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Everything posted by CMHomeboy78

  1. High quality sticker printer needed...

    Chiang Mai leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to graphic arts studios. In Bangkok there is IQ Lab; Bloom Digital Pro Lab, and several other good ones. Here, you're not exactly spoiled for choice. However, there is a studio that I've been dealing with for quite a while now that does excellent work. Hi-res art scans from originals, digital ink jet prints on archival paper that compare favorably with Iris prints that I've had done in the US. I also had stickers printed recently as a package deal - scan/print - from my originals. Fully satisfied, and the price was reasonable. Check them out. If they don't do vinyl cut decals themselves I'm sure they could tell you the best place to have them done. Pattrara Prepress 242/2 Maneenoparat, A. Muang 053210816, 053404397 Located on a soi off Maneenoparat just west of Chang Puak Gate. Good luck with what you're working on.
  2. The recent passing of Dr. Andrew Forbes - historian, author, and ThaiVisa member - was as unexpected as it was lamentable. He distinguished himself in his profession and his instinctive civility made relations with him very pleasant. Dr. Forbes is one of the latest in a long line of Chiang Mai farangs who have chronicled the history and traditional culture of Lanna T'ai. From the first recorded visit by the Englishman Ralph Fitch in 1587 the city and the region have been written about extensively. While the early visitors left some very interesting accounts, it wasn't until the mid-19th century that American Protestant Missionaries, followed shortly after by British teak wallahs, took up residence in Chiang Mai and began to document the life and times in detail. The 20th century saw many first-person accounts as well as works of well-researched history. This period also produced translations into English and French of Lanna T'ai manuscripts. Notably. the Chiang Mai Chronicle, the Nan Chronicle, and Buddhist texts from wats that had become famous as centres of scholarship such as Wat Jet Yod which hosted the 8th Buddhist Council [Sangayana] in 1477 for one year to eliminate discrepancies in the different versions of the Tripitaka. The early visitors, the 19th century residents, and the 20th century scholars and historians have all contributed to what we know about a kingdom which during its golden age in the 15th and 16th centuries extended its conquests and influence from the Shan States in Upper Burma to Keng Tung and the mountainous borderlands of China, to Luang Prabang in the east, and Sukhothai in the south. Dr. Forbes and people like him show the truth of what Faulkner is often quoted as having said: "The past isn't dead, it's not even past." RIP Dru.
  3. Nophaburi Srinakhonping Chiangmai, to give the city it's full, formal name was founded in 1296 by King Mengrai The historians W.A.R. Wood, Camille Notton, Hans Penth, David Wyatt, and more recently Andrew Forbes have all made valuable contributions to Chiang Mai studies that are greatly appreciated by those of us who love the city and what remains of the traditional life and culture of the Kohn Muang who inhabit it. My topic is a summary of what I know about noteworthy farangs who have had some relation to Chiang Mai in the past. Additional information would be welcome as well as corrections to any possible errors of my own. Suvarna-Bhumi - in many variations of spelling - meaning Land of Gold, was known by name to the Romans and mentioned by Pliny and Ptolemy among others. Exactly where in Southeast Asia it was and how knowlege of it reached the west are unknown. But somebody must have travelled here, or had contact with others who did. Any relationship with Chiang Mai is impossible because of the dates; nevertheless conjectures have been made. In the realm of documented fact we can begin with Portugese diplomatic missions and mercenary soldiers serving in the armies of early 16th Century Ayudhya and engaged in campaigns against Chiang Mai. The earliest recorded diplomatic contact with Europeans was by Duarte Fernandez in 1511. Sent as an envoy from Afonso d'Albuquerque, Viceroy of Portugese India [Goa]; then residing in the recently captured port of Malacca. Fernandez was well received by King Rama T'ibodi II, and subsequent missions were sent in 1512 and 1516 which resulted