Where's Tai?

"And I still haven't found what I'm looking for"

Day 15: Tachelik border disputes and water bombs July 3, 2010

Filed under: Travelling — Tai @ 7:30 am


Jumped a flight to Tachelik to cross the border into Thailand in the north.  Tachelik is a military state, they are at war with the villagers, so they open and close the border when things heat up.  So had to fly in because foreigners are not allowed overland.  To my extreme annoyance I find that you now need to have a special permit to cross the border.  I get to the border, a tiny bridge and then  Thailand.  The generals in their wisdom have implemented “special permits” if you want to leave through this crossing.  I sat for 2 hours in the immigration office telling sobs stories about having no money and need to cross to meet my family in Chiang Rai… Looking sad and dejected… even the magic dollar didn’t seem to work.  So I got stuck here. 

It’s a border town in the golden triangle so apparently this is one of the routes for amphetamines.  However the border here is so porous.  The river/stream separating Myanmar and Thailand is about 15 metres wide.  So you could throw drugs across if you wanted. 

Also had to run the gauntlet foot and motorbike.  It is Myanamar new years tomorrow.  They have their water festival.  People are out on the streets throwing water at each other. This is to wash away the old year and start the new year fresh.  So kids and adults are wandering the streets throwing water at you, water guns, hoses buckets are the weapons of choice.  I got drenched with my backpack. Driving through town on the back of a motorbike and being a foreigner pretty much paints a big target on your forehead.  All in good fun, but am planning to hide out tomorrow.


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