(Photo: Don Entz)
Golden Triangle -
September 14, 2006
Don reports: This is the Golden Triangle. I'm standing on a hill in Thailand, Burma's on the left, Laos on the right. The buildings with the red roofs in Burma is a huge hotel and casino complex called Paradise Resort's Golden Triangle, a Thai-Japanese joint venture. Only baht and U.S. dollars are accepted, no kyat or other currencies. You cannot cross to it by the river, but rather have to cross at Mae Sai and continue overland.
...They're cracking down harder on illegal North Koreans coming in over the border in Chiang Rai. ...on the bus from Chiang Saen to Chiang Rai town, we stopped at a police checkpoint, and a cop went through the bus checking people out. There was a group of five ladies who did not look or speak Thai, and they were unable to produce any ID. One seemed to be saying she was from Hong Kong..., but a couple of them did not look Chinese. They looked Korean. The cop pulled all five off the bus and sent us on the way. I'm used to that from Mae Hong Son, where there were always checks for illegal Burmese and a few getting yanked off. It seems to be a problem specifically right around where we were, in the Golden Triangle area.