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About Teak

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    West Coast Canada

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    Qualicum Beach

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  1. From what I understand, the BIB are being told to close down shops and it is up to their discretion which ones. Up North of CM you now really have to ask around to find them. Availability of inexpensive prostitution lessens the number of rapes.30 years ago in Chieng Dao it was 100B for a woman, not to pretty (farmer value) 200B for a pretty enough lass (successful farmer) . For 300 B you went to Rim Doi Resort (Muang Ngai). Ran by the army and where Thai/ Burmese and associated militias would meet to negotiate. As a White guy...only in the daytime. Someone mentioned 30 years ago and the Karen Hut. A few sois away from the Las Vegas was a hole in the wall that had a girl (probably Thai Yai) with a chain on her foot and a number of Thais waiting. The old Jungle Food restaurant in CM had a live bear in a cage and on the menu. Some things have changed for the better. However, there are still some very odd things occurring now in the mountains not too far from CM.
  2. Old story, true story. I was drinking in a bamboo hut with a Thai, a Hmong and two Lisu. The Thai said that White women were most beautiful. I said I thought Lisu women were more beautiful. The Hmong said no it was Thai women..... I am now closing in on 65 yrs and have more young women approach me than ever in my life. Caucasians and Asians, 20 odd year olds. It was a sad realization...but, soon realized they simply thought me 'safe' like an old uncle. Certainly a blow to my ego :-(
  3. The "mot daeng' have their purpose. Bad village boys would be occasionally tied to a tree where the 'mot daeng' were present and left there. The other bad boys would quickly repent their poor behaviour and the village would be peaceful again....Ken
  4. Can anybody recommend an honest bargirl in Chiang Mai? Yeah, sounds silly. I knew Shiraz and he would sometimes give me advice. One time I arrived with a handfull of cut stones 'from Burma'. He had a good look at each one and said "how much did you pay?" I puffed out my chest and said 400 baht each. He said "well done, they are worth at least 600 baht each ! I had miscalculated my expected profit. He then told me how they were made in France in long rods and then cut, machine faceted, sent to SE Asia to be sold to tourists. He told me I could definitely make a 200 Baht profit selling in CM.. Decide on the stone you want and do some research. Ruby is actually one of the easier to authentic. Buy a 10 power magnifier and look inside the stone for the 'silk' You will see the silk like 'fibres , if it is a ruby. Now, another story....I took some rough rubies once to Shiraz and he had a good look at them "congratulations, genuine ruby." Then he says " unfortunately, they are not attractive." How much did you pay ? .......... he said "too much." ...Ken
  5. There is a growing Thai craft beer market. Some excellent IPA's Great place in Chiang Dao. English sign. Not cheap, just high quality beer and good food also.
  6. I have been riding motorcycles here since '89, primarily back and forth from the Chieng Dao area. I believe that the Thai drivers are far better now than they used to be. There was a time when we all were forced to accept 'might is right' or get run down. Remember the honking and flashing lights signifying to get off your side of the road, because a Benz, or bus or simply a vehicle larger than a motorcycle was in an oncoming passing frame of mind? There is far less of that now. At U turns a car will actually wait for the one motorcycle to pass by before turning. I suppose in one way it IS more dangerous now, as we used to never trust ANY vehicle to not have us literally in their headlights. Now, there is a mix of good and bad drivers. I would guess the Thais are 75 percent better drivers then they used to be, However, they do drive faster and there sure is a lot more cars. It seems one has to get past Mae Malai (Mae Taeng) area before the traffic thins out and a rider can relax a bit. As to the water throwing at motorcycles, this is not new. In the early 90's I had a 5 year old boy sitting on the tank in front of me with the Mom behind. While approaching Mae Rim at 40 kph we had a bucket of ice water thrown at us head on. The 5 year old got hit directly in the chest and face. He was in shock for about 3 hours. The water throwers were two young teenage boys....not malicious, I expect. Just as most young boys do....they get an idea and the thinking process stops at that point.
  7. I don't know....sitting with some fellow barflies late one night, bored, and in comes three young rats who start wrestling and playing with each other a few meters from our feet. If we spoke or laughed aloud they would pause for 5 seconds, look up and than resume play wrestling. When this becomes normal it is time to move on...or stop drinking ;-(
