by Jane Ginn
I recently returned from a two-week visit to Thailand which included a visit to the Opium Museum in the Golden Triangle.
After spending about 2-hours studying the excellent exhibits on
the visitor is ushered through a room called “The Wall of Victims.” In this room the viewer sees larger-than-life photos of famous actors, musicians, sports celebrities and others that became addicted and died an early death.
Just two days after visiting the museum I learned that Philip Seymour Hoffman had died of an apparent overdose of heroin in his Manhattan apartment. Tragic.
What I observed from my short visit was that diversification of business and employment opportunities for the Hill Tribe people in the north has been vitally important for reductions in the dependence of individual tribal people on poppy cultivation. The link between supply and demand of opiates on the world market was made that much more poignant with the death of this great actor.
The museum was built by the Mae Fah Luang Foundation, an organization started by the current King’s deceased mother. They are performing a valuable public service; one that, perhaps, Philip Seymour Hoffman should have seen. Visitors to the Golden Triange area should not miss this exhibit.
Below is a slide show of various shots from around the country illustrating the diversity of the Thailand country-side and market economy.