Going to the Beach ...

Seeing the word beach, one could be forgiven the jump to corresponding imagery of ocean, sand, surf, coral reefs and gently swaying palm trees.  The beach in landlocked Chiang Rai is a somewhat different set of images, however.  In Chiang Rai proper, there is indeed a location called “Hat Chiang Rai” or Chiang Rai Beach.  That is a place for city folk, in my opinion, and far too commercial and accessible.  For us in the hinterlands, the beach is a place to be found at the end of a road to nowhere.  A place where the road comes to an abrupt resolution, and where someone once said, here be Thailand and there be Laos.  To be sure there is sand a plenty, at least when the river is low.  There are rocks and sandbars and isolated wading pools.  Boats pass by taking our imagination with them as they navigate the narrow and treacherous currents between rocky outcrops.  Larger craft taking tourists to Luang Prabang, perhaps.  Smaller craft support a lone fisherman plying his trade.  At this time of year, the sometimes mighty Mekong River, is a tamer, gentler beast and the perfect playground for kids and dogs.  As they romp in the refreshing waters of the Mekong, the adults sit back and indulge their senses with good food, good views and a mix of good conversation and quiet contemplation.

My words on the day seem to lack the imagery I seek so perhaps a picture can express what I cannot.