Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Discover Thailand's Hill Tribes:

Discover Thailand's Hill Tribes:
Trekking in Northern Thailand

A visit to a hill tribe village is one of the main reasons why people travel to Thailand's far north. There can be few other places on earth where so many varied, exotic and fascinating cultures coexist side-by-side in apparent harmony. To be sure, similar hill tribe groups live nearby, in neighbouring Burma, South China, and Laos. Yet the former remains troubled by ethnic insurgency, its upland areas closed to foreign travellers for decades, whilst facilities for visitors to minority areas of South China are still rudimentary, and in Laos virtually non-existent. North Thailand, by contrast, seems to offer everything - magnificent scenery, easy access, and in the nearby lowlands comfortable accommodation, together with some of the most delectable regional and national cuisines to be found anywhere in the world.

At more than half a million people, Thailand's hill tribe population constitutes just over 1% of the total population of the country. Most hill tribes live in the highland areas of the north, as well as along the mountainous western border with Burma, farming lands which are unsuited for the wet-rice paddy cultivation practised by the lowland-dwelling Thais. It is because they live in the mountains that these diverse minority peoples are known to the Thais as chao khao, or "people of the hills". In fact, the term "hill tribe" is something of a misnomer; they are not "tribes" in an anthropological sense, and "hill peoples" or even "highlanders" would certainly be a more accurate translation. Be this as it may, the designation "hill tribe" is widely accepted and must be considered standard current usage.

In normal circumstances, national frontiers are fixed in an attempt to define the territorial limits of land inhabited by particular peoples. West of a certain river - the Yalu, for example - the majority people are Han Chinese; east of it they are Korean. No such simple solutions are possible in the hills of Southeast Asia, however. Valleys are inhabited by wet-rice agriculturalists like the Thai, the Lao, the Burmans and the Han Chinese. The lower slopes of the hills, unsuited for wet rice paddy cultivation, are inhabited by dry rice farmers such as the Karen, Lawa, Khamu and H'tin. The higher slopes are farmed by slash-and-burn agriculturalists like the Lahu, Lisu and Mien, who grow temperate vegetables and opium poppy to eke out their dry rice crop. Finally, clinging to the very highest peaks and farming the remotest hill tops, may be found the Akha and the Hmong, the two groups traditionally most closely associated with papaver somniferum, the delicate opium poppy which flourishes best at these high altitudes. The resulting mosaic of peoples is as culturally rich as it can be ethnically confusing, and lends Thailand's hill tracts much of their charm.

Introducing the Hill Tribes

The Tribal Research Centre at Chiangmai University currently identifies nine separate hill tribes who have indigenous status within Thailand. They can be conveniently divided into two groups. The people of the lower slopes, including the Karen, Lawa, Khamu and H'tin; and the true "highlanders" including the Hmong, Akha, Lahu, Lisu and Mien. Each tribe upholds its own traditions, wears a distinctive style of dress, and speaks its own language.

In addition to these relatively established groups, various other hill peoples, usually recent migrants of refugees from Laos and Burma, have recently settled in Thailand. These peoples, including Kachin from Kachin State, Palaung from Shan State and "long-neck" Padaung from Kayah State, are regarded as temporary residents of Thailand and not accorded hill tribe status by the Thai authorities.

Karen woman.
Chaweewan Chuchuay / CPA
Karen woman.

The People of the Lower Slopes

There are more than a quarter of a million Karen living in Thailand, mainly scattered along the western border contiguous with Burma's Karen State. They are skilled farmers, specialising in both wet and dry rice cultivation. Although they employ slash-and-burn techniques, they create less environmental damage than the people of the mountain peaks by maintaining belts of forest between their fields. Indeed, in some ways the Karen form a link between the hill peoples and the lowland Thai. Like the Thai, they live in stilt houses, and they have been resident for centuries. Unlike the other hill tribes, they do not move their villages.

The Karen are largely animist, although sections of the population have embraced Buddhism, and in nearby Burma Christianity has a strong presence. Karen women are excellent weavers, producing rather mellow red, orange, pink and white cotton cloth. There are two main groups of Karen living in Thailand, the Sgaw and the Pwo. Unmarried girls in both groups may be distinguished by their white clothing.

Whilst Karen clothing and customs are in some ways less spectacular than those of the high mountains tribes, trekking in Karen areas can be particularly rewarding for travellers interested in white-water rafting and elephant riding. A visit to Mae Sam Laep, a Karen village on the banks of the Salween, offers spectacular views and the chance to explore stretches of this treacherous, cold and mysterious river by long-tail speedboat. Soldiers of the Karen National Union, who have been fighting for an independent Karen State for more than 40 years, can sometimes be seen on the opposite bank - as can soldiers of the Burmese government, still seeking to put down the rebellious Karen.

Other "people of the lower slopes" including the Lawa, Khamu and H'tin, are rarely visited by travellers, partly because they lack spectacular costumes, and partly because they do not grow opium poppy and are not associated with the romantic mythology of the Golden Triangle.

The People of the Mountain Tops

Living at progressively higher levels in the remote mountains of the north are the real "highlanders" of the Golden Triangle - Hmong, Akha, Lahu, Lisu and Mien. These are the peoples, all relatively recent migrants to the area, whose exotic and colourful clothing, association with opium cultivation, and picturesque life-style has given trekking in Thailand so much international appeal.

Hmong field worker, northern Thailand.
Oliver Hargreave / CPA
Hmong field worker, northern Thailand.

There are about 80,000 Hmong in Thailand, belonging to two distinct groups, the Blue Hmong - distinguished by the knee-length pleated skirt of the women - and the White Hmong, the womenfolk of whom wear blue or black trousers. The Thai (and the Chinese) call these people "Meo", a name which the Hmong dislike and consider derogatory. They are clever business people, and show their wealth in displays of massive silver jewellery. The Hmong are a very independent people who resent any attempt by lowlanders to change or influence their lifestyle. Accordingly, they have often been involved in military conflicts, including - in neighbouring Laos - the CIA "Secret War" of 1968-75. Until fairly recently they practiced extensive opium cultivation in Thailand; elsewhere, in Burma and Laos, they still do.

Lahu woman walking in the mountains, Doi Angkhang, Chiang Mai.
David Henley / CPA
Lahu woman walking in the mountains, Doi Angkhang, Chiang Mai.

