HER: Chiang Saen

We only met briefly, Chiang Saen and us. An eccentric lady with an unusually great command of English, there are a lot of English translations available at Chiang Saen. Despite that, we didn't see many foreigners though. Maybe she’s a tough find or a hidden gem. And we thought her English comes after the commercialization of tourism here, but it doesn’t seem so.

As eccentric as she is, she has numerous temples and chedis running across her body. Some big, some small, all of them come with readable signs detailing their lore. The beautiful ruins that sit across her chest like a necklace. That is definitely can't be missed.

She read my divination, drawing me a lot, her fingers traced my palm as if there are invisible inscriptions, reading my thoughts, giving me words of guidance. Her words are somewhat similar to what Meiji Shrine has given me. So with the odds of that happening, I daresay I really have to work hard on myself.

The river runs across Chiang Saen and Laos is laying just right next to her. From her back, we saw the golden triangle tattoo, laced gracefully across her body. And what's amazing is the design of the hall of opium, which ran along the arch of her spine, always unnoticed, as the temples and riverside always steal the show. The hall gives an amazing museum experience and if you could only pick a sight to see, I’ll call for the museum. The details and effort will take your breath away and the message is powerful and concise. How substances could only do more harm than good in the long run as you’re slowly propelled towards addiction. And how your body is built to fall prey and rely on these dopamine machines to do the work for you. These stories are meant to be told, and I hope that more will come to listen and learn. The main area of the golden triangle is still usually packed, littered with crowds and you’ll fight to find parking if you’re taking the wheels.

The Temples are amazing, but what really does it for me would be the museum experience and also the English divinations. Whispering you in a language that you could understand, telling you what you need to do as if reading off words from your soul.

 We are glad we got to see this part of her. And even though we have to part early, I hope I'll see her again.

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