Monday, May 30, 2011


Things I liked....

1. When we went into a bar or night club the music was not over bearing. You could still have a conversation at your table and order drinks with out having to yell. Also the music wasn't heard past the door of the club.

2. No Graffiti

3. No one wearing pants down past their asses.

4. No trash on the streets ( people were always sweeping and cleaning)

5. People practised their Buddhist faith, the symbols of Buddhism were everywhere and celebrated.

6. Pride in their King

7. Keeping of their National identity

8. People moved with purpose ( If there was a line it moved quickly) No fiddle farting around

9. If you went into a shop or restaurant the staff was at your service.

10. The best laundry service anywhere

11. A doctors visit with medication was $3

12. It seemed as if everyone had a job, lots of entrepreneurship

13. Restroom attendants, I never saw one dirty bathroom. Also people tend to clean up after themselves if they know someone is watching.

14. The love of animals, they are welcomed almost everywhere. (If animals don't like you , there is a good chance your a rat bastard.)

15. Souvenirs - I love sarongs!!! real ones with ties not those funky beach things.

Things I didn't like so much

1. Beggars

2. Pushy salespeople

3. Food was terrible

4. All the scams/robberies- 2x someone attempted to rob me physically. One tried to grab my watch while walking on a crowded side walk and scratched my wrist. Another guy pulled a knife on me and said give me your money. The phrase Fuck off translates the same in any language. The third time our luggage was broken into on the tour bus taking us from the airport to the hotel in Phuket. Phuket was the place I felt least safe in all the places I visited. Crowbar marks on the doors of the hotel rooms did nothing to give me a sense of security.

5. Couldn't get a decent drink anywhere

6. Things were expensive no matter what anyone says, for most things aside from groceries at the market (cheap) everything else was what I would pay in the states or more. a $7 bottle of Beringers White Zinfandel at home, was $36 in Thailand.

7. Disgusting backpackers,unshaven stinky hippies with topknots (queer ass looking hair buns on dudes), and European scumbags that walk up to you and say "Can I ask you something?" anyone that comes up talking to you is no good, keep walking and ignore them. Its more likely you will be pick pocketed by one of these guys or asked to see a "Ping Pong" show.

8. Australians the most obnoxious pieces of shit on the planet.

Sunday, May 29, 2011


This is Golf he was our Bus assistant I thought he was just the cutest thing.

He was so sweet. If I was Angelina Jolie I would have adopted him and brought him home.

I made a print out of useful Thai travel phrases and I practised memorizing a handful of them. Pronunciation was easier than I had expected and I caught on very quickly. Many Thai people I encountered were surprised I could say more than Hello and I actually understood some of the questions they asked me in Thai. To me learning to speak the language in your host country is just a mark of respect.

On the other side of the coin many people want to learn English. I was afforded the opportunity of practicing English with several Thai school girls. It was fun seeing their bashfulness and hearing their schoolgirl laughs.

The list below is just a few polite phrases that you will use the most.


Sawatdee (krap/kah) Hello
Sabai dee ru (krap/kah) How are you?
Sabai dee (krap/kah) Fine
Khop Khun (krap/kah) Thank you
chai Yes
mai chai No
mai pen rai Never mind /Whatever
(handy all purpose phrase to express the Thai go-with-the-flow attitude)

Saturday, May 28, 2011


I had heard about Tiger Balm before and I even bought the ones above at Duty Free. My husband picked up 2 jars made by monks at a temple. While on our trip I woke up with a stiff neck. I figured what can it hurt to try. So I rubbed some on my neck, it worked wonders. Since then I have used it behind my ears for ear aches, under my nose for sinus', on my temples and forehead for sinus' headaches ,rubbed into my cuticles to moisturize them, I rubbed it on a cut that has been taking way to long to heal and its almost completely gone now. I also rubbed it on my lower back for some back pain. I swear by Tiger Balm now and keep a jar with me in my purse all the time.


