Thailand: Menace in the Northeast

It was the 2,001st anniversary of the fabled stupa of Tat Phnom, a gilt-gabled temple wherein reposes one of the Lord Buddha's ribs. The quiet country town of Tat Phnom, set on the banks of the Mekong River, was alive with revelry. Shapely Thai strippers wriggled through their acts while giggling Buddhist monks and greasy-haired village sharpies looked on. A magician sawed a girl in half. Sarong-clad farmers swilled down rice whisky, then took their turns at the local brothel. But the most unusual attraction in Tat Phnom last week was a...