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Um Phang

April 25 - April 26, 2002


About Thailand
About the Trip
Scenic Wallpaper
Thai Language
Links and Books
About the Author
Getting there
Ubon Ratchathani
Ko Chang
Surat Thani
Suan Mokkh #1
Suan Mokkh #2
Suan Mokkh #3
Suan Mokkh #4
Chiang Mai #1
Western Laos
Vang Vieng
Lake Nam Ngum
Nong Khai
Khon Kaen
Chiang Mai #2
Chiang Mai #3
Chiang Mai #4
Chiang Mai #5
Mae Sariang
Mae Hong Son
Tham Lot
Chiang Mai #6
Nan & Phrae
Um Phang
Mae Sot
Bang Pa-in
Udon Thani
Sakhon Nakhon
That Phanom
Nakhon Phanom
Sri Racha
Going Home

My next stop was Um Phang where I was hoping to see the Thilawsu waterfall. I was able to find an small internet cafe in town and send this email home:

Village on the way to Um Phang

After Phrae I caught a series of buses, minivans and pickup trucks to get out to the remote town of Um Phang in the mountains near the Burmese border (same mountains as Mae Sariang, but another 300 km south along the border).

The town is primarily Karen (an indigenous people) and known as a resort town for Thai people. It's very quiet since it's off- season and I've got a dorm room all to myself with hot-shower and fridge for the ridiculously low price of 50 baht ($1.85).

On one of the bus trips heading this way I sat near a pair of Mormon missionaries from Utah and got them to tell me all about the life of a missionary.

A river in Um Phang

They said basically that if you're a mormon over 19 you can volunteer to be a missionary for a two-year program. You don't get to choose where you're sent. They do everything in pairs in which one person is the senior who's already been in-country for at least a year and the other is the junior who's been there less than a year. They stay in a town for an average of 4 months before being sent to a new town, and basically spend each day riding around on bicycles from dawn till dusk trying to talk people into seeing the light and the truth of the father, the son and the holy ghost by praying for a communion with the holy father to give them the answers and show them the rightousness of gods way, etc..

Not such bad guys though and not terribly pushy overall. I tried talking the one guy into giving me his pitch in Thai, but he said it would be too wierd and that he was enjoying being able to give in English for a change.

My roommate in Um Phang

Um Phang has these millipedes that are as thick as my finger and about 7 inches long. I see them on the footpaths and their exploded corpses are all over the roads here.


It should be noted that very low price of 50 baht was only given because it was the off-season and the guesthouse was expecting me to sign up for a trek.

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