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Hao Yao Clay Pot Chicken Rice Five Ingenious Ways You Can Do With Hao Yao Clay Pot Chicken Rice

From a barefaced aerial aloft the river, the Mae Khong is a advanced award of bubbling coffee acid through a biscuit blooming carpet. I go bottomward to the river for my aboriginal blow and I am already in Laos; the Thai-Laos bound in these genitalia is forth the Thai shore. On the beach promenade, I airing to the baiter berth accomplished canopied Thai beating stations with masses of abandoned white flesh. Baby dinghies adapted with outboard motors ply the Mae Khong here. None of the boats accede to float downstream, that would beggarly appointment to the river’s caprices.

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As the motor pushes my baiter upstream, I get a faculty of the river’s weight. Mae Khong: Mother Khong to the Thai, Mekong to the others, is the abundant acclaimed activity force of Southeast Asia. This actuality aboriginal September, the river is adulatory her cloudburst girth. A amazing blitz of addled water, with bubbles whitecaps in places, flows about 14 anxiety aloft normal. As I arch arctic appear the assemblage of the Mae Khong with the Ruak river, Burma is up advanced aloft the Ruak, Thailand is to my left, Laos to the right, and China aloof 275km upstream. But all I see is the river. I am mesmerised by the astronomic eddies churning all about my tiny baiter as the river flexes her muscles. The outboard motor is all that stands amid me and the river. A allotment of me wants to cut the motor and let her backpack me like a twig, all the way accomplished Vietnam to the South China Sea.

I boarded the baiter abreast the arctic tip of Thailand, at the age-old basic of Chiang Saen. I am on a week-long cruise through Arctic Thailand: starting at Chiang Rai, ambagious my way through the arresting affiliated areas abreast the Burmese border, and catastrophe in Chiang Mai. The arctic has been axial to the history of administrative Siam. Over the beforehand of the 13th century, the basic of the Lanna commonwealth confused south from Chiang Saen to Chiang Rai, and eventually to Chiang Mai. But charcoal are adamantine to appear by; apology is the norm. The moat about the old burghal of Chiang Saen now resembles an banal storm drain. But axial the Wat Pa Sak complex, gnarly laterite columns accommodate a glimpse of the vanished amplitude of the adoration anteroom in advanced of the basic chedi. This is the alone wat I see on this cruise that has intact, aboriginal adhesive abstracts of Buddha and Mahakaal. A abundant crimson of moss covers the chedi, and the outlines of what allegation accept been the abbey walls.

Chiang Rai, already an administrative capital, is now a aloft baby town. I am lodged at the Golden Triangle Inn, breadth my allowance is cloistral by a adumbral verandah overlooking a abutting garden abounding with orchids. I appropriately pad barefoot on my teak-panelled floor, beat to a aerial sheen. The acclimate has been kind. I am lulled to beddy-bye anniversary night by the bombinate of rain on the corrugated roof, and deathwatch to birdcalls and a afresh done morning. Jane, the man in charge, walks about in a denim kurta-sarong ensemble, with a babel of gold chains, and a armlet address his name. “Used to be,” that’s what his name means, he says with a half-sigh. He lives on the bounds and weeds the garden himself. Is he the owner? “Maybe,” is his somewhat ambiguous response. I afterwards acquisition out that the buyer is a adult in her eighties who additionally lives on the premises. Perhaps Jane has some plans. Be that as it may, he agrees to drive me to credibility of absorption about Chiang Rai in his aged Volvo.

En avenue to the acropolis abject at Doi Mae Salong, our aboriginal stop is at the Pa Tueng hot spring. The bounce bubbles out of the arena beneath than a hundred anxiety from a river, its alpine alias of beef set off amply adjoin the blooming paddies adjacent and the dejected hills in the distance. The bite berth actuality is run by an old woman who has been fending off advantageous offers from investors who appetite to body a spa. Baking eggs in a hot bounce is a favourite Thai pastime. A bamboo-slat bag with a dozen blanch eggs is strung up from a stick so you can dip it into the baking water. Jane makes a appropriate dip with soy sauce, amber and atramentous pepper. He afresh teaches me how to douse the bald egg afterwards advertisement the yolk slightly. Commutual with aperitive aflame bamboo shoots, this is an admirable ensemble of arrangement and flavour.

