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Old 01-17-2014, 09:08 AM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NightBazaar View Post
In the North during the cool season, when day temps hover around 32C then drop down to 18C or so at night, those low temps can feel chilly. We hopped a tuk-tuk from the north side of Chiang Mai for a breezy ride to the airport about 5AM. That was in the month of January. I'm not sure what the temp was, but I was thinking I should've worn shoes (instead of flip-flops) and a jacket.

Chiang Mai is pretty much part of the foothills of the Himalayas. During the Cool Season in the higher mountainous elevations of Northern Thailand, although it never snows, it can get cool enough at night for frost to form on the peaks. Melts off quickly after the sun and temp rises though.
Thai highlands - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Hmmm, wouldn't really call it the 'foothills of the Himalayas' it's not really connected to them and pretty far away. Yunnan province or something maybe. Have you been to Yunnan? Scenically much more spectacular than Thailand, not that Thailand doesn't have it's own beauty.

 
Old 01-17-2014, 12:08 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Postman View Post
Hmmm, wouldn't really call it the 'foothills of the Himalayas' it's not really connected to them and pretty far away. Yunnan province or something maybe. Have you been to Yunnan? Scenically much more spectacular than Thailand, not that Thailand doesn't have it's own beauty.
If you check a map of the Himalayas (See link below), you'll see that the hills of Northern Thailand are connected on a southern strip coming down from Yunnan. Thailand's hills didn't just appear there for no reason. Another fork stretches over to North Vietnam. While they aren't a part of the primary Himalayans proper, they are connected as part of the easternmost foothills. They aren't mountains - they're foothills, even though the Thais call them mountains.

No, I've never been to Yunnan, but I've seen photos of it, and it does look quite impressive. I don't doubt they're much more scenic than the hills of Thailand. I agree that Thailand does have its own beauty, but clearly a different kind of landscape. It's pretty nice to see a stretch of fresh green rice fields framed by the hills off in the background.

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=himal...ed=0CAoQ_AUoAg

"Northern Thailand is well situated because of its location in the foothills of the Himalayas."
Thai Horse Farm: Northern Thailand Information and Tours

"Located among the rolling foothills of the Himalayan Mountains 700 km north of Bangkok..."
Chiang Mai travel guide - Wikitravel

"...Thailand's northwest border with Myanmar, will find it still wild and exotic, populated by Chinese and Burmese ethnic immigrants and protected by its remote location in the Himalayan foothills."
ASIA-PACIFIC ISSUE; Among Hill Tribes In Northern Thailand - New York Times
 
Old 01-17-2014, 07:18 PM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
9,781 posts, read 16,266,372 times
Reputation: 2833
Quote:
Originally Posted by NightBazaar View Post
If you check a map of the Himalayas (See link below), you'll see that the hills of Northern Thailand are connected on a southern strip coming down from Yunnan. Thailand's hills didn't just appear there for no reason. Another fork stretches over to North Vietnam. While they aren't a part of the primary Himalayans proper, they are connected as part of the easternmost foothills. They aren't mountains - they're foothills, even though the Thais call them mountains.

No, I've never been to Yunnan, but I've seen photos of it, and it does look quite impressive. I don't doubt they're much more scenic than the hills of Thailand. I agree that Thailand does have its own beauty, but clearly a different kind of landscape. It's pretty nice to see a stretch of fresh green rice fields framed by the hills off in the background.

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=himal...ed=0CAoQ_AUoAg

"Northern Thailand is well situated because of its location in the foothills of the Himalayas."
Thai Horse Farm: Northern Thailand Information and Tours

"Located among the rolling foothills of the Himalayan Mountains 700 km north of Bangkok..."
Chiang Mai travel guide - Wikitravel

