May 2023
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Many of us Saigon Kids visited or lived in Thailand at some point in our travels.

I’m sure you’ll enjoy this documentary, filmed by my friend Rick over several years, and bring back fond memories for you.

This is a story that spans a period of several years in Thailand’s exciting history. You’ll get to know Thailand from the hustle and bustle of Bangkok to the under sea coral gardens of southern Thailand, to the bridge on the River Kwai of World War II fame. You’ll ride at thrilling speeds in a long-tail boat, on jungle and village canals called klongs. But the most dangerous and exciting part of this story is the annual opium harvest Rick filmed in the mountains of Thailand and Burma.

At night Bangkok comes alive with classical Thai dance and kick boxing across the street.

In the south, an island named Puket and a beach town named Patiaya provide scuba diving, so you’ll see the under sea world here and there’s also para-sailing, so you’ll also see everything here from above.

You’ll visit the mountain people of Northern Thailand who live in an area known as the notorious Golden Triangle. Here, the annual opium harvest and ensuing drug wars that rage through these mountains every year, is the story Rick found there. This segment is the most dangerous and exciting adventure that Rick has ever lived through. Plenty of guns, opium growing and smuggling, and filmed in the places where this happens every year.

Rick had been told not to film the opium mule trains, the opium refining process and all of the guys with the guns. When he broke all of these rules, it almost got him and his partner killed in a hut one night. Only because he was very lucky and he had some good Tennessee whiskey to offer the soldiers guarding the opium, did Rick get out with an amazing story on film of the opium harvest.

This was only the first part of the opium story because it was opium season and Rick had very valuable film that couldn’t be exposed to the light. If this had happened, the film would have been ruined, so Rick had to travel the same opium smuggling routes out of the mountains of Burma and Thailand, that the actual opium smugglers use every year. This meant an elephant caravan, a speed boat ride on the jungle canals, or klongs, of Thailand and finally on a train that went over the bridge on the River Kwai of World War II fame.

You’ll also see the rare Procession Of The Golden Barrages, only performed once every 20 years. You’ve never seen anything this beautiful in Asia.

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