Riding north, parallel to the Myanmar-Thai border, we passed several police checkpoints. Since we did not look like Burmese refugees, we were waved through.
Nothing in our route notes prepared me for the emotion I would experience while riding past a huge refugee camp. Thousands of Burmese who had fled their homes in a military state for the promised land called Thailand are now locked behind a barbed wire fence. They can’t return home and Thailand does not want them. Bamboo huts with roofs made of dried leaves are now their homes. No evidence of sanitation was evident anywhere while we stopped to greet the people and take pictures.
We saw some smiles, however, the forlorn looks of the children still haunt me as I recap the day.
Today we started on “The Road of 1,864 Curves.” North Carolina’s “Deal’s Gap” has nothing on this road, except maybe the absence of muddy road construction with no detour available. Parts of the road were wide and in great condition. In other sections, the jungle was encroaching leaving well less than two lanes available for travel. We also had to share the road with four-legged creatures that contributed their own kind of road hazard.
The Thai people have lovely, light brown skin. A a convenience store, it amazed me at the selection of skin cream products that featured “whitening.” This is such a contrast to the fair skinned people in the USA that seek suntans to achieve the look the Thais are attempting to minimize. Why can’t we humans be happy with the way we were made?
30-May Mae Sot to Mae Hong Son Thailand 239 miles
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