Do you like to dig?
We're not talking ditches, but rather discovery. No guarantees we'll find any buried treasure, but even just the process can be fulfilling.
I'm an American residing in northernmost Thailand since 1998. I have secured 3 rural properties near the tourist town of Chiang Rai. One of those is Boomerang rock climbing and adventure park. Below is a partial list of possible 'dig sites' - all are within a km of Boomerang Park and, as far as I know, none have thus far been explored.
>>> at the Boomerang Park site, two dozen 'orange circles' were found which are indications of firing kilns from several hundred years ago. Both ancient fired bricks and slag (from iron smelting) have been found alongside. No digging has been done at those sites thus far, but it is planned.
>>> An old 'sink hole' or depression in the ground. It's about the size which could engulf a large cabin (5 meters deep). It lies alongside a straight-up limestone hill. The only way to access it is by ropes, so there haven't been people exploring the cave, as far as I know. From an archaeological perspective, sink-holes can be interesting, as they may harbor clues to people or animals which may have roamed those parts hundreds or thousands of years prior.
>>> A slot rock formation alongside a limestone hill called Lion Hill . It's about 25 meters long and most is straight sided 1.5 meters apart. The slot even makes a right angle, which is unusual for a natural rock formation. At one end is a tunnel going down at a steep angle, with some old fired bricks at its entrance. As far as I know, none of that has been explored.
>>> Nearby the formation mentioned above is a large cavern with a natural skylight and bats. It may be possible to find artifacts in there.
|directions: go NW out of Chiang Rai, cross the Mae Kok river on the Mae Fa Luang Bridge. Go 1.5 Km up from the bridge, and take a left at Soi 5 (west, toward Buddha caves). We're 2 Km on the right, as the road curves left. GPS: N19.55323 E99.47528 google map||
|Accommodations on your own: There are many guest
houses and hotels in nearby Chiang Rai town. Prices start as low as
Accommodations at Boomerang: if staying in your own tent, it's only Bt.100/night. If using one of Boomerang's tent, it's Bt.300/night. Boomerang is affiliated with Rim Rock Space Center. Though the center hasn't officially opened yet, there are accommodations there. It is a 25 minute hike through hills from Rim Rock to Boomerang (and the dig sites), or a 6 minute drive.
Transport: From downtown, a taxi should cost about Bt.150 each way to Boomerang. It's recommended that you get hold of either a motorbike or a car (rental) for the duration of your stay. It's not difficult or expensive to rent a vehicle. Bicycles are also a good way to get around in this region. Boomerang has a car, and a motorbike for rent, and also provides bicycles for free use by clients.
Tools available: shovel, hoe, machete, trowel, brushes and hand tools, if needed.
Guidance: Ken is your host, and will point out the site(s). Because I (Ken) often have other projects going (usually maintenance at properties), I won't likely be on-hand during your explorations.
Legal concerns and ownership: The 'dig sites' are either privately owned with permission granted, or they're public properties with either casual, open-ended policies, or virtually no restrictive policies. In other words, if a person were to go camping on any spot within the properties in question, it's doubtful any authority would make a fuss. Ken at Boomerang has first claim on any item(s) recovered. No items of archaeological significance are allowed to be taken out of Thailand.
Hours: Set your own hours, if working independently.
Additional: There are two solar-heated showers at Boomerang. Fixing food can be done at the open-air kitchen there, including use of fridge, cook stove, dishes, drinking water.
Fee per day: One person solo: Bt.1,500. Each additional person: Bt.600. Minimum Age: 7
The map above shows directions to Boomerang: Park. It shows the area directly north of Chiang Rai town. From the 2-lane Mae Fa Luang bridge, go 1 km north. Then take a left at Soi 5 and go two Km west. We're on the right, as the road curves to the left. We're between two Buddha caves, one is a half Km before, and the other is a half Km after Boomerang Park. Here's a google map of the same route.
books by Ken
Relax in rural north Thailand