Here on the border of Thailand and Myanmar, police-security stops appeared to slow traffic and look into the car windows. It was faster going north than returning south, of course, but either way the region is on edge. Apparently, according to the NYT, T & M (Thailand and Myanmar) have gone to war 44 times. There seem to be strong differences of opinions and as yet, as U Thant no longer walks among us, no latter voice, no Rodney King (no relationship Martin Luther, Junior), to quell the troops.
I’d planned to stay here at this villa rental eight nights and then go to Ananatara Resort further north, but this property is so shockingly beautiful that it is better to stay put. The main house has an enormous open room with vaulted ceilings and is bare except for two lozenge shaped reclining, pillowed platforms. At the back is huge, raised bed. Surrounding both is a narrow wooden walkway and a little gazebo-like outdoor space where I’m writing now and reading Orwell’s, “Burmese Days,” in view of misted mountains nearby and the small lake.
The AR (Ananatara Resort) looks Disney perfect and probably overrun with Belgians and eco-minded Europeans eager to pet the Elephas maximus at rescue camps established by the hotel owners. I had long thought of visiting the resort, going back two years, but here? Here it’s splendid.
Shopping and cooking locally, too, is very enjoyable. The outdoor markets and the huge, modern supermarket offer treats that can’t be passed up.
And that roadside where troops are gathering? Dotted with little pineapple stands: 20 Baht later (go to Currency Converter, please) and you’ve got three fruity grenades, which equals, in this case, a kilo.