In most modern cities in Thailand today, traditional cosmetic recipes enjoy more popularity than the latest brand-name items.
People there easily see the benefits of using homemade natural remedies instead of the mass-produced chemical alternatives. Herbs are commonly used cosmetically for their natural tonifying, rejuvenative, and antibacterial properties, and the people in Thailand seem to understand this in a way that many Westerners don’t.
A favorite topical application for soothing sore muscles, Tiger Balm is also great for colds, congestion, and sinusitis, when applied to the chest and throat.

Try out this pure and totally natural recipe:

10 drops essential oil of peppermint

10 drops essential oil of eucalyptus

5 drops essential oil of clove

60 ml extra-virgin olive oil or coconut oil

15 g beeswax

Heat olive oil and beeswax in a double-boiler over low heat. Stir until wax is melted. Remove from heat. Stir in essential oils, and pour into small glass or metal containers to cool.

Note that commercial Tiger Balm is available in several strengths, and that you may adjust quantities of essential oils in this recipe.

This recipe calls for essential oils, but extremely strong decoctions of fresh herbs may be used as well by following the directions here:
Combine fresh herbs in a pan with a pint of water; boil to reduce water. Strain. Combine liquid with oil and wax, and continue cooking over low heat until water has evaporated, making sure not to boil the oil. Remove from heat and cool in glass or metal container.


Tiger Balm
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The white and red versions of Haw Par Tiger Balm.
Tiger Balm (
traditional Chinese: ; pinyin: hǔbiao wànjīnyóu) is the trade name for a heat rub manufactured and distributed by Haw Par Healthcare in Singapore.
It was originally developed in the 1870s by a herbalist,
Aw Chu Kin, in Rangoon, Burma, who asked his sons Aw Boon Haw and Aw Boon Par on his deathbed to perfect the product.[1]
Originally named for containing tiger bone, an ingredient in traditional Chinese medicine dating back 1,500 years to treat pain, inflammation and to strengthen muscle,
[2] Tiger Balm now consists purely of herbal ingredients. Tiger Balm is available in several varieties, the weaker Tiger Balm White (which is recommended for use with headaches) and the stronger Tiger Balm Red (which is not to be used on the head). There is also another version called Tiger Balm Ultra.
From the notes that accompany Tiger Balm:
Tiger Balm is made from a secret herbal formulation that dates back to the times of the Chinese emperors. The Aw brothers, Aw Boon Haw and Aw Boon Par inherited the formulation from their herbalist father who left China. They call it Tiger Balm, after Boon Haw, (whose name in Chinese meant "Tiger") who was instrumental in devising the remarkable selling strategies that made Tiger Balm a household name all over Asia today.


mentholised mint oil
Cajuput oil
Clove bud oil
Cassia oil

The remainder is a
petroleum jelly and paraffin base. The rub does not contain tiger parts.[4]
The original Tiger Balm Red and Tiger Balm White have 25% of Camphor.
[5] A new product named Tiger Balm White HR uses Eucalyptus oil instead of Cajuput oil.[5]
edit] Uses
Tiger Balm is purported to relieve the following ailments:
Myalgia muscular pains.
Migraines and headaches of light intensity to moderate.
Mosquito bites: to relieve the itch.
Cough: to release the respiratory voices, in application on the chest and the back.
Stomach ache: rub on stomach to relieve upset stomach.
Heartburn: rub on chest.
Nasal congestion: place a small bit under the nostrils.
Interstitial Cystitis: cut to size, placed just above the pubic bone, can moderate pain enough to allow patients to sleep better.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Many people consider Buddhism more as a philosophy or a "way to live". But it is considered one of the World Religions. The definition is up to each of us.

The Noble Eightfold Path

1. Right understanding

2. Right thought

3. Right speech

4. Right action

5. Right livelihood

6. Right effort

7. Right mindfulness

8. Right concentration

The Ethics or the Five Precepts

1. To refrain from killing living creatures

2. To refrain from stealing

3. To refrain from sexual misconduct

4. To refrain from lying

5. To refrain from taking intoxicants


Karma can, rather simplified, be described as that our conscious actions will result in an effect. This does not involve unconscious acts though. Karma means action or deed in sanskrit and involves that unselfish good deeds results in good karma, but selfish, "evil" deeds results in bad karma. "What you do is what you get" or Tham dii, dai dii - Tham chua, dai chua in Thai.


