I went to Khau Prabhi Han on the Thai-Cambodian border yesterday. There were all these Cambodian children there selling trinkets, cigarettes, postcards, etc… My friend Toy spent some time talking to the soldiers and found out that during the 50 weeks a year that the park is not open for tourists, the people in the Cambodian village at the base of the cliffs can’t buy food.
I spent about three hundred baht on postcards to try to help out a little, but I still felt awful leaving the place. Maybe it’s part of the scam… the kids tug at your heart… the soldiers talk up the poverty… I don’t know.
In any case, the whole experience made me realize how easily I forget that Thailand, even Isan, is affluent compared to Cambodia, Mianmar and Lao. Therefore, my goal is to donate more of my farang money to helping these people out.