There are just over 60,000 Lahu living in Thailand, sub-divided into five separate groups, the Red Lahu, Black Lahu, Lahu Sheleh, Lahu Balan, and Lahu Bankeo. They are known to the Thai as "Musur", which means 'hunter', as they excel at this skill. The Lahu are an animistic people, though in recent decades many have been converted to Christianity. Many Lahu are poor, and as a people they are noticeably less well off than groups such as the Hmong, Lisu and Mien.

The Mien, called Yao by the Thais, are the most sinicised of the hill tribes. There are about 36,000 living in Northern Thailand, and are easily distinguishable by the broad black turbans and red "boas" worn by their women. They are arguably the most sophisticated of the hill peoples, with a long tradition of writing in Chinese ideographs, a deep-seated belief in Taoist-based religion and ancestor veneration. Mien embroidery and paintings are keenly sought after by visiting tourists, and fetch high prices in the Chiangmai Night Bazaar and elsewhere.

Akha girls of the Ulo group, Thailand.
Jim Goodman / CPA
Akha girls of the Ulo group, Thailand.

Like the Lahu, the Akha are a relatively poor tribe living on the very tops of the most inaccessible peaks. Of Tibetan origin, they are the most recent hill people to have migrated to Thailand, and they are perhaps the least conversant with Thai as a language. They are immediately distinguishable by the elaborate and beautiful headgear of the women - perhaps the most remarkable single feature of Thai hill tribes. Today there are about 33,000 Akha living in Thailand, practising shifting cultivation of various crops including maize, dry rice and temperate vegetables. Until recently the Akha were deeply involved in opium cultivation, and even today many villages are wracked by problems of opium addiction. They are often shy and even timid by nature, and visitors to Akha villages should take extra care to speak gently and avoid giving offence.

By contrast, The Lisu are of a completely different nature, outgoing, confident and sometimes even a little pushy. They have been established in Thailand since the beginning of this century, and today there are perhaps 25,000 in the country. Lisu women wear colourful red and turquoise dresses, often with large amounts of elaborate and heavy silver jewellery. More than any other hill tribe, including the Karen, the Lisu seem equipped to deal with and even thrive in lowland Thai society. As a result many live in quite elaborate, comfortable houses, and run thriving businesses in the big cities like Chiangmai and Chiangrai. They are generally ebullient, outward-going and friendly, whilst the Lisu girls are perhaps the prettiest and the most flirtatious in the hill country!

Tribal celebration.
Joe Cummings / CPA
Tribal celebration.

Seeing the Hill Tribes

Undoubtedly the most popular and most adventurous way to visit Thailand's hill tribes is by trekking. Before embarking on such a venture, however, it is important to consider your state of health and physical condition - trekking isn't for everybody, and even a short one or two day expedition requires a degree of personal fitness not everyone is fortunate enough to enjoy.

Those who consider themselves too old, too infirm, or just too plain cautious to march off into the hills need not despair - Chiangmai, Chiangrai, Mae Hong Son and Nan all boast numerous agencies offering one or two day tours of hill tribe villages by air-conditioned coach. True, this restricts visitors to surfaced roads, and therefore to the more commercialised hill tribe villages. Nevertheless, touring is an easy, safe and comfortable way to see something of the hill peoples and to buy hill tribe handicrafts without excessive physical effort.

For those who have the time and the inclination, as well as a reasonable degree of physical fitness, trekking in the hills of Northern Thailand is an experience not to be missed. Trekking is big business, of course - in Chiangmai there are currently more than two hundred agencies offering organised treks, and there are many more throughout the cities and towns of the region.

Organised Trekking

Most visitors to north Thailand choose to join an organised trek arranged by a professional agency familiar with the terrain and people to be visited. A typical trek is of three to five days duration, and an ideal group size is four to eight people, including two guides.

Most treks begin with a few hours journey in a jeep or a pick-up to the area to be visited. Where the road ends, the walking begins. Trekkers should expect to walk for between three and five hours a day, usually up hill and down dale, and generally under a hot sun where no forest cover exists. In well-organised treks, some of the journey will be by elephant back, and some by bamboo raft - sometimes on fast "white water" rivers. In the Burma frontier area, or near former Chinese Kuomintang settlements, mules are also used as a means of transport.

Trekkers usually share communal accommodation, often in the village headman's hut. The guides are responsible for cooking communal meals with food generally carried in from outside. This is good sense, as hill tribe standards of hygiene often leave something to be desired, and the risk of contracting hepatitis or food poisoning from eating locally prepared food should not be ignored. After dinner traditional songs and dancing may be performed by the villagers, who are generally pleased to welcome visitors from the world outside.

Bedtime is usually early - something all but the fittest of trekkers is likely to welcome - and fairly spartan. Set against this are the joys of sunset and sunrise in often pristine surroundings, miles from the nearest karaoke, go-go bar or office block. The complete absence of roads makes the nights almost eerily quiet, and the first light of dawn should be enhanced by ethereal wisps of mist - not fogged by poisonous exhaust fumes. Truly, a night on a hard bed or a simple mat is a small price to pay for such a sea change!

Independent Trekking

It is also possible for adventurous travellers to visit hill tribe villages independently, and to make all their own arrangements without the help of an agency. Most enthusiasts of "do-it-yourself" trekking have often started with organised groups, and subsequently progressed to individual trekking. Whether experienced or not, independent trekkers should plan their route carefully, seeking advice from other travellers and if possible visiting the Tribal Research Institute at Chiangmai University before setting out.

DK Books in Chiangmai publish two excellent maps for individual trekkers, one of the Wawi area south of the Kok River in Chiangrai Province, and the other of the Kok River itself. Both areas offer the possibility of rewarding visits to different hill tribe communities, and both are considered safe for independent trekking. It is not necessary or advisable to carry large amounts of money on independent treks - just enough to pay for basic foodstuffs which can be purchased en route, plus a little extra to see you back to the nearest city in case of sickness or other difficulty.

Where to Go?

Northern Thailand is home to a dozen minority hill peoples living in more than eight thousand villages scattered over more than one hundred thousand square kilometres of rolling, forested, often inaccessible hills - so the problem isn't so much finding a trek, as knowing which to choose, and where to start!

