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Beauty Secrets Of The Padaung

Beauty Secrets Of The Padaung

A Unique Cultural Tradition in Mae Hong Son

Both Western and Asian accounts of the "Long Neck" Padaung women tend – understandably – to stress the "neck-lengthening" effects of the massed brass coils. And why should they not, when even the Padaung themselves, from their creation myth to everyday speech, stress the aesthetic beauty of long necks?

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Pu Sae - Ya Sae

Pu Sae - Ya Sae

Guardian Spirits Of Doi Suthep

Every late May or June, near the beginning of the Rainy Season, two little-known but archaic rituals are held in the environs of Chiang Mai. These are the related Pu Sae and Ya Sae ceremonies, which are believed to pre-date the introduction of Buddhism to Northern Thailand. The traditions which they encompass similarly pre-date Thai and even Mon settlement in the area, and are associated with the Lawa, the earliest-known inhabitants of Chiang Mai.

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Getting High for God, Good Health and Kicks

Getting High for God, Good Health and Kicks

The Traditional Uses of Hashish and Marijuana

There were times – the older ones among us may remember – when the term "genuine Nepalese" did not in any way refer to the ethnic background of a citizen of a small Himalayan state. Rather it indicated the origin of a type of hashish, of which Nepal is said to produce the most powerful. "Genuine Nepalese" was a trademark of quality.

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Holy Men Of Nepal

Holy Men Of Nepal

Fakirs, Sadhus, Yogis and Sunyasins

“And the wildest dreams of Kew are the facts in Kathmandu,” - Rudyard Kipling, 1895

They are known, variously, as sadhus, yogis, fakirs and sunyasins. They are the ascetic – and often eccentric – practitioners of an austere form of Hinduism. Sworn to cast off earthly desires, some choose to live as anchorites in the wilderness. Others, as these pictures make clear, are of a less retiring disposition, especially in the towns and temples of Nepal’s Kathmandu Valley.

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Yao Heavens

Yao Heavens

The Legendary Heritage Of The Yaos

The Yao are one of Southeast Asia’s many upland minority peoples. They live scattered in small communities across the "Golden Triangle" region of Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Burma, and extend deep into the southern Chinese provinces of Yunnan, Guangxi, Hunan, Guizhou and Jiangxi.

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Sleepy Narathiwat

Sleepy Narathiwat

Land Of Mangoes And Songbirds

“A quiet seaside collection of old wooden houses, lovely and unfrequented beaches, Muslim fishing villages and Chinese shops. This peaceful place marks a fitting and tranquil end to a journey around the south.” - Alistair Shearer, The Lotus Kingdom

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Destination Loei

Destination Loei

Exploring a Pristine Corner of Upper Isaan

Loei Province, located in the far west of upper Isaan or Northeast Thailand, is among the most sparsely populated and remote provinces in the country. Fortunately, it is this very isolation and relative emptiness that make it such an attractive destination for both cultural and natural ecotourism.

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The Padaung Refugees Of Mae Hong Son

The Padaung Refugees Of Mae Hong Son

Strangers in a Land of Mists and Opium

Visitors to Thailand’s remote but picturesque northwestern province of Mae Hong Son have long been able to enjoy such diverse and exciting attractions as elephant riding, white water rafting, jungle trekking, rock climbing and visiting the many hill tribes of the region. Then, some years ago, a new attraction appeared - the so-called "Long-Neck Karen hill tribe", much touted as an attraction by Thai tourist companies and the Mae Hong Son provincial administration.

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