While traveling in Thailand , I found that every home and business had a Spirit House. I became very interested in the ritual and lore surrounding these beautiful shrines. I bought a small one for our garden. While Greg and I were motorbiking in the mountains we stopped to rest in a secluded area and I found were a cache of old broken spirit houses had been left.

The Thai Spirit House
Animism in Thailand
Spirit Worship is as old as mankind itself. In Thailand the phenomenon goes back to the ancient days when the Tai's were beginning their slow migration from the Red River Delta in northern Vietnam to all parts of the Southeast Asian region. Spirit Worship, or Animism, was a religion by which the entire world lived at one time, and when Buddhism came to Southeast Asia, it developed side by side with the ancient spirit religion. Today, many of the old animistic beliefs are intertwined with Buddhism and some animistic practices still exist in Thailand. One of these which is practiced by every Thai is the Spirit House.
The Spirit House can be seen at a prominent spot outside every business establishment in the country. It can be seen on a pedestal in Front of every hotel. It dresses the corner garden area of a restaurant, the Front of a bar, disco or put Spirit houses are even seen at outdoor food markets. They are built on the grounds of Buddhist temples. outside caves in the mountains, near Fishing ponds in the valleys, and occasionally in the middle of an otherwise uninhabited forest. Most importantly, however. the Thai Spirit House is built at the yard of every home.
The purpose of the Spirit House is to provide an appealing shelter for the spirits, or celestial beings, who would otherwise reside in the heavens, Find a place in large trees, or in caves, cliffs. waterfalls or other natural surroundings. According to folklore, the spirits themselves are either good or evil, but most are just finicky and mischievous, demanding respect from humans and capable of disastrous interferences if they don't get their way, The spirit of the land, for example. expects to be informed when a human intends to start a business or engage in improvements to an existing business. If the spirit is not informed, and if the human does not respectfully request permission, the spirit can indeed cause the venture to fail.
The style and construction of a spirit house may be as simple as a typical Thai-style shelter or as elaborate as a Thai palace. The exact style often depends on two Factors, which spirit the person wishes to invite and how much one can afford for the spirit house construction. Construction itself is a specialized field and only an expert Spirit House builder would be considered for proper construction. His responsibility, in addition to construction, is to be familiar with all the necessary rituals involved so that the spirit to be invited will find it an acceptable earthly abode.
The house may be permanent or temporary, made of wood, concrete or brick. At certain times the spirits are invited down only for special occasions and this is when temporary spirit houses are built. the size may vary from the very small to a large, walk-in, ground-level affair. The houses are finished with statues, small figures, or symbols of many other sorts in the center within the spirit house. In addition, there may be various animal figures, such as elephants or hones; figures of people, such as a married couple or other images; and even furniture. Outside, around the balcony that usually surrounds a spirit house, incense holders, candle sticks, and vases for flowers are placed.
There are countless gods and other celestial beings in Thai folklore, The primary spirits the Thai's are concerned with, however, are called the Phra Bhum Jowthee , or Guardian Spirits of the Land, There are nine of guardians and each offers a different type of protection. The Guardian of the House and the Guardian of the Gardens are so frequently consulted with and prayed to that they are the only two that have permanent spirit houses built for them.