in permission for the Portugese to reside and trade in Ayudhya, Mergui, Pattani and Nakhon Si Thammarat. In 1518 King Rama T'ibodi reorganized his army which now included Portugese gunners and cannon founders. A book [now lost] on military tactics and fortification was issued for the edification of his officers. At the time of King P'rajai's accession in 1536 the number of Portugese in Ayudhya had greatly increased. In 1540 a Burmese invasion was repulsed with the aid of the Portugese who were rewarded with even more privileges, including the right to propagate their Santa Fe An invasion of Chiang Mai was undertaken in 1545 and it was on that occasion - most probably - that the city was first visited by Europeans. But no hard evidence survives, other than the chronicle of Mendez Pinto, a Portugese adventurer resident in Ayudhya at the time, who claimed to have been part of the campaign against Chiang Mai. Historians almost all discount that claim because of gross exaggerations, conflicting dates, and ignorance of important facts about the Princess Regent, Maha T'ewi of Chiang Mai. Pinto's description of the war with Chiang Mai is thought to be made up from accounts given to him by compatriots who really did accompany the army. While he himself stayed in Ayudhya to keep the home-fires burning. Regretably, none of them left any written accounts of what they saw in that city that had been independent and prosperous since it's founding over two hundred years before. Ralph Fitch. No historical records exist that mention visits to Chiang Mai until 1587 when the Englishman Ralph Fitch came overland from Pegu to "Jamahey" - variant spellings are numerous, some beginning with an "X" or "Z". Fitch's remarkable travels as related in Purchas His Pilgrims and Hakluyt's Voyages and Discoveries are generally accepted as fact. From England he went through Europe and the Middle East, then by ship from Basra to Goa where he was imprisoned by the Portugese as an heretic and probable spy for the government of their arch-enemy, the English Jezabel. He was freed after about a year and continued his journey across India to Bengal, then took ship to Pegu where he attached himself to a Burmese army that besieged and entered Chiang Mai. Fitch's life is a fascinating study and he can be regarded as the first farang on record to visit Chiang Mai. His description of "property, riches and women, has a somewhat contemporary ring about it" according to Ian Bushell in a recent talk on local history. Maybe Chiang Mai hasn't changed that much after all. Thomas Samuel. Another Englishman; he was employed by the East India Company and based in Ayudhya. He was sent to Chiang Mai in 1613 with a large consignment of cloth which he had partially sold when he was captured by another invading Burmese army. Taken as a prisoner to Pegu, he died there shortly afterwards. Whether as a result of ill-treatment or natural causes is not known. Samuel's fate and the problems caused by internal conflicts in the East India Company's Ayudhya establishment delayed efforts to open trade with Chiang Mai until the early 19th Century when British interest in mercantile connections revived; and with a view to gaining geopolitical advantages vis a vis the French who were spreading their influence throughout Indochina. To the best of my knowlege there were no recorded contacts by Europeans with Chiang Mai in the 18th Century. I hope to continue this topic with a look at the farangs who were part of the commercial, diplomatic and missionary presence that began when Chiang Mai was an independent northern capitol early in the 19th Century. At that time it was nominally a vassal of Bangkok as a result of military treaties aimed at preventing another Burmese incursion In fact it was ruled by it's Chaos, the aristocratic families of Chiang Mai. The Chakri Kings were satisfied with various forms of token tribute and the occasional Chiang Mai Princess in exchange for non-interference. The Burmese threat was being neutralized because they were engaged in conflict with the British who were taking over their country piecemeal. In the course of the 19th Century Chiang Mai's position changed dramatically with the American Protestant Missionaries and the British teak-wallahs playing key roles in the transition to complete dominance by the central government. To be continued...
  4. Chinese tourists are swarming Thailand

