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Old 02-23-2013, 12:51 AM   #1
Tjilpi OP
Joined: Jan 2013
Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand
Oddometer: 60
Gotta Love those 'Hilltribe' Folk.

A Thai friend who is the Director of a large school near the Burma border invited me to attend the Chinese New Year celebrations being held at his school. This occasion also gave the various local 'Hilltribe' groups an opportunity to attend the event and demonstrate their amazing costumes, dance, games and languages.

So the trusty CRF was packed and I rode out from Chiang Mai heading to a bit north of Chiang Rai.

The first stop was at the Khmer style Spa Resort. The owner's money is exhausted so this massive indulgence lies here unfinished and unused.

A bit further along the highway #118 is the Charin Resort, which has become an almost compulsory stop-over for bike tourers because it has a wonderful restaurant beside a flowing stream. And in the restaurant are irresistible pies and cakes. I find their coconut pie 'hits the spot'.

Then some back-roads, through Chiang Rai, and meet up with a friend who took me out to this tea plantation, which also had a Cafe and irresistible eats and drinks.

This area now has many tea plantations ...

... and rubber tree plantations.

The next day we fuelled up; but not here because the station was over-run by Chinese tourists who were travelling the northern Thailand roads in long convoys.

We road around the area north of Chiang Rai, heading for a favourite Coffee Shop.

Then back to base via the local rice-field tracks.

So now it is 14th February and The Big Day has arrived.
We rode out from Mae Chan towards the Burma border along excellent riding roads and past splendid scenery ...

... and arrived at the school just as the celebrations were commencing.
We walked around for a while, then two teachers found us and announced they had been appointed by the Director to take care of us during our stay.

Firstly, we were shown Visitors' Quarters.
I opted for the room with the waterfall inside!
The fee was 'up to you'; the money going to the school anyway.

Refreshed, we walked down to the school grounds and were dazzled by the variety of colourful costumes, the charming and proud people and their music.

Here's some of what we saw.

This proud young Akha student sat with me and taught me some Akha words. She had good English too; although I was later to learn that the students prefer to learn Chinese more than they do English. This area of northern Thailand is very Chinese. The school is actually seeking volunteer qualified English language teachers. I can make the connection if any interested reader wants to send me a private message.

A few spectators who didn't have traditional costumes to wear.

It's good to have a friend!

And it being a Chinese New Year function, we were taken out to a nearby Chinese Temple.

Back at the school the dancing continued through the night.
Well, until a severe electrical storm arrived and everyone scattered!
But I think we'd all had enough.
It was a wonderful event with fascinating people.

Next day we road home, on wonderful riding roads past more nice scenery ...

There's a lot of Christian evangelical activity within the 'Hilltribe' communities, so we see many Churches.

All together an excellent few days riding and learning.
Indeed, we retired folk have it good here in northern Thailand.
" A truly happy rider is one who can enjoy an unexpected detour along the way. "
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Old 02-24-2013, 05:39 PM   #2
Gnarly Adventurer
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Joined: Oct 2007
Location: Boise
Oddometer: 133
Great pictures . Looks like an excellent place to retire
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Old 02-24-2013, 05:50 PM   #3
Gnarly Adventurer
Joined: Aug 2011
Location: Pacific NW
Oddometer: 330
Very beautiful country and of course the people! I have visited your area and others around. I would love to visit again. Using a motorcycle for some of the adventures would be great.. The food can't be beat!! Thank you for your wonderful report.
The best executive is one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done and self restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it. Theodore Roosevelt
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Old 02-24-2013, 09:04 PM   #4
Tjilpi OP
Joined: Jan 2013
Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand
Oddometer: 60
Thank you for the encouragement 'MTNroads' and 'Mcgee'.
Indeed, this area is an excellent retirement destination and a perfect base for bike riding because it has so much variety. Then there is also easy access to the other SE Asian countries.
" A truly happy rider is one who can enjoy an unexpected detour along the way. "
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