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Scotty in ...

Scotty in Thailand


- 6.1.2004






Chiang Rai


:: Doi Tung

:: Elephant Riding

:: Wat

:: Miscellaneous


Chiang Mai


Hua Hin




C h i a n g   R a i _ 1



After being picked up at the airport, we were taken to the temple on top of the mountain (Prathat Doi Tung). Actually, in any area we visited the first stop was always the local temple. All temples are open for tourism in Thailand. Foreigners have to pay a small entrance fee, the Thais do not. All visitors, including the Thai people, must have proper dress (shorts below the knee are allowed and plain tee-shirts are also okay, but tank tops and short-shorts are not. You will be given robes to wear if your clothing is inappropriate). Since the main religion in Thailand is Buddism, most Thai visitors also honor and respect the gods by lighting candles and incense and by kneeling when they do so. As I was travelling with a Thai family, and while I have a lot of admiration for the peaceful religion of Buddism and its respect for all forms of life, I had asked if I could also follow the Buddist rituals during all of our temple visits, both in Bangkok and in the north. I was very happy to discover that, yes, this is of course allowed.


The main attaction in the Chiang Rai area is the (now deceased) Queen Mothers Palace (Pra Tamnak Doi Tung). She created this palace and the large and beautiful gardens as a work project for the local people to steer the economy away from the drug trade (this area is near the border between Burma and Laos). The palace continues to employ many local people and the tourism continues to bring much money into the local economy. (You can see the gardens in some of the photos.)


On the Golden Triangle


Our first night in the north was not spent in Chiang Rai, but closer to the Thai-Burma border in an area/town known as Mae Sai. Here we visited the “Golden Triangle” where we stood in Thailand with the fork in the Mekhong river behind us. Viewing the river, we saw Burma on the left and Laos on the right. In the pictures of this area, a small island is visible in the middle of the river. This island belongs to all three countries and is a free trade zone. In the past opium was traded here and was paid for with gold, hence the name Golden Triangle.


    Golden Triangle with Noraseth


We learned all this at the Opium Museum. (Our private guide would speak a few words of English with me when we were standing alone, but our routine was for her to speak constantly in Thai with the family and then for Noraseth to repeat the important details for me in German).





Noraseth and his family | Noraseth's private homepage