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Thailand Photos: Rafting, trekking, Karen village home stay in Umphang: 07 - 11 Feb 2006

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Ban Muang Kua Karen village
Houses of Ban Muang Kua (Mong Kua) Karen village. The village is about 15 km by dry season dirt road from highway 1288. After the village the road becomes worse but still continue to Ban Mae Chantha which is at the junction of Mae Chan river and Mae Klong river. Muang Kua has more houses than Thi Pho Gyi village. There is a Buddhist monastery, and a larger school where children from other villages come and study.

We went to the village head house and asked for permission to stay a night which was granted. Note we spoke Karen language. The people of Muang Kua were more close in ways of living and tradition to the Karens in Myanmar side.

Ban Muang Kua Karen village in the morning
An early morning scene of the village: people were going to their farms. Muang Kua's farms produce rice, some vegetable and fruits, chilli, sesame, and so on. They also raise chicken, pig, cows. At the time of our visit they had two elephants in their keeping for transport use.

We spent the evening visiting the houses and the large wooden monastery house. As usual when the sun was down and dinner was finished, we came around the fire place to talk. We learnt to understand each other life, the ways of living and the things of the current affairs.

A public truck transport between Umphang and Pueng Klueng  An orange farm
The public pick up truck that runs between Umphang and Pueng Klueng on the road 1288. On the last day when came back to Umphang we stopped at an Orange farm to buy Orange. This was located before arriving Takhobi caves.

Takhobi caves - 2 km from Mae Klong Mai village
Takhobi caves complex is located about 2 km from Mae Klong Mai village - if you come from Pueng Klueng. To enter the caves you need torch light and a guide who know the place. If you have time you could walk till you come out from one of its holes in the south. In the rainy season some chambers may be flooded.

A scene from Umphang - Mae Sot highway 1090
A scene from the road 1090 between Umphang and Mae Sot. Umphang - Mae Sot is just over 160 km but the trip takes roughly 4 hours turning more than 1200 curves that cut the hills along the Thai-Myanmar border on Moei river. The public pick up trucks run almost every hour from about 8.30 a.m.

Umphang products being sent to Mae Sot
What were in these bags? Maybe corn. Corn, cabbage, chili, etc. are transported from Umphang to Mae Sot on this road. Import from Mae Sot to Umphang includes farm equipment such as Chinese made engines, spare parts, fuel oil; foodstuff such as canned food, dried food, and so on.

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