Tagged: Chiang Rai Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • hardie karges 1:52 pm on May 11, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Chiang Rai, , Doi Mae Salong, Kuomintang, , Santikhiri, ,   

    Doi Mae Salong (Santikhiri): Thailand’s Best-Kept Secret… 

    IMG_2407For most people, travel is a special activity that you do maybe once or twice a year, with elaborate preparations and financial considerations, nail-biting calculations and apprehensions of misappropriations. But most of all: it’s exciting! It’s fun! You’re enthusiastic! But for some others of us, who travel so much that it’s more ‘normal’ than ‘ab’, sometimes we just can’t get it up for the journey, especially if we’ve already ‘been there done that’ and there are no screaming kids to disappoint…

    So I did something a week or two ago that I’ve never done before in forty some-odd (all together now: “some very odd”) years of travel—just canceled; called it off; yanked it; scrubbed; pulled the plug; I feel so liberated now that I don’t have to do all that travel—aaahhh!!! I can relax now. And that’s about the size of it. When you’re tired like the end of a trip, before the trip’s even started, then: do the math, take a bath, put the baby to sleep… (More …)

  • hardie karges 2:22 pm on November 2, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Chiang Rai, Kathina, , Vassa   

    Final Stop on the Forest Temple Pow-wow Circuit: Kathin(a)… 

    img_1034Kao Pansaa and Awk Pansaa are the big deal for the Forest Temples in Thailand, and Buddhist Temples in general, but the entire ‘rains retreat’ season—Pansaa or Vassa—lends itself to priestly gatherings, a time when monks are expected and obligated to stay put at their home temple the entire three months, so it’s a good time to meet up with the Sangha (Buddhist priestly brotherhood), since you know where they are…

    At other times, most of the year, a priest can go anywhere he wants, and many even go ‘tudong‘, walking in the woods wherever they can, on streets where they can’t, sleeping wherever and living off contributions. But many more are more civilized, staying at any temple anywhere, whatever they can accomplish without the usual hotel bookings, rental car reservations, group tours and—money… (More …)

  • hardie karges 2:00 pm on July 28, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Chiang Rai, , ,   

    Life in a Thai Forest Temple: part 1, Mae Chan 

    IMG_0712Mention Thai Buddhist temples to someone, and the image they probably get is that of the gaudy gilded red and orange structures that dot the landscape (t)here, with maybe a mention or two of the corruption and sleaze that dogs the state-supported religion, and which could give the Vatican a run for its money as a source of occasional shame to mix in with the more typical reverence that rivals that of the monarchy as a foundation of Thai culture here…

    But there is another side of Thai Buddhism that is much more impressive to many of our Western tastes, and which rivals Tibetan Buddhism, if not yet Zen, in the number and popularity of its Western adherents, and that is the Thai Forest tradition. Barely a hundred years old, it is the exact opposite of the Dhammakaya flying saucer-like temple that has gotten so many Facebook shares lately, with its million-minion meditation sit-ins and its current run-in with the Thai government over allegations of money laundering… (More …)

    • Esther Fabbricante 4:49 pm on July 28, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      My reply did not go through. What can I say? Your description is very enlightening – and my great nephew has taken up Buddhism.


    • davekingsbury 8:42 pm on July 30, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I look forward to more updates from the Temple. Your commentary straddles the traditions in an interesting and accessible way.

  • hardie karges 1:20 pm on June 29, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ACA, Chiang Rai, ,   

    Thailand on the Installment Plan: Medical Tourism… 

    IMG_0546continued from previous…

    …so after six weeks and much weeping and wailing I finally passed a kidney stone the size of Boulder, Colorado, this after my urologist decided that I must have a swollen prostate gland, since six weeks had passed and I still couldn’t piss a full stream, after he had assured me that there was no stone, or at least “not one very big,” this conclusion without even looking at a screen, where one of the various CAT’s or MRI’s or X-RAY’s or ultrasound scans must surely be available for viewing—not!

    No one told me I had a barely-passable-if-I’m-lucky 10mm stone or I’d probably have nuked the mother in Mexico for $2-3K some 2-3 weeks ago! No, my big city LA urologist talked on the phone to someone somewhere supposedly looking at my scans and ended up concluding something the opposite of what the ER guy had already said, namely: that there were more stones.

    But at least there’s a semi-happy ending, and my situation improved rapidly after the monster stone passed, so I cancelled my appointment with the highly recommended Bumrungrad Hospital in Bangkok, but kept my flight to Thailand, albeit with some trepidation and plenty of duct tape and plaster. Did I mention that Thailand is my second home? (More …)

    • Esther Fabbricante 12:14 am on June 30, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Oh, my goodness. I am speechless. I hope you are on the mend.


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