Archive for the tag 'burma'

Dec 13 2011

Chiang Mai and Mandalay

Published by under Burma

With Burma much in the news of late thanks to the Burmese government at least appearing to be making some tentative steps toward “normalisation”, and tourism there looking set to increase dramatically we thought it would be a good time to take a look at the contrasting twin northern capitals of Burma and Thailand: Chiang … read the full post

Nov 02 2011

Should you visit the Kayan or “Long Neck Karen”?

Published by under Sights & activities

After looking at the background to the Kayan or “Long Neck Karen”, we’ll now deal with the question of “Should you visit the Kayan or “Long Neck Karen” by looking at some of the specific pros and cons, and arguments for and against visiting the villages where these people live. For us, one of the … read the full post

Oct 13 2011

Mekong river hijacking in the Golden Triangle

Published by under Health & safety

Dates seem to vary slightly according to the source — one of which is here– but our usually reliable man on the ground in Yunnan reports that two Chinese cargo vessels travelling on the Mekong between Jinghong, Yunnan and Chiang Saen, Thailand were hijacked at around midday on October 10. The particularly brutal hijacking took … read the full post

Sep 02 2011

North Thailand’s ethnic minorities: the Palaung

The Palaung are not to be confused with the similar sounding Padaung, or the famous “long-neck” Karen whose status in Thailand is that of refugees from Burma. Many of the Paduang have been settled in rather dubious “tourist villages” in certain parts of Northern Thailand where “partnerships” between Thai businesspeople and villagers mean fees are … read the full post

Aug 31 2011

Chiang Mai: Consulates and visas

Published by under Visas

Due to Chiang Mai’s location and its role as the kingdom’s second city visitors often expect more substantial consular presences in Chiang Mai than there actually are. Yes, it’s close to Burma and Laos, for example, but neither have consulates here. And while it’s nowhere near it, Austria has a consulate — but, say, Switzerland … read the full post

Aug 20 2011

Chiang Rai’s Sob Ruak

Published by under Chiang Rai

The Thai government and Tourism Authority of Thailand have very successfully converted their part of this once wild region into a highly profitable tourism hot spot. It’s now firmly up there with floating markets, historic cities and Krabi beaches on visitors’ must-sees and where once opium flowed out of Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai to … read the full post

Aug 16 2011

The Golden Triangle

Published by under Chiang Rai

The Golden Triangle is one of those regions that has captured popular imagination: think warlords, secret armies, opium mule trains chugging through the jungle, triads, the DEA and CIA, hill tribes, remote villages and above all the chest-high pink and white poppies that are the source of opium and its derivatives, morphine and heroin. Through … read the full post

Aug 13 2011

Chiang Rai’s House of Opium

Published by under Chiang Rai

Or ‘welcome to the house of fin’, (fin being the Thai translation)! The House of Opium is the original of the two museums in tiny Sob Ruak (in Chiang Rai province) dedicated to the sticky resin of this one particular flower. There is also the new, flashy — and expensive — Hall of Opium, which … read the full post

Apr 23 2011

Getting a visa to Burma in Bangkok

Published by under Visas

Updated March 15, 2014 with updated 2014 public holidays: Getting a visa for Burma (Myanmar) in Bangkok can seem difficult as there is a lot of conflicting information out there, but the process isn’t quite as hard as some would have you believe. Getting the visa is fairly straightforward, but making sure that you have … read the full post