    What specific points have I made that you disagree with? I never implied that the American military presence in Thailand introduced commercial sex to the country. Certainly the GIs were the ones who fueled the boom in the 1960s and '70s, but prostitution on a large scale was well established here long before that. The accounts of American missionaries and western residents of Bangkok in the 19th century often mention brothels run by Chinese. In Chiang Mai, the Rev Daniel McGilvary in the 1880s refers to "soiled doves" living in the Chinese quarter of Charoen Rat. That was almost 300 years after the visit of the Englishman Ralph Fitch. His description of "property, riches, and women, has a somewhat contemporary ring to it" according to Ian Bushell in a recent talk on local history. Maybe Chiang Mai hasn't changed that much after all.
  5. Chinese tourists are swarming Thailand

    Your reply is totally clueless. Excuse the blunt contradiction, but your assumptions aren't based on reality. What Thailand is today can be understood - to a large extent - by reading its history and listening to the older generations in Thai families. The Chinese have had an immense influence on the country, especially urban areas, since the mass migrations of the 19th and early 20th centuries. From the end of WWII until the American defeat in Vietnam their diplomatic, military, and economic presence in Thailand was the dominant factor. Nobody who was here for even part of that time would dispute that obvious fact. The currency collapse of 1997 ended the boom times that had started in the early 1980s. The bubble burst, but it was only a speed-bump for the economy. As soon as easy credit became available again the consumer culture took off in high gear. Look at Bangkok and other cities, big and small, as well as many places in the countryside. Money is being spent - even if it's not their own. Being Thais, they're enjoying the rollercoaster ride to the max... and it's great to live among people who can get so much fun out of life regardless of whether they're going up or down. Swarming Chinese tourists, close economic relations with their country, and big government-to-government deals will bring changes for sure, but to what extent, and how good or bad they will be is impossible to say.
  6. Chinese tourists are swarming Thailand

    Spot on, Daddy. Those were the days when the Warbucks were really flowing into Thailand. It wasn't only the GIs coming in on R&R, hundreds of thousands were also stationed here over the years at bases like U-tapao; Takhli; Udorn Thani; Ubon Ratchathani and Sattahip to name just the bigger ones. They changed this country in fundamental - and often deplorable - ways long before the anonymous hordes of Chinese tourists ever arrived.
  7. Backpackers - can't live with them, can't kill them

    You're right, of course. The post you are replying to is a good example of the tunnel vision so prevalent among many. In spite of the fact that they have the intellect and resources to learn more about the country and the people they live among. Indeed there was mass tourism before 2000. It began after the Indochina wars started to wind down and the GIs left in the mid-1970s. Many of my first friends were ex-USAF guys who had married Thais and stayed on because they liked it here. So did I, but the scene didn't stay unspoiled for long. The early and mid-80s saw mass tourism really take off. That was combined with a domestic population explosion and building boom that changed many places out of recognition. Before all that there were tourists - or maybe they'd be better described as travelers. Although their numbers were relatively small, some of them wrote about the country, the people, and the culture with insight and perception. W.Somerset Maugham's The Gentleman in the Parlour is a fascinating read and a look at the country in the 1920s. Most of the early travelers just passed through; but some settled down and made a life for themselves here. Jim Thompson is a case in point insofar as it relates to the arts and traditional culture of Thailand. Long may those traditions survive, both among Thais and the farangs who have made Thailand their home.
  8. Do you consider Chiang Mai as your permanent home?

    There have been several articulate posts on this thread that have convincingly refuted the claim that the word farang is a racial insult. Thais use it to describe Europeans and people of European descent. When they want to be insulting they will combine it with other words to express their contempt. I challenge you to find a credible historical reference that uses it as an insult.
  9. Do you consider Chiang Mai as your permanent home?

    Patong tuk-tuk drivers may have issues with farangs that makes the name ring foul. That may be so, but it doesn't alter the fact that the term has been in continuous use for over five hundred years. If you think it was ever used in a derogatory sense then show me an historical source that uses it that way.
  10. Do you consider Chiang Mai as your permanent home?

    Excellent post that should put an end to this nonsense once and for all. Anyone who has lived among Thais for any length of time would agree with you.
  11. Do you consider Chiang Mai as your permanent home?