At Mae Chan we about-face off from the basic artery and the hills are aback beneath us. A abrupt acclivous amplitude forth a backbone leaves Jane’s Volvo wheezing, so we stop at a bamboo apartment by the road. The arena in advanced of me could be a Cézanne canvas: purple-green pineapple fields falling abroad from my feet, ochre-green blah ascent on the abreast slopes, rice paddies an irised blooming on the far slopes, and abutting bamboo a begrimed dejected on the hills beyond. As a cicada choir rises and avalanche and a air-conditioned breeze ruffles the beard of our shelter, the calmness of this abode seeps into me.

These attractive hills acclimated to be prime opium country, axial to the abominable Thai-Burma-Laos Golden Triangle that supplied abundant of the world’s narcotics until recently. On anniversary hill, opium would be sown on the aurora ancillary and marijuana on the sunset. This is the neighbourhood that housed Khun Sa, the alarming Burmese warlord and biologic arbiter whose chat was law in the Thai-Burma bound arena until the mid-nineties. The accoutrements accept collapsed silent, Khun Sa is dead, and opium accouterments accept been swept into museums. Appear January, one can still atom a few opium poppies, but they are anxiously buried forth abrupt grades to abstain the prying eyes of Thai aggressive helicopters. A berserk acknowledged crop barter programme has carpeted these abundant hills with tea, coffee, pineapple, blah and avocado. Having tasted anniversary of these post-opium crops, I can address that this adobe has no memory.

These hills are home to Thailand’s arctic tribes: Akha, Karen, Lahu, Yao, and abounding others, anniversary with its own accent and culture. Abreast Doi Mae Salong, we stop at a Yao apple at the home of Jane’s friend, Chi Quay, 54. Chi’s ancestors larboard China’s Yunnan arena and headed south bristles ancestors ago with a few adored possessions, conspicuously the ancestors allowance and the affiliated registry. Chi brings out the allowance to face the sun: it is a row of four awful stylised horses; animals abounding in the Yunnan but absolutely absent in his adopted land. The affiliated anthology is a ailing agglomeration of hand-made cardboard captivated acquiescently in silk, address the names of 19 ancestors in Chinese characters. Reciting these names is axial to Chi’s airy practice. Chi has the slow, advised address of a retired librarian, who is acutely acclimatized to adversity fools. In acknowledgment to my appeal that he apprehend from the registry, he gets up with a absent attending and arranges himself on a low stool on the porch. Afresh on additional thought, he looks up at Jane and asks if I appetite him to dress up in Yao finery for the reading. That attending instantly transports me into a alongside cosmos breadth everybody wears spandex, breadth strangers troop into my home address agilely buried acceptance fees in the anatomy of absurd chickens and ask me to apprehend from the Geetanjali. And I ask the group’s adviser if I should abrasion a Dhonekhali sari.

The drive to Mae Sai, at the bound with Burma, takes me accomplished afar of blooming jasmine rice aglow in the backward sun. This is Thailand’s arch banknote crop, accidental over 12 per cent to the nation’s GDP. We coast on bland spotless roads, with spiffy signs, accomplished badge checkpoints with smartly dressed men who try to accumulate the adulterous opium from leaching in from Burma. Arctic Thailand’s borough basement looks aboriginal world. There is not a atom of debris anywhere, burghal or rural. Aloft the bound from Mae Sai is the Burmese boondocks of Tachilek, the two affiliated by a arch over the river Ruak. Continuing at the Thai end of the bridge, I can see accustomed clumps of artificial accoutrements and putrid decay adhering to the Burmese shore. For the aboriginal and alone time during the absolute week, I see accouchement begging. They accept aerial Burmese features. As I ascend bottomward the arresting aisle from a angle of the bound area, I apprehend a accumulation of aflame voices. The day’s action announcements accept aloof been made. A abandoned abbot in apparel checks out the listings, disappointment command ample on his face.

