July 12, 2008

Poppy Flowers that produces opium in Mae Hongson

Location: Mae Hongson, Thailand (18° 45' 0 N 97° 55' 0 E)
Date: 1 November 1995; 3.45pm
Camera: (analogue) Minolta compact with negatives and scanned

Mae Hongson in northern Thailand is fast becoming a tourist destination in the last few years. Tourists visit the town for its cool climate (being high altitude) and its variety of temple of different designs. However it is also very close to the Golden Triangle- borders of Thailand, Myanmar and Laos- which is one of the biggest area for poppy cultivation. The latex produced within the seed pods of the poppy flower is extracted to produce opium, morphine and heroin. It is illegal to grow poppies in Thailand but one can find them being cultivated widely in this part of the country by farmers, normally disguised behind plots of chilies and other plants. Poppy flowers itself is actually quite an attractive-looking flower.

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