The main trekking areas are Chiangmai, Chiangrai and Mae Hong Son provinces. A less well-known alternative which is likely to develop rapidly as Laos opens to the outside world is Nan, in the far north-east. Trekking to Thailand's hill tribe villages first gained popularity as an adventure holiday some twenty years ago, when Chiangrai province north of the Kok River was the major destination. By 1985 it was recognised that this area had become "over-trekked", so tours moved south of the Kok River to the Chiang Dao ("City of Stars") region in Chiangmai Province, and to the Doi Chang ("Elephant Mountain") region of Chiangrai Province. Today both areas remain important destinations, as does Mae Hong Son province on the remote Burma frontier, and Nan Province along the distant border with northern Laos.

Chiangmai remains the most convenient destination with the greatest variety of hill tribes for the first-time visitor, added to which are the advantages of direct flights from Singapore, Yangon, Taipei and Kunming, a broad range of excellent accommodation, fine restaurants, and the many unique cultural attractions available in the northern capital. Chiangrai offers the most exciting rafting-trekking tours in Thailand, as well as a broad range of hill tribes. Mae Hong Son is Thailand's most "Burmese" province, with a spectrum of hill peoples which includes the "long-neck" Padaung more commonly associated with Shan State. Nan is the least-visited odd-man-out, with such lesser-known (and less visually spectacular) groups as the Mlabri, H'tin, and Khamu. Against this, Nan also boasts the most pristine hills, the lowest number of tourists, and spectacular vistas of the mighty Mekong River.

Practicalities of Trekking:

When to Go?
The best time to go trekking in Northern Thailand is during the cool, dry season between October and February. March and April, although still dry, can be uncomfortably hot. During the wet season - between, approximately, May and September - paths are muddy, walking can be difficult, and troublesome pests like mosquitoes and leeches are at their worst!

What to Carry?
Take at least two changes of light, loose, comfortable clothing. Long trousers, rather than shorts, to guard against thorns. To prevent sunburn, arms should be covered, and a broad-brimmed hat is a good idea. Strong boots, with ankle support, are ideal, though in the dry season good trainers will suffice. Nights can be surprisingly cold, especially during December and January, so in these months a light jacket or woollen, as well as a spare blanket, are essential. Other necessities include a towel and toiletries, insect repellent, antiseptic, antihistamine and anti-diarrhoea medicine. Drinking water is generally provided by the trekking company and carried by the guides. Most trekking agencies will also provide a back pack on request. It is not necessary to take large amounts of money, credit cards, or passports - though a photocopy of the latter should be carried at all times. Documents, jewellery and other valuables should be left in a bank safety deposit box. Trekkers who leave their credit cards in guest houses for safe keeping sometimes return home to find large amounts have been illegally charged to their account!

Health Precautions
Hill tribe villages are fascinating and picturesque, but not always very clean. The hill peoples themselves will have acquired a certain natural immunity, but inoculation against hepatitis and an appropriate anti-malarial are strongly advised for outsiders. Check with your doctor before travelling to Thailand, or seek advice at one of the many excellent hospitals in Chiangmai or Chiangrai upon arrival. Dietary caution should be exercised. Avoid unboiled or untreated water, peeled fruit and uncooked vegetables.

Trekking with an established agency is generally quite safe - though it is sensible not to make a display of excessive wealth in remote areas close to the Burma frontier. Independent trekking is best limited to internal areas, well away from the troubled Burmese border. Those setting out on such treks should always check with the local police, and make sure they leave a record of their planned itinerary with friends. Don't take anything with you that you can't afford to lose, and in the unlikely event that you are robbed, don't offer resistance.

Organised treks should cost between US$ 20 and US$ 30 per head per day at the lower end of the price scale. If rafting and elephant riding are also included, these costs may rise to between US$ 30 and US$ 60 per day. It is not difficult to establish the current going rate - just ask around at several of the many different agencies.

Finding a Good Trekking Agency
Don't choose a trek by price alone. Take time to talk with other travellers before approaching an agency. When selecting an agency, make sure that it is registered (as required by law) with the authorities, and that it reports to the Tourism Authority of Thailand before starting a trek. The TAT is making efforts to control trekking agency standards, and recommends that travellers trek only with members of the Professional Guide Association of Chiangmai or the Jungle Tour Club of Northern Thailand.

The price of a trek should generally include all motor transport, food (three meals a day), accommodation in the villages visited, and sometimes the loan of specific equipment such as water bottles, back packs and (in the cool season) sleeping bags. Check these services are provided before booking a trek. Beverages other than drinking water and tea are not usually included in the price.

Talking to the Locals
Each hill tribe has its own specific language which few Thais, let alone outsiders, can speak. Nearly all hill people can speak northern or central Thai, but this too is of little help to foreign visitors - Thai is not a language to come to grips with in a short period of time! As a consequence, most travellers will have to rely on their guides as interpreters - most guides speak adequate English, but it is advisable to check.

Chinese visitors from Taiwan and Singapore, or residents of Hong Kong who speak Mandarin, will be pleased to learn that Yunnanese Mandarin is widely spoken as a lingua franca throughout the Golden Triangle area. This is because of the near-monopoly on local trade held by Yunnanese traders and ex-Kuomintang soldiers, known locally as "Chin-Haw".

Padaung woman, Mae Hong Son.
David Henley / CPA
Padaung woman, Mae Hong Son.

Lisu girls.
Joe Cummings / CPA
Lisu girls.

Text copyright © Andrew Forbes / CPA 2004.

The Crescent in North Thailand:

The Crescent in North Thailand:
Muslims of Chiang Mai

The Muslim population of Chiang Mai is not particularly large - according to the 1980 census it comprised a mere 2.5% of the city's overall total - but it is successful, diverse, and (at least in the main Muslim neighbourhoods) very noticeable.

Four main areas of Muslim settlement are readily identifiable by their mosques, halal restaurants, men sporting prayer caps and women wearing head veils. Two of these areas (Chang Peuak and South Changklan) are predominantly Bengali, or South Asian in character, whilst two others (Ban Haw and Sanphakoi) are predominantly Yunnanese.

The South Asians

There are no specifically Muslim areas located within the old city walls, but just to the north, on Chotana Road beyond Chang Peuak Gate, lies an old Bengali Muslim neighbourhood centred on the green-and-white An-Nur Mosque. Historically, the first established Muslim community in Chiang Mai was probably Bengali. Cattle traders operating out of Moulmein who had originally migrated to Myanmar from the Chittagong area of Bangladesh, these Bengal Muslims are first reported to have settled in Chiang Mai as early as 1830.

