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CMHomeboy78

Chiang Mai Farangs - In Perspective

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Thanks for the detailed reply.

But I'm still not convinced that Grandjean was talking about the Kampang Din.

The Finlayson Map is visual evidence, of a sort, and reinforced by the added note "before the inner wall was removed."

Your evident bias against missionaries has possibly led you to underestimate Grandjean as a reliable witness.

You've probably read Carl Bock's Temples and Elephants. Did a more obnoxious farang ever set foot in Lanna Thai? His tactlessness was almost comical. Not to mention the fact that he plundered and desecrated religious sites as well. Yet his writings and observations are generally accepted as factual.

Maybe it's a good idea to put aside our prejudices when evaluating historical information.

As observers many missionaries did report an accurate account of things at least through their eyes. They did try to at least view first hand. Personally I have little respect for their in my view cultural genocide but as reporters they are often true.

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'But how can the map be explained? In my opinion - and not to labor the point - the Finlayson Map is a symbolic representation of Chiang Mai as a celestial city with the royal residence as Mt. Meru at the center'.

I second that.

Thank you for a fascinating contribution.

And all the best to you and your projects.

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Thanks for the detailed reply.

But I'm still not convinced that Grandjean was talking about the Kampang Din.

The Finlayson Map is visual evidence, of a sort, and reinforced by the added note "before the inner wall was removed."

Your evident bias against missionaries has possibly led you to underestimate Grandjean as a reliable witness.

You've probably read Carl Bock's Temples and Elephants. Did a more obnoxious farang ever set foot in Lanna Thai? His tactlessness was almost comical. Not to mention the fact that he plundered and desecrated religious sites as well. Yet his writings and observations are generally accepted as factual.

Maybe it's a good idea to put aside our prejudices when evaluating historical information.

As observers many missionaries did report an accurate account of things at least through their eyes. They did try to at least view first hand. Personally I have little respect for their in my view cultural genocide but as reporters they are often true.

I would agree with that as well. Missionaries have left some of the most valuable and accurate accounts of life in 19th century Chiang Mai. McGilvary's book, A Half Century Among the Siamese and the Lao is a good example.

The Payap University archives have letters, photos, and other material from missionary families in Chiang Mai that I would very much like to have access to. I'm working on that.

Thanks for your input.

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Thanks for the detailed reply.

But I'm still not convinced that Grandjean was talking about the Kampang Din.

The Finlayson Map is visual evidence, of a sort, and reinforced by the added note "before the inner wall was removed."

Your evident bias against missionaries has possibly led you to underestimate Grandjean as a reliable witness.

You've probably read Carl Bock's Temples and Elephants. Did a more obnoxious farang ever set foot in Lanna Thai? His tactlessness was almost comical. Not to mention the fact that he plundered and desecrated religious sites as well. Yet his writings and observations are generally accepted as factual.

Maybe it's a good idea to put aside our prejudices when evaluating historical information.

I'm not going to argue the point at length.

I just outlined what I thought was a plausible explanation for Grandjean's reference to a "double girdle of walls" in saying that it was possibly the Kampang Din that he was referring to. I have no vested interest in promoting this view.

Another thing that makes me doubt that the Chiang Mai fortifications ever included double walls and moats is the fact that no trace of an outer [or inner] wall has ever been found. Surely if one had existed - even one going back to the time of King Mengrai - some remains, above or below ground would exist.

As far as I know, it is only the Finlayson Map and the word of Grandjean that say so. Even taken together they don't amount to a compelling case for the existence of double walls and moats defending Chiang Mai.

I am also not going on the defensive against a charge of "bias against missionaries." The fact that many, if not most of them are brainless bigots is self-evident. There have always been exceptions, I'm sure we can agree.

I'm not anti-Christian in any way.

Although I have a profound respect for, and interest in Buddhism, I've been a Catholic since a few days after I came into this world, and that's the way I'll go out.

Amen Bro.

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...His mission was to convert the Chaos and Kohn Muang to his Protestant form of Christianity.

Seemingly uninterested in the history, art, and culture of Chiang Mai, he was the prototype of the clueless farang who is oblivious to what extent Buddhism is related to traditional ways of life here...

And they are still at it. Nice shirts and stealing moo bahn clubhouse aside, many Thais feel it's wonderful that not just old farangs marrying sex workers are prepared to hand over large sums of cash in return for little more than "yes, I believe you ka".

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Chiang Mai farangs in perspective. Pictures speak louder than words:

Speaking for yourself, I assume.

I never get so lucky.

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...His mission was to convert the Chaos and Kohn Muang to his Protestant form of Christianity.

Seemingly uninterested in the history, art, and culture of Chiang Mai, he was the prototype of the clueless farang who is oblivious to what extent Buddhism is related to traditional ways of life here...

