From Chiang Kham to the Golden Triangle

I had long wanted to go for a long walk in the "far north" of Thailand.

Our "Family Trip" that year, was organized in this way, and after two days of driving and 1,650 km from Phuket, we arrived in Chiang Kham, a small quiet and peaceful town where I found time for a very nice evening, my friend Rémi, the first Frenchman I met in Phuket in... 1994. These are memories that remain.

The next morning, we set off to discover a magnificent Burmese style temple made mainly of teak woods in this small town. Time to take some pictures, and we took the direction of Mount Phu Chi Fa and Mount Doi Pha Tang located opposite Laos, at an altitude of more than 1,500 meters.

From up there, the view on clear days is breathtaking and I was already dreaming of bringing back some great photos. Unfortunately, to my great disappointment, the peasants who are burning their land in this season, their herbs made this dream impossible. We couldn't see much anymore. Thus, my photo capital was considerably reduced to shots limited in distance....

But I'm not desperate... I'm already thinking of returning to the region!

  Discovery of a magnificent temple in Chiang Kahm

Magnificent Burmese style temple (Tai Yai Style) composed mainly of teak wood

I am still as attracted to these sumptuous and impressive roofs

A tree near the entrance of the temple with flowers
with a very pleasant smell

  To Mount Phu Chi Fa

We left Chiang Kham, and the road that leads us to Phu Chi Fa, leads us to discover some very typical villages

Up on the mountain... there is a parking lot and inevitable salesmen

On the way to the summit, these kids belong to a tribe of Hmong or Miao, or as the Thai call them, Meos, a tribe from China with a large population in Laos

As we pass by, they start playing some indescribable musical notes
Of course, we slip a small piece, this is part of the local folklore

Like all children in the world.... playing with a little miniature in the sand, it's so natural...

All that remains is to walk the few hundred meters that lead to Phu Chi Fa

And here is this famous Pu Chi Fa... at an altitude of about 1600m
half hidden by the fumes, I had to "force" the photo to make it more or less acceptable.

From where I took this picture... I must have had 500m left to climb. I won't go any further! Don't want to photograph the fog!

Ceci est une «Photo Volée» sur le net...
histoire de vous montrer la vue depuis ce point culminant
et par conséquent, l'ampleur de ma déception...

My troops are a little tired from this march.

  In the heights near Mount Phu Cho Fa

... and here is the object of the crime: these lands that are burned and that stink of the country!

Along the road, there are small crops

Cultures on the mountainside... a magnificent setting

et puis, ces choux plantés comme ça, à flanc de montagne

Femme Meo, ramenant du bois avec ses filles

In Phat Tang, we find a small Chinese restaurant, it must be said that the mountain air despite the smoke, has dug us well

These two people, of Chinese origin, as are most of the inhabitants of Phatang: 

they are Chinese KTM members of the armies of Chiang Kai-Shek who arrived in the 1950s under the influence of Mao's revolutionary armies.

  We follow the Mekong River

We left the "high mountain" to find ourselves on the edge of the Mekong, also smoky, 

which we follow for a few kilometers towards Chiang Saen and the Golden Triangle

Here, we can see a village in Laos
The Mekong is not very deep in places.
You can even cross it on foot... but beware of the guards!

  Some Tea Fields

A few kilometers from Chiang Saen, these tea fields where we stop to enjoy a cup

Some information on the different teas in the region:

  The Golden Triangle

Our ride of the day is coming to an end.
The Golden Triangle....
We found a small hotel a few meters from this location
The ride was beautiful, despite the limited visual conditions

Immersed in the fog of smoke... the famous golden triangle

  A Small Local Museum... The Opium Museum.....

Also nearby, a small museum that we will visit for a few minutes...

Quite a large pipe exhibition in Opium, the place is very popular
especially by groups of tourists arriving by coach

They show you how to smoke opium....

...and how to digest it afterwards!

I would like to thank Rémi who received me in friendship, hosted me, advised me on my tour, and gave some precious information, especially on the origins of the tribes found in the region
It is clear that I will come back soon to do with Rémi this trick that I didn't really succeed in doing.

I know in advance that I will have an excellent guide!

 mardi 2 avril 2013