after only sleeping for an hour, i woke up at 6AM to get myself ready for the day trip to see the golden triangle and visit some hill tribe people. the tour minibus arrived with 3 malaysian ladies onboard, here in thailand on vacation. the drive was long on windy mountain roads driving on the "wrong" side of the street so naturally i got very carsick and the only thing i could do to keep myself from throwing up was to sleep underneath the AC vent. our first stop was at a hot spring, where you could buy eggs in a basket and lower them into the spring to cook. that wasn't as interesting as all the bugs flying around, blue horned leafhoppers. our next stop was chiang saen, former thai city that was abandoned because it was located too close to the mekong and would flood every year. we then went to the golden triangle, where we took a ride on a boat to see the banks of myanmar (where there's a big hotel casino) then land in laos to buy souvenirs and send postcards.

blue horned leafhoppers

red flowering tree

laos snake whiskey

burmese leaf-rolled cigarettes

a buffet lunch was followed by a drive to mae sai, the thai border town for the land crossing into myanmar. we visited a jade factory (myanmar is a big exporter of jade) and outside near the border an indian man tried to sell me some tiger teeth while some t-shirt vendors were going to give me a special deal on ectasy.

jade factory

tiger teeth

thai-myanmar border crossing

our last destination was a hill tribe village where three different tribes lived, including the long-necked women. it made me kind of sick seeing them, and also ashamed: it's because of tourists like myself that perpetuate this disfiguring custom since these people know that foreigners will pay money to come see them with their long necks.

hill tribe village

hill tribe woman

hill tribe woman

long-necked women

we got back into chiang mai around 8:30PM, i quickly showered and met the malaysian ladies for dinner at some outdoor seafood restaurant, where we ate raw oysters and lobster tom yum soup. i can't wait to get sick!