Golden Buddha and naughty baby elephant

Trip Start Oct 04, 2011
Trip End Nov 29, 2011

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Flag of Thailand  , Chiang Rai,
Thursday, October 6, 2011

After a very bad night sleep (or lack of sleep- for some of us at least!) we decided to have a leisurely day today. Took a shuttle minibus to the nearby village of Sop Ruak and wandered around and sat and watched the world go by. Wonderful viewpoint of the Golden Triangle - Burma to the north/west; Laos to the East and Thailand to the south and the Mekong flowing through. They have stopped growing opium poppies now (in theory) and are being encouraged to concentrate on tourists (and other crops) but we visited the Opium Museum to find out all about it. There was also a very old temple being restored with the most amazing bamboo scaffolding. . The main thing we could see in Burma was an enormous casino/hotel complex which, along with a similar one on the Laos side of the Mekong allow the Thai to gamble - casinos are illegal in Thailand (it seems strange that they are allowed in Burma though.)

Along the river bank is a series of shrines and an enormous Golden Buddha  - which you could see from the grounds of our hotel.  There were also people fishing with very big square nets which they lowered into the water, left for a while and then pulled back up and got the very few, very small fish from them. These were then taken straight to the cafes on the riverfront and cleaned and fried and eaten - very fresh fish!

The taxis which the hotel had said would be available to take us back didn’t seem to exist but the waiter in the café we were in got us a place on a local Songhai ,a little truck with two rows of seats facing each other which takes the locals around. For 20 Bhat (around 40p) he took us back to the hotel gates.

Back to the hotel and a visit to the elephant camp - the hotel has an elephant rescue sanctuary where they rehabilitate elephants from the cities and let them roam in the forest (and let tourists play at being mahouts for the day for a fee). There was a very small , very cute elephant who kept running away from his mahout - obviously a delinquent from the city!

No internet access for a couple of days now so will post when we can next connect up.

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Peter on

Great pictures. It always takes me a couple of nights before I can sleep properly when we've been to SE Asia - bit annoying being awake for 23 hours a day!

ScottieJill on

Sounds like you've seen some amazing things already. Love the baby elephant.

Gil Ashby on

Elephants, what lovely animals. I have friends wo are doing a trip down the Meekong river in a couple of weeks.

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