February 04, 2007

chiangrai 2005 - 25 Chiang Kham

[191205] Chiangrai-Thoeng-Chiang Kham-Pong bus:


[1] this bus goes to Thoeng in English, beyond Thoeng to Chiang Kham in Thai, & all the way beyond Chiang Kham to Pong in reality
[2] interior of bus with super reflective ceiling
[3] a most interesting bus ride with a most interesting conductor-driver (left)

he sold tickets, hung out of the door to keep an eye out for passengers waiting alongside the highways, acted as the driver's left sideview mirror, turning signal & human door opening/closing mechanism, helped passengers carry their belongings up & down the bus, ran off to buy 'kratin daeng' (red bull energy drink) for the driver & himself, ran across the highway to stop a connecting bus for a passenger, carried big fat bags of soya bean milk across the highway for the passenger who'd forgotten & left them on our bus, & took over the driving when the driver disappeared somewhere in the outskirts of Chiang Kham. how's that for service? =)

Wat Yuan in Chiang Kham of Phayao province:


a lot of walking back & forth a bridge across a river & asking around to find this place...finally got directions from the local optician's....

Tai Lue culture centre on temple grounds:


didn't seem to be open - there was no sign of any staff around, & a group of novice monks were eating their second meal of the day on the floor at the entrance....sat under a tree just outside to rest & wait in vain for non-existent staff to appear & figure out what to do next. & then a bell rang & the novice monks rushed off...this was our chance ;)

we 'opened' the museum ourselves - took off our shoes & walked right in & upstairs:


[1] Tai Lue traditional dress with trademark white 'turban'; small whitish weaving on table at bottom right should be a phaa chet noi?
[2] Tai Lue weavings
[3] palm leaf manuscripts used to record Buddhist scriptures
[4] Tai Lue have their own beautiful script

what is this?


decorated with a multi-coloured 'tung' & papercuttings characteristic of Tai Lue...

spent all of 20 minutes in the museum, & as we walked out, a bell rang & all these monks & novices appeared suddenly out of nowhere:


realised that we were in the grounds of a monastic school at precisely 12 noon:


time to assemble in the corridors to chant before heading into the classrooms:


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