai Sot thoughts)2 (Mai Sot thoughts)3 (Mai Sot thoughts)4 (Mai Sot thoughts)5 ... (Mai Sot thoughts)Last Page)


    I have a thread, link above which gives considerable detail.




    The experiences in these places can be good.

    But it pays to be very cautious.




    The general countryside is extremely beautiful in a manner you cannot help but find makes you inquisitive to find out what is going on in there.




    It is full of many surprises.





    You have no idea where certain roads and tracks might lead you.



    All a brilliant exercise in life though.



    Country Road..

    Take me home.

  4. #4
    Thailand Expat jandajoy's Avatar
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    Another great set of photos. Thanks Mathos.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathos
    Again, the Chinese origin is very apparent.
    you are mixing up Chinese and China, I think

    most of the people you see, besides any Burmese, are from the equivalent of hilltribes, rather than Chinese, per se

    they were refugees from several areas, over many years of suppression and downright ethnic cleansing

  6. #6
    Thailand Expat
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrAndy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Mathos
    Again, the Chinese origin is very apparent.
    you are mixing up Chinese and China, I think

    most of the people you see, besides any Burmese, are from the equivalent of hilltribes, rather than Chinese, per se

    they were refugees from several areas, over many years of suppression and downright ethnic cleansing

    There are numerous tribes in these areas Doc.
    Refugees have been pouring into these mountains for centuries.

    However, the main group I am refering to are definitely Chinese, the descendants of the refugee remnants of Kuomintang (China's Nationalist Party ) and warriors loyal to Chiang Kai-Shek.

    The Thai government allowed them to settle in various places along these borders.

    It's a point of fact also, that nobody really has clue were the real boundaries are, rivers are normally used as a guide-line, but if a point of revenue arises on the opposite bank, the boundaries are moved.

    After all, Thais especially,

    'They Only Want to be On The Side That's Winning'




    Chiang and his Kuomonting group of battle hardened warriors received great assistance from the USA during WW2, although Chiang had originally been in cahoots with Mao Zedong and the Commies in attempts to oust the Japs from China.

    The Kuomonting were also assisted by the Soviet Union.


    Most of these folk are descendant from The Kuomonting still residing in 'Chinese Only' type villages on the border-lands, such as Ban Rak Thai.

    These Refugees can be traced back to the Communist takeover in China 1949.

    Not that long ago is it.

    Doi Mae Salong in the Chiang Rai area is a large Chinese Village, town even.

    There are numerous Chinese refugees in the mountains of Laos, Burma, Vietnam Thailand and even Cambodia.

    I am again referring to Chinese refugees from the post WW 11 time and not Hilltribes.


    It's a very spartan existence for all of these folk.

    They of course do not realise that, they know no difference.



    All they really need, will reach them one way or another.

    Life has improved considerably since they acquired the odd motorcycle or two especially.



    They fly the Thai Flag, but are a distance apart.

    China has abhorrent memories of ethnic cleansing.




    These Chinese folk, really like to show their originality and their roots.





    A cup of nice tea always go's down well.



    Nice fertile land in most of the mountain valleys.




    Chinese fishing and all.


    Hope the info is OK JJ.

    Sorry if I got carried away on the thread mate.

    But you all know I can do that from time to time.

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