Monday, October 16, 2006

chiangrai 2005 - 13 Mae Salong morning

[141205] in Mae Salong, street lighting = moonlight =)

photo by YK

Mae Salong waking up:


Mae Salong meow:


at 5+AM e morning market just behind Shin Sane Guesthouse was already coming to life, & we headed there for a 豆浆油条 (soya bean milk with dough fritters) breakfast - that is how cheena Mae Salong is =P

photos taken after breakfast & sunrise....

road to morning market from Shin Sane:


outside e morning market:

left photo by YK


e interior is pretty dark, & not much different from Siglap wet market in e early '80s (where Siglap Center now stands). there were tourists taking photos inside e market, but we found it a little too intrusive to poke cameras in people's faces & blind them with e flash.

heading back to Shin Sane Guesthouse, e collection of blue-roofed buildings:

photo by YK

many of e Yunnan Chinese in Mae Salong are Muslim, & right behind Shin Sane is a white mosque with green-tiled roof & minarets. e morning prayer call doubles up as Shin Sane's morning wake-up call service =P

some vegetable(?) hanging out to dry (below left), & e Akha Guesthouse next door to Shin Sane (below right):

photos by YK

e bungalows of Khum Nai Phol resort, surrounded by cherry blossom trees that bloom between late December to January:

photos by YK

sakura & hanami can be enjoyed here (& in Doi Pha Tang) in Thailand too, if you cannot make it to Japan or Korea in spring =)

Akha handicraft stalls sprouting up on e southwest side of Mae Salong that those coming up from Chiang Mai first see:

photos by YK

Chinese-owned souvenir & tea shops that also sell bamboo worms by e kilogramme:

photos by YK

income disparity between e Chinese & Akha is pretty obvious, though we were told that e Akha here can earn an average daily wage of 150 baht (approx SGD6+) working in e Chinese-owned tea plantations. this is higher than e 100 baht average (according to Acha) in other parts of Chiangrai. some of e better-off Akha send their kids to Xinghua School to pick up Chinese, & many of e Mae Salong Akha can speak some Mandarin (like a few of e Ban Apa villagers), which helps them in finding jobs as labourers in Taiwan.

Akha women in their blue work jackets waiting for transport to e fields:


squeezing on - an idea of how e Ban Apa accident could have involved 26 villagers?


this guy with e loudhailer is a Mae Salong icon:


wherever you are in Mae Salong town, chances are you will hear him singing & see him walking up & down wearing his green Kuomintang army beret decorated with a little yellow flower + striped scarf + pink shoelaces....interesting character =)

not far from Khum Nai Phol resort is e Mae Salong school, where we walked straight into e morning assembly:


Wednesday is scout day in schools across Thailand:


though not everyone can afford a separate set of (scout) uniforms & shoes (brown for scout day, black for other days), or even any school uniform &/or shoes at all....some just pair half a uniform (either e shirt or shorts/skirt) with their home clothes, some come in slippers, & in e cold season some wear e uniform over their home clothes for warmth.

many of e kids here carry Akha shoulder bags instead of schoolbags - some have nothing much to bring to school anyway. e cat used to wonder what on earth Thanchanok carried in her schoolbag when she didn't seem to have any stationery or books at all - e only paper e cat could find in e house was an Akha calendar. later on e cat would discover that some carried a plastic bag containing a few handfuls of cooked rice as their lunch.

assembly in front of Buddha:


principal giving his neverending speech - principals around e world are all just as long-winded!


primary students heading to class:

photo by YK

stopping to play gor li (marbles) before e teacher appears:

photo by YK

classroom cleaning duty:

photo by YK

inside a classroom, waiting for e teacher to arrive:

photo by YK

in rural schools, e teacher doesn't always appear. & many leave on e dot to sell things & run shops after school hours, or in cities like Bangkok, to give tuition - just like in Singapore ;)

e Buddha, e kingdom (flag) & e monarchy:

photo by YK

dtor1 dtao3 ('T' for tortoise):

photo by YK

little did we know that we would end up chanting e entire 'kor1 kai3, khor2 khai3' ('K' for chicken, 'Kh' for egg) alphabet song a few hours later....=P

from a Christianised Akha village:


[ filed under: chiangrai_2005 + thewanderingstraycat + thai1 ]

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