Betel Nut is an addictive stimulant that is found throughout Southeast Asia. In Thailand chewing Betel Nut for a high is now looked down upon as something the hill tribes and uneducated people do, which is pretty much as I saw it. The Betel Nut stains the mouth and teeth a distinctive red color, giving its users a sinister "Joker"-like grin. And there is much spitting going on. Mmm.
The other intoxicant widely used in the area is distilled rice whiskey called Lao-Lao. Fire water is putting it mildly. Like my friend Delisa says, "Lao-Lao is Ick-Ick"! We visited a whiskey making village, and I even brought some home ($1 for a bottle), but I'm not sure if it will ever get consumed. Stay tuned.