Now to Chiang Mai in northern Thailand

Trip Start Jan 13, 2013
Trip End Feb 05, 2013

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Saturday, January 19, 2013

Lecture this morning about the economic, environmental, social and development conditions in SE Asia - pretty depressing actually.  They are making all of the same mistakes made by the west - destroying environment, ignoring social issue such as education and health, etc.

For every 1,000 babies born in Cambodia, 95 die in their first year, leading to one of the highest infant mortality rates in Southeast Asia. More than a third of these deaths occur in the first month of life. Another 33 children out of 1,000 die before their fifth birthdays. All together, 1 in 8 Cambodian children dies between birth and age 5.  Three most common causes are malaria, diarrheal disease, and acute respiratory infection - all easily prevented or treated with very little cost.

Environmental issues are huge - deforestation and slash and burn agriculture, water pollution, and building dams along the Mekong River to supply electricity for all of the development. China is moving into Laos and Cambodia economically. And Laos has borrowed several billion $$'s from China to build dams that will have devastating environmental and economic impact on other countries whose people depend upon the Mekong River.

I like Chiang Mai lots better than Bangkok - smaller, less hectic crowded.

The Night Market is all along the streets around our hotel.  Vendors start bringing in carts and setting up in the afternoon and the market opens at 6PM. Quite festive but way too crowded. 
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