Between Chiang Rai city and Mae Sai city, lies the infamous Golden Triangle. Known for the drug smuggling, poppy growing and opium trade, the Golden Triangle has mostly been cleared of these notorious activities, mostly on the Thai side. Before you reach the site of the Golden Triangle, you can see an Opium Museum which is dedicated to the history and tradeof the opium to as recent as the 7-s and 80s. Do not be surprised by numerous police and army checkpoints enroute up to the Triangle but it is a necessity to prevent drug and people smuggling activities. Protocols aside, the Golden Triangle is a beautiful location on the hill overlooking the Mekong River which divides Thailand from Laos and Myanmar (Burma).
There are day tours to the Golden Triangle in Thailand but we chose to drive in order to explore more of this region where normal tours would not go. At the point of the Triangle is the famous Golden Triangle Gateway where the Mekong River divides the 3 countries.
The great Mekong River is not just a source for travel between countries but also a food source for aquatic animals (you will find plenty of little restaurants serving dishes of fish, fresh water prawns and more on three sides of the border here), trade of semi-precious stones and Burmese jade, as well as a way to discover the river communes of the Thai, Laotian and Myanmar peoples.
Some of the boat peoples live on floating homes along the river side while trading on all three borders. However if you want to visit the other two countries, there are ferry boats to Laos and Myanmar a little further up that will take you for a fee but require your passport for disembarking.
Up on the hill at the Golden Triangle sits a remarkable huge gold Buddha, the symbol of peace between the three countries whose main religion is Buddhism. You can have a good view of the Mekong River, Laos and Myanmar from here and a little further down next to the temple is a ferry service. There are a few statues of interest here and most magnificent is a pair of more than life-sized elephants in full regalia guarding the entrance to the temple.
At the main entrance in the front is a statue of Kuan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy and plaque of three terracotta Buddhas.
Day 2 In the afternoon after our lunch at Doi Tung, we made our way to another famous attraction in Chiang Rai. This is the legacy of National Artist Thawan Duchanee who is also the mentor of another great National Artist, Ajarn Chalermchai Kositpipat, the creator of Wat Rong Khun or also known as the White Temple. Baan Dam Museum was a home, studio and … Continue reading Baan Dam Museum with the TATNewsroom Bloggers
Exploring the Northern provinces of Thailand is where you can still experience many of the traditional heart and culture of the country. As part of the ancient Lanna Kingdom and influences from neighbouring countries of Laos and Myanmar (formerly Burma) to as far as India and China, it is a melting pot of rich customs, food styles, handicrafts, sights and travel experiences. Infused with old … Continue reading Best travel tips for 3 Days 2 Nights in Chiang Rai
Chiang Rai city has an affection for things Colonial, and this is the second restaurant that we have been too with similar affluent Colonial styles. Both these restaurants are situated along the same river, the River Kok but Chivit Thamma Da or “The Ordinary Life” in English is quite different in subtle touches and food. It is a family-run restaurant that has a concept of … Continue reading The extraordinary at Chivit Thamma Da Restaurant Chiang Rai
Rarely would you get a chance to spend time with the different ethnic and indigenous groups in Thailand while traveling unless you seek them out. It is quite an adventure where you can experience tribal life, living in a village, experience the hospitality of the hill tribe folks and most important of all, bring home a holiday experience in Chiang Rai that is unforgettable. Spend a day … Continue reading Discovering life in the hills at 5 Hill Tribe Villages Chiang Rai
While the “white” of Wat Rong Khun is reflected in the “black” of Baan Daam by national artist Thawan Duchanee, both carry similar messages of Buddhism though inspired by different interpretations and imagery. Baan Daam is another most visited attraction in Chiang Rai and is as imposing as its name suggests. It occupies a vast area of the estate of Khun Thawan Duchanee, who has recently deceased, … Continue reading The light of Baan Daam gallery and museum in Chiang Rai
Known as the Black and the White, Wat Rong Khun (The White Temple) and Baan Daam (Black House) are both creations by two very controversial artistic sons of Chiang Rai. While one is more immersed in creative artistic sculptures and outspoken, the other prefers a minimalistic approach and is more immersed in natural finishes and off course music and poetry. Yet both have left wonderful … Continue reading The weird and the wonderful of Wat Rong Khun Chiang Rai
The province of Chiang Rai is one of the most beautiful Northern provinces of Thailand. Still very much unspoilt by development, the main industry being agriculture and eco-tourism. The mountainous landscape with flowing rivers and valleys makes it the ideal location for premium tea growing. You can do a day trip to Chiang Rai tea plantations on your own or with a travel advisor. Choui … Continue reading Tea delight at Choui Fong Tea plantation
First thought in mind is, who would have thought of building a restaurant out in the middle of no where? PB Valley Chiang Rai is full of surprises, much like their sister site in PB Valley Khao Yai that is now a famous location in the province of Nakhon Ratchasima. It looks like PB Valley Chiang Rai is set to follow in the same footsteps. … Continue reading Back to nature at PB Valley Kasalong Restaurant Chiang Rai