We spent the last 2 days in Chiang Saen, Thailand. This town is situated on the 10th largest river in the world, the Mekong River. This area also hosts some of the only wetlands in Thailand. We rented bicycles, which was a nice change from walking, and went birding around these wetlands. We saw a Harrier roost where dozens of Pied, Marsh and Northern Harriers gather at dusk. We were fortunate enough to have a brief look at a beautiful but one of the worlds deadliest snakes, the Banded Krait.
We were lucky to meet a couple of excellent naturalists from the US and England who taught us a lot. It was sad to hear how much Thailand has been raped of its wildlife over the last several decades. The Thais take virtually every animal from nature and either eat them or sell them to China. I have never witnessed such wholesale exploitation of nature. It is downright disturbing to witness and hear about. The American naturalist had given up all hope and seemed borderline suicidal and the Brit was putting his life on the line to try to save a remnant wetland that we visited to see the Harriers. The most disturbing part is that its not just a handful of people, its pretty much everyone.
Now we are in Laos, hopefully things will be better here.