Golden Triangle and Mae Sai
Trip Start Jan 11, 2006
25Trip End Jan 31, 2006
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I went by boat to visit a Burmese hill tribe, the Pa Dong, commonly known for wearing the copper rings that stretch their necks (or really lower their shoulders). They were by far the most calm and polite people I've met here, which is saying a lot. Like everywhere else I've gone in SE Asia, they have something to sell
I also stopped by a Burmese/Thai border town Mae Sai which was mostly just a market, but was interesting. I took a couple pictures there of the steps up to a temple and the Buddha at the bottom. This is the town where many Western Tourisits in N. Thailand go to for visa runs. When their visa expires, they pay 200 B and cross into Myanmar on a day pass, stay for an hour, then re-enter Thailand and buy another visa. It's a little game that everyone plays and has for a long time. I met several people in Chiang Mai who had been staying in Thailand for 10 months and more by doing this.
Myanmar (previously Burma) is now run by the army (Socialist), and they are much more selective in allowing visas then the average countries
Myanmar and Thailand governments are a bit at odds recently, with the curious but unsurprising exception of the apparent collaberation on a casino on the Myanmar side of the Golden Triangle (it's illegal in Thailand). Many Thai go across there to gamble, taking a boat across to it's dock, going inside to gamble, then back to the boat and home.
Then it was on to Lao......