A day of strange / interesting / odd / un-nerving sights

ianyonok

Ol'Timer
Dec 9, 2008
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I went for a ride around yesterday and saw some great scenery and noted some strange sights.....
the kinds of things you only see in Thailand, maybe.............

1. Where is this? the easy question.
2. What does it mean......?

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3. These are tree roots being loaded in the new Chiang Saen port onto a Chinese registered boat. Did they come from Laos?

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Some views at the port

Looking upriver

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Looking downriver

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4. This area must be about the size of 12 football pitches.. Why so big?

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5. Where is this? (sorry - poor photo)
6. Why are these fat Akha ladies hiding in the bushes?

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Just after this temple on the south side of the road at Bahn Saeo...

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You see this view looking north across the river into Laos.

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7. If looking closer, where the circle is, what is located here?

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Some greenery...

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This rice almost ready for harveting.

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8. Where is this dried up reservoir / lake?

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Off up a dirt road...............

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To.....

9. Is this the mythical Flying Phallus National Park?

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10. Why do these Thai Government maps look so confusing?

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Some beautiful scenery

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There is a large pool in front of this fall. No garbage anywhere. The water in the pool looked a little murky, but after some decent rainfall this would be great for a swim.

11. What is the name of this waterfall?

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Black water from decomposing leaf litter, in a rock pool.

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This is the village of pink bamboo picket fences. Every single house is to have the same..........

12. Is this a pink village? variation on a theme..?

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13. Why doesn't this tree fall down? When it does, it will span the road and take out the house opposite..

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The road north..

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14. Where is this?

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15. What does it commemorate?

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At Anna Coffee by the Kong. Very nice lady, gave me a slice of tasty fresh home made sultana bread.
She wants to make her place into a guest house after they have done the road in front of her house.

16. Can you imagine a 4 lane highway running along the river here?

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Best wishes
Ian
 

Lakota

Ol'Timer
Oct 10, 2011
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Well I saw a strange slightly unnerving sight yesterday too, a lone Biker riding in the Direction of Padai near Wiang kaen. I thought to myself this farang looks familiar, but why is he heading out that direction so late in the afternoon, maybe 4.30 pm ?

His photographic evidence shows him to be between Chiang Sean and Chiang Khong, So was he an apparition ?
 

ronwebb

Ol'Timer
Jul 25, 2010
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I don't have answers to your questions Ian and some odd sights indeed but thanks for joining Grant and I for the ride down the river to Chiang Khong today. Always a pleasure to hear the Thunderbird burbling along.
 

Rhodie

Ol'Timer
Mar 5, 2006
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ianyonok;278964 wrote: I went for a ride around yesterday and saw some great scenery and noted some strange sights.....
the kinds of things you only see in Thailand, maybe.............

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Ian
Nice ride and pix Ian.
The Trumpet is looking as splendid as ever.
Thanks for posting.
Cheers
Rhodie
 

ianyonok

Ol'Timer
Dec 9, 2008
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time for some answers................

1. This weird sculpture is at Bahn Sop Kok, just south of the Kok river on the 1129, before it flows into the Kong.
2. No idea what it means. It is in front of a temple, but nothing to do with that. Must be an artist living here.
3. I saw many trucks of these big old tree roots in Laos earlier in the year and in previous years. They must have come from there. No idea why they come across to Thailand before being sent up to China.
4. Why is the Chiang Saen commercial port so big. I can't imagine it will ever be busy enough to warrant this much space. Goverment contract........?
5 & 6. These fat Akha ladies sit at the junction of 1129 and 1271 (or could be 4037...). Down the 4037 to Huai Nam Yen is where the 9 Tribes festival is held each cool season. This festival is well worth a visit and is completely non-touristy.
7. At about 14 klms from Chiang Saen on the 1129, just past Wat Ko Pa Kham, if you look across the river to Laos here (with binoculars is best);

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You can see this;

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One of the biggest ancient Buddha images in S.E.Asia at over 7m high. It is one of the ruined sites of the ancient city of Souvannakhomkham. This was a sister city to Chiang Saen, across the river in Laos and dates to around 16th century. The temple robbers have been there in the past and smashed open the head of this statue and gouged into the body looking for treasure.

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There are several sites remaining and there has been no restoration or interest from the Laos goverment to preserve these ancient remains. Very sad. They are just crumbling away. I have a feeling not many people outside this immediate area know about Souvannakhomkham.
Here's a few more pics taken about a year ago.

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This broken Buddha head was just lying on the ground.

