Monday, March 05, 2012

Tea in Thailand, Brunch in Burma and Lunch in Laos

Well, not quite. But today we did the Three Country Tour as we are in the Golden Triangle area of northern Thailand. This is a three night stay and so we have two full days to spend here. I have been busy going to local markets, taking a Thai cooking class, visiting the Opium Museum, and doing the Three Country Tour. Here are the pictures.

On our first morning, the smokey haze was thick. Measurements here say that 120 microgrammes per cubic meter are the upper limit for healthy breathing. Measurements just before we arrived were 320 microgrammes/cu/m

One of the monuments at Wat Chedi Luang

The golden Buddha inside the temple. One of the real refreshing aspects of  Buddhism is that it does not feel the need to proselytize to anyone who is not Buddhist. Contrast this  Christianity in its many forms or Islam.

This seat was reserved for positive thinking only!

The old city wall around the ancient city of Chiang Saen, built in 1291

Many in our group took Mahout lessons - learning to be an elephant trainer

They were quite good and spoke highly of the experience

Elephant and mahout going back to the stables

Tim for Thai cooking - this is a prawn soup that I made

Master chef at work

The Opium Museum is located within walking distance of our hotel - hit the link to read more

This tiny river forms the boundary between northern Thailand and Burma (Myanmar). We crossed over for a morning stroll in a local market.

Black and white photograph in the immigration building that shows the same crossing when this area was much more rural. If nothing else, this trip shows that humanity is everywhere upon this planet.

Pagoda style building near the border

Woman selling fruit in the market in Tachileik

A hill tribe woman comes to market. This part of Burma is much like Thailand in customs .

I did not try the ant larvae but apparently its pretty good. I remember when I tried a big larvae in the Amazon and it was tasty.

Burmese women are quick to smile and have no fear of having their picture taken.

Mother and daughter in the market

Three boys in a traditional neighborhood

A very ornate temple roof in Tachileik

Roof detail
The great golden stupa in Tachileik

At the golden stupa, March 5, 2012

Morning sun frames the stupa

Back in Thailand, a country drive through rice paddies

And the Great Mae Khong River flowing south in Chiang Saen

A local boat from Laos coming to pick up passengers who have been shopping all day in Thailand

This is the dry season and the Mae Khong is running at its lowest in March. These steps are often underwater when the river floods in August.

In the village of Don Sao in Laos

Headed toward the golden Buddha in Thailand

This Buddha is riding in a boat on the Mae Khong River, or at least appears to be

The hotel brought out these paper lanterns that have a paraffin fire source attached to a frame beneath it. When it is lit, it acts like a hot air balloon. We used to do this as kids in Pomona and when they brought out 100 of them last night for us to light, I was jazzed!
And away it goes! Awesome to see them fly through the dark night

We are now headed to Bhutan for another adventure. Our entrance into the Himalaya means I will give a lecture on the jet tomorrow, "Geologic Evidence for Past Climate Change". I hope to be able to blog more from Bhutan. Thanks for reading.

3 comments:

Gaelyn said...

This is definitely a whirlwind tour. So much to see and do. Ant larvae huh? I guess when you travel there's certain adventure to eating local. And you'll have new cooking skills to share back home. Bonus on the paper lanterns.

kopenml said...

I am TOTALLY enjoyng your trip, vicariously. Thanks for all the time and effort. I am on your June Grand Canyon raft trip. I may have snared another Tucsonan for you!

Wayne Ranney said...

Kopenml:

Just have yur friend follow the procedures that I sent to you earlier re: "I was referred to the trip by Wayne Ranney..." and then have them send me and e-mail with their contact info. Thank you and so glad you are enjoying the show!