Wat Da Phuk

Reminder: "Wat" means temple in Thai. Team SE Asia decided to divide and conquer today. Annie opted to stay poolside and immerse herself in studying “Buddhism for Busy People.” Jackie and Michael hopped aboard the van at 7:00 AM and headed north to Chiang Rai to see the White Temple; the hill tribes of the Akha and Yao; and then to the Golden Triangle, where the borders of Thailand, Burma and Laos converge. The Golden Triangle is famous as the hub of the opium trade for the region, and Jackie and Michael were excited to learn all they could about this nefarious and lucrative activity. Noy, our guide, came prepared with visual aids in the form of tea towels that explained in detail how to weigh, prepare, and smoke opium. Fun fact: if you smoke opium in any other position other than laying down you will get a headache. On the way to The Golden Triangle we got a little sidetracked and took some detours.

 

First stop — the highest geyser in Northern
Thailand. 






  
  
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First stop — the highest geyser in Northern Thailand.

EggLady.JPG
A quick breakfast also seemed like a good idea. There are
ladies selling eggs in little baskets that you can cook in the hot
springs.  We opted for some tea, coffee
and toast instead. 






  
  
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A quick breakfast also seemed like a good idea. There are ladies selling eggs in little baskets that you can cook in the hot springs.  We opted for some tea, coffee and toast instead.

Jackie took a moment for a little spa time for
her toes. 






  
  
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Jackie took a moment for a little spa time for her toes.

We stopped off at Cabbages and Condoms, a
roadside shop that puts all of its profits into community education—you can
probably guess the social issues it is attempting to tackle.  No it is NOT about the perils of black market
cabbage trading. 






  
  
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We stopped off at Cabbages and Condoms, a roadside shop that puts all of its profits into community education—you can probably guess the social issues it is attempting to tackle.  No it is NOT about the perils of black market cabbage trading.

Meanwhile back in Chiang Mai…we really weren’t
kidding about the title of the book. 






  
  
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Meanwhile back in Chiang Mai…we really weren’t kidding about the title of the book.

WhiteTempleWide.JPG
Wat Rong Khun also known as the White Temple is the newest
temple in Thailand. The temple, designed by artist, Chalermchai Kosipitpat, combines
historical elements of Buddhism with images of Michael Jackson, Superman,
September 11th and Angry Birds—unfortunately we were not allowed to photograph
the inside, which is still being painted.  






  
  
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Wat Rong Khun also known as the White Temple is the newest temple in Thailand. The temple, designed by artist, Chalermchai Kosipitpat, combines historical elements of Buddhism with images of Michael Jackson, Superman, September 11th and Angry Birds—unfortunately we were not allowed to photograph the inside, which is still being painted. 

The bathroom design rivaled the temple.  We would be happy to share all of our White
Temple photos and tell you the story behind it over drinks and dinner. 






  
  
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The bathroom design rivaled the temple.  We would be happy to share all of our White Temple photos and tell you the story behind it over drinks and dinner.

AkhaHouse.JPG
Following in the steps of Hilary Clinton (she
was here in 1994), we stopped off to visit the Akha tribal area and were invited
in to see of one family’s quarters. 






  
  
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Following in the steps of Hilary Clinton (she was here in 1994), we stopped off to visit the Akha tribal area and were invited in to see of one family’s quarters.

We also visited a tribal school.  The school is located in the Yao village. The 244 students, (Kindergarten through High School), come from all of the area
tribes.  This budding entrepreneur
greeted us and we happily purchased crafts made by the students, the proceeds
all go back to the school.  After our
lovely experience in the tribal region, the opium trade and The Golden Triangle
lost all of its allure, so we headed back to Chiang Mai to ask Annie for some
enlightenment. On the way, Jackie and Michael stayed awake by playing
“Punch Buddha,” it’s like “Punch Buggy” except… oh you get the idea. 






  
  
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 Off tomorrow to Luang Prabang, Laos.

We also visited a tribal school.  The school is located in the Yao village. The 244 students, (Kindergarten through High School), come from all of the area tribes.  This budding entrepreneur greeted us and we happily purchased crafts made by the students, the proceeds all go back to the school.  After our lovely experience in the tribal region, the opium trade and The Golden Triangle lost all of its allure, so we headed back to Chiang Mai to ask Annie for some enlightenment. On the way, Jackie and Michael stayed awake by playing “Punch Buddha,” it’s like “Punch Buggy” except… oh you get the idea.

Off tomorrow to Luang Prabang, Laos.