In a small village called Om Meng, not far from San Patong, each night 47 year old Duang Ta Khamjaroen plies his trade as master frog catcher. Amongst the natural beauty of the rice fields, once dusk has settled on the quiet village, Duang goes to work: “I can catch about 10-20 frogs a night,” says Duang, adding that for every kilo he can get about 120 baht down the local market where they are sold as food. He tells us that just before or just after it rains is the best time to catch the frogs, but not everyone has the patience as it’s not as easy as you might think. The trick, he says is, “Get a flashlight and stick it to your head, and then go out into the rice fields. Listen for the noise of frogs and then follow the noise. When you see a group of frogs get down and flash the light at them. When you see some yellow eyes it means you’ve temporarily blinded the frog, and frogs can’t move when that happens so you can catch it easily.”
PHOENIX – 29
Phoenix – 29 consists of a group of students from all different faculties of CMU who deliver sentiments, song, and dancing to those who are the object of someone’s attraction. In short, you can hire these lads to tell some chick that you’ve got a crush on her and they’ll also do a jiggle and song for her while they’re at it. It all started, would you believe it, on Valentine’s Day when the boys’ families were strapped for cash. They decided to sell flowers at first but later realised it was more fun to deliver flowers while acting up like the member of a boy band. They soon became famous and before you could say ‘vomit’ the Cupids where a much sought after service. They can now sing in Thai, Korean and English and do things like moonwalk, while they will send love to people as far as Bangkok. But love don’t come easy, or cheap, and hiring them to deliver your soppy message starts at 1,700 baht. Look for Phoenix – 29 on YouTube.
Tel: 083 046 1636 for Tid Ham
* Thank you Kantary Hills for location.
WHITE HAIR PICKER
A senior lady already with a few grey hairs of her own is quietly waiting at her house near the Warorot market for her customers; customers who pay her to rip out all their grey hairs, choose where they might be. With tweezers, hair clip, comb and a hankie, ‘Auntie Bua’ is ready to pick your white hair from your head or your armpit. She’s been a white hair picker for a year now, and tells us she was inspired by getting her hair picked by other white hair pickers. She maintains that having your hairs ripped out, in spite of what we might think, is actually very relaxing. With a soft bed and with a fluffy pillow, she puts on her Buddha teaching CD and goes to work on her customer. “I used to go to a white hair picker myself and I realised it was something I could do myself,” said Auntie Bua. With a maximum of four customers a day, and 2 – 4 hours per customer, she says she doesn’t get bored because she just loves picking people’s hair. She explains, “Sometimes the customers fall asleep and sometimes we talk about dharma, Buddhist teachings. Customers come here for various reasons.” Mainly, customers are female, approximately 30 – 50 years old, but a few teenagers do go too.
As for the price, white hair picking costs 80 baht per hour, and armpit hair picking is 50 baht per side. It’s open every day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
NUDE ARTIST’S MODEL
Twenty-five year old Ann, who works as a receptionist in the daytime, says she was extremely nervous just before she modelled for a group of artists at Sangdee Gallery. It was her first time and understandably she admitted she “felt a bit shy” saying that “Thai people cannot understand this”, relating to taking your kit off for a bunch of sketching onlookers. She added that because there weren’t too many Thai people she found it easy and said if her parents knew she’d be in big trouble. “My boyfriend doesn’t know,” she laughed, “and I am two months pregnant, but I think it is a good experience for the baby.”
THREAD FACIAL HAIR REMOVER
On a quiet evening in CMU night market, students spend their time stuffing their bags with new clobber and showing off their beautiful faces. Right at the end of the main soi, a new beauty treatment is available unlike any other available in Chiang Mai. It’s called thread facial hair removal. A lady named Aom is watching TV while waiting for customers. “I learned about this technique a few months ago,” she said while she was preparing the equipment: Chinese powder, hairclip, towel and white thread. Aom will first wipe your face and then powder you up a bit with Chinese powder. She then gets a thread between her hands and starting from your cheek, going up to your forehead, she slices the little hairs off your face. “It will hurt on the softer parts, but it should be alright on the harder parts,” she said. She can remove the hair from a man in about 30 minutes and it takes about 15 – 20 minutes for females. She’ll remove both the softer bum-fluff and also take out the stubble. Be warned, some of the customers did look to be in a bit of pain. Although Aom says, “Most of my customers return, after the removal they feel great.” The price is 150 baht for men and 100 baht for women.
Open daily (closed Sundays)
6.00 – 10.00 p.m.
Tel: 086 114 8852