Tha Ton is a sleepy little village right next to the border with Burma. I was invited up for lunch with a nice group of Thai women who were on holiday from Bangkok, staying in the local temple complex. Napa and her ‘city’ friends had come up for a week of yoga and getting up at 3am with the monks for praying (only I encountered them the previous night on a night off getting hammered at the local bar!) It turns out anyone can stay in temple accommodation – all that is needed is a donation to the temple at the end of your stay.
The ferry down to Chiang Rai from Tha Ton is quite the experience – even for an adrenaline junkie like me.
Half a dozen of us were making the trip that day, trusting our lives with the driver who was weaving in and out of the rocks and rapids, all the while at a fair old lick.
Once in Chiang Rai, I quickly found a bed for the night, and started wandering the streets to stumble into a….pre-teen beauty pageant where girls as young as 6 were dolled up and put on the back of floats/rickshaws. It was all very strange I have to say. It was made even more strange by the fact that it was absolutely tipping it down with rain and those who didn’t have umbrellas just continued to sit there soaked to the skin smiling away and waving at the crowd as the spectators cowered in shop fronts.
The next day I headed north with a view to catching a ferry to Laos & Luang Probang. I ended up missing a turning and almost ended up in Burma, so tracked the road down past the Golden Triangle, where Laos, Thailand and Burma meet. I finally made it to Chiang Khong after 145km in one day. Epic.
Finally, for those of you who have been following my blog, but have not yet donated to my charity, please do so. I know how many people read my blog and it’s about time you paid for it!! Any amount is good, so long as it’s got a zero after it! 😉