The Golden Triangle, Thailand:
Centered on the small village of Sop Ruak Thailand, the Golden Triangle is one of the most unique places in Southeast Asia. Here the Ruak River flows into the mighty Mekong creating a natural 3-way border between countries of Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar. The rugged landscape is home to numerous hill tribes, picturesque temples, elephants, and acres upon acres of poppy fields.
It’s the poppies the really put the region on the map as it became a center for the drug trade. Because the region is not well policed opium from the poppies, along with its derivatives morphine and heroin, quickly turned into a large black market operation. The term Golden Triangle soon followed as smugglers from all 3 board countries preferred to use gold as a common currency.
Visiting the Golden Triangle today is quite rewarding, especially as a day trip from either Chiang Mai or Chiang Rai. You’ll truly feel light years apart from the metropolis like Bangkok as you visit the Karen Long Neck villages or ride an elephant through the jungle. Did we mention you can also visit 3 countries all in one afternoon?
Getting To The Golden Triangle:
The most common way of getting to the Golden Triangle is on a guided bus or van tour from Chiang Mai. There are dozens of companies offering a wide range of full day tours, but we have had the best luck booking with Travel Hub Chiang Mai. Be careful about the which tour you select with Travel Hub as some of their options to try to cram in a few too many attractions in a single day making it feel a bit rushed.
Other economical options involve staying in Chiang Rai which we don’t recommend. If your budget is no option the coolest way to get to the Golden Triangle is to stay at the Four Seasons Tent Camp and take any of the many excursions they offer. The Four Seasons may be too expensive for many guests, but it offers unbeatable access to the Triangle with Wold Class accommodations to go along with it.