The Guardian of the House is the spirit that watches over and protects the home. It is uncertain whether there is one spirit that watches over all homes, or if individual spirits do this for each home. However, all you have to do in Thailand is look around and you'll see that every home has a spirit house. Thai families who believe wholeheartedly in the spirit house and it's importance light incense every morning and ask the spirit to watch over and protect the home. Others do it on ritual occasions.
The Guardian of the House includes the spirit or spirits who help In business matters, and spirit houses at business sites are of the same type. More often than not in Thailand, the business and the home are in the same location.
The Guardian of the Gardens also has a permanent spirit house shelter built for him. This spirit watches over and protects the natural surroundings, yards, gardens and orchards of the Thai family. There is a separate spirit for rice fields, so the Guardian of Gardens should not be mistaken for a spirit protecting all of agriculture. Rather, nature, flowers, plans and fruit are so important to the Thais that the Guardian of the Gardens receives a separate and permanent house of his own.
The other seven Guardians of the Land are Protector of Gates and Stairwells, who is believed to reside in the home doorstep which explains why one should never step on the doorstep of a Thai home; Protector of Animals ; Protector of Storehouses and Barns; Protector of Forests; Mountains; fields and Paddles; Protector of Temples; Protector of Waters ; and Protector of Military Forts and Defence.
The various temporary spirit houses built at times requiring the intercession of a particular spirit can be constructed at any time and at any place. An example of this is a spirit house that sits in the rhododendron forests at the top of Doi Inthanon in northern Thailand. Here In the middle of a forest hundreds of years old is a spirit house constructed for soldiers who died in a helicopter crash years ago. At the front of this spirit house, in addition to candle holders and incense holders, are small ledges for the placement of burning cigarettes. This because those in the helicopter were believed to have liked to smoke.
Offerings to a spirit house and the spirit who is intended to reside within can be nearly anything. The traditional offerings include flower garlands, betel leaves, bananas, rice, chicken, duck, and a wide range of other edibles and nonedibles. Candles are often used while incense is usually lit daily before a spirit house.
There are spirit houses everywhere In Thailand. Some very famous ones such as the one that houses the Chiangmai City Pillar are large enough to walk into. A visit to Wat Chedi Luang in Chiangmai will give you an opportunity to see it for yourself. At these people go to make offerings and request aid from the spirits to help them in monumental tasks such as bringing in the coming rice harvest. The ritual involved at such events often involves hundreds of people with a common goal and the spirit is called upon to help all. In return the people make promises of future offerings in the event that they are successful. Thus. a return visit to repay the spirit for his help is another important part of the ritual.
The Spirit House is one of the most fundamental features of Thai life even today and it is easily the most obvious. In Thailand devotion to Buddhism most often shows itself in ritual within a temple while Thai devotion to the spirits and especially the Guardians of the land and most often shows itself in their own front yards.
[Editor's note: many people have asked about what happens to old spirit houses. When changes dictate that a new spirit house be created, a ceremony will be held to transfer the spirit from the old spirit house to the new. After that, the old spirit house can be discarded. Many are discarded near a temple or wat, but usually at a place where other spirit houses have been discarded . So it is common to see many old spirit houses jumbled together.