"...Thailand's northwest border with Myanmar, will find it still wild and exotic, populated by Chinese and Burmese ethnic immigrants and protected by its remote location in the Himalayan foothills."
ASIA-PACIFIC ISSUE; Among Hill Tribes In Northern Thailand - New York Times
Of course just because a few journalists (who probably aren't geologists) say 'the foothills of the Himalayas' doesn't make it true. I suppose it's also subjective, but to me the 'foothills' of a mountain range are not 1000 kilometres away from the actual mountain range. They also formed independently from the Himalayas themselves which were created by the Indian plate crashing into the Eurasian plate... I mean the Anatolian Plateau and mountain ranges in Turkey are better connected to the Himalayas by unbroken ranges yet you wouldn't consider them the foothills. Either way, I can sort of see how some consider them such, it's tenuous. I'd personally say they're more the 'foothills of the foothills' of the Himalayas, with the true 'foothills' if you like in Myanmar and Yunnan, Sichuan.etc. They are mountains, just not particularly high ones.
 
Old 01-17-2014, 08:37 PM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
9,781 posts, read 16,266,372 times
Reputation: 2833
Dai people - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I'm sure you're aware that the Dai's original cultural homeland was in Yunnan province, and there are still Dai communities there. Their new years festival where they splash water on each other is well known. I'm curious as to the experience of a Thai person or even someone who knows a lot about Thai culture going there and seeing the differences. It's interesting people talk about Thais of Chinese origin when the original Dai came from China fairly recently, although I think there's more native admixture than is acknowledged.
 
Old 01-17-2014, 10:42 PM
 
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Having lived in Thailand, and from what I can tell, Thais take Buddhism just about as seriously as people in America take their religion.
 
Old 01-17-2014, 11:55 PM
 
5,096 posts, read 8,075,591 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Postman View Post
Of course just because a few journalists (who probably aren't geologists) say 'the foothills of the Himalayas' doesn't make it true. I suppose it's also subjective, but to me the 'foothills' of a mountain range are not 1000 kilometres away from the actual mountain range. They also formed independently from the Himalayas themselves which were created by the Indian plate crashing into the Eurasian plate... I mean the Anatolian Plateau and mountain ranges in Turkey are better connected to the Himalayas by unbroken ranges yet you wouldn't consider them the foothills. Either way, I can sort of see how some consider them such, it's tenuous. I'd personally say they're more the 'foothills of the foothills' of the Himalayas, with the true 'foothills' if you like in Myanmar and Yunnan, Sichuan.etc. They are mountains, just not particularly high ones.
You need to take another look at the satellite map, follow the mountains east, and start zooming in. You'll see what I mean. You can clearly see how the shape has warped.

I know some of the other links I posted were not from geological experts, but it was to give a general idea that I'm not the only one who considers them to be foothills of the Himalayas. In any case, there's no reason to think that foothills of a mountain range can't be 1000 kilometers away. It depends on the size of the range. The range of foothills can be extensively wide. What we see here is not along the side of the Himalayas, but near the easternmost end of the system. Perhaps we're talking about two different things. I see what you're saying, and you're right to a point, but you're simplifying it way more than it is, which limits it too much in your definition of what constitutes foothills and what doesn't. There's lot more involved than that. "Foothills of foothills"? That doesn't make much sense. They're still foothills. It's not whether foothills that happen to be taller or closer are "true foothills".

Bear in mind that I said they aren't part of the Himalayans proper, that is they aren't among the primary range, which in itself is considerably long. You don't see any Everest-type mountains in Thailand. However, they are very much connected to the range. The Thai Highlands are part of the Shan Highlands of Myanmar. It gets a bit complicated to go into much detail here. In a nutshell, the region is part of a system of hills that go through Thailand, Laos, Burma and China, linking them to the Himalayas.

Further, there are numerous faultlines in Northern Thailand which certainly contribute to the shaping and changing the topography of the region. A few years ago there was strong earthquake that rocked part of Burma and Thailand. It was felt in Chiang Mai and as far away as BKK. People in BKK could feel buildings sway. The quake caused damage to roads and structures. A woman in Chiang Rai province was killed when a concrete wall collapsed on her.
Earthquake: too close for comfort | Bangkok Post: learning

The only reason the Thai Highlands or Hills are called that is because of the portion that is within the borders of Thailand. I'm not disagreeing that part of the geology is independent from the primary Himalayan range. But you have to keep in mind that as plates collide and cause mountains to rise, a tremendous amount of land, soil and rocks located far from the primary mountains is being moved or affected over time in one way or another.

