Today is our last night in Chiang Rai, which is a relatively large city in the “up-country”. We were lucky to find an internet cafe, so I could write another update! It is Sunday, November 4th here, and only 8:00 pm. The date on this post might be off because my blog is set to Pacific time.
The highlight today was visiting the remote people of the Hill Tribe, which are one of the most conservative and primitive people of Thailand. It was both humbling and overwhelming to see how these people live. As soon as the our group came upon their village, the children, wearing their traditional elaborate head-dress, flocked up to us holding baskets with bracelets and necklaces hand crafted by them from local material like seeds, cloth, yarn and shells.
We were told by our guide to not just give them money, but to purchase their wares if we wanted to support them. She said it was important, especially for the children, to realise that they need to work for the money they make and not to expect “handouts”. I think I came away with about 10 bracelets total and 1 necklace! In addition to purchasing their wares, the group also gave out pencils for school and sweet treats for the children.
The adults of the tribe are the type you could imagine on the cover of a National Geographic magazine. They all have blackened teeth because of heavy opium use in the past. Most of them chew some sort of nut now, to help with their addiction. They expect to be paid to take their photo, so we only took one photo of an elderly woman, which I will include in the album I plan to put up when we return.
Tomorrow, we plan to drive to Chiang Mai for a 3 night stay. After that we will fly down to Bangkok for 1 more night, before returning home. Hopefully, we can find another internet cafe so I can give another quick update!