We released these at a dinner party in Chiang Mai
The sky was filled with these beautiful lanterns carrying away your problems and woes

This one Greg and I released on a romantic evening at Surin Beach in Phuket

Sky lantern
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sky lantern

Sky lanterns, also known as Kongming Lantern are airborne paper lanterns traditionally found in some Asian cultures. They are constructed from oiled rice paper on a bamboo frame, and contain a small candle or fuel cell composed of a waxy flammable material. When lit, the flame heats the air inside the lantern, thus lowering its density causing the lantern to rise into the air. The sky lantern is only airborne for as long as the flame stays alight, after which the lantern floats back to the ground.
Sky lanterns are also referred to as sky candles or fire balloons, however the latter term is also used to refer to balloon munitions used during World War II.
Lanterns have proved extremely unpopular with farmers in many countries due to the potential for causing crop fires and the chance of death of livestock on consuming the lantern remains upon landing.A modern Kongming Lantern
According to popular lore, the Kongming Lantern (Chinese: ) was the first hot air balloon, said to be invented by the Chinese sage and military strategist Zhuge Liang,[2] whose reverent term of address (i.e. Chinese style name) was Kongming. They were first deployed at the turn of the 3rd century as a type of signaling balloon or, it is claimed, as a type of spy blimp in warfare. Alternatively the name may come from the lantern's resemblance to the hat Kongming is traditionally shown to be wearing.
It is likely that this technological discovery is misattributed because of the Chinese historical practice of attributing great discoveries to significant historical figures rather than to the actual inventors. According to the sinologist and historian of science Joseph Needham, the Chinese experimented with mini-hot air balloons from as early as the 3rd century BC, during the Warring States period, which suggests that the attribution of its invention to Kongming is anachronistic and apocryphal.
Thai festivals
Lanna (northern Thai) people use sky lanterns all year round, for celebrations and other special occasions. One very important festival in which sky lanterns are used is the Lanna festival known as "Yi Peng" (Thai: ยี่เป็ง) which is held on a full moon of the 2nd month of the Lanna calendar ("Yi" meaning "2nd" and "Peng" meaning "month" in the Lanna language). Due to a difference between the old Lanna calendar and the traditional central Thai calendar it coincides with Loi Krathong which is held on the full moon of the 12th month in the traditional Thai lunar calendar. During the Yi Peng festival, a multitude of khom loi (Thai: โคมลอย, literally: "floating lanterns") are launched into the air where they resemble large flocks of giant fluorescent jellyfish gracefully floating by through the sky. The most elaborate Yi Peng celebrations can be seen in Chiang Mai, the ancient capital of the former Lanna kingdom. The festival is meant as a time for tham bun (Thai: ทำบุญ), to make merit. People usually make khom loi from a thin fabric, such as rice paper, to which a candle or fuel cell is attached. When the fuel cell is lit, the resulting hot air which is trapped inside the lantern creates enough lift for the khom loi to float up in to the sky. In addition, people will also decorate their houses, gardens and temples with khom fai (Thai: โคมไฟ): intricately shaped paper lanterns which take on different forms.It is considered good luck to release a sky lantern, and many Thais believe they are symbolic of problems and worries floating away. In recent times, khom loi have become so popular with all Thai people that it has become an integrated in to the Loi Krathong festival in the rest of country.


I am the only female in any of these photos These are LadyBoys from the Show in Phuket

Everyone in this photo has a Penis



Thank you baby for giving us a romantic adventure, a trip of a life time and memories that will last forever. I love you with all my heart


This is the Temple when the lights go on at night
Greg at the Temple

There is a dog in the doorway of this Temple. Dogs and cats are welcome everywhere in Thailand. To me when I saw this I felt a great mysticism about the place and the relationship the animal have with it. In the scheme of things the animals are drawn there to eat the offerings left by worshipers .

At dusk bats began to fly around adding to the ambiance.




