What a lovely weather now in Hong Kong. A beautiful Saturday and before continuing on my life here in Hong Kong, I wanna finish up the posting on my recent trip to Northern Thailand. For easier track back, please check out here, here & here.
In brief, Northern Thailand population is mainly made of hill tribes people from Burma who came to Thailand to seek asylum during the civil war there. The Thai government recognized these people as the 2nd class citizen of Thailand which means they will not have the privilege like other Thai citizen to enjoy government subsidized benefits, for example education, etc.
Northern Thailand or the Golden Triangle was once best known for its notorious drugs production & dealing. In the past, those hill tribes who seek asylum in Thailand would grow poppy plants to make a living.
All this however change thanks to the royal presence when the late Princess Mother built the Doi Tung Villa. Thai has very strong passion on its monarchy, that is why it is very important for tourists and foreigners to know this point because unnecessary and unpleasant remarks about the monarchy will land them in hot soup. To stress again, never ever poke fun on Thai's monarchy, the King & the monk.
Ok now on the Doi Tung Villa, a summer palace on the slopes of Doi Tung near Pa Kluay Reservoir, which is now open to the public as a museum. The royal initiative also educated on new agricultural methods to stop slash and burn practices. Opium has now been replaced by crops such as, coffee, teak and various fruits. Thus the life of these hill tribes changed so whenever I asked them about the late Princess Mother, they will passionately described her in many good ways. The rest of the property, including the Mae Fah Luang Garden and Mae Fah Luang Arboretum, is also open to the public. Please note that no photograph is allowed inside the Doi Tung Royal Villa.
At the peak of Doi Tung, 1800m above sea level, Wat Phra That Doi Tung is built around the twin Lanna-style chedi. The chedi were renovated by famous Chiang Mai monk Khruba Siwichai early in the 20th century. What was captivating here to me, the two rows of temple bells, pilgrims bang on the usual row of temple bells to gain merit.
All in all, my this trip there had opened up my eyes in a lot of ways; Thai's culture, its way of living, its food and the home-stay in village had been a great experience for a city boy like me. God willing, I will love to visit it again during the Songkran festival. For those who are seeking advice on this area, do email me, I will try to assist as much as I can :)
As for me now, its my first week here in Hong Kong, the first few days always been exciting when you bump into a new place & new environment, but as time passes, I start to miss friends back home. In Hong Kong, long stay here is not easy, the moment you step out of your house, you start to burn a hole in your pocket so can guess that I most probably home most of the time, or perhaps just go around the neighborhood for a walk. I am currently home alone for a few days here. I am invited for a post mid-autumn celebration party tonight @ the Hong Kong International Airport World Trade Center, was there last night and the view was amazing, will try to snap more pictures & upload it to my Facebook.
Oh ya, not forgetting too, taking this opportunity to wish all my Hindu friends & readers a very happy Diwali, I am so gonna miss the food! Ciao!