The Golden TriangleNovember 28, 2018 in Thailand ⋅ ⛅ 26 °C
We started the day at a tea plantation owned by a Chinese businessman. I mention this because the Chinese have had a big impact on the Thai economy. For example, most of the 7-elevens are owned by Chinese entrepreneurs. The tea plantations pay Thai women 8 Bhatt per kilo to pick the tea leaves or 300 Bhatt per hour to clear old plants (they need to be replaced every four years). 100 Bhatt is equal to about $4 Cdn.
This area of Thailand is part of the Golden Triangle which includes parts of Laos and Burma. Opium is still an issue as the farmers burn out the forests for opium fields. The farmers do not recognize the authority of the state (i.e. the police); they only recognize the authority of the King.
Tan, our guide for the rest of the trip talked about the education system. King Rama IX recognized the importance of education and offers loans to students who want to go to university. But after studying in the cities, the young people find it hard to get meaningful work; increasingly they are returning home to start small businesses. Boys also have the option of becoming monks while in school; most return to their community after graduation.
A sobering stop was the Scorpion temple with its museum of the events of the rescue of the boys from the cave. The Navy seal who died in the rescue is considered a national hero. The museum had thousands of flowers and garlands as well as hundreds of pictures of the events and the main players.Read more