Southeast Asia

National Geographic Watch Out!

Vlog #3: Contiki Big Indochina Adventure: Chiang Rai, Thailand

Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep Temple

I genuinely enjoy architecture and temples, hence why you’ll see lots of photos and videos from them. It’s just crazy to think of all the time and dedication it took to create these beautiful places of worship. There is just so much variety out there and it’s awesome to be able to see the differences.

Wat Prathat Temple- Chiang Mai, Thailand

Wat Prathat Temple- Chiang Mai, Thailand

Wat Prathat Temple- Chiang Mai, Thailand

Wat Prathat Temple- Chiang Mai, Thailand

Wat Prathat Temple- Chiang Mai, Thailand

Friday Buddha: the day I was born on.

Cabbages and Condoms

For lunch we stopped at a wonderfully quirky rest stop called Cabbages and Condoms. Can we just pause for a moment and examine the hilarity that is this sign – brilliance.

Cabbages and Condoms- Chiang Mai, Thailand

While the food wasn’t the best I have ever had, it was indeed satisfying and definitely did not cause any pregnancy.

Cabbages and Condoms- Chiang Mai, Thailand

Hill Tribes

I have mixed feelings about this visit. There are plenty of National Geographic and Discovery Channel episodes about these tribes, the Long Neck one in particular, so I have heard about them before. However, the whole experience of visiting them was very cold and uncomfortable.

Hill Tribes - Chiang Rai, Thailand

For one, it’s all a money grab.  Most of the “village” is little shops to buy items from and about 70% of the items looks like they come from China. Second, visiting the tribes people felt a lot like visiting a human zoo.  It is clear as day that they do not wish to be there and they would rather dress western and be living in the city. But, they don’t because us tourists are their source of income.

Hill Tribes - Chiang Rai, Thailand

Hill Tribes - Chiang Rai, Thailand

The village itself wasn’t anything special either, and the ritual dances they put on were done half heart-ed with little pride for their culture.  It’s just sad to see something that could be such a great cultural experience be sucked dry and turned into a tourist cash draw.

Hill Tribes - Chiang Rai, Thailand

On a lighter note, although I didn’t show any of it in the video, that evening our group ended up having a dress up party with an 80’s theme. As you can tell, I love dress up parties and I generally go all out. Heck, I think neon suits me :)

80's Party - Chiang Rai, Thailand

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3 Comments

  • Reply
    Mark
    March 24, 2012 at 6:47 am

    Hey Nadine–I really appreciate your honest opinions of the Hill Tribe in this Vlog. Definitely food for thought and not something we get even in National Geographic. Helps me to keep an open mind no matter what I see on a video or read in a magazine–Glad yall were able to let your hair down and have some fun at the end of the day—Thanks Nadine–LUV Ya!

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