Category Archives: Chiang Mai

Care for Dogs

For the last 6 – 8 weeks we’ve been volunteering at a local dog rescue / shelter called Care for Dogs. Most of the 180 dogs here at the shelter are soi dogs that have been injured in some form, (usually accidental but often from neglect or outright abuse) including quite a few that have been rescued from the dog meat trade (yes the dog meat trade but that’s a different topic entirely).

Care for Dogs operates primarily from the blood, sweat and tears and the tireless efforts of a number of (mostly) volunteers dedicated to helping our four legged friends receive medical care AND find a new home. Care for Dogs is also committed to conducting a regular number of sterilizations each month to address the dog overpopulation issue here in Thailand.

If you come for a stay, you can expect to join us for a day of dog walking … so be sure to bring your walking shoes. Of course there are other ways you can help …. and yep that means cash. Providing food, shelter and medical care for 180 plus dogs is not cheap and Care for Dogs relies entirely on donations from people like you and I. Thailand is not exactly a thriving economic center and without the exposure to foreigners willing to donate to the shelter, I’m afraid that the center would not survive. We recently picked up a couple of leashes, collars and grooming supplies and it all cost about the same as they would in the US so even if someone wanted to send a “care package” in lieu of cash it would be put to good use.

If you are really feeling especially gratuitous you can sponsor a dog. Here’s just a few of the dogs we walk …

This is Fritz and Jones. Fritz is blind in both eyes but as you can see he’s a healthy boy. Unfortunately, he’s a bit too heavy to be carried out of the enclosure by most of the volunteers so he doesn’t get walked as much as he should. He’s a gentle boy who loves being brushed and cuddled with. Jones is a big boy too and he’s definitely the top dog in his little corner of the yard but his bark is much bigger than his bite.  Frankly, I think he’d spend all day licking the sweat off if I allowed him to.

This is Penny (left) and Tam (right). Tam and 3 of Penny’s offspring are segregated from the main yard because they don’t play well with other dogs. Penny has a cage all to herself because, well, her junk brings all the boys to the yard. Tam has become one of my wife’s favorites to walk and if we find ourselves in a position to foster / adopt, Tam will definitely come with us. Surprisingly (given her reputation), Penny has been a joy to walk, she doesn’t pull, listens quite well, and she even takes treats like a lady.

These 2 beautiful sisters were recently “found” wandering the parking lot at the local mall (coincidentally there was an adoption event going on the same day). This is the first I have seen of German Shepherds in Thailand so my guess is that they were brought in by foreigners, then ditched for whatever reason. Never the less, these 2 girls can’t be more than 2 or 3 years old and they are still quite playful. I don’t think that they have been walked on leash much and they tend to weave but I think that will be easy to overcome with a little persistence. We encountered a few soi dogs while we were walking the other day and they definitely got agitated but never got too aggressive. These 2 girls are not soi dogs and don’t belong in a shelter and I’d be heartbroken if they were broken up so I am hoping they find a good home together soon.


Rick the prick, Lulu the lap dog, and my bud Fritzi. Lulu is a very jealous dog but when she is getting attention she is all love. Rick is a social young male that loves attention but tends to bark at the other dogs when they get in the way of his human time.

Here’s just a few more that need YOUR SUPPORT.

To learn more, please visit the Care for Dogs website at http://www.carefordogs.org and be sure to add them on Facebook.

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Care for Dogs

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Care for Dogs 18.717037, 98.908242

Doi Inthanon

We finally made the ride up to Doi Inthanon, Thailand’s tallest mountain at 2,535 m (just over 8,000′) . This was by far the longest ride we’ve done on the motorbike (as evidenced by the nasty sunburns we are both dealing with at the moment) at just over 2 hours in each direction (a bit more than 100km). We managed to stop and take a couple breaks on the way up to Doi Inthanon but weren’t so fortunate on the ride home (more on that in a minute). Admission for farangs is 300 THB per person and 20 THB for a motorbike, definitely one of the more expensive sites in Thailand but well worth it.

