The art of Thai tourism

Chronicle by Luc Clément


The Golden Triangle is in the province of Chiang Rai, northern Thailand. Of this sensitive area, on the borders of Laos and Myanmar, all that is usually remembers are vague memories of opiates. Gradually, this narcotic legend has been giving way to groups of depressed enchained elephants, chloroformed tigers, tame crocodiles and hysterical monkeys performing for tourists in search of debasing attractions. Hordes of quads heedlessly pollute the jungle pendant while refugees from Myanmar ― persecuted Rohingya as well as Padaung, famous for their “Giraffe women” ― also penned up in tourist camps, peddle wares that they themselves have not made. Traditional Buddhist temples known as wats, sprout up all over the place for the delight of tourists but paradoxically detrimental to the serenity supposed to reign in such places of meditation. Two of them, however, are worthy of our attention.

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