Photographer's Note

It was fun to meet virtually and at different times in Louang Prabang with Gert, Paul and Ian. I wonder who was in this area. Maybe Ronny?

The Golden Triangle is the area where the borders of Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar meet at the confluence of the Ruak and Mekong rivers. The name "Golden Triangle"—coined by the CIA—is commonly used more broadly to refer to an area of approximately 950,000 square kilometres (367,000 sq mi) that overlaps the mountains of the three adjacent countries.

Along with Afghanistan in the Golden Crescent, it has been one of the largest opium-producing areas of the world since the 1950s. Most of the world's heroin came from the Golden Triangle until the early 21st century when Afghanistan became the world's largest producer. (Wikipedia)

I was not interested in heroin :). From Chiang Rai Malgo and 7 friends went for three days trekking in this mountainous region. The main attraction was the visiting the villages inhabited by the hill tribes. As I saw on the map, it was not far from Shan places that Ronny visited but on the Myanmar side. We saw the villages of Karen, Akha and some other people, I do not remember them.

Who are the hill tribes of Thailand? They are ethnic minority groups who migrated from Laos, China, Myanmar and came to settle in northern Thailand, several hundred years ago. They settled in the highlands and hilly areas, hence the term ‘hill tribe".

Traditionally the hill tribes are subsistence farmers who grow rice and crops. Their major source of income was growing opium until it was outlawed in the 1960s. With the help of the royal project which helped the hill tribes switch from Opium cultivation to growing cash crops such as coffee and strawberries.

There are around 7 major hill tribes of Thailand, the different groups are; Karen, Akha, Hmong, Mien, Lahu, Lisu and Palaung. Each has their own unique culture, customs and language and each has their own subgroups.

The hill tribes of Thailand are highly skilled at weaving and dyeing cotton to create beautiful clothes,scarves and bags. Groups such as the Karen are renown silversmiths and their exquisite creations are a huge export worldwide. Many of these exquisite handicrafts can be seen on sale in markets in towns (not to be mistaken for copies made in factories) and are a popular souvenir choice for tourists which also provides supplemental income for the hill tribes.
Here Palong Hill woman weaving cotton.
The workshop will follow.

holmertz, pierrefonds, jhm, COSTANTINO, Royaldevon, ikeharel, PaulVDV oznaczył to zdjęcie jeko użyteczne

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Additional Photos by Malgorzata Kopczynska (emka) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 13028 W: 139 N: 33713] (153782)
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