The Muslim community expanded during the course of the 19th century with the arrival from Yunnan of Hui Muslim refugees from the failed "Panthay Rebellion" of Tu Wen-hsiu. These Yunnanese Muslims, known locally and in neighbouring Laos as "Chin-Haw", settled in and around upper Changklan Road in an area still known as "Ban Haw". The chief Yunnanese mosque, on Charoenprathet Soi 1, is today Chiang Mai's most important Jama' Masjid, or Congregational Mosque.

Towards the end of the 19th century, following the Pahang Rising of 1891-95, a group of Malay Muslims was deported to Chiang Mai by the Siamese government. These Malay Muslims eventually assimilated with the Bengali Muslims of the Chang Peuak area, but not before they had introduced peninsular cuisine in the form of satay and peanut sauce, salad khaek, murtabak, etc., to this far northern city.

Contemplative Chin Haw, Chiang Mai.
David Henley / CPA
Contemplative Chin Haw, Chiang Mai.

Following their various arrivals in Chiang Mai during the 19th century, the Bengali, Yunnanese and Malay Muslims intermarried to a certain degree. In addition, all groups took local Thai wives and raised their children as Muslims in a convenient and fair exchange - Muslim religion for Northern Thai cultural characteristics.

From a purely Islamic point of view there was no problem with this melange. Although representing three separate and distinct traditions in the spread of Islam through Asia - Yunnanese Islam being of the overland "Silk Road" variety, whilst Islam reached the Malays by the maritime dhow trade, and Bengal by direct conquest - all three groups settling in Chiang Mai belonged to the mainstream Sunni variant of Islam. True, the Yunnanese and the Bengalis both belonged to the Hanafi school of Sunni Islam, whilst the Malays followed the teachings of the Shafi'i school of Sunni Islam. Yet these were (and are) minor distinctions, which in no way prevent intermarriage, worship together, and shared values - particularly when intermarriage with the local Thai community and the resulting adoption of many Northern Thai cultural values are taken into account.

Today Ban Chang Peuak consists of about 75 households clustered around the An-Nur mosque, all of whom profess the Muslim faith, a shared ancestry, and involvement at some time in their lives in the cattle trade. In addition to Chang Peuak, a secondary area of "South Asian" and Malay Muslim settlement also developed in and around southern Changklan, well away from the Yunnanese of Ban Haw, in the area opposite the post office near the junction of Changklan and Chiang Mai Land roads. Here the local Muslim community has established a mosque, madrassa (religious school) and an institute for higher Islamic Studies. Nearby are several Muslim restaurants specialising (as befits the North Thai-Malay mix) in khao soi and satay dishes.

The Bengali Muslim community at Chang Peuak and the more recent South Asian population of Changklan might, should they so wish, more accurately sub-divide their ancestry into Bengali, Pathan, Punjabi and Sindhi origins. However, they are not really concerned by this matter, and even sometimes employ the term khaek - a generic (and somewhat disrespectful) Thai term for South Asians and Arabs as a whole. Thus the visitor enquiring after the whereabouts of the mosque may well be met with incomprehension when asking for the masjid. "Wat khaek", by contrast, is well understood by everyone.

Traditionally, both because of their preferred calling as cattle traders and the religious obligation to slaughter animals for food according to prescribed halal rites, Chiang Mai's Bengalis and other South Asians have tended to be associated with the meat business. This has, of course, been a very fortuitous relationship, as most Northern Thai Buddhists have no scruples about eating meat, but few would be prepared to kill the animals such a diet entails. Although originally centred around Masjid an-Nur and the Chang Peuak community, the meat production business was gradually transferred to the south Changklan area as a result of the development of Chotana and the loss of grazing land in the area. Partly as a result of this development, the newer Changklan Muslim area gradually became noticeably wealthier than the older Ban Chang Peuak. Today nearly all halal butchering in the city is carried out by Changklan Muslims, though a casual visit to nearly any meat section in a city market will reveal a crescent moon above at least one stall.

The Yunnanese Chinese

Whilst Yunnanese Muslim traders have been travelling to north Thailand for many centuries, and a small settled presence has existed in Chiang Mai from at least the middle of the 19th century, in recent years this presence has grown considerably due to political unrest in the Sino-Burmese borderlands. In part this was occasioned by the Japanese (and related, if largely forgotten, Thai) invasions of the Shan States in World War II.

The Japanese, inveterately anti-Chinese to the point of ignoring the basic economic realities of imperialism, attacked and destroyed the affluent Panthay community at Panglong, dispersing the settlement's Yunnanese Muslim inhabitants throughout the Shan States and beyond. Some displaced Panthays settled at Tachilek on Burma's frontier with northernmost Thailand; others crossed into Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai provinces, where they built mosques at Mae Sai, Chiang Rai, Fang and other lesser towns.

Haw ladies at prayer, Chiang Mai.
David Henley / CPA
Haw ladies at prayer, Chiang Mai.

Subsequent political disturbances added to this trend. In 1949 the victorious communist forces of Mao Tse-tung drove elements of three KMT armies across the Yunnanese frontier into Burma. Of the three senior KMT commanders, one was Muslim, as were many of the soldiers. Following years of warlordism and failed attempts to undermine the communist regime in Yunnan, many of these ageing soldiers settled in Thailand where they became businessmen, the more successful moving to Chiang Mai where they assimilated into the local "Haw" community.

Many such Yunnanese - Muslim as well as non-Muslim - have relatives, friends and former comrades scattered throughout Laos, Thailand, Burma and Yunnan, so that the imam of, say, Taunggyi in the Shan States is well-known to the imam of Chiang Mai's Charoenprathet Mosque. The same is true of Muslim leaders and businessmen in Fang, Mae Sai, Tachilek and even Yunnan itself. The community is rich, influential, confident and - despite earlier involvement in some rather dubious cross-border trading and KMT enterprises - increasingly respectable and respected.

Within Chiang Mai, the oldest and best-established Yunnanese community is certainly Ban Haw. Here, in an area centred around Charoenprathet Soi 6 and the Anusarn Market, may be found numerous "Chin-Haw" households, both Muslim and Buddhist. As a general rule, the Muslim Yunnanese live mainly to the north, clustered around the large mosque distinguished by a red-and-gold sign in Thai, Chinese and Arabic. By contrast the non-Muslim Yunnanese tend to live further south, around Anusarn Market. The non-Muslims are more recent arrivals, and much of the land on which they live is rented from their longer-established Muslim Yunnanese fellows.

