Up North - Temples, Border Crossings and other things

Lone Rider

Blokes Who Can
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Jan 29, 2011
Location
Chiangmai
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4 Wheels
Sometime last year I got information that there were plans to re-open some of the border crossings between Thailand and Myanmar, notably the two crossings on the north of Chiang Dao (khio Pha Wok) and north-east of Fang (north of Ban San Ton Du on Rd 1089). This trip was basically to check if the report was true. Set of early in the morning as along the way I would have time to see some of the sights and other things.



Shadows of the early morning sun on Doi Suthep


Just past Chiang Dao I took Rd 1178 which goes to Arunothai. First stop along the way was Wat San Khet Taram (N19.45516 E98.96497) at Ban Muang Ngai which has spent quite a bit of resources on sprucing up its front yard with large stone Buddha Statues, etc..






Next stop was the King Naresuan Monument at bit further along the road to the north (N19.46335 E98.96162).The locals built the stupa to mark the stay of King Naresuan the Great before he led his troops to invade Angwa in Myanmar in 1604. For those of you who want to learn more about the King please look at the piece written by Sjon Houser - Naresuan the Great, Thailand's venerated warrior king






I was intrigued by the large number of roosters standing everywhere which seem to be put up there (and at most other Naresuan shrines and memorials) by the devotees. On 25th January, people from as far afield as Chiang Mai town bring their cocks to the memorial to take part in the cock fighting contests. This takes place not merely because of the fighting cocks symbolic association with the battle and warrior kings, but especially since a legendary cock fight was a crucial event in Naresuan’s early life.



The replica of the Camp of King Naresuan


Again a bit further to the north I made a small detour to the west to see Wat Phrathat Doi Mon Ching (N19.54545 E98.97034). While the wat is not very spectacular, the views from the temple make up for that.




Wat Phrathat Doi Mon Ching






Views to the south with Doi Ciang Dao hiding in the clouds




Not sure what they are going to build here but looking at the size of the vertical column foundation they may put a stupa on a rock on the concrete structure as shown on the sign.


Finally time to check if the news about the re-opening of the border crossings was true or not. Does not look like so as even a call to his commander by the guy manning the check-point (N19.76438 E98.95278)did not result in the opening of the barrier to the main border gate (N19.76874 E98.94989). The guys were being helped by three nice black dogs who were clearly not used to traffic as I had to get out of the car to move them off the road.



No sign of an Open Border Crossing


While in Arunothai I had a look at the School of Hope (N19.74458 E98.96737) at Wat Arunothai which is a kind of orphanage for Shan children who have fled Myanmar and who get here an education.






Doing homework



Preparing luch for the 50 kids who stay at the School of Hope



Children watching TV at Wat Arunothai



Children decorating the walls of the Arunothai Witthayakhom School where most of the children of the School of Hope get their main education. After school hours they study English and the Shan language at the School of Hope.


(To be continued)
 

2wheels

Community Manager
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Apr 2, 2012
Location
Chiang Mai
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Honda Rebel 500
Enjoying it so far Auke.
It is a beautiful part of Thailand and you have motivated me to revisit it.
 

Lone Rider

Blokes Who Can
Joined
Jan 29, 2011
Location
Chiangmai
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(Part 2) After the visit to the "School of Hope" I headed down the mountain at Ban Sinchai at Rd 1340 to Chai Prakan on Rd 107 (descending about 550 meter over a distance of 5.5 kilometer). Having a quick bowl of noodles along the road I decided to give up checking the other border crossing as the sky looked very dark into that direction and I assumed that this crossing would also still be closed and off-limit just like the Khio Pa Wok crossing.

Had not been on the 109 for some time and decided therefor to take Rd 109 to Rd 118 on my way to Phayao. This also would enable me to scout dirt roads going of to the south as the offroad guys have the plan to cut straight down south from Rd 109 to Phrao, something I thought (and still think) is not possible but I have been proven wrong before so who knows.



Landslide on Rd 109 being repaired





Although I had a nice lunch I had to make my obligatory stop at Charin's resort for a yummy lemon-meringue pie with a hot cup of coffee.

After the coffee it was off to see the remains of Wat Wiang Hao (19.39121 E99.84499) north of Ban Dong In. Tried to find information on the ancient wat on the WWW but had no luck and once there I did not know what to expect. Found two Buddha statues in the forest and I am still wondering if this was all or if there were somewhere in the forest more or other remains but, as there was no one around, I will keep wondering as it was a bit of a disappointment to find so little.



The entrance to Wat Wiang Hao





Buddha Statues and a small sala being the remains of the ancient Wat Wiang Hao in the middle of the forest


Onwards to Phayao to Phrathat Chom Thong (N19.18406 E99.88860) on the hill in the center of town and trying to find information on the Wien Tien Klang Nam Ceremony which is "advertised" as being the only candle light procession on the occasion of the Asanha Bucha day (August 2).





Phrathat Chom Thong Meditation Center



This kitten had found a nice place to sleep in the tree in the temple grounds



View from Phrathat Chom Thong to Khwan Phayao


The ceremony will be held at the 500 year old Wat Tilok-Aram which is for a large part under water in Khwan Phayao (more informaton here: Wien Tien Klang Nam Ceremony)



Photo by Nongchakun Duangsri ??????????? ???????????????? - Chiangmai Photo Club

After another hot coffee at the Cup-Cake Cafe I headed home which completed my rather long day-trip (500+ kilometer and 12 hours on the road) with no drip of rain although from time to time it was close.



Wat Tilok-Aram in Khwan Phayao
 

2wheels

Community Manager
Joined
Apr 2, 2012
Location
Chiang Mai
Bikes
Honda Rebel 500
I had to make my obligatory stop at Charin's resort for a yummy lemon-meringue pie with a hot cup of coffee.
:mad: x many! People can be so cruel!
(Ally, we do need a 'salivating' icon!)

Superb images there Auke.
I'll ask about the ceremony in Phayao.
Rgs
 

KTMphil

Senior member
Joined
Jan 11, 2011
Location
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Bikes
2007 KTM 990 Adventure Suzuki DRZ 400
e All very interesting, thanks Auke. Looks like in a couple of weeks we might be looking to link
R 109 south to R 1150 by dirt trails.....Mark Rossi pointed out to me where he thinks it will go through
David Bailey has also done some work on google earth and has found a potential route.
 

KTMphil

Senior member
Joined
Jan 11, 2011
Location
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Bikes
2007 KTM 990 Adventure Suzuki DRZ 400
All very interesting, thanks Auke. Looks like in a couple of weeks we might be looking to link
R 109 south to R 1150 by dirt trails.....Mark Rossi pointed out to me where he thinks it will go through
David Bailey has also done some work on google earth and has found a potential route.
 

Lone Rider

Blokes Who Can
Joined
Jan 29, 2011
Location
Chiangmai
Bikes
4 Wheels
Looks like in a couple of weeks we might be looking to link
R 109 south to R 1150 by dirt trails.....Mark Rossi pointed out to me where he thinks it will go through
David Bailey has also done some work on google earth and has found a potential route.
Hope it for you guys but there are quite a few mountains in between. There is a good dirt road turnoff from 109 at 19.71127N and 99.38345 which goes to a village at 19.69579N and 99.37285E. There are agricultural fields south of this village so I guess that might be your best chance but I don't see any tracks further to the south from these fields.
 

Ally

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 23, 2011
Location
Chiang Mai
Bikes
PCX - with custom valve caps
Just found (re-found) this brilliant post by Auke.

really worth a read ;)

Ally
 
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