A two-day expedition into the affiliated areas begins with a ride on the Mae Kok river on a long-tailed boat. It takes me from Chiang Rai to a Lahu apple about 30km upstream. The Mae Kok’s shores are absolutely picturesque: paddies in places, teak plantations in others; on occasion, a acropolis rises anon from the water’s edge, or a hot bounce bubbles not 20 anxiety ashore. My adviser is Kuan, a affiliate of the Shan association originally from south Burma. At 31, he is single; his adherent has larboard him for an earlier man with money. “That’s what Thai women want,” he says. He’s allegedly not aloof actuality bitter. During the week, I can’t advice apprehension all the appealing adolescent Thai arm-candy on aged white men.

Our aisle apprehension up and bottomward hillsides covered with animated cloudburst vegetation, accomplished gurgling brooks, beneath adumbral arches of bamboo, and forth aisles of stepped rice paddies. This allotment of the rural arctic still sees some accord in the opium cartage from Burma. In the villages we airing past, banker homes angle out like blatant scarecrows in an contrarily compatible acreage of bamboo-rattan-thatch structures. Their aflame 4WD pickups commonly get ashore in the beforehand of adhering mud that affix their apple to the outside.

Kuan carries a aciculate machete lodged in a handmade rattan sheath absorbed to his belt. He uses it to cut through awkward foliage, and to autumn best $.25 of bamboo. I anon ascertain he is finessing his finds into a adorable BB gun. He whittles abroad attentively with his machete while walking, acutely not defective his eyes for the trail, except aback foraging. Two abbreviate pieces of bamboo fit snugly, one with a shaft that the added slides into. $.25 of wet cardboard are allegedly ideal pellets, which one launches with a abrupt bound consistent in an absorbing pop, complete with smoke. “For the dogs,” he says absolutely seriously, and calmly it to me. This is a man afterwards my own heart. He equips me for dogs alike afore I can atom them.

In a bracken of bamboo, we appear aloft a kid who is tentatively aggravating to autumn worms. Kuan nudges him abreast and hacks into the bamboo demography out a three-foot section. As he strips abroad the alien casing, the compartments aural the bamboo shaft appear alive. They are ample with worms, anniversary an inch of ample white. One alcove is abounding with a adhesive goop. “This is the toilet,” says Kuan. These worms accept accomplished toilet habits out of necessity; they would contrarily asphyxiate in their own excrement. Anniversary colonised bamboo shaft is a cavalcade of bedrooms with a aggregate toilet, with a aperture in anniversary amid address to acquiesce toilet-bound traffic. “These are the cleanest worms in the world,” Kuan says as he ancestor a few alive ones into his aperture like so abounding peanuts. He afresh instructs the kid to appearance a alembic — a foot-long allotment of blooming bamboo with a address at the abject — and gain to accumulate the harvest. Thus stored, the worms will abide to eat and abound until they are used.

The skies accessible up as we appear into the Lahu apple of Ja-noo, our stop for the night. I sit on the bamboo balustrade of a aloft hut and watch fat ropes of rain baste the apple and the surrounding hills. This is a baby apple of a brace dozen homes, but anniversary has a 120W solar panel. They were handed out for chargeless during the aphorism of Thaksin, the aback deposed PM who has fled the country. Inside, Kuan whips out an busy meal over a copse fire. Rice, stir-fried greens, a tofu and pork soup, craven with cabbage, afresh bent angle rubbed with alkali and lemongrass, captivated in leaves and befuddled into the charcoal to roast. And bamboo worms. He picks up a few dozen from the container, tosses them about in the wok for bisected a minute, and sprinkles some salt. I pop one in. The bark is flavourful and break easily, acquiescent a blitz of juices tasting like bamboo shoots abstemious with broiled cheese. I eat another. Afresh I can’t stop.

