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Thailand Photos: Trek and Karen village homestay: Pueng Klueng, Lay Tong Ku, Moung Kua, Umphang: 02 - 06 June 2006
After coming back from Lay Tong Ku watrefall we walked along the cart track lined with betal nut plantation, which leads into Myanmar side of Karen (Kayin) region. Karen people on both sides of the border visit each other using this road or walking the mountain foot paths. Small scale family size border trading exists. A grocery owner in Lay Tong Ku village would drive his/her tractor to sell things in Myanmar side. When coming back he/she would bring produces bought from the other side.
A typical Karen house in Lay Tong Ku village. Most houses are built of wood and bamboo, with thatch roof. Some have corrugated metal roof. Sawn timber as well as hand cut wood are used. Almost all houses are built on stilts thus making a room below the house for keeping farm equipment, wood, fire wood, etc. Solar cell battery chargers are provided. Toilets are located outside the house and are usually very basic. Many houses have piped water supply drawn from the streams and mountain sources.
School children going to the school in the morning. In Lay Tong Ku school children from other small villages including few in Myanmar come and stay to study. They have to build small huts for their living. Because of the large size of Lay Tong Ku village when the children come to school they bring food stuff such as vegetable to make their lunch at school. For further study the older children go to Pueng Klueng or Umphang.
An old man cutting wood using a knife to make columns for his rice storage. He could make three in a day. These people extract things from the nature in sustainable amount to build life's minimum necessities. The tools they use are mostly hand powered and do not pollute the environment.
The house of the above old man. His wife was weaving clothes for the family. Grand children were playing. Their sons and daughters were not home, working in the farms.
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