What a strange experience to take a once, Opium filled battleground to a now tourist filled boat where you can see three countries in minutes, including a Casino – LAOS VEGAS- and some quick shopping marts to buy knick knacks and beer shirts.
The river was muddy, the tour guide wasn’t quite understandable but irregardless it was a good experience to see this part of the world.
We reached the “Northern Most Part of Thailand” at the Burmese Border,where our tour guide graciously offered his photography skills for some posed photos, (none of which were flattering) and I couldn’t help but channel the inner woman in me and be distracted by all the glimmering jewelry and Buddhist amulets.
That is when I realized that my tour van, among several was nowhere to be found, as well as any of my friends who came alongside. A bit of panic struck me but from what I previously briefed myself several times regarding “solo travel,” NEVER PANIC.
I lost orientation for a moment but then found some familiar faces and made my way back to an excruciatingly long trip home to Chiang Mai.
The thing I’ve gathered about traveling is that seat belts aren’t particularly standard, and therefore you must just pray to the rosary and hold the hell on.
We visited a hill tribe, the Long neck “Karen” Tribe. Originally Burmese and almost outcasted from Thailand, it seemed there only means of income was from Westerners like us, touring through their little village and buying items. Which would explain why I spend almost $4USD on a simple and cheap ring from the most adorable little girl
The rings they wore on their necks were so intriguing, and my inner photographer wanted nothing more than to host my own portrait photog session, but I also felt a bit disrespectful and so I asked permission before each photo.
They didn’t seem to mind, but I also felt the urge to buy some little knick knacks along the way, after all it was just a couple dollars.
Northern Thailand was a nice relaxing and cultural experience, but nothing like what was in store for me down South.