The Shan State of Burma and North Thailand – April 1999
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Maesai is a great place to base yourself from because of the surrounding sights to see. Burma, 300 meters away from the King Kobra Guesthouse & Inn, and Laos only 30 kms away, at the golden triangle.
There are several caves to explore and hilltribes that perhaps no one has heard of as well. Just a few of tribes are: Akha, Akhu, Paluang, Wa, Ant Wa, Hmong, Yao, Lisa, Lahu, various shan groups, Dai Lui, Dai Yai, Dai Nua, and other strangely dressed people that turn up in this area. Many fascinating temples on both sides of the border as well.
Maesai can be quiet or noisy. Just depends what you want. There is a dark side but rather fun for all sexes to enjoy; whether you’re a man, woman, gay, transvestite with or without full operation (Katoy), etc…Live music can be found, kareokes to entertain you or strain the ones listening, massage parlors, bar beers (?) and even a movie house with laser disc and dvd/vcd movies, IN ENGLISH. For those of you that like a nite adventure, ask for the “In Search Of the Carlsberg Tour!”
Motorbike trekking is great in this area, the best being in the wet season for those of you that like the wild side of things. Thai, Burma and Laos. Best way to get around and see more.
There is more to this area that meets the eye, one just has to enlighten those with no visions.
There is local voodoo, magic, spiritual worship other than Buddhism and perhaps, as most know it, local superstition.
There are love potions to be made and found, and there is even a charm for a person to keep his wife away! No kidding! But, you have to believe in this for it to work. I believe and I have seen it work.
From medicinal whiskey with snakes and centipedes as long as your arm, to cures from herbs for asthma, hemorrhoids and simple ailments as arthritis, to fleshwounds and gunshots.
So, whatever your needs, make a local visit to the Akha witchdoctor, Shan shaman, Keng Tung’s totally tattooed Magic monk or just plain sit at the Kobra and drink Viper, centipede brew or plain ole draft beer on tap!
Just remember the other warning, if you happen to buy the wrong gems or would be gems without consultation, there are plenty of shoulders to cry on along the way. Don’t worry, there is every major bank of Thailand in Maesai so that you can get more money at your convenience. Wet seasons are great here, so don’t miss it.
Songkran is coming up also. Come up for the big water fight, all month long. But, officially 13-15th of April.
For more information on Kobra Jo’s Guesthouse in this exotic area, check out this web site.
General Information about the author, Kobra Jo:
My name, as most people remember, and the place as well , is Kobra Jo.
Many people ask why. Well, it all started with snakes, mainly, always in search of the King Kobra. Then it eventually developed into the “Trek Of The Kobra”, Burma-Laos-China-N. Thai…I had a pet mongoose that just loved heading out to the rice fields with me to hunt snakes. Always found some every morning. The villagers thought I was just plain crazy to see me out on the fields with this little creature bobbing up and down across the fields.
Finally, the villagers started to turn up at the house with snakes in bags and in cans, thinking I was going to feed them to my mongoose. My mongoose really didn’t like snake meat, he would just play with them for practice and then leave them alone. He preferred pork!
My present wife is of the Wa tribe out of Burma, former headhunters and cannibals. Needless to say, I try not to piss her off.
People/tourists come to me and the border for different reasons. For me, Maesai is not like the rest of Thailand or like Burma. It is a unique border town with everything to offer. When I speak of Maesai, I can include Tachilek, Burma the twin town of Maesai.
Maesai is known world wide for gems, primarily for rubies and jade from Burma.
Be careful though, because not everything that glitters is real. Synthetic stone pushers are everywhere and the King’s treasure under the glass case is guarded by a 14 year old gal that swears that red glass is a Ruby the Sultan of Brunei should be wearing!