Here's a brief geological quote from page 566 of "The Geology of Thailand" written by M.F. Ridd, A.J. Barber & M.J. Crow:
"We suggest that the Shan Plataeu (Sibumasu Terrane, Inthanon, and Sukhothai zones) could have been a high Tibetan-type plataeu with thick crust during the Eocene-Oligocene. This subsequently collapsed during the Neogene as stresses relaxed following the northward movement of India, with extensive normal and slip-strike faulting in basin formation."
The Geology of Thailand - Google Books

In other words, as the Indian subcontinent moved northward, causing the uplift of the primary mountains, that can cause a lot of other activity to take place in terms of movement of vast areas of soil and rock. it caused the hills of the Shan Plateau to gradually form into the hills we see today. I partially disagree with your definition on where foothills are located. Not only can they form along the side of the length of a mountain range, but they can also form along the terminal ends of the range.
 
Old 01-18-2014, 12:04 AM
 
5,096 posts, read 8,075,591 times
Reputation: 3069
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Postman View Post
Dai people - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I'm sure you're aware that the Dai's original cultural homeland was in Yunnan province, and there are still Dai communities there. Their new years festival where they splash water on each other is well known. I'm curious as to the experience of a Thai person or even someone who knows a lot about Thai culture going there and seeing the differences. It's interesting people talk about Thais of Chinese origin when the original Dai came from China fairly recently, although I think there's more native admixture than is acknowledged.
I think you're quite right. Buddhism in Thailand, for the most part, is often a mixture or blend of religion and culture. That's why you see so many indications of Animism in Thailand even though the redominant religion is Buddhist. Local cultures seems to play a very big part in what people believe. There are certainly people who are devout Buddhists, but there are also those who seem use it when it's convenient and sometimes profitable.
 
Old 01-18-2014, 04:58 AM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
9,781 posts, read 16,266,372 times
Reputation: 2833
Quote:
Originally Posted by NightBazaar View Post
You need to take another look at the satellite map, follow the mountains east, and start zooming in. You'll see what I mean. You can clearly see how the shape has warped.

I know some of the other links I posted were not from geological experts, but it was to give a general idea that I'm not the only one who considers them to be foothills of the Himalayas. In any case, there's no reason to think that foothills of a mountain range can't be 1000 kilometers away. It depends on the size of the range. The range of foothills can be extensively wide. What we see here is not along the side of the Himalayas, but near the easternmost end of the system. Perhaps we're talking about two different things. I see what you're saying, and you're right to a point, but you're simplifying it way more than it is, which limits it too much in your definition of what constitutes foothills and what doesn't. There's lot more involved than that. "Foothills of foothills"? That doesn't make much sense. They're still foothills. It's not whether foothills that happen to be taller or closer are "true foothills".

Bear in mind that I said they aren't part of the Himalayans proper, that is they aren't among the primary range, which in itself is considerably long. You don't see any Everest-type mountains in Thailand. However, they are very much connected to the range. The Thai Highlands are part of the Shan Highlands of Myanmar. It gets a bit complicated to go into much detail here. In a nutshell, the region is part of a system of hills that go through Thailand, Laos, Burma and China, linking them to the Himalayas.

Further, there are numerous faultlines in Northern Thailand which certainly contribute to the shaping and changing the topography of the region. A few years ago there was strong earthquake that rocked part of Burma and Thailand. It was felt in Chiang Mai and as far away as BKK. People in BKK could feel buildings sway. The quake caused damage to roads and structures. A woman in Chiang Rai province was killed when a concrete wall collapsed on her.
Earthquake: too close for comfort | Bangkok Post: learning

The only reason the Thai Highlands or Hills are called that is because of the portion that is within the borders of Thailand. I'm not disagreeing that part of the geology is independent from the primary Himalayan range. But you have to keep in mind that as plates collide and cause mountains to rise, a tremendous amount of land, soil and rocks located far from the primary mountains is being moved or affected over time in one way or another.

