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BANGKOK 19 February 2019 03:14

Burma Bill

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  1. Quote:- "Train #630 with 32 bogeys weighed 128 tons and was unable to go up a rise" Unbelievable - what was the locomotive, Stephenson's Rocket??
  2. Please bear in mind, this huge quantity of "meth" is not just for Thailand. One of the main trafficking routes from the Burmese (Myanmar) factories across the border, producing the drug on an industrial scale, heads south for Cambodia, Malaysia and Singapore then possibly onward to other international destinations.
  3. I wonder if "you know who" bought his watches from this man!
  4. Yes indeed - I forgot to mention, there are many of them.
  5. I have recently returned from a second visit to the site and what a transformation - mass tourism! The exhibition hall containing "The Heroes" mural and the bronze statue of the Royal Thai Navy Seal are now on display. Many new car parks and numerous souvenir/produce stalls. On a hillside that was just a field, a large strawberry farm has been built. There is a new camp site. Unbelievably, nearby on the approach road there is even a small KFC! Song Taews and an open sided minibus provide free transportation from the car parks to the Tham Luang site. Ponies were also available for hire and were popular with the children.
  6. What is it with Thais decamping from scenes? Afraid of being beaten up or seeing ghosts?
  7. As the saying goes "there is no smoke without fire"!! Out of interest, political banners and bill boards showing parties and candidates are now on prominent display here in rural Isaan.
  8. I have just returned from an 8 day holiday and thoroughly enjoyed myself. The people are so friendly and holidaying in Burma is so inexpensive compared to Thailand. I started in Mandalay sightseeing, then cruised down the Irrawaddy to Bagan to see the fantastic UNESCO site with thousands of pagodas and temples. I live in Isaan and flew from Khon Kaen to Mandalay with AIR ASIA on a return low cost "Fly-thru" ticket. Burmese Immigration now issues an e-visa which conveniently means not having to travel to the embassy in Bangkok. Yes, there are Chinese residents, workers and discerning visitors in the country but I did not see any of the typical Chinese tour groups "following the flag". On a previous visit to Mandalay I traveled by train to Hispaw on the Shan Plateau, traversing a switch back up a mountainside to access the plateau then crossing the famous Goteik Viaduct. Tourism is beginning to boom as it did in Cambodia but improving the infrastructure is very slow. See before it becomes swamped with tourists.
  9. Because there are none, except at "official" border crossings. The North West border of Thailand with the neighboring Shan State in Burma runs through forested mountains with no restrictions. You can drive from Mae Sai up into the mountains and traverse a narrow road on which you can drive between the two countries - absolutely ideal for smugglers. At Thaton, the River Kok flows down from the Shan Plateau through steep sided forests towards Chiang Rai and the Mekong with just a high wire strung between the river banks marking the border. There is a small Thai military post but nothing significant to my knowledge. I have sailed under this wire unhindered and, by the way, I am not a "mule".
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