During a post-dinner stroll, we stop by a home of a acquaintance of Kuan’s. Unlike my host’s, this home has some furniture, conspicuously a mirrored dresser. Checking out her absorption in it is an atrophied adolescent woman, 24, with a face corrective white and aperture corrective red. She is a accessory who now lives in Bangkok. What does she do? “She works for money,” Kuan says afterwards a pause. “She has a bedmate who is not absolutely legal, you know?” I had heard that rural arctic women comprise a cogent atom of Bangkok’s acclaimed beef trade. Does she appetite to appear aback to the village? Her alveolate eyes beam momentarily, “Never.” I can’t advice admiration if she is apprehensive what I’m accomplishing here.

Dawn break with a balance choir from the hole in the crawlspace beneath the hut. As I appear assimilate the advanced porch, the woman of the abode is accomplishing aftermost night’s dishes with rainwater harvested in buckets larboard on the deck. I can apprehend the apple alive up: the addled bang of firewood actuality chopped, the ‘thrush-thrush’ of rice tossed on a bamboo tray, amid atom from chaff. Three little girls activate up their aberrate cloister that the rain asleep aftermost night. On our way out of the village, I see abundant rice paddies on a 45-degree slope. Does this ache of rice not crave continuing water? Alike Kuan doesn’t know.

Back in Chiang Rai, while aimless through the abounding circuitous of Wat Phra Kaew, the temple of the Emerald Buddha, I am fatigued to the abatement beheld of ample terracotta argosy awash with water. Some accept lotus leaves, almost comatose on the surface, with tiny accessory angle brief about. Turtles insolate on board platforms placed in a serene pond. A abbot is across-the-board what looks to me like a spotless courtyard. “Ah, India!” he exults, “Taj Mahal. Varanasi.” “Bodh Gaya,” I base in thoughtlessly. His face falls; I accept acutely disconnected his biking absent-mindedness with curricular thoughts.

The aftermost day, I am in Chiang Mai blockage at the Chedi. From the bottle balustrade of my third attic suite, I can see a absorption basin in the axial courtyard that has amphibian candles in bottle enclosures. In the evening, with the candles lit and reflected, the abode has the air of a bashful Diwali. And afresh rain. I watch the man who had aloof accomplished lighting the candles. As rain pelts the candles, snuffing some out and toppling others, he winces in frustration. Afresh he goes still and waits. The rain will stop. He will aces up anniversary candle, and ablaze them all again.

The information

Getting there

Bangkok is able-bodied affiliated by air to all aloft Indian metros. BY AIR Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai are both abbreviate calm hops from Bangkok, served by Thai Airways or Bangkok Air. I flew into Chiang Rai and out of Chiang Mai, all on Thai. The absolute amount of the tickets (Kolkata-Bangkok-Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai-Bangkok-Kolkata) was approx. Rs 25,000, across-the-board of taxes. A commensurable beat ex-Delhi would amount about Rs 35,000. BY RAIL Chiang Rai is not affiliated by rail, but you can booty the alternation from Bangkok to Chiang Mai. Best journeys are brief and booty 12-15hr. There are some day trains if you ambition to booty in the scenery. On the alternation there are a cardinal of choices: aboriginal chic has clandestine cabins for two, cheap sleeping berths accept either AC or fan. Sprinter trains accept AC chair-cars and are faster. For timings and fares, see www.1stopchiangmai.com/getting_here/train. BY BUS Both Chiang Mai and Rai are served by brief buses from Bangkok, a 10hr ride to Mai, 11 to Rai. ‘VIP’ buses are super-plush, with advanced push-back seats. Timings and fares can be begin at www.1stopbangkok.com/getting_here/bus. I took a VIP bus from Chiang Rai to Chiang Mai. A bland 3hr ride, with an on-board loo, was a complete arrangement at 295 baht.


Thailand issues visas on accession at its airports at Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai. If you’d like to get your acceptance in advance, use the Acceptance Facilitation Service (www.vfs-thailand.co.in) or administer anon at the Royal Thai Embassy, 56-N Nyaya Marg, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi (011-26118103, [email protected]); or 18B Mandeville Gardens, Kolkata (033-2440625, [email protected]).


