Thursday, November 21st ~ Today is another big day. Heading toward the border town of Mae Sai we pass many rice fields with farmers harvesting the crop.
We do not need to get an entry visa ahead of time to enter Myanmar (formerly Burma) as they can be obtained at the border. The “official” fee is $10, but we paid a bit more to expedite the paperwork. They call it paying “tea money” here.
Tuk Tuk’s had been arranged for us to help us cover as much ground as possible in the two hours we would be here.
The marketplace was fascinating to wander through. The highlight was a visit to Schwedagon.
Back across the border into Thailand we traveled in the back of farm trucks to our lunch stop:
Then back on our bus to the Golden Triangle where we boarded a boat for a cruise on the Mae Khong River.
Our third country was Laos. Really just a quick stop on land with no entry formalities, as we were corralled on an island. We did get our interesting food of the day offered here with large jugs of potent alcohol, each with a different item soaking inside. The first one contained a well pickled cobra, next had tiger penis, and the one I tried a very benign plant – gensing.
Returning once again to Thailand, we could see the point where all three counties came together.
Final stop of the day was a visit to the Opium Museum. Drugs are still a problem in this region, but Thailand is working hard to eliminate the opium trade by replacing the poppy fields with other crops and making the punishment for being caught with drugs very steep.
By the time we got back to Chiang Rai for the night, we were too tired to go out again so chose to have dinner at the hotel. Since there was no internet available I fell asleep early and got a wonderful long restful night.