And they are still at it. Nice shirts and stealing moo bahn clubhouse aside, many Thais feel it's wonderful that not just old farangs marrying sex workers are prepared to hand over large sums of cash in return for little more than "yes, I believe you ka".

So many of the missionaries that I've met here in the past 35 years have been almost caricatures of the doctrines they're trying to spread.

To me, the most offensive thing about them is their animus toward Buddhism, which is more than just a religion here, it's the heart and soul of traditional life.

On the positive side, it is undeniable that missionaries were the ones who introduced modern education and medical practices to Chiang Mai, starting with McGilvary in the mid-19th century.

When it became evident that Thais weren't going to be converted en masse, the missionaries turned their attention to the hilltribes where they've had some measure of success. Travelling from village to village in their 4WD pick-up trucks with their Old Testaments teaching these primitive people the silly fables of the jews.

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The post about Schomburgk was very interesting. I've heard of the "Schomburgk Line", somewhere in South America, and also the "Schomburgk Deer", but I was only vaguely aware that he had been the British Consul-General in Bangkok.

His trip to Chiang Mai didn't seem to have accomplished its objective of setting up a British diplomatic presence here. It took them another 24 years to get their foot in the door. Although the Borneo Company and Bombay-Burmah were both logging forest-leases before they had the consulate and extra-territorial court to support them in their continual litigation and contentious relations with the Chiang Mai Chaos.

Your dislike of missionaries makes your comments about McGilvary seem unfair, to say the least. Why not look at the way the Chiang Mai Chaos and the ordinary people judged him? His relations with Chao Kawilarot deteriorated drastically, that's true, but he had the support of Chao Witchayanon and Princess Tipkesorn upon their succession, and it lasted until the end of their lives. Another active supporter and close friend was Princess Ubonwanna, whose wealth from teak and other businesses seemed always to be at McGilvary's disposal.

His medical treatment of poor people, and his wife's educational work earned them the gratitude and love of many, who without their presence here wouldn't have had access to healthcare or education in their latest forms.

They were directly or indirectly responsible for the founding of institutions that survive to this day. McCormick Hospital, The Prince Royal's College, and Dara Academy among others.

The good that McGilvary did for Chiang Mai and its people far outweigh any personality quirks he may have had.

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Great stuff and a most interesting and informative "journey"...

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An awesome education for me. I never knew.

Best wishes on your new career path as CM notable historian.

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The post about Schomburgk was very interesting. I've heard of the "Schomburgk Line", somewhere in South America, and also the "Schomburgk Deer", but I was only vaguely aware that he had been the British Consul-General in Bangkok.

His trip to Chiang Mai didn't seem to have accomplished its objective of setting up a British diplomatic presence here. It took them another 24 years to get their foot in the door. Although the Borneo Company and Bombay-Burmah were both logging forest-leases before they had the consulate and extra-territorial court to support them in their continual litigation and contentious relations with the Chiang Mai Chaos.

Your dislike of missionaries makes your comments about McGilvary seem unfair, to say the least. Why not look at the way the Chiang Mai Chaos and the ordinary people judged him? His relations with Chao Kawilarot deteriorated drastically, that's true, but he had the support of Chao Witchayanon and Princess Tipkesorn upon their succession, and it lasted until the end of their lives. Another active supporter and close friend was Princess Ubonwanna, whose wealth from teak and other businesses seemed always to be at McGilvary's disposal.

His medical treatment of poor people, and his wife's educational work earned them the gratitude and love of many, who without their presence here wouldn't have had access to healthcare or education in their latest forms.

They were directly or indirectly responsible for the founding of institutions that survive to this day. McCormick Hospital, The Prince Royal's College, and Dara Academy among others.

The good that McGilvary did for Chiang Mai and its people far outweigh any personality quirks he may have had.

It's evident that the Schomburgk mission failed in its main purpose of establishing a British vice-consulate in Chiang Mai. But Schomburgk's position as a diplomat was so secure, and he had so many successes behind him that I don't think it mattered very much to him personally.

The visit was ill-timed to begin with. Chao Kawilarot was absent in Bangkok when Schomburgk arrived, so there was no one with enough authority in Chiang Mai to deal with. Schomburgk mistakenly refers to Kawilarot as a "Viceroy" when in fact he was a "Chao Chee-wit" ...Lord of Life. He could have given permission for a British diplomatic establishment with a nod of his head.

McGilvary's life and career is a heavy concern, and full of contradictions. I will try to summarize it and the effect it had on Chiang Mai history during the latter half of the 19th century in my next post.

Thank you for your continued interest.

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Great stuff and a most interesting and informative "journey"...

Thanks so much for your word of encouragement.

Chiang Mai history is a fascinating subject, and it's nice to know some others share my interest.

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BANGKOK 24 November 2017 18:30
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