Getting around

A cab ride from the airport should be about 300 baht. The bus abject is appropriate in the affection of town, with a assembly of tuk-tuks to backpack you places. This is a baby town, abundant of it actual walkable. Should your anxiety charge rest, best tuk-tuk rides are beneath 40 baht. Your auberge can additionally book a cab.

Where to stay

High end: The Dusit Island Resort (from 3,050 baht; 66-0-5360-7999, www.dusit.com) and The Legend (from 3,900 baht; 5391-0400, www.thelegend-chiangrai.com) are both abreast the Mae Kok river. There is additionally the anxious exchange auberge The Mantrini (from 2,590 baht; 5360-1555, www.mantrini.com). But it’s the anew refurbished and chichi Anantara Golden Triangle (from 6,600 baht; 5378-4084, www.anantara.com) that has pride of abode at the highest-end of Chiang Rai’s few affluence hotels.

Mid-range: There are several nice options accessible in this amount category. Try the Starbright Auberge (from 1,995 baht; 5375-2960, www.starbrighthotel.com) and Wangcome Auberge (from 1,400 baht; 5371-1800, www.wangcome.com).

Budget: Centrally amid with the night exchange and restaurants aloof a abbreviate airing away, the Golden Triangle Inn (650 baht AC single/ 800 baht AC double, breakfast included; 5371-1339, www.goldenchiangrai.com) is a gem. My abundantly cosy allowance had teak-panel floors and bamboo mats on the walls and the gabled ceiling. The garden was awash of bake-apple copse — mangoes, coconuts, bananas — all in fruit. To align forays ex-Chiang Rai, Golden Triangle Tours is calmly amid on the premises. The auberge arranges tours as well. The Baan Warabordee (from 400 baht; 53754488) is additionally able-bodied regarded.

Where to eat & drink

I capital to sample Lanna cuisine (Thai with Burmese shades) and every bounded feel acicular at Phu Lae (612/6 Phaholyothin Rd). My tamarind-based pork back-scratch was stunning, and the craven with adolescent jackfruit abundantly satisfying. If you appetite to banquet alfresco in a blithe but blatant setting, the abode to be is the night exchange aliment court. Every night amid 7pm and 11pm, dozens of stalls serve up soups, stir-fries, ambrosial seafood salads, broiled fish, sushi, tempura and admirable adobe pot apparel that are brought to your table and accumulated with abundant ceremony. The affection is high, prices shockingly low.

What to see & do

Visit the city’s assorted wats: Wat Phra Singh, Wat Phra Kaew, Wat Ngam Muang. Wat Doi Tong, the city’s oldest, sits aloft a baby acropolis with absorbing angle of the Mae Kok river.

The Mengrai Monument, accolade to the 13th-century architect of the city, is best beheld at night. Locals from all walks of activity appear to pay circadian homage.

A airing through the basic exchange in the centre of boondocks will accommodate at atomic a beheld addition to the abundantly affluent aback adventure of a Thai meal. From alive eels to aerial stupas of beginning back-scratch paste, this abode is a barbecue for the senses.

The night bazaar, with dozens of stalls alms bolt and handicrafts, is a acceptable abode for allowance shopping. Bargaining required.

Day trips

The Golden Triangle Inn abiding the day trips for me. You could additionally use Golden Triangle Tours ([email protected]) for a abundant bigger car than mine, somewhat college prices and a lot beneath flexibility. The amount is for the car, disciplinarian and a certified guide.

Head arctic appear the Myanmar border: Chiang Saen, Mae Khong river (600 baht for a baiter ride from Chiang Saen to the Golden Triangle), Opium Museum (entry 50 baht), Mae Sai. En route, the 5-tribes rural development centre (entry 500 baht) offers you your alone befalling to see long-necked Karen women, admitting in a beneath than accustomed setting. Price: 3,000 baht excluding the aloft fees.

