Thoed Thai & The 2018 Akha Swing Festival Sam Yaek

DavidFL

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Following on from
Akha Swing Ceremony At Pahee 2018

Auust - September are Akha Swing festival months, and Jurgen had the hot tip that Akha Sam Yaek was going to be the big one (again) this year. A million thanks to Jurgen for getting the info earlier on & thanks too Cedric for the company & photos.

The Akha Sam Yaek Swing Festival is the big one in the North, with the most Akhas + promotion for tourism; although perhaps it isn't really on the western tourism portfolio. Whatever it is a extremely colouful, crowded extravaganza = it rocks if you take your time to hang out with the locals.

Jurgen is the supreme GTR photographer & I hope he will add his photos when he gets time, in the meantime I will throw up a few.

It was a magic weekend. A planned getaway of 2PM from Chiang Khong morphed into a 3.30PM quick ride up & over paradise road to Chiang Saen, followed by a blast down the 4-lane to Mae Chan & then up into the mountains. It's 120 kms from Chiang Khong to Thoed Thai. Departure time was 3.20PM & arrival time in Thoed Thai was 5.10PM.

The elevation profile goes like this
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and in google earth it looks like this
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Jurgen has been in Thoed Thai around midday & was nicely settled in at the Rim Taan guesthouse, beside the Mae Kham river.


The Rim Taan is an absolute gem of a guesthouse in North Thailand is right up there in my top 5 places in the North. There's more info on Rim Taan on GTR here: Thoed Thai Accommodation

more to come
 

DavidFL

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The festival runs over two days on the weekend & there are hundreds of Akhas, plus other tribes from the area at the festival.

The official opening
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the show gets under way with scores of Akhas

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It is a photographer's paradise
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Jurgen was in heaven
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the swing flying high
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Cedric enjoying some company
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Akhas weren't the only tribe present...

A Yao beauty
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Lisu
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Chinese from Doi Mae Salong
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Two happy photographers
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More Chinese
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Two Akha gals
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with contrasting styles - traditional & not so traditional.

Some of the dancing show
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A happy GTR
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more when time permits...looking forward to the photos of the maestro Jurgen + Cedric.
Thanks guys I had a ripper weekend.
 

DavidFL

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The joy of the weekend in Thoed Thai continued into the night with a huge meal at the mighty Lamduan's restaurant in Thoed Thai.
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As is often the occurrence up country in the smaller towns, you get huge servings of food = we over ordered.
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And the size matches Lamduan you might say - once you've met her you will never forget her.
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The next morning Cedric & I hit the morning market & the wat to make merit.
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in the market we met Pon, the son of John the Rim Taan Guesthouse owner.
Pon lived in the states for 18 years, but is much happier living back in Thoed Thai nowadays, such is life & whatever your perspective is.
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Pon is a really cool guy and you can get an excellent conversation out of him. His views on the world are interesting, 18 years in the USA & now back at home in the remote wilds of North Thailand - he's seen both sides & knows where he is happier, enjoying life the most.

More to come.....off to the wat with the locals
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DavidFL

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August 2019....Oh well it must be time to get the rest of the photos up...because the 2019 event is coming next month!

There's no doubt it was a popular event with hundreds of Akha in for the two days. It was selfie central, jam packed at the viewpoint.
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The festivities get underway
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The Akhafasion models
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The gyys saprove
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The Akha Swing cranks up
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There are two types of swings
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The Lisu are also present, it is not only an Akha event, other tribes come to join in
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The Chinese ladies from Doi Mae Salong also make an appearance
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Reception from the Shin Sane GH in Doi mae Salong
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If you love taking photos of wonderful faces, this event is superb.
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Everyone loves an Akha festival
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See you again in a few more weeks: 7-9 September 2019.

2019 Akha Sam Yaek Swing Festival
 

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