Today, on our tour, we actually leave Thailand at the very north of the country for a little while so we can cross the border and visit Myanmar. Myanmar (also known as Burma) is part of the Golden Triangle area that I alluded to in my last post about this trip. We will actually spend time in all three of the countries of the Golden Triangle today – Thailand, Myanmar and Laos.
We cross the border into Myanmar from the northernmost city of Thailand, Mae Sai.
Our Thai travel guide will not be able to join us in Myanmar, but does see us through the border crossing procedure and has plenty of tuk-tuk drivers ready for us on the other side.
As we ride through the Myanmar town of Tachileik, we see hardly any automobiles but mostly bicycles, motorbikes, and tuk-tuks driving along on the dusty dirt roads.
We drive around the town and make our first stop at a little school.
I was seriously melting seeing all these precious little ones.
We roam around this area just a little bit before we head to our next stop.
Our tuk-tuk drivers take us to a very high point in Myanmar where we visit the Shwedagon Pagoda.
At 2,500 years old, Shwedagon Pagoda is the most sacred and impressive Buddhist site for the people of the Union of Myanmar. It is said there are strands of the Buddha’s hair enshrined within here.
Every couple receives their own personal tour guide to show them around the pagoda. We have a young girl as our guide. She is about 14 years old and speaks perfect English. She says she’s studying to become a doctor.
She was incredibly impressive with her knowledge of the temple and Myanmar history and took us around to all the different shrines for making offerings. I remember most of the offerings that you made were based on the week day of your birth – as we are seeing is the case at other temples throughout our trip.
The views up high from Shwedagon Pagoda of the city Tachileik below were amazing.
After the Shwedago Pagoda visit, our tuk-tuk drivers drive us back into the main part of town to do a little shopping at the street vendors there before our return crossing back into Thailand.
After returning to Thailand, we head for a boat ride along the Mekong River with a quick stop into the country of Laos.
The Mekong River is the world’s 12th longest river and I was so amazed at the volume of water that seemed to be moving all around us on the little boats we were on.
We cruise by many temples along the riverway.
And then we make about an hour stop in Laos – this is basically a shopping “port” stop of sorts. I suppose this stop afforded us the right to say we visited all three countries of the Golden Triangle in one day.
Basically, this stop was for the “purse” shoppers of the tour.
AND anyone looking for very unique gift ideas to take home.
We then wait to re-board our little boats for an evening cruise back to Thailand.
Our evening cruise let us see the homes of many people who are living along the Mekong River.
As evening fell, we were treated to some fabulous views…
…and a remarkable sunset.
I’ve thrown together a little video of some of the places we visited this day if you’d like to “hear” and see the sights and sounds of Myanmar and the Mekong River. Be sure to listen to the precious voices of the children in Myanmar singing for us – so very sweet!
The next stop on our tour will be the City of Chiang Mai.
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