The heads of the Buddhas were stolen many years ago

when the area was invaded by Burma

Wat Chaiwatthanaram
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Wat Chaiwatthanaram
Wat Chaiwatthanaram (Thai: วัดไชยวัฒนาราม) is a Buddhist temple in the city of Ayutthaya, Thailand, on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River, outside Ayutthaya island. It is one of Ayutthaya's most well known temples and a major tourist attraction.
Wat Chaiwatthanaram lies on the west bank of Chao Phraya River, south west of the old city of Ayyuthaya. It is a large compound and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It can be reached by road or by boat.
The temple was constructed in 1630 by the king Prasat Thong as the first temple of his reign, as a memorial of his mother's resident in that area. The temple's name literally means the Temple of long reign and glorious era. It was designed in Khmer style which was popular in that time.
It has a central 35 meter high prang in Khmer style (Thai: พระปรางด์ประธาน) with four smaller prangs. The whole construction stands on a rectangular platform. About halfway up there are hidden entrances, to which steep stairs lead.
The central platform is surrounded by eight chedi-shaped chapels (Thai: เมรุทิศ เมรุราย - Meru Thit Meru Rai), which are connected by a rectangular cross-shaped passage (Phra Rabieng). The passage had numerous side entries and was originally roofed and open inwards, but today only the foundations of the pillars and the outside wall still stand. Along the wall, there were 120 sitting Buddha statues, probably painted in black and gold.
The eight chedi-like chapels are formed in a unique way. They had paintings on the interior walls, the exterior ones decorated by 12 reliefs depicting scenes from the life of Buddha (Jataka), which must be "read" clockwise. Just fragments of the paintings and the reliefs survived. In each of the rectangular chedis were two sitting Buddha statues and in each of the four middle chedis was one big sitting Buddha statue, also lacquered in black and gold. The ceiling over those statues was of wood with golden stars on black lacquer.
Outside of the passages on the east, close to the river was the temple's ordination hall (Phra Ubosot). North and south from the Ubusot stood two chedis with "12 indented corners" (Thai: เจดีย์อมุมสิบสอง), in which the ashes of the king's mother were laid.
After the total destruction of the old capital (Thai: กรุงเก่า - Krung Kao) by the Burmese in 1767, from which Wat Chai Watthanaram was not spared, the temple was deserted. Theft, sale of bricks from the ruins and the beheading of the Buddha statues were common. Only in 1987 did the Thai Department of Fine Arts start restoring the site. In 1992 it was opened to the public.
Wat Chaiwatthanaram was a royal temple where the king and his successors performed religious ceremonies. Princes and princess were cremated here, including King Boromakot's son Chaofa Thammathibet (เจ้าฟ้าธรรมธิเบศร).
The Wat Chaiwatthanaram structure reflects the Buddhist world view, as it is described already in the Traiphum Phra Ruang, the "three worlds of the King Ruang", of the 14th century: The big "Prang Prathan" that stands in the centre symbolizes the mountain Meru (Thai: เขาพระสุเมรุ - Khao Phra Sumen), which consists the central axis of the traditional world (Kamaphum - กามภูมิ). Around it lie the four continents (the four small Prangs) that swim in the four directions in the world sea (นทีสีทันดร). On one of the continents, the Chomphutawip (ชมพูทวีป), the humans live. The rectangular passage is the outer border of the world, the "Iron Mountains" (กำแพงจักรวาล).


We met a guy named Mike on the trip he was a very interesting guy, who reminded me of Owen Wilson's character in The Fockers. Mike had a great love of plumeria. One night while we were all enjoying the salt water pool at the Legendha hotel in sukothai, Mike came up with a basket of plumeria and said he'd teach us the make lei' s we wanted to learn. We ended up making many, it was a fantastic evening. These are the ones I made for myself. The headband has a Purple orchid as its centerpiece.


This was right outside the patio of my hotel room. How often can you open a door and be within 500ft of a 3000 year old temple. My husband and I liked these older rustic temples much more than the big glitzy ones we saw on the tour. This temple felt mystical.

The Legendha Hotel was my favorite of all the places we stayed.


My husband driving the Rice Barge down the Mekong River
There were many floating houses and fish farms along the way. There is a small cat walking around the fisherman's boat.

This is the name of the Rice Barge my husband sailed


All over Thailand I saw these pots full of water growing

Lotus and Water Lilies many having small silver fish swimming in them. Currently I have a project going. I am making one of these as a gift for my husband's 5oth birthday. I am sure he would probably like something alot different, but this gift comes from the heart. Its a reminder of the time we spent on our romantic adventure. When he is home he spends alot of time on our patio, so thats where it will be as a tranquil loving reminder.


I was moved by the love of the Thai people for their King.

I saw his picture everywhere and some businesses even had signs up saying " We love the King".

While we were in Thailand the King was in the hospital and our guide Tim kept up daily on his recuperation. She truly loves her King. She told of his many accomplishments and his love of his people. During several disasters and events where the people needed immediate help and the government was slow to act the King used his own money to send help and supplies and render aid. He also worked with agronomists and created a hybrid Thai rice. He and his mother have worked diligently to end the heroin trade and teach farming and industry . By the end of the trip I had developed a great admiration of this man and hope his health improves so he may continue to be the longest reining Monarch.


