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Visit Golden Triangle (Chiang Rai)

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Golden Triangle

Thai name : สามเหลี่ยมทองคำ

GPS : 20.354867,100.081227 (See on the map)
Chiang Rai
Chiang Rai
Chiang Rai
Chiang Rai


It is probably with the White Temple, the most famous tourist attraction in Chiang Rai province. Why ? Because at this place meet the borders of Thailand, Laos and Myanmar (formerly Burma). Here, you are at a river cross from Myanmar and you have Laos just on the other side of the Mekong River. It is the meeting of Ruak River and Mekong that forms a triangle. The Golden Triangle is 9 kilometers from Chiang Saen city and 70 kilometers from Chiang Rai. It was once known as a major crossroads of opium production whose culture was gradually abandoned thanks to King Rama 9 royal projects. There is also a museum of opium, 'Hall of Opium', not far from the Golden Triangle Park.

At Golden Triangle Park, you will find a triangle with the 3 materialized countries (see the picture), an arch and a kind of large stylized boat installation with a Buddhist sanctuary with a sitting Buddha. It is also possible to take a boat tour from there to cross the river and go to a market in Laos (market famous for its counterfeits) or on the Laotian island of Don Sao. This is not a point border crossing point between the two countries, so you must leave your passport before getting on the boat which is normally forbidden. So, I do not advise you these boat tours. Many consider the Golden Triangle to be a must-see of any visit to Chiang Rai, but if being so close to two other countries can be attractive, some travelers are a little disappointed but it remains a curiosity. If you come here, take some time to visit Chiang Saen surroundings, there are some interesting temples like Wat Phra That Pha Ngao in Chiang Saen city, Wat Phra That Doi Pu Khao and some others in the area.

Practical information about Golden Triangle

No admission fee
To get to the Golden Triangle from Chiang Rai, you can take the Green Bus minivans that leave from the bus terminal number 1 (50 THB) or take a local bus or Green Bus to Chiang Khong and from there make the boat cruise to the Golden Triangle or of course take a bus to Chiang Saen and then a tuk-tuk for the last 9 kilometers. If you plan to make a one day round trip, be careful of the return schedule.
Note that there are also songthaews joining Chiang Saen from Mae Sai and it is also possible to take a Green Bus from Chiang Mai to Chiang Khong or the Golden Triangle (see timetable HERE).
Otherwise, many local agencies in Chiang Rai or even Chiang Mai offer excursions to the Golden Triangle but once again, do not come to Chiang Rai for the day just to see White Temple and Golden Triangle, you would miss many things and spend hours in a minivan !

Find Golden Triangle on the map

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