Tag Archives: opium

Brown Mixture

800 kilometers north of SriRacha is the Golden Triangle. Tourists identify this fabled name with the confluence of the Mekong and Ruak Rivers. The term more accurately referred to the opium-growing regions in Burma, Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand, where once most of the world’s opium was grown by the tribesmen living beyond the law. Back […]

Across From Burma

Throughout the 90s I biked up from Chiang Mai to Mai Sai on the Thai-Burma border. A small river separated the two countries. The people on both sides looked the same and the houses were built in a similar fashion. I stayed at the Mai Sai Guest House to the left of the Friendship Bridge. […]

Sleep Sweet Sleep

Tourists in Northern Thailand flock to the convergence of the Mekong and Mai Klong Rivers in expectation of experiencing the notorious Golden Triangle. Most express deep disappointment that there aren’t any opium dens from which they can watch the flow of the Mekong River. A few harass the riverside shop owners for a taste. “Four hours on a […]

A TASTE FOR THE EAST by Peter Nolan Smith

My first trip to the Orient was in 1990. My round-the-world ticket had many stops. One was Singapore. The Straits city was undergoing its metamorphosis from a colonial port to a gleaming metropolis of skyscrapers. Raffles was closed for renovations and I stayed at a cheap Chinese hotel in a decrepit godown. The walls climbed […]

A STORY OF O by Peter Nolan Smith

In 1994 Crazy Santa Klaus had a special guest card to the Russian Baths on East 10th Street. Opening time was 8Am. The steam room crew began to heat the river boulders at 6am. The two-ton stones glowed red by 7:20. Crazy Santa Claus was in the dry steam room at 7:21. He was a […]