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Cultural Riches Of Lampang

Cultural Riches Of Lampang

Northern Thailand’s Historic Second City

Lampang is the second city of the Khon Muang or Northern Thai people, being, after Chiang Mai, the largest, richest and most populous city of the north. Isolated from Lamphun and Chiang Mai to the west by the Doi Khun Tan mountains, from Phayao to the east by the massive bulk of Doi Bussaracum, and from Phrae to the south-east by the Doi Khun Kiat range, the valley of Lampang is broad and fertile. As a consequence, Lampang—valley, city and people—has developed a distinctive style and culture of its own.

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Languid Lamphun

Languid Lamphun

Exploring Northern Thailand’s Oldest City

The quiet, provincial town of Lamphun just 26 kilometres south of Chiang Mai, is generally promoted as an enjoyable side trip from the northern capital. A combination of tranquil, lotus-filled moats, some of the most distinguished religious buildings in Thailand, and the story of Queen Chamadevi, combine to attract Thai and overseas visitors alike.

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Venerating The River Goddess

Venerating The River Goddess

Thailand’s Graceful Loy Krathong Festival

Each year at November full moon, people gather by stretches of open water throughout Thailand to celebrate Loy Krathong. Small but elaborate lotus-shaped creations bearing traditional offerings of flowers, incense, candles and a coin are floated in countless numbers on streams, rivers, lakes, ponds, and even the open sea to reverence and pay homage to Mae Khongkha, the goddess of rivers and waters.

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Doi Chiang Dao

Doi Chiang Dao

Mysterious And Majestic Mountain of Northern Thailand

"The peak of Chieng Dao stands boldly up, 7,160 feet above sea level. It is a very imposing limestone rock, as it springs almost perpendicularly from the plain to a height of six thousand feet." James Macarthy’s description of this eastern outpost of the Upper Tennasserim range, written a hundred years ago, was the first scientific estimation of the height of one of Northern Thailand’s most spectacular formations.

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Graham Greene’s Saigon

Graham Greene’s Saigon

Old Saigon

I deliberately used a quotation from Graham Greene’s The Quiet American in the introduction to this book. It’s probably the best novel, at least in English, on Vietnam, its politics and its mores in the middle of the 20th century. No Vietnamese city is more closely associated with Greene than Saigon. Yet his chief protagonists – Fowler, and Pyle – travel much further afield, to Hanoi and Haiphong in the north, to Ninh Binh and the cathedral town of Phat Diem in south-central Tonkin, as well as to the Cao Dai Holy See at Tay Ninh, northwest of Saigon. Fowler even takes part in a French dive-bombing operation in the northwest near Lai Chau, while the sound of heavy artillery from a major battle at Hoa Binh can clearly be heard at night from downtown Hanoi. Even legendary Halong Bay gets a mention.

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Images Of Doi Mae Salong

Images Of Doi Mae Salong

A vision of pristine hills, long ago, straddling an unmarked and unobserved frontier between states as yet unformed. Unpopulated save by birds and beasts, the only human visitors are wandering hunters, mystics and anchorites, refugees from justice – or from oppression. A Southeast Asian Shangri-la without name and beyond knowledge, silently awaiting discovery and settlement.

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Ordaining Pol Pot

Ordaining Pol Pot

Should Pol Pot Be Allowed Into Monkhood

The Venerable Maha Ghosananda, one of Cambodia’s most senior and respected religious figures, recently suggested that both Pol Pot, Khmer Rouge "Brother No. 1", and his most effective and ruthless military commander, Ta Mok, should abandon their struggle and enter the monkhood. "If they agree to be monks, they will give up their ambition, violence and killing," argued Maha Ghosananda in a recent issue of the Khmer-language paper Liberty News.

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Genghis Khan

Genghis Khan

Genghis Khan: Mongolia’s "Man Of The Millennium"

It is the ultimate ’rags to riches’ story. It begins with a 10-year-old boy in a small family encampment abandoned by his tribe on the harsh steppe, surviving only on what his mother could gather from the land. Forty years later he was well on the way to establishing the largest empire the world has ever known, stretching from the shores of the Yellow Sea to well beyond the Caspian, from the frozen wastes of the north into the tropical heartland of Asia. The boy was Temujin, better known as Genghis Khan, who has been declared by no lesser authority than the Washington Post to be the "Man of the Millennium".

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