Here's a brief geological quote from page 566 of "The Geology of Thailand" written by M.F. Ridd, A.J. Barber & M.J. Crow:
"We suggest that the Shan Plataeu (Sibumasu Terrane, Inthanon, and Sukhothai zones) could have been a high Tibetan-type plataeu with thick crust during the Eocene-Oligocene. This subsequently collapsed during the Neogene as stresses relaxed following the northward movement of India, with extensive normal and slip-strike faulting in basin formation."
The Geology of Thailand - Google Books

In other words, as the Indian subcontinent moved northward, causing the uplift of the primary mountains, that can cause a lot of other activity to take place in terms of movement of vast areas of soil and rock. it caused the hills of the Shan Plateau to gradually form into the hills we see today. I partially disagree with your definition on where foothills are located. Not only can they form along the side of the length of a mountain range, but they can also form along the terminal ends of the range.
Map of Central Asia (Topographic Map) : Worldofmaps.net - online Maps and Travel Information

I suppose you could say that, if you have an extended definition of the Himalayas/Tibetan plateau. It just strikes me as odd to call them the 'foothills of the Himalayas' but yeah nothing really to quibble about.
 
Old 01-18-2014, 05:01 AM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
9,781 posts, read 16,266,372 times
Reputation: 2833
Quote:
Originally Posted by NightBazaar View Post
I think you're quite right. Buddhism in Thailand, for the most part, is often a mixture or blend of religion and culture. That's why you see so many indications of Animism in Thailand even though the redominant religion is Buddhist. Local cultures seems to play a very big part in what people believe. There are certainly people who are devout Buddhists, but there are also those who seem use it when it's convenient and sometimes profitable.
Indeed...I think Khmer Buddhist is still quite influenced by Hinduism, I there's still some of that in Thailand too? The Mahayana variety is obviously very influenced by Chinese folk religion and Daoism. Yes, it seems animism also plays a role. It shows people all over the world use people's sincere beliefs in order to hold sway over them.
 
Old 01-18-2014, 09:19 AM
 
5,096 posts, read 8,075,591 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Postman View Post
Indeed...I think Khmer Buddhist is still quite influenced by Hinduism, I there's still some of that in Thailand too? The Mahayana variety is obviously very influenced by Chinese folk religion and Daoism. Yes, it seems animism also plays a role. It shows people all over the world use people's sincere beliefs in order to hold sway over them.
My keyboard is going haywire. I missed the letter "p" in "predominant" in the last post. I need to read these things more carefully before I hit the Submit Reply button, or at least go back and Edit any corrections. Sorry about that.

Yes, Hinduism seems to play a part in Buddhism in Thailand, at least in a cultural sense, often in the form of artwork and legends. For example, the Erawan Shrine contains the Thai representation of the Hindu god Brahma. Some Buddhist wats are adorned with swastikas, a symbol that predates Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. The Naga is also frequently found adorning Thai wats.

In a cultural sense, the Garuda is the official symbol adopted by the Thai government. For example, you see them on banks and official documents.

Animism shows up in the form of amulets, spirit houses, magical tattoos, trees adorned with saffron-colored cloth, etc. Sometimes, Buddhist monks hold rituals to contain or appease various ghosts, etc. In rural areas, especially, the belief in ghosts, demons, and all sorts of strange things, is very strong among people. Thais have more different kinds of ghosts than you can shake a stick at. It really has nothing to do with Buddhism, but it has been incorporated in with it because of the cultural beliefs and practices of regions, local villages and communities. The ghost thing is pretty amusing to me. Around our neck of the woods, the locals, especially women, get together socially and scare each other silly with various ghost tales that they all swear are true experiences. The only spirits I've ever seen are the ones contained in bottles.

As noted, Buddhism, as practiced in Thailand, usually contains a wide mix of cultural practices, superstitutions and beliefs that have nothing to do with Buddhism, but are so deeply engrained in the culture that it's become part of the religion.
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