The Maller Family Travel Gazette:
Thailand, The Land of Smiles

July 13: Hilltribes, Golden Triangle and South to Chiang Mai


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Late yesterday we went for an interesting boatride on the Mekong River (yes, that Mekong River) where we went all the way up to the Myanmar border and we visited an opium museum. The Mekong is as brown as you would imagine Willy Wonka's river would be, but instead of chocolate, it flows through eight countries with the mud of 4800 kilometers of erosion, garbage, and an occasional tree carcass. We also visited a Li Tzu hilltribe village, which (as we cautioned in yesterday's dispatch) had been homogenized by the Christian missionaries and Thai government and had lost all of its uniqueness. The people there looked like any other poor provincial Thai farming village. The main difference is the prominent christian church in the middle of town. What a shame. We then hit the road, and as I write this, we are about 100km north of Chiang Mai. Kind of a quiet day after yesterday's thrilling adventures.
Click any of these photos to see a larger version. Enjoy!
Displaying photos 1 to 14 of 14

Here we board the longboat for our ride on the Mekong River. If your monitor is adjusted correctly, you should be able to make out the chocolate brown color of the river.
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The Paradise Casino just over the border from Thailand in Myanmar. Gambling casinos are illegal in Thailand, so Myanmar (where anything goes) erected this one about 100 meters from the Thai border.
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The intersection of Myanmar to the left, Laos to the right and Thailand in the foreground.
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Max driving a hard bargain in the marketplace at the Golden Triangle
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Sam blissing out in the courtyard of the Opium Museum at the Golden Triangle
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Sunrise over the Mekong River from our room at the Imperial Golden Triangle Resort
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Your guides, as far north as we will get
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The border crossing to Myanmar, currently closed because of some political squabbling that's going on elsewhere on the border between Thailand and Myanmar
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Some odd merchandising at a market
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This trio of local hilltribe ladies was transfixed by a television in a stall at a market near the Myanmar border. I'd say there was a reasonably good chance that it was grandmother, mother and daughter.
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These boys in the Li Tzu village were fashioning popguns from bamboo
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This peculiar and spectacular tree looks like it's selling huge gold chains. We couldn't figure out what kind of tree it was. Each of those golden vines was about 10-12 feet long.
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A Li Tzu home with it's typical resident pig
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A group of friendly Li Tzu children just back from gathering bamboo from the nearby forest.
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Click any of these photos to see a larger version. Enjoy!
Displaying photos 1 to 14 of 14

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Wed, Dec 31st, 1969 at 5:00:00 PM