Relations between Muslim and non-Muslim Yunnanese, and with the surrounding Thai Buddhist community, are good - though by-and-large eating together is restricted to non-Muslim visits to Muslim restaurants. Prohibitions against pork and other haram (forbidden) foodstuffs keep the Muslims at home, just as in China itself. Sections of the original Ban Haw community have spread out to establish themselves on Loi Kroa Road, Sri Dornchai, and by the fruit market in Talad Meuang Mai, north of the Mae Ping Post Office.

Northern Thai fans decorated with Arabic script.
David Henley / CPA
Northern Thai fans decorated with Arabic script.

Whilst relations between Muslim Yunnanese and non-Muslim Yunnanese in Chiang Mai, and especially in Ban Haw, remain good, it should be noted that in recent years (particularly following sustained KMT settlement in northern Thailand), the longer established Muslim Haw have shown some reservations. In particular, they are anxious to stress their links with the wider Chiang Mai Muslim community as a whole, as well as to distance themselves from recent non-Muslim Chinese migrants from Burma who may be associated in the public mind with the KMT, opium smuggling, and other illegal activities.

Chiang Mai's fourth major Muslim community, comprising a mixed Thai-South Asian-Yunnanese population but certainly dominated by the latter, is to be found to the east of the Ping River in and around Sanpakhoi. In the lanes just behind the Bain Compound, and in the shadow of the tall and unattractive Floral Chiang Mai Condominium, may be found the Attaqwa Mosque and the associated Chitpakdee or Attaqwa School.

Here classes are given in Arabic and Islamic knowledge ('ilm) to children of all Muslim backgrounds in Chiang Mai and the surrounding provinces. Much of the land around the Attaqwa Muslim community is owned by Thai Muslims of Chinese origin, and the Yunnanese links are very evident both in the "Chinese-Arabic" stylised script of the mihrab (prayer niche) in the mosque, and in the photographs and certificates posted on the walls of the school.

Despite these reminders of the diverse ethnic origins of Chiang Mai's Muslims, it should not be forgotten that all Muslims holding Thai nationality consider themselves to be Thai first and foremost in mundane concerns, Muslim first and foremost in matters spiritual. The minaret of the Attaqwa Mosque provides a fine example of this cultural synthesis which seems to work very well indeed. Suspended from the inside of the green, star-and-crescent topped dome there hangs a northern Thai gong, used to call the faithful of Chiang Mai to prayer. As a symbol of Islam in Northern Thailand, this must surely be hard to surpass.

Crescent moon and northern Thai gong: Islam in Chiang Mai at the Attaqwa Mosque.
David Henley / CPA
Crescent moon and northern Thai gong: Islam in Chiang Mai at the Attaqwa Mosque.

Text copyright © Andrew Forbes / CPA 2004.

The Ghost People of Chiang Dao

The Ghost People of Chiang Dao

Just over a hundred years ago a solitary European was travelling by mule in the remoter reaches of northern Thailand when he was seized by fever and obliged to rest up in an isolated settlement. The man was James McCarthy, a surveyor in the service of the Royal Siamese Government, and the place in which he fell sick was called Chiang Dao, which means "City of the Stars" in Thai.

In time, and as usual (he describes malaria as "his old enemy") McCarthy would recover - but not before making a most unusual and disturbing discovery about the place in which he had fallen ill and the nature of the people who lived there. For Chiang Dao was no ordinary settlement, and its inhabitants, at least as far as the Thai authorities were concerned, weren't really people at all.

In fact McCarthy had stumbled upon a settlement of phi pob, or people possessed by spirits, banished to live out their lives in the wild northern hills as far from the confines of human society as possible. In the surveyor's own words: 'the people of Chiang Dao are known as phi pob or spirit people. Taking advantage of the superstitions prevalent in the country, a cunning law-giver enacted that all such people must live together in localities set apart for them. In border lands there are numerous such places which have to be guarded by the local police, who practically force the people to take up their abode there'.

As might be expected, the administration of these "ghost settlements" posed something of a problem for local government. At the time of McCarthy's sojourn in Chiang Dao, the senior official of the town was a minor prince from Chiang Mai, charged with overseeing the day-to-day activities of his spirit subjects - a task which was certainly considered difficult and probably dangerous. McCarthy observes that: 'Whenever he has any official intercourse with the people, he recites a prayer which keeps him from the influence of the spirits'.

The chief reason for banishment to places of exile such as Chiang Dao was, seemingly, fear of sickness and mistaken perceptions of the causes of fever such as malaria. McCarthy notes that, 'when anyone is afflicted with serious illness, it is attributed to the evil influence of spirits, and it is supposed that the troubling spirit has entered into and taken possession of some man or woman from whom it makes excursions and feeds on their neighbours'.

As the decline into illness was generally attributed to such spirits feeding on the liver, heart, or some equally important portion of the patient's system, the natural recourse was to try and identify the person possessing the spirit. As McCarthy makes clear, this frequently led to "witch-hunts". In such cases 'the unfortunate patient who, if unconscious, is in all the better condition for investigation, is plied with questions as to the whereabouts of the offender, and if he mentions the name of his brother or father, or anyone else, the object of suspicion is immediately driven from the village, their house burned, and he or she is glad to seek shelter in a settlement of the spirit people'.

Once banished to a spirit settlement, people thought to be possessed by demons had little alternative but to live out the remainder of their days as normally as possible. They married each other, had children, worked in the fields or opened shops to serve other "spirit people", and generally went about their lives in as natural a fashion as circumstances permitted. In this way Chiang Dao developed into a substantial settlement, and as the years passed and standards of education improved the town's strange origins gradually faded into history.

Faded - but never quite disappeared. Even today many of the people of northern Thailand, and certainly all the citizens of Chiang Dao, are aware of the town's strange past - though they rarely mention it to outsiders. Today Chiang Dao is the capital of a prosperous district in Chiang Mai Province, distinguished more by its proximity to Doi Luang Chiang Dao - Thailand's third highest peak - than by the wooden shop-houses that line the quiet streets, while the only ghosts and spirits to be seen are featured in the lurid movie posters popular throughout Thailand.

Modern day interpretations of ghosts in a Thai movie hoarding.
David Henley / CPA
Thai Ghost Movie Poster: Sex Curse
David Henley / CPA
Modern-day Thai Movie advertisements featuring ghosts.

