CraSh Williams' Blog

Posts Tagged ‘chiang mai’

On the Wall, Thailand

Posted by Cool Your Jets IV on July 18, 2011

For some reason, I thought Thailand and certainly Bangkok, would be covered in Graffiti – maybe I was looking in the wrong places or not finding the right alleyways to wander down! I found the following pieces during our two months here, enjoy!

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Massages and Happy Endings…

Posted by Cool Your Jets IV on July 15, 2011

Having heard that the local Women’s Prison offered massages well, who wouldn’t be able to resist?

The Chiang Mai Woman’s Correctional Institution was previously a mixed prison though was recently converted to hold just women, 1500 inmates in total plus staff and for the last several years has had a very forward thinking Governor who rather than keep the prisoners locked up with very little opportunity to rehabilitate, has instigated a number of different opportunities for the woman, one being Massage. So a couple of days back we went along to check it out and get a massage.

First off, the massage doesn’t actually take place in the prison – it’s just across the road opposite the gaol. The room is bright and airy though lacks windows and there’s also a couple of guards on duty – other than that there’s a dozen or so women, all dressed in a spa type uniform. Shelley opted for the one hour foot/reflexology and I the two-hour Thai massage

Chiang Mai Woman’s Correctional Institution

I got chatting to my woman and she told me that she’d been here for twelve years (I didn’t ask what for) and was due for release this October. During the last 6 months of their sentence they’re offered various courses, anything from sowing, wordprocessing, cooking and also massages, enabling the women to start a business once they leave prison.

After completing several weeks of intense training they’re then let-loose (so to speak) on the general public.

It was a great massage in a pretty unique environment and one with a happy ending, though not the one you were probably expecting!

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People Zoo

Posted by Cool Your Jets IV on July 12, 2011

Having failed in our quest to see any Long Neck Karens during our recent road trip, we took the opportunity to visit Baan Tong Luang an Eco-Agricultural Hill Tribes Village about 25km outside of Chiang Rai. Several people had advised against going, liking the whole experience to visiting the zoo to gawp at the animals only in this case gawping at human beings in some kind of weird freak show…

The ‘village’ is made up of several different Hill Tribes though everyone makes a beeline straight to the Long Necks – us included. Mostly it was young girls and some women more our own age, there were very few men around – we saw maybe two guys during our time in the ‘village.’

The name Karen is a catch-all name for the tribe – there’s numerous sub-groups and those that practise the ‘neck stretching’ are known as Padaung, all of the Karens originated from Burma and crossed into Thailand due to persecution. The actual neck-stretching is more an illusion – theres no way a neck can be stretched to that extent without paralysing the person. The rings, which are incredibly heavy actually push down the collar-bone and upper ribs which must be painful for the woman.Once worn for several years, the rings cannot be removed as the neck muscles become wasted and unable to support the head – apparently, if the women comits adultery the rings are removed as punishment and the women spends the rest of her life laying down, unable to stand up.

The saddest thing for me was seeing these very beautiful young girls, no more than teenagers, already wearing several rings and being stuck in this ‘village’ no doubt for the rest of their lives, unable to leave or have any choice in their lives – certainly seeing very few men there and plenty of tourists (like me taking photos) – really brought home how much of a People Zoo this place is, it was really unsettling and whilst pleased we’d been, we were very relieved when we left.

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