from Wiki

Bhumibol Adulyadej born 5 December 1927) is the current King of Thailand. He is known as Rama IX (and within the Thai royal family and to close associates simply as Lek. Having reigned since 9 June 1946, he is the world's longest-serving current head of state and the longest-reigning monarch in Thai history. He was admitted to Siriraj Hospital in September 2009 for flu and pneumonia and has been confined there since. Rumors about his ill-health caused Thai financial markets to tumble in October 2009.
Although Bhumibol is legally a constitutional monarch, he has made several decisive interventions in Thai politics. He was credited with facilitating Thailand's transition to democracy in the 1990s, although he has supported numerous military regimes, including Sarit Dhanarajata's during the 1960s and the Council for National Security in 2006-2008. During his long reign he has seen over 15 coups, 16 constitutions, and 27 changes of prime ministers. He has also used his influence to stop military coups, including attempts in 1981 and 1985.
Bhumibol is revered by many Thais, despite what the Thai government claims are serious threats to overthrow the monarchy. Bhumibol is legally considered "inviolable", and insults, claims that he is involved in politics, and criticism of him can result in three to fifteen years in jail, though he claimed in his 2005 birthday speech that he would not take lèse majesté seriously.
Bhumibol is credited with a social-economic theory of self-sufficiency. His personal wealth is tremendous: Forbes estimated Bhumibol's personal fortune, including property managed by the Crown Property Bureau which is considered the national property, to be US$30 billion in 2010, and he has been consistently placed at number one of the magazine's list of "The World's Richest Royals". He currently holds major shares in several private companies, including, more than 40% in Sammakorn, 30% in SCG, 30% in Thai Insurance PLC and 20% in SCB. Nonetheless, Crown Property Bureau spends money on public welfare like youth development, however it does not pay taxes and its finances are reported to only Bhumibol. Bhumibol himself has made donations to numerous development projects in Thailand, in areas like agriculture, environment, public health, occupational promotion, water resources, communications and public welfare. Commemoration of Bhumibol's contributions to Thailand are ubiquitous in the Thai media.

Monday, May 16, 2011


Upon arriving in the Hill Tribe Village this old man

latched on to me and drug me off to his hut where

he sat me down on his bed.

He encouraged me to stay

but I left after this photo.

A woman in traditional Hill Tribe Costume

Another traditional Hill Tribe Costume

Greg smoking Tobacco from a Hill Tribe Pipe

Greg and a Hill Tribe Woman

The ladies of the Hill Tribe playing music and doing a tribal dance
Hill tribes of Thailand

Traditional Akha house deep in the wilderness
Northern Thailand is home to interesting and colourful ethnic minorities, known as the hill tribes. These add an important element to tourism here and you may visit, or go trekking to, numerous villages where they are happy to receive you. Since most are rural and poor, any economically-uplifting opportunities are welcomed.
Most of the hill tribes have migrated into the region during the past 100 years from the Asian interior and have largely preserved their traditional ways, making them a fascinating cultural study. They prefer living above 1,000m, and shy away from the outside world.
There are seven broad hill tribe groupings: Karen, Lahu, Hmong, Lisu, Akha, Mien, and Padaung. However, within these categories, there are sub-categories and clans that further divide the groups. Each hill tribe has its own customs, language, dress and spiritual beliefs and this is sometimes true even of the numerous sub-categories within one hill tribe. For example, the Green Hmong and White Hmong speak in different and distinct dialects and dress differently. The hill tribes are most distinctly recognised for their colourful and unique costume, which they continue to wear daily.
Most of the hill tribes living in the remote upland areas practice subsistence farming. They were pretty much left alone until the 1950s, when the increase in their numbers, extreme poverty, statelessness and threat of insurgency forced the Thai government to establish the National Committee for the Hill Tribes.
Opium cultivation was a major source of income for many of the hill tribes and the government worked hard to eradicate this cultivation by successfully substituting it with other cash crops, such as cabbages and fruits. This is known as the Royal Project, initiated by his Highness King Rama IX, and commended internationally for its success.
However, as is the case with any minority groups, hill tribes have issues with citizenship, conforming to mainstream Thai society and the loss of their indigenous customs and languages. Furthermore, their placement at the centre of the lucrative drug trafficking along the Myanmar border has often put them in compromising positions. These are all difficult issues faced by both the hill tribe people and the Thai government.

info from