  8. Chiengmai....my living in town was relatively short term for a year or two, mostly in Chieng Dao for more than 25 years intermittent years . There was a time in CM when we would sit and 'watch' traffic go by in Chiengmai and if a white woman walked by, we would wonder if she was a missionary. Chiengmai traffic to Mae Rim was a car race even back then, now the race course extends to MaeTaeng. It certainly is not getting better. I am now worried to survive a ride from Chieng Dao to Chiengmai. You folks seem to be worried about smoke and ignore car traffic/ pollution and tobacco and death on the highways. Chiengmai is not a pleasant place to retire in , or be 25 years old in.....except for few weeks. ;-). There are many small Thai cities where people are most pleasant , especially if you learn a dozen Thai phrases to start with. Sure there is agribusiness burning fields..............but, also just folks who need to replant and harvest the mountain's natural bounty. 'Old world' Thailand does still exist....you just need to be smart enough to appreciate it when you find it. It is there and it needn't change. ...Ken ( formally a Teak Wallah)
  9. I found, after repeated stops, I simply keep my IDP in my shirt pocket and helmet on. When I see the road stop and the first cop, I go slow, hold up my IDP, smile a bit and usually get waved through without having to stop. Even got a smile back and a joking salute from a cop once.
  10. That girl Carly is still going through the courts (2017) after being shot by the cop. I understand it may be finally settled this March. Collecting may take another 8 years.
  11. I first came to Chiengmai in '86. Always was told that (in 1986) that Koh Samui was 'done'. No reason to ever go there. I went with the Thai family (then) in 1999 and had a great time. It is all relative, of course,. Even now, as I am about to return, again ....it is simply change. The old Chiengmai is just a few kilometers away. That roadside 'coitio' lady is just as pleasant as was her granddaughter. The old Thailand is only a few blocks away from the tourist zone....Ken
  12. Except for the effect of the Christian ministries I have always found the Karen most genial. I do have little appreciation for christians, but they did teach the Karen to sing well (to our ear) . I have slept in a dozen karen households on the floor mats with a 6 to 12 family members, curled together for warmth. Unfortunately the White guy gets to cuddle against grandma and grand pa......well, in winter.....even they are warm enough to cuddle up against ;-) Beggars can't be choosers. ;-)
  13. I have had several relatives in jail for harvesting 'wild' bamboo. Provable proof of ownership of land, species of bamboo is very important. I personally appreciate 'mai bpai', the solid core bamboo with the thorns for tool handles. Big hollow bamboo is desired to split for housing walls. Best to know what you have, prior to knowing where to sell it. In my opinion 2 inches thick makes a good container for sticky rice, coconut milk and sugar to roast on the fire. No value. Let it grow. This is like selling teak that is less than one 'sok' in diameter. (elbow joint to tip of longest finger) . ......Ken (Island Teak)
  14. Please excuse the repeated quotes...my mistake. I have dropped 'many 'big sticks' on several continents. The sound they make is actually quite terrifying as we never know what will happen in the next 5 seconds. . A good fall is a good fall, but, if you are selectively harvesting , which most 'high graders' /selective loggers are; it is highly dangerous. The tree may fall and become wedged between two close trees and then bounce back with tons of weight passing wind upon your face; if you are lucky. Dropping a big stick where you want them to go while it leans otherwise ...you have to assess the lean and undercut it so it will pivot on it's axis and against it's natural fall to land where you want it to go. Limbs can break and fall directly upon the faller. The faller may not know how to read his tree or file his saw, which will influence his demise.They do die quicker. Tough and dangerous occupation, but never one to be disrespected. I have killed enough trees in my time, for my lifetime....aye, but the sound of an awkward, big stick crashing down within 2 feet of your selected spot for it. Damn...not socially correct anymore....but, a worthy skill. Should we stop logging old growth .....of course. ....Ken
  15. In the olden days, I would go to the Dental College for tooth work in Chiengmai. Albeit disconcerting to have a bevy of children looking into my mouth, the instructor, highly skilled, and doing the work was teaching the students on how to work on a Fallang (note the capital F) dentistry requirements that were often of non Thai traditional dental requirements......primarily, more room to put in Thai fingers .;-) I have had great work there in the past, and extremely inexpensive. Is this still available ? I expect it is ....just not readily known. Opinions ? ...Ken