    It was her Rotary friends in Bangkok back in the 1970s that gave her the mistaken notion that the word farang was a racial insult. I came here in the late '70s myself, but my first friends were mostly ex-USAF guys who were savvy about Thailand and Thais. I eventually married and settled down in Chiang Mai when it was still something like the wild west. Loved it then, and love it now in spite of all the changes. The Khon Muang haven't changed all that much. The term farang isn't an insult when used alone, and anybody who thinks so is living in a world of their own.
  12. Do you consider Chiang Mai as your permanent home?

    What you are responding to is a good example of the kind of cultural misunderstanding that prevents so many foreigners from ever being truly at home in Chiang Mai. The term farang is not, and never has been, a racial insult. It has been part of the Thai lexicon since the early 16th century when it was taken from the Farsi word farangi, meaning Frank, and by extension, Europeans. No historical sources in Thai have been found that use the word in a derogatory sense. Anyone who lives among Thais will know that when used alone it is totally inoffensive. There is a small but vocal faction of Chiang Mai expats who try to convince newcomers that the word is an insult. Encouraging people to take offense where none is intended looks like the work of troublemakers.
  13. In Praise of Nancy L

    The Farsi word and its inclusion into the Thai language predated the Hindi word that was coined during British colonial rule in India. The word farang as used by Thais is not an insult... and it never was.
  14. In Praise of Nancy L

    Even Mother Teresa had her critics. Keep up the good work Nancy. However, there is one thing I would like to take issue with. That is your stubborn contention that the term farang is somehow derogatory. It most certainly is not when used alone. Nor is it slang. The word has been part of the Thai lexicon since the early 16th century; taken from the Farsi, farangi. It wasn't used as a racial insult then and it isn't now. Anyone who has lived among Thais for any length of time knows that they use it in a non-derogatory sense. Promoting the mistaken notion that it is a racist term will cause newcomers to take offense where none is intended. All the best in 2017.
  15. Thai/Laos Border War

    History isn't taught very well in Thai schools. Sources do exist for those who are interested. A good start might be D.G.E.Hall's A History of South-East Asia, which puts Siam/Thailand in a regional context. First published in 1955, it has been revised in many editions and has never been surpassed as an overview of Southeast Asian history from paleolithic times until the modern era. Historical chronicles began to be studied and translated into pah-sah glahng and some European languages during the reign of King Chulalongkorn [Rama V] and continued throughout the 20th century by Prince Damrong Rajanubhab, Camille Notton, Hans Penth, and David K.Wyatt among others. The Journal of the Siam Society is a wealth of information about Thai history, art, and culture that can be accessed online beginning with the first volume published in 1904. There is no shortage of primary sources from the early 19th century when Americans and Europeans settled in the kingdom in large numbers and began to write about their experiences. Disabuse yourself of the mistaken notion that there is hardly any "Thai" history. There most certainly is and it makes a fascinating study.
  16. Ditto... agreed but its part of the unwritten law that you must stop at the Pie Place south of CR For sure, that's good advice - don't miss the Pie Place. If you're as old as you look, you might remember another trail back in the '70s. It started at the Pudding Shop in Sultanamet, Istanbul, and ended at the Pie Shop on Freak Street in Katmandu. Chiang Mai was only a byway on the Hippie Trail but there are still things around here that bring back memories. The Pie Place is one of them. As Paul Bowles said about Tangier: "A gong rang twenty-five years ago and I can still hear the timbre and resonance."
  17. Board games in CM - where to buy?

