Karen Coffee Shop, B. Muang Ngaam, T. Thaton circa 1983

Discussion in 'Golden Oldies' started by Johpa, Jan 13, 2014.

  1. Since David has been posting some classics I thought I should join in. Be patient as I learn how to post pics I have scanned from some old slides. I will test with an image of my dear friend Panga who ran the Karen Coffee Shop in all its various iterations from the very late 1970s into the late 1980s. The Karen Coffee Shop didn't really serve any coffee as back then the only coffee in Thailand was either nescafe or coffee boran (กาแฟ โบราณ). But it was just about the only hilltribe village at the time with a guesthouse and was noted in the original Wheeler and Cummings guide books. The blue Honda Wing is the motorcycle that Panga used to teach me how to ride.



    And Panga today

  2. I managed the Karen Coffee SHop with Panga for about a year and a half circa 1983. To get to the guesthouse you first took the always crowded songthaew from Thaton and you arrived in the Karen village of Muang Ngaam an hour or so later. Today the same trip takes about 10 minutes. This is the center of the village back then.


    You then hiked about 1 1/2 km along the narrow dykes of some rice padi and up a dirt road to the guesthouse site located on a small hill overlooking the village and surrounding valley. This use to be adventure travel back when young people with backpacks read Hesse and Gurdjieff and mail was picked up at the main Chiang Mai post office via Poste Restante.

    And then you stayed in a small bungalow like the one below.


    And then up at the guesthouse you could always run into some interesting folks



    Below is my friend Ago who now works at the Ton Luang "Long Neck" village just before the Mae Sa Elephant camp

    And then during the day, if not out on a trek, you could go into the village for lunch




    Or my favorite, flirt with the local maidens. I ended up marrying one such Karen princess (not pictured) and that is how I ended up with the Karen name of Johpa.


  3. Wow, simply amazing! I love these old pictures; how things have changed!!!
  4. Golden days eh Rande, bring it on if you've got more.

    Ive got a few now...

    11 kgs - "Pandora's Boxes" of Golden Oldies going back to 1978 finally arrived from Oz. Yo Ho.
  5. Wow These Golden Oldies will turn into a Ripper! Will take a While for You to sort through that Lot David! Great Photos Rande. That Wing looks like it was Brand New in the Photo! I love the then and Now Photos if You Guys can find some of them! Great Work.
  6. The other great thing about the Karen Coffee Shop was that it was only a relatively short walk to neighboring villages including Akha, Lisu, Lahu, and Shan villages. But the local Lisu village was by far the most notorious as the headman of that village was Laota. You can see a young Laota in the first pic below leading his troos at the annual parade of locals at the Amphoe office in Mae Ai.


    The rest of the photos below are from slides taken in the early 1980s during a Lisu New Year celebration up at Laota's village.









  7. Now that's something - those old Lisu new photos in Lao Ta's village. Those were the days alright.

Share This Page