New Year “Hmong style”, good times in the Wild, Wild West, amazing hitchhiking experiences

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Women from the Hmong ethnic group

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MAP_Chaing Khong 1We hitchhike near the border town Chiang Khong. It is a small town which is also the entrance point to Laos. There is a bridge and one could also cross with a boat on Mekong that costs 0,75 euro. People leave us in the beginning of the town and we have to walk for 4-5 km. to exit it. It is a nice place without many tourists and the walk is pleasant. We continue towards the mountains located on the border with Laos. The region becomes more and more interesting. It is inhabited by the Hmong ethnic group. Everywhere we see people dressed in their traditional outfits sitting around fires they have lit next to their huts. Continue reading

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At the Golden Triangle, visiting the sorcerer, on the banks of Mekong – the river we love so much

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The Golden Triangle itself

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We continue hitchhiking north towards the Golden Triangle. The region is defined by Mekong River and forms a triangle on the border among Thailand, Laos and Burma and is famous for producing opium for hundreds of years. Traditionally here live mountain tribes, animists with quite exotic customs whose main crop is poppy. People in Thailand don’t use opium and heroin anymore and the government tries to educate the tribes to start growing other cultures and to develop its tourist industry here in the meanwhile. In Laos and Burma things are different. There they continue producing drugs full force and Burma is the main producer of methamphetamine and they often traffic their production through Thailand. Nevertheless the region is considered safe. Continue reading