Monday, April 28, 2014

Sunrise in the Triangle

A Laotian river boat steams up the Mekong River through the Golden Triangle, where Thailand, Myanmar and Laos meet. 

I'm back in Bangkok after a week in Chiang Rai province and the "Golden Triangle" working on a couple of stories. I still have a lot of photos to edit my way through but it was a pretty good week.

This is the "burning season" in northern Thailand and neighboring Laos and Burma. Farmers in the area still practice "slash and burn" agriculture. The burning starts in late February and continues until the start of the rainy season. The smoke fouls the air and causes all sorts of health problems. But smoky skies create fantastic sunrises and sunsets. This is the sunrise from the balcony of my hotel room in Sob Ruak, north of Chiang Saen.

The photo's vantage point is in Thailand. Myanmar (Burma) is on the left, Laos is on the right, but not in the photo. The Mekong River is one of the world's great river systems. This is the dry season and the river is pretty low, but it's still more than a kilometer wide at this point.
A firefighter attacks a fire that roared into Sob Ruak from nearby farm fields. The fire was across the street from my hotel. 

The Thai government has taken a hard stand against burning but it's hard to end a centuries old practice and farmers keep burning their fields, fouling the skies and every once in a while causing a panic in town. 


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