Leaving Sukhothai, we continued north to Chiang Rai and the Golden Triangle. We spent a couple hours in Myanmar…
where I was struck by how much poorer and dirtier it seemed when you cross the border.
We rode a rickshaw around town which was super fun…
went to a couple temples…
where my dad made an offering to his birth day of the week (Sunday)…
and we walked through a market…That blur at the bottom of the picture is a plastic bag on a stick. The woman was waving it back and forth mechanically over the table that was piled with gutted fish to try and keep the flies away, which was barely working.
The Burmese smash up the bark of a certain tree and make a paste that they paint on their faces for use as sunscreen. Some women put it on very artfully.
We came back to Thailand and had lunch at a small local place. We walked a street of shops where I bought the only piece of fabric I got on the whole trip
. That’s the one thing I’m disappointed about. There were so many markets everywhere that it was easy to say “I’ll buy it at the next place” but alas, I never found any more. I guess a Thai quilt will not be happening :(
We took a river boat to Laos which was kind of depressing. It was supposedly an authentic village but it was so poor yet most of the area we saw was a market selling cheap knock offs of Prada and Rolex.
The one neat thing was a liquor they make called Snake Wine.
They claim it fixes all sorts of health and sex problems but it’s basically Laotian moonshine that they bottle with a snake in it (the larger bottles have a snake eating a scorpion). I was one of the few that tried a shot and it was fine; it tasted like whiskey. I did buy Marcus a bottle, though. Kit told us that when you finish the drink you can pan fry the snake and eat it. I think our bottle will be largely ornamental :) The boat trip itself was weird, too. We were all imagining beautiful, luscious greenery but it was not that at all. The sun was pretty
but the river banks were under construction to try and keep the river from flooding all the casinos they were building on the Laotian side.
In Chiang Rai we also went to the Hall of Opium. It is a museum and education center about the dangers and destruction that opium brought the the Thai, the Burmese, and the Laotians in the Golden Triangle. It was a fancy, new, high tech, educational building.