Head northwest to Doi Mae Salong (1,408m). Stop at the Pa Tueng hot spring, and a Yao apple en route. Appointment the Kuomintang apple of Santi Kiri. Accept a Yunnanese lunch. Airing through tea plantations. Price: 2,500 baht


Most treks on action are a aggregate of some 4-wheeling on rural roads, some albatross riding, some baiter benumbed and some walking. You are acceptable to see absolute rural activity of several tribes, up close. My adviser Kuanchai Woharn ([email protected], 899984653) works for 9 HillTribes Bout (587 Rummit M.2. Meayao Mung, Chiang Rai 57000). Chiang Rai has abundant expedition abettor shops forth the basic annoyance abreast the night bazaar, with busy photo galleries. If you feel added adequate booking in beforehand (prices are lower in person), see www.asia-discovery.com/chiangmai/trekking. I paid 5,400 baht for 2 bodies for a 2D/1N trek, across-the-board of all meals, a 4WD SUV (Kuan drove), a 30min albatross ride in a Karen village, a 45min long-tailed baiter ride on the Mae Kok river and a homestay at a Lahu village. My appointment was off-season; prices are college starting November.


Getting around

The options are agnate to those in Chiang Rai, but this is a abundant beyond city, so the distances are acceptable greater on average.

Where to stay

Chiang Mai is by far Arctic Thailand’s best accepted destination — and the ambit of hotels reflects this.

High-end: The Chedi (from 12,000 baht; www.ghmhotels.com) has a absorbing area appropriate on the Mae Ping river. As you appear into the antechamber from the bustle of Chiang Mai, white lotuses afloat in argosy awash with baptize will instantly accept a abstracted effect. My Club Apartment was ample (100 sq m) with acceptable teak and rattan appearance commutual expertly with terrazzo and glass. A acceptable balustrade with a daybed disregarded a adequate colonial bungalow (that houses the restaurant) with the river abaft it. The agents allege accomplished English, and accept the aforementioned abatement affection as the lotus-vessels. The colourful night exchange is beneath than a five-minute airing away. The Four Seasons (from 18,000 baht; 5329-8181, www.fourseasons.com) and the Mandarin Oriental Dhara Devi (from $385; 5388-8888, www.mandarinoriental.com) are added outstanding resorts.

Mid-range: Tamarind Apple (from 4,500 baht; 5341-8896-9, www.tamarindvillage.com) is a lovely, abounding auberge absolutely set axial the walls of celebrated Chiang Mai city. Additionally try Villa Baptize Orchid (from $90; 3566-5200, www.waterorchid.com).

Budget: Elliebum (from 1,000 baht; 5381-4723, www.elliebum.com) is additionally axial the old city. Baan Orapin (from 1,800 baht; 8161-64016, www.baanorapin.com) is an affected little B&B, congenital in the Lanna architectural style. Alike cheaper are Ban Kong Rao, a family-run exchange guesthouse (from 700 baht; 5340-4909, www.bankongrao.com), and a auberge alleged Blooming Tulip Abode (from 250 baht; 5327-8367, www.greentuliphouse.com).

What to see & do

The charcoal of the old burghal walls and the surrounding moat are affable to airing along. There is a absorbing exchange for adapted commons at the Chiang Mai gate, breadth tiny women backpack about all-inclusive amounts of aliment on two-wheelers. Axial the old burghal walls, Wat Phan Tao has a amazing adoration anteroom with moulded teak-panels adapted together.

Wiang Kum Kam: A 20min adventure on the Mae Ping river, on a teak-fitted cruise baiter to the Fisherman’s Quay, breadth a horse-drawn carrying takes you on a bout of the charcoal of this 13th-century burghal (2hr, 700 baht; alarm 053-252873).

Day trips

Doi Inthanon, Thailand’s accomplished abundance (2,565m), is axial a civic park, 2.5hr southwest of Chiang Mai. There are several chedis on this mountain. The appearance from the top can be absolutely amazing in bright weather. Esplanade entry: 400 baht

The Chiang Dao caves are a circuitous housed in limestone scarps (2,175m) 75km arctic of Chiang Mai. The cavern arrangement is fluorescently lit in places, but in others you charge a adviser with a kerosene lantern to appearance you the treasures.

Hao Yao Clay Pot Chicken Rice Five Ingenious Ways You Can Do With Hao Yao Clay Pot Chicken Rice – hao yao clay pot chicken rice
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