So what has become of the spirits and ghosts who formerly inhabited the place? Was there existence merely a figment of the Thai collective imagination? Or have they gone undercover?

If, on a sunny winter morning, a stranger should stop one of the younger, fashionably-dressed citizens of Chiang Dao and ask whether they believe in phi pob, the enquiry will almost certainly be greeted with a smiling denial. But if the same question is asked by candlelight on a moonless, windy night in the lee of the menacing, clenched granite fist of Doi Chiang Dao... the answer may well be very different!

Jungle Demons.
David Henley / CPA
Jungle Demons.

A Guide To Thailand's Ghosts and Spirits

The Thai spirit world is populated by a plethora of ghosts, ghouls and demons - some good, some harmful, and some openly dangerous. Among the most interesting are:

Phi Peta - A hungry ghost. Everyone who is preoccupied with material attachments to the exclusion of the spiritual will be reborn as a Peta, having a giant belly and an mouth as small as the eye of a needle. Peta may sometimes be heard whistling at night, looking for people to make merit for them. This ghost is relatively harmless.

Phi Am - A ghost which sits on the chest or liver of sleepers, causing discomfort. It can be harmful.

Phi Chamob - A ghost which haunts the place where a woman has died in the jungle. This spirit does not do any harm.

Phi Ha - The spirit of a woman who has died in childbirth. This ghost is considered to be very violent.

Phi Krahang - This ghost appears as a man with feathers and a tail like a bird. It eats filth and glows at night. An unpleasant and frightening spirit.

Phi Krasy - This ghost lives inside a witch and leaves her body during sleep by way of the mouth. The Krasy is the colour of fire, has a head the size of an electric light bulb and a half-metre long bluish tail. A Krasy ghost likes dirt and does not generally harm human beings, although when it consumes entrails (hardly surprisingly) it can cause death. Krasy witches have a sleepy appearance during the day. Their eyes don't blink and they can never look anybody in the face. Also, they don't cast any reflection in the mirror. Before Krasy witches can die, they have to find somebody who will inherit the Krasy by consuming some of the old witch's spittle.

Phi Lok - A ghost which haunts various localities. It frightens and misleads people, and can be seen as well as felt.

Phi Phrai - The spirit of a woman who has died in childbirth and whose body has been used to make phi thai hong lotion. A sorcerer must hold a candle under the corpse's chin, and from the resultant melted oil essences are manufactured which drive men mad and attract women.

Phi Tai Ha - The spirit of a woman who has died of malaria. The ghost will also spread this disease.

Phi Thuk Khun - The substance of a living person which has to be sent out on astral journeys every week, or harm will come to its owner,

Phi Khamod - A spirit in the shape of a red star which, like a Will o' the Wisp, misleads wanderers.

Phi Nang Tani - A female tree spirit which is essentially beneficent and may fill the alms bowls of itinerant monks.

Phi Pa - A forest spirit. Hunters may leave a piece of the foot, lip, tongue or eyelid of a killed animal to show respect to this spirit.

Phi Poang Khang - A spirit in the shape of a black monkey which likes to suck the big toe of people sleeping in the jungle. It is said to live near salt licks.

Phi Ka - These spirits are inherited through women and can be contagious. The Ka, if not properly treated (with raw eggs) will attack and possibly possess people without the owner's knowledge. Perhaps understandably, ordinary people are said to be reluctant to marry into Ka clans!

Phi Hai - Hungry, amoral spirits associated with places where people have died an unnatural or violent death. Phi Hai are easily offended, and take every opportunity to possess people. Normally, they can be induced to leave their victim if suitable offerings are made, but on occasions an exorcist has to drive them out. In such cases, when incantations and lustral water prove insufficient, a whip may need to be employed.

Phi Pob - A malicious and very dangerous spirit which manifests itself as a beautiful woman. Phi Pob float through the air because they have no legs or lower body. They generally appear as a length of internal organs and intestines suspended from a strikingly lovely face - therefore, beware beautiful women gliding mysteriously by in long dresses! This type of ghost is probably more feared than any other species in Thailand.

Clearly, there can be no doubt that belief in ghosts and spirits remains widespread throughout Thailand. Indeed, there are now (covertly) thought to be more types of spirit at large than there were when Chiang Dao was founded. Chinese "bouncing" ghosts have long been a staple of Thai television and children's fantasy. Muslim ghosts have appeared which can be driven off by flourishing a piece of pork (preferably a pig's head) at them, and even vampires have made the long journey from Transylvania to Thailand. In this age of mass communication and international tourism, ghosts too - or so it would seem - have become world travellers!

Text copyright © Andrew Forbes / CPA 2003.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


Written by Hawaii-50
Sunday, 10 September 2006
The Khan Asa Pub and Restaurant is located right on the moat which surrounds the original Chiang Mai town. Sripoom Road which separates it from the canal is lined by towering "flaming" trees". From the exterior, this eatery appears more like someone's private large living room than a public space. Inside, one immediately feels the friendly, relaxed and comfortable atmosphere as Somchai Khan-asa (mostly known as Nong) or his wife Pou, the owners, will personally greet you and offer you a table.

The restaurant sits about 30 inside with tables well set apart to offer a little privacy, though the loud music will deter you from any intimate conversation. There are 4 more tables outside on the sidewalk. Most of the clientele is composed of young Thai professionals and working foreigners. Customers come for their dinners and stay on for the music personally selected by Nong, a career music reviewer. Nong will be the first one to tell you that "a large number of my clients come over for the great food, the fabulous music, and the very friendly bar staff. As many are aware of my music critic background, much of my time is spent discussing current music trends and all time favourites. Currently, my main bartender is covered with tattoos, so he has become a great conversation topic."

Most ordered food items include Phla hoy nang rom (spicy oyster salad), Khao pad nam prik rong rua (fried rice seasoned with chilly paste), Kaeng pa neua kem (spicy vegetable soup with salty dry beef). The cheapest dish is Som tum (papaya salad) at 60 baht, while the most expensive is Pla krapong tod nam pla (deep fried marinated sea bass) at 200 baht. Cocktail prices vary from 75 to 130 baht, spirits from 160 to 1,190 baht per bottle, while selected wines are also available between 60 and 240 baht per glass. Live bands are featured 2 evenings a month with schedules published well in advance.