    Chiang Mai has never been a good place to buy games. Cheap Thai versions of Bingo are available and Makrok sets can be had if you're into that. Otherwise, as Konini said, ask friends to bring them. Farangland is where they are easy to get and much cheaper. One exception might be chessboards. For some time now I've been thinking about having a wood inlay chessboard made here. My idea is for 1"X4" teak enclosing inlaid squares of ebony and white maple. Ban Tawai and Ban Yuwa are where I'll start looking for a craftsman to do this. I can source the materials myself. If you're interested, I'll send a PM letting you know how I've made out and how much it cost. Good luck finding what you want. Game on...
  18. Iran to ease visa access except for US and UK

    Hippie Trail in 1976. Tabriz... Tehran... Isfahan... Mashhad.. Sure, brilliant in a lot of ways, but ghastly in others. The chain gang being marched in lockstep back into Evin Prison every night was like a scene from hell that made your blood run cold. Nobody who travelled overland across Asia in those days would forget Iran anytime soon.
  19. Chiang Mai deserted.

    It is the consensus among historians that Chiang Mai was deserted between 1775 and 1797. The primary source of information is the Chiang Mai Chronicle which says: "At that time Chiang Mai was abandoned and overgrown with weeds, bushes, and vines. It was a place for rhinoceros and elephants and tigers and bears and there were few people..." [Wyatt/Wichienkeeo translation. 1995]. Professor Hans Penth in his book, A Brief History of Lan Na [silkworm Books.1994] outlines it as follows: "For military reasons, but also because the city had suffered much physical damage and a serious loss of population along with a loss of food supply, the royal court, between 1775 and 1797 lived in a camp near Pa Sang, south of Lamphun. During that time Chiang Mai was nearly deserted. After King Kawila had ceremoniously re-entered the city on Thursday, 9 March, 1797, Chiang Mai received new fortifications; what is left of them at present dates from that period around 1800." The liberation of Lanna T'ai from Burmese rule was a long struggle that dragged on for almost thirty years devastating and depopulating large areas of the north. It started with an uprising in the south led by Thip Chang, a commoner who expelled the despotic ruler of Lampang in 1732. He did so with broad popular support and moral encouragement by the local Buddhist Sangha. He ascended the throne under the name Phana Sulawaluchai [r.1732-59]. His son, Chai Kaeo [r.1759-74] was instrumental in organizing armed resistance to the Burmese after 1770. His eldest son, Kawila [b.1742] helped his father in day-to-day administration; proved to be an able military commander, and finally played a crucial role in defeating the Burmese at Chiang Mai. From 1775 on, Kawila and his six brothers dominated politics in Chiang Mai, Lamphun, and Lampang. Throughout the 19th century all leading administrative posts in these three closely allied principalities were held by the seven brothers and their offspring. People in the north called this dynasty Trakun Chao Jet Ton - the family of the seven lords. During this period Lanna T'ai was nominally a vassal of Bangkok as a result of military treaties aimed at preventing another Burmese incursion. In fact it was ruled by its Chaos, the aristocratic families of Chiang Mai. The Chakri Kings were satisfied with various forms of token tribute and the occasional Chiang Mai Princess in exchange for non-interference. The Burmese threat was being neutralized because they were engaged in conflict with the British who were taking over their country piecemeal. In the course of the 19th century Chiang Mai's position changed dramatically with the American Protestant missionaries and the British teak-wallahs playing key roles in the machiavellian events that led to complete dominance by the central government. To sum up, it can be said that the abandonment of Chiang Mai for over twenty years at the end of the 18th century is an established fact. But to what extent was it abandoned? That has been a vexed question among historians. My own opinion - for what it's worth - is that the city was never totally deserted. Even if its social structure and institutions broke down and the place became a haunt of "wild beasts" - both two and four-legged. There was just too much there; even if it was in ruins. The number of temples and sacred sites would have made it almost a thebaid to rival Sagaing and Pagan. Even without an organized Sangha there must have been devotees of one kind or another, and a breakdown of civil society would embolden treasure-hunters. I think there were always people in Chiang Mai... scavengers who came to strip whatever they could of value... Buddhist pilgrims comparable to palmers and Romers... people who loved the city and would live there in a rathole rather than go anywhere else. The good, the bad, and the ugly. Plus ca change...
  20. Chiang Mai deserted.

