The Golden Triangle

After exploring Chiang Mai we moved further north to visit the Golden Triangle and ethnically Chinese, Burmese and Laotian groups who have settled in Northern Thailand. The Golden Triangle is the border between Thailand, Burma and Laos and historically one of Asia’s largest opium-producing regions.

Thailand to the south, Burma to the northwest, and Laos to the northeast

Mountains of Burma

We took a speed boat through the Mekong (Do you remember the Mekong River? It flows all the way down from the Tibetan Plateau through China,  Burma, Lao, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. The portion that transects Cambodia flows right by Phnom Penh) and landed on a small island in Lao.

The first thing we saw upon arrving to Dong Sao were these bottles filled with cobras, scorpions, and other venomous creatures... they are pickled in acohol and sold to Chinese tourists who drink them for good health. As someone who has a major phobia of snakes, even the pictures were hard to take...

But the children were, of course, gorgeous.

Bags of noodles our tour guide bought for the children. The children hang the bags for thirty minutes so the noodles soak up the broth, as the children feel they get a more hearty meal once the noodles have expanded.

Settled throughout Northern Thailand are groups of ethnically Chinese, Burmese and Laotians. The first group we visited, the Akah peoples, migrated from Burma and Tibet.

This traditional gateway was flanked by statues and only villagers were allowed to pass through.

Opium addicted villagers

We then visited the Yao people, who are ethnically Chinese.

Village queen


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