The Khan-asa Pub and Restaurant opened its door to the public 3 years ago. Nong is also the owner-publisher of the "Chiang Mai HIP Magazine", a free publication which concentrates purely on the social and entertainment scene in Chiang Mai. The HIP Guesthouse, which comprises of 9 rooms, is right next door. The nightly 500 baht rate includes air conditioning, hot water, cable TV and free internet.

Khan-asa is located at 87 Sripoom Road, Tambon Sripoom, Amphur Muang, Chiang Mai 50200.
It is open nightly from 6pm till midnight and closed 2 days a month.
Tel./Fax: (053) 213 037
Mob.: 086 654 6956
E-mail: khan_asa17@hotmail.com

Images of Khun-Asa
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Sudsanan Pub And Guay Jab Yuan

Sudsanan Pub And Guay Jab Yuan
Written by Hawaii50
Friday, 26 January 2007
The feeling one gets walking into the Sudsanan Pub And Guay Jab Yuan is more of a large private party for close friends at someone’s home, rather than a public establishment or a nightclub. The relaxed and friendly atmosphere felt like a gathering place with an interesting mixture of art, techno and philosophy students from neighbouring universities mixed among writers, musicians, wannabees, NGOs of various callings, and a hippy looking crowd reminiscent of far gone eras. Most clients are repeat customers with new faces showing up through word of mouth.

Sudsanan opens its doors nightly at 6 p.m. and closes at 1 a.m. It is a pleasant and comfortable wooden house with a spacious living room housing the main part of the restaurant where tables and chairs are placed far enough from each other and from the band stage to offer some privacy. The surrounding veranda offers some additional sitting arrangements overlooking the mango trees outside. There are sufficient parking spaces within the Sudsanan property.

The menu offers low priced simple and popular Thai dishes. Listed items include yums (spicy salads), soups, salads and steamed fishes with prices ranging between 45 and 160 baht. The special of the house is “Guay Jab Yuan” (a thick Vietnamese noodle soup). The bar offers most local and imported beers and spirits. Advertised on a blackboard at the bar were Sex on the beach, Siam Cocktail, Pina Colada, and Mexican Mango cocktails, with prices between 55 and 85 baht.

Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays are Jazz nights alternating with folk acts, while the rest of the week offers 3 different bands nightly. The main attraction of each evening is the middle act which features the owners Souat at the guitar, Houag at the bongos, and Pleuay at the khane (Isan bamboo mouth organ) giving excellent renditions of their own compositions and other favourite folk songs. This very band won the Chulalongkorn Songs for Life Contest Award in 2005.

The closest I can get to aptly describe Sudsanan home style music will have to be a mixture of “fusion folk” and “yellow soul”. Each song tells a personal story with everyday’s life challenges as a re-occuring theme. The music is played acoustic, plugged but agreeably soft. Prominently hung behind the band is a banner which proudly reads “8 Years Sudsanan”. Sudsanan’s tale is a tortuous story of a pursuit of failed childhood dreams. Classmates Houag and Souat left their home in Surin some 15 years ago, lured by visions of striking it big musically in the bright lights of Bangkok. After a few years eking out a living through different niteries in Bangkok, playing others’ music in order to please dinner crowds, they worked their way up to Chiang Mai where they eventually opened the original Sudsanan nightclub. I visited it in August last year and must admire the Houag & Souat team for having made such a leap forward. They have retained the old original Sudsanan magical formula and have moved it to a much improved location and conditions. They are now offering “their own brand of music to their own crowd”. It is recommended for those of you looking for a different evening among a friendly, super relaxed and laid back musical experience. And to be mindful that there is something different for everybody.

A stone throw from the Kad Suan Kaew Plaza,
Sudsanan is located off Huaykaew Road, next to the Coca Suki Huaykaew Restaurant.
Tel.: 085-038-0764

Images of Sudsanan Pub & Guay Jab Yuan
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Kaffe Boran Chiang Rai

Kaffe Boran Chiang Rai
Written by Panida Suvapiromchote
Friday, 03 August 2007
You don't have to go to fine restaurants to get serenaded while having your meal, as in Chiang Rai City, Sakchai Chankrajang, the owner of Kaffe Boran Chiang Rai (Traditional Thai Coffee) will be happy to play his guitar and sing for his customers having breakfast on the side walk near the clock tower in Chiang Rai City. This unique street cafe features an old yellow pick-up truck converted into a coffee and breakfast cooking station. Sakchai or “Lung Aed”, as the local folks call him, impressed me with the two outstanding skull rings on his fingers and the colourful bandana around his head. His dress attire was song-for-life singer style, in army sneakers and a denim jacket.

"Sawasdee Krub, Sabai Dee Mai Krub (Good morning, How are you?)”, Sakchai greets his customers with his radiant smile. His little mobile cafe offers a wide range of coffees, ranging from 12 baht per cup for instant and traditional Thai coffee to 35 baht per serving for freshly brewed coffee. He revealed that he serves Chiang Rai coffee from Doi Tung, Doi Chang and Doi Wawee, roasted and blended Arabica with Robusta beans.

His popular breakfasts include the Khai Krata (fried eggs with ham, northern pork sausage slices, and minced pork toppings served with toasts), the American breakfast served with canned orange juice and fresh coffee at 69 baht, while Chinese doughnuts cost one baht a pair. Iced coffee is priced at 15 baht a glass for the instant, and traditional Thai versions and the freshly brewed iced coffee costs 35 baht. Hot foods which are available during the cool season are rice porridge at 20 and 25 baht, corn soup at 20 baht,Tao Huay (soft bean curd in sweet ginger tea topped with crispy Chinese doughnuts) at 10 baht.

While stopping his guitar playing from time to time in order to serve his customers, Sakchai would play on his CD boom box a selection of 1960s songs like The Bee Gees' Holiday and Massachusetts and Nat King Cole. Decorations on walls of the roadside near the coffee tables were old photos of Chiang Rai, and one of them showed Chiang Saen Town covered with snow in 1958, which to me seemed impossible as it has never snowed in Northern Thailand. He said he rotated the photos every three months, and in the cooler season, he exhibits Elvis Presley's photos. Sakchai deejays songs according to the customers age groups, and if they are in their 40s to 50s, he plays the all-time classic Thai favourite CDs of Sundarabhorn Band, Suraphol Sombatcharoen, and M.R.Thanadsri Svasti. Sakchai usually serenades his customers with English folk songs, Thai songs-for-life and country songs, and sometimes he sings according to his customers’ requests.

