Starling Travel

June 16, 2006

Bicycling Through Thailand

Filed under: Bicycling,Travel — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

Ben Hopkins pushing his bike up a hill.Ben Hopkins was warned by another American that bicycling through the mountains of Thailand wasn’t safe:

“Jesus, man, ya don’t know? They’re still growing the poppies and shooting anyone who goes near. Nothing’s changed since ‘79. Everyone knows it but no one dares speak out. The government, generals and drug lords are in business with the Burmese military. You’d better just stick to the road.”

Luckily, he didn’t and what he found instead was surprisingly different.

The Golden Tourist TrapInstead of opium fields guarded by angry farmers, he found a Golden Tourist Trap.

“Tourism has replaced opium as the local source of gold. There’s The Golden Triangle Souvenir shop, The Golden Triangle Restaurant and with hotels and shopping centres sprouting up at the rate of poppies in post-Taliban Afghanistan it could soon be time to rename to the place, “The Golden Triangle Tourist Trap”. But it’s worth sticking around to check out the superb, recently opened Opium Exhibition Hall. “

Whenever you tell someone that you’re planning on traveling to a place, they always have advice for you. It’s important to listen to the advice, but it’s also just as important to follow your instincts and see where they take you. You just might find a golden opportunity.

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