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North Thailand / Mae Sai

Mae Sai is a boarder town in Chiang Rai Province, some 65km (41mi) north of Chiang Rai. As Mae Sai is just at the border to Burma, Burmese goods, especially handicrafts, can be purchased at good prices. Thais and Burmese and foreign tourists can cross the border officially during daytime. Actually, many Burmese work in Mae Sai. The border river is just about 30cm (1ft) deep.

Authors note:

Tourism for idiots

I can understand some forms of tourism: for example, if people from cold countries want to go to a beach place in a warm country for two weeks. I can also understand those who go to a fun place to party. I can even understand parents who bring their children to Disneyland (though I personally regard this as a waste of money).

But the tourism you have in Northern Thailand and in Laos is for idiots.

Remote hill tribes! Wow. The Golden Triangle, the world's traditional opium-growing region. And you were there! Elephant trekking through the jungle. Real adventure!

The fact is that all of this is so totally commercialized, that it is no different from a theme park. Only less convenient.

But at least a theme park is honest in that it admits that it's all just show. On the other hand, North Thailand and Laos tourism promotion pretends that all of this is authentic. But it's a lie. It's all only about making stupid tourists spend money. Preferably a lot. For nothing of genuine value.

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http://www.asiatour.com/thailand/e-05nort/et-nor20.htm
Jan Garanoz
Juhu Tara Road, Juhu,
Mumbai - 400049 India
Last updated: June 23, 2010