Sakchai, a native of Phitsanuloke, related that "I have not been to Bangkok for 28 years because I can not tolerate traffic jams”. Sakchai decided to work in Chiang Rai as a teacher and later for social development NGOs. Sakchai gradually switched from the office staff stereotype to a new look of an easier lifestyle where he has worn braided long hair for the last 7 years. Most of his customers are tourists, and the rest are local residents. One of his regular local clients, whom he refers to with gratitude, was a low-profile and generous millionaire who rode a bicycle to get around town. He helped Sakchai out of a personal crisis by lending him money to buy a used pick up truck. Sakchai needed 5,000 baht but the rich client gave him 8,000 baht by reasoning that Sakchai had had a past tough life. Sakchai paid that debt to the rich man within one month. On a second occasion, the same millionaire gave him a loan of 20,000 baht to buy a guitar and amplifier set which he has used to the present day to earn a living.

Happy and enjoying himself in his modest cafe occupation for over the last 9 years, Sakchai added that “a lot of people refer to my mobile coffee shop as "Kaffe Rod Lueang"(The Yellow Coffee Truck)”. He did not have to work extra hard for his money as he has trained his two assistants to be attentive and hospitable. The famous Thai singer, Aed Carabao, whose singing style Sakchai admired, was among the many clients who had tried and liked his soft boiled eggs. He smiled as he recalled about a kind tourist who dropped him 50 baht then quickly got on his bus. But not every client was so kind to him such as one who arrived in a large Mercedes Benz and bargained his coffee from the posted 10 baht a glass to 8 baht. Sakchai ended up by also giving that person free another two pairs of Chinese doughnuts. There was also another man who bargained his soya milk from one bag to two bags for 5 baht.

Sakchai was offered 200,000 baht from a man in Mae Chan District to sell his Kaffe business, but he turned it down, being already happy and satisfied to do his job in the “sufficient economy lifestyle”.

Kaffe Boran Chiang Rai
Located on Bappra Prakarn Road near Chiang Rai Clock Tower.
Open daily from 6 a.m.- 11 a.m.
Mob.: 086.118.0044

Images of Kaffe Boran Chiang Rai
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DAVE BESSELING - Itinerant Artist

DAVE BESSELING - Itinerant Artist
Written by Soui Sananikone
Wednesday, 15 August 2007
The most striking thing about Dave Besseling when you meet him is the magnificent display of intricate tattoos on his arms and legs disappearing deep into his clothes. We encountered by chance, at one of the innumerable quality guest houses within the Old Chiang Mai City limits. I could not help but approach him to inquire about the significance of the designs imprinted on parts of his body. Dave was most affable and open to my curiosity and as it turned out, the tattoos were just the tip of an iceberg lurking underneath.

Dave, in his twenties, aptly represents the current generation of young artists…..well educated, extremely independent, widely traveled and very versatile in their artistic outlooks and accomplishments.

Canadian by nationality and a graduate in Graphic Design from the Fanshawe College, London in Canada, Dave has, during the last few years, widely traveled through Europe and has held art exhibitions in the Hague Netherlands, Karamea New Zealand, Toronto Canada, Tokyo Japan, and Chiang Mai University Art Museum in Thailand, was awarded the honour of the First Artist as A.I.R for the Living Space Project in Karamea, New Zealand, during 2006, and most recently was shortlisted to the final two to obtain the highly coveted Fall-Winter Residency at the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Seoul, South Korea. While awaiting the outcome, Dave decided to come to Thailand to check out the reputable meditation retreats in Chiang Mai he had heard of.

Asked to describe his overall style, Dave muses briefly before answering: “Normally, I use the description of ‘viticonscious metafigurative’……what ?You say….well, viticulture, as you know, is when you splice a branch of one tree into the trunk of another as we used to do with apple tress when I was a kid. So viticonscious is the word I use to describe the process of lateralization of my thought processes to incorporate multiple points of view, whether they are moral, social, spiritual, etc. Metafigurative just means that there is always a human element in the work, meta is to denote that I don’t use models for any of them as all the shapes and poses arise from my imagination…which is to say that a lot of the time, I surprise myself with these images, they must come from somewhere very deep inside me or somewhere very vast above me. I really don’t know and I am not egotistical enough to start making admissions about collective unconsciousness or higher selves, so that meta seems general enough to convey the feeling without being in any way a kind of sectarian or new age weirdo.”

While in Chiang Mai, Dave has had the opportunity to participate in the Lanna Style Design International Workshop at the Faculty of Art, Chiang Mai University. The lamp which he designed following that experience, based on traditional Northern Thailand Lanna influences, was featured in the Thai edition of “Wallpaper Magazine.” Many of Dave’s artworks have been highlighted in several international publications.

Dave Besseling also writes prose and poetry. To date, his published writings include Nakayubi Two: the Barnstormer (poetry), Kusiriyubi One: Fun with Memes (prose) and Nakayubi One: the cynic, the critic, the masochistic anemic (poetry). Dave commented that “the difficulty with poetry is convincing people that it is a proper art form, replete with layered nuances and legitimate wormholes to the intangible, just like paintings or music.”

To quote some of his friends, “Dave Besseling’s poetry offers a musical fall, as well as rise, in cadence, and a touch of melancholy, dedicated as it is purely to the existential struggle, however bitter. Dave does not always reconcile absurdities but merely observes them, in fact exaggerates them. His aim seems not to set in order but simply to set down the disorder. An essential point of view.”

“Enfant terrible and ancient sage, custodian of rage and wonderment, he crams incantations, savage broadsides, almost love songs together with garlicky puns and wordplay to give us an alchemical work of modern jazz.”

Eclectic T-shirts he designed for the Yan De Hafuri Boutique in Tokyo, Japan, can be acquired online through his website.

Using Chiang Mai as his home base, Dave has traveled extensively throughout Thailand and the neighbouring countries. He has immersed himself in the renowned hospitality of the local Northern Thais, and thoroughly appreciates the richness of the Lanna culture and the proximity to the resident Art Community. As to how much longer he intends to stay here depends largely on how his fledging E-Commerce, which markets his artworks, writings, and t-shirts, progresses. Like most artists, Dave Besseling needs consistent funds to sustain his current lifestyle.

Contact: info@davebesseling.com
website: www.davebesseling.com

Images of DAVE BESSELING - Itinerant Artist
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