Friday, May 24, 2013
TAKE THE VIPERS' JUICE AT GOLDEN TRIANGLE
Some 43 years ago I visited Chiangmai in a post-school group tour. We went there recently and on arrival at the airport we bumped into Mr. Monthian who took us on tour right away. He speaks some English, Malay and Cantonese for he was a construction worker for two years at Kulai Spring 10 years ago. Now, he is a tour agent.
On the last day of the itinerary, after seeing the long neck village we headed for the Golden Triangle where the borders of Thailand, Myanmar, and Laos meet.
In a high powered long boat on the upper reaches of Mekong River at northernmost Thailand we saw casinos along the river banks in the border of Myanmar and Laos. Casinos are not allowed in Thailand. Malaysia boleh!
Myanmar border on left side of boat, Laos on the right.
The casinos of Donsao outback, Laos in the far distant (L) and closer look (R).
Our boat crossed the Mekong to Dansao in the Laos border. Permits to Donsao riverbank market were paid on the spot when we landed on the banks. The market is not visible from the casinos (blocked by jungle trees and growth) which are about 1km upriver. It was a haven for handbags brought down by river Mekong from China.
Many of the makeshiftstalls sell various poisonous snakes preserved in bottles of whisky ready to be served. The vipers' juice are good for the male libido they claimed! (Due to low disk space, more pictures failed to be uploaded).
Tourism in Thailand is much far ahead than us in terms of planning and preparedness of facilities, hospitality, maintenance of cleanliness, and use of natural settings.
For travel arrangements:
Chiangmai AIrport Taxi Co-operative
hp: 089-952 6745
Yasmeen & Asma Travel
Kalare Night Bazaar (beside mosque), Chiangmai
hp: 088-432 8300 (Imtiyaz)