After so much adrenaline we were ready for some cultural encounters. We headed off to Chiang Rai where we got to experience the White Temple, a work in progress. It is just one of the most amazing & stunning temples I have been in. The attention to detail is remarkable.
We visited some hilltribe villages which was both interesting and disturbing. It unfortunately felt a little like a human zoo and I don’t think we would have gone if we would have known.
From there it was a short trip across the Mekong to Laos. We went through passport control here which was a very lax affair. The difference the distance of a river can make on people’s welfare is amazing. The level of poverty here compared to Thailand is just appalling. It affected Oliver very much and he was constantly wanting to give the begging children any coins he had. We had a very interesting and eye opening time albeit short in Laos and would love to return someday.