Same Same but Different

Mae Sai – Chiang Saen = 39km

Very heavy rain over night and this morning in Mae Sai so we had our brekkie and waited for the rain to ease.

This wet weather is also hampering the rescue efforts for the teens in the cave with the cave flooded………so as of writing this the kids have been in the cave for just over 3 days and no communication and a very frustrated rescue team and worried families.

Our neighbours last night also cycle tourists. Hitting the road this morning in different directions. She was a Thai girl and her partner from England. Definitely “same same” in cycling “but different” in attire!

The rain eased at 10am and we hit the road. Lovely road with very little traffic and perfect riding temps so we could finally wear the uniform again. The uniform isn’t the most breathable fabric!!!!

Stunning scenery through the rice fields surrounded by mountains.

Working the fields but a huge difference compared to Myanmar with a tractor on hand

Quite an airy feeling as we were rolling through the hills, misty weather, low cloud resting over the hill tops as we approached the Golden Triangle.

The Golden Triangle an area historically well known for its growing of opium. Where the borders of Thailand, Laos and Myanmar meet at the confluence of the Ruak and Mekong Rivers.

This hilly region is now the most touristic area in the North of Thailand. This was evident today with bus loads of Chinese, tacky souvenir shops and restaurants catering for the masses. Thankfully for us with it being the low season it was all very quiet.

We made it to the Golden Triangle……..so now time for a few touristy happy snaps.

Grunted Betty and Nancy up the steep narrow street to the spectacular viewpoint. All 3 countries in one happy snap!

Thailand bottom left, Myanmar large land mass in middle and Laos to the right

Across the river to Laos we saw at least half a dozen cranes and what appeared to be casinos in various stages of construction. After a bit of research this afternoon it looks like earlier this year the US Treasury Department slapped sanctions on a Hong Kong based gambling empire which is believed to be involved in drug, human and wildlife trafficking and child prostitution. This gambling empire has a 99 year lease controlling a 102sqkm special economic zone which occupies 7km of prime Mekong riverbank overlooking Thailand and Myanmar. The sanctions aim to destabilise the drug trade in the Mekong area at a time of growing Chinese influence in the region.

So there you have it in the pic below……….progress in Laos eh!

We cycled the 9km up the road with the mighty Mekong on our left and looking across to Laos. Arrived at the sleepy Chiang Saen and found ourselves some lunch.

Cycled around Chiang Saen and found our digs at the “Honey Hotel”. This is what NZ$27 gets us including brekkie tomorrow. No complaints from us!

A nice view to some ruins out the back of the hotel

And a cute little coffee shop across the road where I sit and write this now.

Think this will be where we find Leo later and have dinner. It is also the road we will be taking tomorrow morning to loop back to Chiang Rai.

And Happy 45th big sis, great chatting today

2 thoughts on “Same Same but Different”

  1. Great pics. Coach took 11 boys into the cave with no protective clothing etc. one does wonder.

    Sent from my iPad

    >

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  2. Hi guys, how good it is to get your blogs, the photos you send are amazing, I have hared of the Golden Triangle but did not know much about it. You both are looking so good, which is lovely to see. Have just arrived back from the beautiful Gold Coast, went down to see Scott’s Melissa do the half marathon of cause it remined me of you two, she did quite well for her first attempt, take care. Love Di & Reg xxx

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