As we experienced on the way up to Doi Suthep, the temperatures start dropping as the elevation increases and Doi Inthanon is no exception. The weather at the top couldn’t have been more perfect in my opinion, although my head got a little toasty just from walking around the gardens. The temperature difference is so noticeable it felt like we were riding into an oven as we descended the mountain back in to the valley. We were also very fortunate that there was little traffic headed up or down the mountain (which seemed incredibly odd for a weekend).

I believe there’s 6 or 7 total waterfalls to see along the road up to Doi Inthanon and we had originally planned to see 1 or 2 on the way up and several on the way down but we had some mechanical issues with the rear brakes which distracted us from pretty much everything else at the time (not to mention the rain that was headed right toward us). Luckily we stopped at this waterfall on the way up and managed to take a few pictures and cool off in the mist.

It’s a short but steep and windy road down but our 125cc made it up without any issues. There’s also a café and restrooms for visitors.

We intended on stopping at a number of temples we saw along the side of the road on the way home, however that ominous rain cloud, that is visible in a few of the pictures, chased us home with our tail between our legs. Fortunately, we managed to stop at Wat Namtok Mae Klang just before getting to the first checkpoint headed into Doi Inthanon National Park (the last 3 pictures in this group are from a different temple that we stopped at briefly).

Just having fun with panoramic pictures.

This day trip was definitely a highlight for me and in spite of the crazy winds, rain and mechanical issues with our scooter, I’d do it all over again. It would have been nice to make a couple extra stops along the way home but I left my weather modification device in the US …… haha (kinda).

3 down, 297 to go

It was a beautiful day and we haven’t done much exploring of the temples in Chiang Mai since we’ve been back …. no better time than the present.

It’s amazing that some of these buildings are still standing. I wish I could go way back in time a few hundred years to see what life was like in this area.

Wat Lok Molee

Wat Chiang Yuen

Wat Chedi Luang Worawihan

Loi Krathong

Experiencing Loi Krathong and Yi Peng in Chiang Mai for the first time was something to behold. While I am sure that pilots flying in and out of the Chiang Mai airport weren’t so keen on it, we sure enjoyed watching the progression of lanterns floating in the night sky in the days leading up the full moon. The night of Loi Krathong was a bit surreal. If I had to compare it to something in the United States, it was a bit like the 4th of July combined with the atmosphere of New Years Eve. We, along with thousands of other tourists and locals alike, spent the evening on the east side of the moat near Tha Phae Gate. If this area wasn’t the center piece to the whole event, I can’t imagine what was.

The east side gates of the moat
The east side gates of the moat

Paper Lanterns Fireworks and Lanterns

The sky was filled 360 degrees with lanterns.
The sky was filled 360 degrees with lanterns.
These could be purchased for 30 baht.
These could be purchased for 30 baht.

Considering how many floats and lanterns were let go, we were blown away at how quickly the streets and surrounding area were cleaned up the following day. What the area lacks in municipal services was sure made up for with a collective cleaning effort.

Day Trip

A Royal Project – prior opium fields turned into organic farms to provide a means of sustainable income for the local hill tribe people. Overnight camping and vegetarian meals are also available

We found this temple after making a wrong turn. Not a single person was around.

Had lunch at this little resort / restaurant tucked away on the side of the mountain. I was waiting for King Kong to come out of the jungle at any moment.

The view from our table at lunch.
The view from our table at lunch.

Wat Phra That – Doi Suthep

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wat_Phra_That_Doi_Suthep

Unfortunately the skies were overcast the day we visited. Personally, I think the views of Chiang Mai below would be spectacular and, in my opinion, it would be worth waiting for a clear day. Wat Phra That Doi Suthep is definitely a must see for anyone visiting the Northern Thailand area. I think just about every Songthaew in Chiang Mai has an advertisement for rides up Doi Suthep and you can probably get a ride much cheaper than what we paid but we had a Songthaew available at our discretion. I believe we paid 1,500 THB for the ride up to the temple (‘Wat’ in Thai) and an additional 300 THB to continue further up the mountain to the Royal Garden. (NOTE: If you are sensitive to curvy, mountainous roads, I’d suggest hiring a cab).

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Wat Phra That - Doi Suthep

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Wat Phra That - Doi Suthep 18.804896, 98.921696