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Where are We Going Next? A good way to let our family and friends know what we're up to each day that we're away from home so that you guys can be on the trip with us! Oh yeah, good way for us to remember what we did too! =D

Welcome to the Golden Triangle!

USA | Wednesday, 5 November 2008 | Views [831]

Tuesday, November 4       8:34 pm Thailand / 6:35 am US

(Sorry if this log doesn't make much sense because we're trying to write it while watching a Thai soap opera. We're making up the dialogue - eh, all soap operas have the same plot so we're making it more interesting! =D)

Today started off with a 30-minute speed boat ride to Chiang Rai. On the way, we saw rice fields, fishermen, rock-gathering men, orange fields, trees, muddy water, and how erosion has damaged the land. Afterwards, we had the chance to visit several hill tribes: the Shan (famous for their cotton weaving; I got chance to weave 2 rows - with lots of guidance; the Akha (where 7 adorable little boys lined up for coins from us); and the Lahu (where we saw souvenir after souvenir shops and lots of elevated bamboo huts filled with dried corn). The difference between these tribes and the Lisu is that they live in a modern society. Some have bamboo huts but all have electricity (some even with satellite dishes and TVs)! Ryan saw an old woman smoking an opium pipe but smoking tobacco. He tried to take a picture of her but heard her say, "money for photo." So no photo.

Afterwards, lunch: catfish salad with sour mango (our new favorite dish!), omelette stuffed with veggies, and another type of fish soup.

We then rode a speed boat on the Golden Triangle, which were Burma, Laos, and Thailand meet together. This area is known for the opium trade and many drug smuggling routes through Burma and Laos. So essentially we visited 3 countries in one day! =) But we actually stopped in Laos to shop for an hour and it was hotter than Thailand! And we found out that the Laos women drink some hard-core whiskey. We also saw whiskey with cobras, scorpions, and both combined. Yuck!

Back to Thailand on the speed boat and, to escape the heat, we went to the Museum of Opium. New knowledge of the day: ganja is a Thai word. We both didn't know that... we thought it was Rastafarian. Oopsy! And we found out that Phong not only was a Buddhist monk, he and his family also were ganja farmers! Crazy!

We decided to walk the local markets after checking into the hotel since we had time to kill. Plus, I wanted to buy baby powder. Why? Cuz I learned from Nok that that stuff totally keeps the shine off your face in humid weather! My oil papers blot but doesn't matte my face. Phong and Samyuet graciously came along with us... we think they want to make sure that we don't get lost or killed by a car (we tend to look the wrong way). Phong found a local flea market and perused their goods. HE bought 2 pants and 2 shirts there; a master haggler by the way! And we ended up buying another favorite dessert of ours: beung which is like a folded-up fortune cookie (in the shape of a taco) with coconut milk and shredded coconut inside. We ended up walking for almost 2 hours (there goes our leisurely walk!) before dinner where we ate a local restaurant with lots of flying buggies that we kept killing. But the food was really good: gravy chow fun with chicken and dry chow fun with pork (each 25 baht = about $0.80 USD!).  

We got to talk to Phong and Samyuet about American food. They didn't understand what peanut butter is and Samyuet's never had a hamburger before. They also couldn't believe how much Thai food costs in the US. Samyuet offered to be our chef if we opened up a Thai restaurant. Haha!

We were hoping to catch news on the election but ended up with our soap opera. It's funny that we've been watching so much more news about the election out here than we ever did at home. Partly it's because people ask us about it. Anyway, another early night for us.

By the way, our mosquito bite counts have gone up: Ryan = 7, Felicia = 4 but with one HUGE ass swollen one on her thigh thanks to her continuously scratching or sitting on it!

But still doing good on the no food poisoning area. Bummer on the Ryan sinus infection cuz he now has a dry, scratchy throat but no nose congestion.

Tags: burma, chiang rai, ganja, golden triangle, laos, opium


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