E-mails from Thailand (16.06.01 - 29.06.01)
Part two: June 25, e-mail from Chiang Rai
Wyatt, why do you say Chiang Rai has nothing to do? I think I quite
like Chiang Rai, coz while we have moved from Bangkok to Chiang
Mai to Chiang Rai, I realized our speed of travel has slowed down.
Maybe it is due to the fact that myself and Zhen (my travel companion)
have fallen sick in Chiang Mai and visited the hospital. Yeah, am
on antibiotics now but hopefully should be able to carry on. Anyway,
came to Chiang Rai on a sleepy Sunday morning, checked into a very
very good but comparatively more expensive guesthouse called the
White House. Yep, Chiang Rai can be easily explored on foot. Still
haven't found your beef noodles yet, but I'm on a very light diet
to stay healthy. But today went to the most amazing place on earth,
it's called Mae Salong, a former hill town settled by retreating
Kuomintang soldiers during the nationalist-communist war in China,
and the place is 1800m above sea level, boasts of excellent weather
and endless tea plantations. This is the only place I think that
the people speak fluent Chinese. Even the tribal people nearby speak
some Chinese. While we were wondering in the countryside, we went
into one of the Akha villages and talked to this 14-year-old Akha
boy named Ah Mo. Am gonna write a story about this place. Please
tell me how do I send photos back to the place? Is there a way Wyatt
to do so? From Singapore? And tell me more about Christianity changing
the lives of these natives such that their original way of living
is being eroded like what you once told me in the past?
(Disclaimer: Wyatt is a friend who has been to Thailand as a volunteer
to the Akha hill tribes.)
Will tell you more about this place next time back in S'pore. We
are going to another village with a guesthouse known as Akha Hill
House run by an Akha family tomorrow to stay for two days. Then
will be back to Chiang Rai to make a side day trip to Chiang Saen
to see the Mekong and the 14th Cantury Lanna ruins. Why the hell
did you Wyatt go to Mai Sai when you were here at Chiang Rai province?
Then will be back to Bangkok on 28 June nite to settle unfinished
business before meeting up with my Cambodian trip mates.
Good luck 2 all. Will write soon.
(We later went to Chiang Saen first before going to the hills to
live at the Akha Hill House. Chiang Saen can be visited in half
a day. Start early.)