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8. The dried up reservoir is at Tat Khwang on the small road just west of San Wiang on the 1174.
9. If you contiue west on this small road you come to the Flying Phallus National Park, also called Tahk Kwan National Park .
10. Most National and Forest Parks seem to have these military style maps, that are not easy to read.
11. Tak Kwan Waterfall. This park is just west of the village of Tat Kwang.
12. Pink village...? maybe they are a red village, but they're not completely sure....
13. The leaning tree is amazing. It must be around 200 years old and have massive roots preventing it from falling over.
14. This memorial is next to the 1155 which runs from Wiang Kaen near the Kong, down to near Thoeng. It is just south of the northern turn off to Phu Chee Fah on 1093.

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15. It appears to commemorate the deaths of over 150 people of the Krathing Daeng group, some 30 odd years ago. Was this something to do with communist rebels? I don't know and unfortunately, my camera was set on low resolution so the photo is unreadable. However, the next Chiang Rai bikers day out route goes alongside this monument, so we have another chance to photograph it and get a translation.
16. No, I can't imagine a 4 lane highway running alongside the river here, either, but this may well happen in the next year or so. So, better enjoy this wonderful road now. This the 4007 river road, between Chiang Saen and Chiang Khong.

Have a great time out there, it's an amazing and beautiful country.

Ian
 
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DavidFL

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ianyonok;278964 wrote:

14. Where is this?

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15. What does it commemorate?

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Are yes, I've finally managed to come back to it.

It's a memorial to those killed building the road R1155.

Researching this from the brilliant book:

The Secret Army. Chiang Kai-Shek & The Drug Warlords of The Golden Triangle

Between Jan 1978 & the road (R1155)'s completion in October 1979, 300 troops from Tuan Hsi-wen's 5th army at Mae Aep (near Chiang Khong) dealt with more than 100 attacks and sabotage attempts against the construction crews. After June 1979, the final 45 kilometres became so intense that the RTA sent regular Special Forces to bolster the KMT troops.
As the road approached the southern end of the valley between Doi Yao & Doi Pha Mon, CPT forces on Hill 741 confronted the road builders and their RTA & KMT security force. Supported by Thai artillery & airstrikes, the KMT attacked the entrenched communists on 4th July 1979. The CPT broke off contact after a 3-day battle and the road crew pushed on.
Then two weeks later, new attacks from Hill 741 brought construction to a halt. Again KMT troops were sent into action, capturing & holding part of Hill 741 until CPT counterattacks drove them off. With renewed artillery and air support, the KMT recaptured the hill on 25th July at a cost of 20 killed & 104 wounded.
As the road advanced KMT guards fought a mid-August battle with CPT units holding Hill 780. That fight ended in a KMT victory, but left another 21 dead KMT. Twelve dead were from Tuan Hsi-wen's troops, killed largely by command detonated mines made on TNT stolen from the construction company. In all the 5th army lost 53 killed & scores injured clearing the 2 hills.
 

DavidFL

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Another note on the KMT dead in North Thailand:

There are various memorials in North Thailand to those KMT who lost their lives fighting communists for the Royal Thai Govt.

Near Kao Kho there is a memorial to those killed while working as security guards for road building.
A 3rd Army cemetery is in Ban Tham Ngop on R1340 Arunothai - Doi Ang Khang.

The 5th Army buried their dead at Doi Mae Salong, where there is a huge Chinese Martyrs Museum.

In Chiang Khong at Ban Hua Wiang there is a cemetery dedicated specifically to the 172 soldiers killed while fighting under RTA control. Those include the 81 lost in the 1970-73 operations on Doi Luang, Doi Yao, Doi Pha Mon, plus soldiers killed while providing security for road construction. Added later were the 26 names of KMT killed during the Khao Ya ( Phetchabun) operation plus the Thai solders who fell while fighting alongside the KMT.
 

ianyonok

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Dec 9, 2008
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Excellent background info, thank you, David. Altogether, a high death toll up here building the roads we enjoy riding.
Apparently, there is another memorial at the southern end of 1155, commemorating the communists who died trying to stop the roadbuilding, but I haven't found it yet.
 

Poompui

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Nov 12, 2013
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I thought the bike looked familiar.
We ate at the same restaurant in Chiang Saen last week.....I asked where you got your wine from.....

Rhodie;279033 wrote: Nice ride and pix Ian.
The Trumpet is looking as splendid as ever.
Thanks for posting.
Cheers
Rhodie
 

DavidFL

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Curious again

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The leaning tree is amazing. It must be around 200 years old and have massive roots preventing it from falling over.​

Have you got a location "there abouts" for this tree?