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Practising for the famous "Nan Boat Race 2016" in Nan province, North Thailand

Two days ago we were passing a small village nearby and saw many people standing on a bridge over the Nan River. What were these people looking for? Right, the practising for the famous "Nan Boat Race 2016". 

The first rounds will start 3 and 4 September in Tha Wang Pha (50 km north of Nan city). 

It is amazing, about 35 man in a small wooden boat on the muddy and wild Nan River. Not my cup of tea to do, but wonderful to watch.

Another sunset in North Thailand

Photo taken in our village, straight from the camera (but nowadays you have so much pre-shooting adjustments that it comes close to using LightRoom after shooting). I love sunsets!

Enjoying a late afternoon snack in Pua, North Thailand

While eating delicious food with mushrooms we did enjoy the great view over the rice-fields and mountains. It was a bit clouded day so no stunning sunset (would be wrong direction anyway) but seeing the big clouds moving slowly into the mountains was just as beautiful to see.

Visiting a local market near Pua, North Thailand

While driving to our new favourite spot for a afternoon snack we stopped at this small local market. There are markets in almost every village, although some are only on Sunday while other are everyday but only in the very early morning. On this market are sold only fresh food, no ready made food.

Another Thai-Lao border-crossing in Nan, North Thailand

While making a motorbike trip from Nan to Chiang Rai via the scenic route 1148 I made a small side-tour to the "Thai Lao Market Place".

Well small ... go and back took me about 2 hours. At Song Khwae I took route 1279 in direction of the signs "Thai Lao Market Place". And of course that was the last sign in English.

The road is passing 3 small villages and about 10km of the road is in bad condition with a lot of put-holes. And currently (26 August 2016) at a few places they are working on the road.

A few km before the border there is a border police check point where non-locals are being checked. I had to register myself and we had a chat about changing my motorbike for one of theirs. But changing my Z250 for a Honda Dream was not a good deal.

Once you get at the Thai side of the border the road turns into a dirt road. It seems that the border was once setup to become international with signs in English. But at the moment it is only for locals. It is called "Ban Mai Chai Daen".

Every Sunday there is a Thai market where Thai sell all plastic and things to the Lao people. It was busy with many school kids, soldiers and other people. I did learn that there was a "tree planting" party. So nobody was bothered that I did walk into no-mans land to Laos. The real border is about 900m from the gate. But due to the mud (it had been raining) I skipped that and did ride back to Song Khwae to take route 1148 to Chiang Rai.

For the rest of the motorbike trip see On the motorbike from Nan to Chiang Rai

On the motorbike from Nan to Chiang Rai in North Thailand

After days of rain the weather forecast did look acceptable and I took the bike for a ride into the mountains of Nan province. Nowadays my rides start at the PTT gasoline station in Tha Wang Pha as that is the nearest gasoline station. From there I took route 1148 into the mountains of Phu Langka in direction of Chiang Rai.

A stunning route to ride with your motorbike!

The famous Golden Clocktower of Chiang Rai, North Thailand

A detail of the famous golden clocktower in Chiang Rai at the round-about at Yetyod road and Thanon Baanpa Pragarn.

The clocktower is designed & build in 2008 by the famous local artist Chaloemchai Kositpipat (who also designed & builded the White Temple). Every evening at 20:00 there is a music & light show.

Getting Lost in Nan, North Thailand

The morning market
Also in Nan I tried it again ... getting lost. So I did wake-up very early and walked thru the almost empty streets of Nan that was at this time of the year a bit fogged.

Actually the only people who you see on the streets are the monks going for alms. That is until about 7:30 when people start to go to work and children are brought to school.

I love to walk in small places likes Nan, people here still seem to go on with their life in a relax way. You see some people doing their wash, dogs welcome you near their house and people smile and say "Sawadee".

More Dutch food for sale in Thailand

Now I had heard it already before .... at Amazon there is for sale a new brand of "Stroopwafels" from The Netherlands. I thought only at Amazon's in/near Bangkok but last week I saw them also for sale at the Amazon in Nan!

Wow, 15 years ago you could hardly buy any western things in Thailand. And now I can buy wine at almost every 7/11, good bread, milk & butter at almost every BigC!

And now even imported Dutch Stroopwafels at every Amazon! I am not sure yet if this is a good trend. The western world coming to Thailand? I hope not.

But well of course I bought 1 stroopwafel. And I must say they are the best that I ever bought in Thailand. I tried 3 different stroopwafels made in Thailand and they did taste different. There is something different with this stroopwafel. Now I am happy there is no Amazon nearby me.

Imported & sold by "Sweet Chew" in Nonthaburi (same as other stroopwafels producers before?) and targeting the Thai audience instead of the Dutch expat market (very small).  See their Facebook page at Sweet Chew by MN

Voor de Nederlanders : De beste stroopwafels in Thailand nu verkrijgbaar bij Sweet Chew en alle Amazon Coffee Shops in Thailand.

Again "The Grand Old lady of Phayao" in Phayao, North Thailand

In previous postings I did write about a beautiful old teak-wooden mansion along Kwan Phayao in Phayao, North Thailand. For more as 10 years this Grand Old Lady had been abandoned, but luckily she has found Tender, Love & Care.

See The Grand Old Lady of Phayao

Last week I saw a web-site with photos that I assume are photos of the renovation of The Grand Old Lady of Phayao. I tried to contact the web-site owner to ask permission but I did not hear anything.

So here you are some photos from the inside of what I think is the "Suthaphat House" in Phayao. Click on more to see 3 more photos.

Nan Then & Now, Crossing the Nan River in Nan city, North Thailand

A photo of a photo at "Nan Noble House". 
Nan Then & Now, to show old photos of Nan province. And to try to reproduce this photos now. The photo is supposed to be made in 2512 (1969) and it shows an bamboo bridge over the Nan River at what is now Nan city. A bit north of the current bridge near the hospital. There are currently 5 bridges crossing the Nan River in Nan city.

For more postings about the rich history of Nan click "Nan Then & Now"

Update about the weather in Nan, North Thailand

20 August 2016 : About 5 days ago there have been flooding in a few parts in Nan province due to heavy rain. That is all over now.

But due to the tropical depression "Dianmu" making landfall in North Vietnam and passing Northern Laos and Thailand it has been raining again the past 24hrs.

At the diagram on the left you can see that at station N64 (Tha Wang Pha) that the water-level & water-current has been going down since 18 August. It has been going down until 19 August 12:00. Since then it has been the same level and rising again until the last checked level of 5.65m at 6:00am this morning. In our village the flooding started at about 9.00m.

If the rain continues it might be time to move the car & motorbikes again to higher grounds.

Update 21 August 2016 : Well it did not continue to rain and the water-level is since 1:00am going down slowly again.

Nan Then & Now, the "Nan Noble House" in Nan city, North Thailand

Nan Then & Now, to show old photos of Nan province. And to try to reproduce this photos now. This is a NOW photo of "The house of Chao Fongkham" now called "Nan Noble House" located in the city Nan. It is said to be 150 years old and originally build at the place where is now the army HQ. About 100 years ago it was moved to the place where it is now and some of the children of the Fongkham family are still living there. It is open from Wednesday to Sunday and there are always some sweet ladies to explain you everything about the house and how to make cotton sarongs the old fashioned way. No entrance fee but a donation is appreciated.

I was there this week and talked to one of the last children who is still living there. Unfortunately her parents & grand parents did not have a camera so she has no old photos of the house. I will keep on digging. For more information see Nan Noble House

You can go inside the house with one of the lovely ladies and she will explain (in Thai) about the house. If took some photos of the inside of the house, click on more to see more.