Saturday, September 30, 2006

chiangrai 2005 - 10 Shin Sane Guest House

[131205] Mae Salong is predominantly Chinese & Akha, a place in Thailand where Thais are a tiny minority - YK & e cat got around by speaking Mandarin! e Chinese are descendants of e Kuomintang troops & their families who fled from Yunnan into Burma after losing e civil war to e Communists, & were subsequently forced out of Burma into Thailand. e Akha also migrated along a similar route, albeit many decades earlier.

at Mae Salong Shin Sane Guest House 美斯乐新生旅馆 (tel. +66-053-765026), we met e Mandarin-speaking ethnic Chinese owner, Mr Ho (贺先生, for those who wish to address him in Chinese). Shin Sane has old rooms that give you an idea of how things were like when e guesthouse was started ~35 years ago, as well as newer brighter bungalows. having arrived a day ahead of our booking, all bungalows were still occupied by a group of missionaries, & we settled for one of e older rooms that can sleep 3 for 150 baht:


in e far corner (above center) is a little artificial bonsai decoration in a ceramic pot, with branches fashioned out of twisted shiny gold wire, shiny green plastic leaves, & pink, orange & yellow plastic 'pearls' as fruits - something that wouldn't be out of place in any of e Chinatown shops in much more cheena can this place get?

for e cat's friends who recognise that obiang faded black + orange + blue + green + white towel hanging on e wall (above right), it is e towel-that-never-dried =P

e non-bungalow rooms share these 2 common loo + shower units - algae-ish but not as bad as it looks:

photo by YK

e zinc roof & walls with wooden plank supports remind e cat of its Yio Chu Kang kampung outhouse. e only sink (with a tap that can rotate 360 degrees!) is out in e open, on one side of e courtyard - probably can't use it during heavy rain =P

photos by YK

sneak shots of each other:


studying maps - (1) e free (10 baht for non-guests) hand drawn trekking map from Shin Sane Guesthouse, (2) sections of e GPS map by Tall Glass printed from e internet, & (3) photocopied from guidebooks:


decided to spend e rest of e afternoon exploring e southern end of town. e single sloping main street is lined with greying concrete single-/double-storey shophouses with signboards in Chinese characters, bagua mirrors to ward off evil, dusty red lanterns that have seen better days, & faded posters peeling off e exterior walls, housing shops selling Oolong tea, noodles & karaoke joints. felt just like Chongqing in Sichuan during e mid-90s....

[ filed under: chiangrai_2005 + thewanderingstraycat + thai1 ]

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