Features on Asian Art, Culture, History & Travel
Chiang Mai’s Shan Connection
Thailand’s Colourful Poy Sang Long Festival
Probably because of their remoteness from Bangkok and their high demographic presence, the Shans of Mae Hong Son Province are confident, culturally secure, and very sure of their place in the scheme of things. Like the central Thais they are devout Buddhists (albeit with more than a touch of animism included), and their flourishing temples, redolent of Burma and of Shan State, have long excited the curiosity of visitors. The Shan ordination ceremony of Poy Sang Long, held in Mae Hong Son each April, is also a popular attraction. Yet Shan people are not just to be found in Mae Hong Son. In recent years they have also been making their cultural presence felt in Chiang Mai, the capital of the north.