    Good point... but I don't think there were many people here during those years. It must have been a really rough hood at that time. The repopulation of Chiang Mai and the surrounding countryside, post 1797 is mentioned often in the Chiang Mai Chronicle. My wife's family has for many generations lived in the Wat Muang Guy community near the Gymkhana Club. Both Wat Muang Guy and the adjacent Wat Muang Saht areas were settled in the early 19th century by war captives and their families from Muang Guy and Muang Saht in the Burmese Shan States. Other areas in and near the city were likewise settled by people from various places that had been liberated from the Burmese by the Trakun Chao Jet Ton and a resurgent Chiang Mai. As you say, it did result in a very diverse gene pool for Chiang Mai. Thanks for your comments.
  21. Chiang Mai deserted.

    The late David K. Wyatt is a credible source of information about Thai history. Your statement that Wyatt asserts that Thip Chang, the ruler of the Lampang kingdom and founder of the Dynasty of the Seven Lords was "...appointed to that position by the Burmese..." is something new to me. I have Wyatt's A Short History of Thailand and several of his other books, but have been unable to find the reference you mention. Perhaps you could point it out. My information about Thip Chang and the dynasty he founded is based primarily on The McLeod and Richardson Diplomatic Missions to the Tai States in 1837 [Turton/Grabowsky edition. Silkworm Books.2003], pages 7-20. The historian Sarassawadee Ongsakul in her History of Lanna also covers the subject on pages 126-129. It would be hard to understand why a distinguished historian like Wyatt would make such a claim, and it would be interesting to know what his belief was based on. Your mention of indigenous people in the area before Chiang Mai was founded is a fascinating subject in itself. Sumet Jumsai in his book Naga: Cultural Origins in Siam and the West Pacific [Chalermnit. 1997] has a map of the remains of the moat and walls of Vieng Jed Rin at the base of Doi Suthep. In the late '70s, early '80s that area was a boy scout camp as I remember. No telling what damage the little devils did on the site - like the French scouts that scrubbed off prehistoric cave paintings in the south of France. Anyway, thanks for your interest.
  22. Chiang Mai deserted.

    Spot on.
  23. Montfort College - opinions please

    By western kids, do you mean half Thai? My 2 satangs worth... On my first visit to Montfort/Sacred Heart in the late 1970s I noticed a few luk kreung students. Some years later when my own kids were going there, they were part of a small percentage of mixed-race students attending the school. As the years went by the percentage increased somewhat, but never got out of the single-digits at any time that I can remember. I can't recall ever seeing a 100% farang child at either school. That's not to say there has never been any - I've just never seen them. Catholic educational institutions have traditionally been immensely popular among upwardly mobile East Asians; especially the overseas Chinese and Indians. That demographic is reflected at Montfort.
  24. Montfort College - opinions please

    Both my daughters went to Sacred Heart - the girls school at Montfort. After that, The Montfort College Secondary Section which is co-ed. Discipline was strict, especially in the early years, but it never seemed to be a problem for them. If my wife or I had noticed any ill effects, physical or mental, we would have looked for another school immediately. Religion was never pushed on them, but it was encouraged by the nuns who administer the school. The teachers are almost all Thai Buddhists. I was OK with that because I was raised as a Catholic myself, although I've never been a very good one. Academically, both girls did very well; going on to CMU. The eldest got a masters degree in international law at Chulalongkorn and was subsequently recruited by a government ministry. She qualified as a C-6 official at the age of 29 and is now on a state scholarship at London University working on a second masters degree. Montfort was part of my daughters' upbringing, but what I think was even more important is that my wife raised them in a traditional manner while preparing them for careers in the modern world. Good luck with whatever you decide to do.
  25. In Northern Thailand it was Christian missionaries in the 19th century who made the first serious efforts to learn Kham Muang and the various ethnic and hilltribe languages. The groups that are still active among the Karen would no doubt have sources of information about that language. The Hilltribe Research Institute at CMU might be worth checking out as well. There is an English/Sgaw Karen Dictionary published by the Drum Publication Group available online. Good luck with your studies.