Tuesday, December 12, 2006

chiangrai 2005 - 20 General Duan's tomb

[161205] General Duan's tomb on e hillside above Khum Nai Phol resort, overlooking Mae Salong in e direction of Ban Klang:


e guy who has taken over e late Huang Jiafu's 'guard duty' at e tomb:


interesting fella sits at a small table on e left & is more than willing to chat at length with e occasional visitor. told us that e late General Duan took care of e orphaned children of his men, ensuring that they received an education. he gave YK a photostated copy of some write-up (in Chinese) on e history of e KMT army in Mae Salong, & we gave him a 2 Singapore dollar note to add to his currency collection =)

souvenir shop at e base of e tomb, in a rather picturesque setting beneath a beautiful tree with e absence of leaves revealing branches most graceful:


e owner saw us trekking up e slope to e tomb & stopped to give us a lift in his 4WD =) he'd just finished clearing a hillside trail linking e tomb to e Goddess of Mercy temple above e morning market, & suggested that we use that shortcut to return to Shin Sane guesthouse.

e trail he cleared - had e honours of being e very first users:


at some points e trail wasn't really distinct, & we had to look for signs of disturbance to e vegetation, before finding e link to a path at e back of temple grounds:


kinda weird walking 'home' by such a path after a 'shopping spree' - we'd bought fried bamboo worms & coconut chips as gifts for Agong's family & our friends in Singapore =P

back of temple grounds:


saddest gibbon in Mae Salong:


so many of these amazingly agile acrobats are held captive & chained up in tourist spots around Thailand, even in bars & nightspots. & going by e experience of e gibbon rescue centre in Phuket, once taken away from their social groups, e success rate of rehabilitating captive individuals & reintroducing them into e wild isn't very high....a tropical rainforest devoid of their whooping & singing calls echoing through e morning light is a rather empty place.

finally got to see e mosque up close:


recycling bins outside mosque - an abandoned project?


saying goodbye to Mr He before returning back to Chiangrai city:


shared a songthaew with two guys in their twenties heading back to their jobs in Vietnam. on our way up to Mae Salong we'd been waved through at e Ban Akha Sam Yaek military checkpoint, but this time on our way down our songthaew was stopped & soldiers questioned who e cat was (illegal Burmese cat smuggling?)....& e two guys had to explain that it was a tourist!

got off along e highway a couple of kilometres shy of Chiangrai city, while e guys continued on to Chiangrai International Airport. e songthaew driver charged us only e 60 baht Mae Salong-Ban Pasang fare =P YK & e cat were left standing by e roadside along Asia Superhighway No. 1 until they flagged down a green songthaew heading towards e city. & then it was a mad rush climbing onto e songthaew roof to haul e backpacks up, & then scrambling into e back as vehicles zoomed by us on e expressway....something e cat will never try on e expressways back in Singapore! YK was somewhat miffed that e songthaew driver refused to lift even a fingernail to help us with our barang.

& that was not e end of e songthaew adventure. on reaching Chiangrai bus station, e cat climbed up again to get e backpacks down, & turned around to pass one into what it thought were e hands of YK - just as YK pulled e owner of e pair of hands away, & e backpack fell to e ground....this strange guy who spends e whole day hanging around e bus station was over eager in trying to help (we think....benefit of doubt) us with our bags (maybe for a tip in return?), & YK was trying to stop him from tugging at e cat clinging onto e songthaew ladder.

rest of e day was spent checking through e whole list of emails from A.W.E. 2004 team members, discussing e donations with 2 of them on web MSN, tallying up e total amount donated, & contacting Pi Moo....

[ filed under: chiangrai_2005 + thewanderingstraycat + thai1 ]

No comments: