5. One Day Chiang Khong and Golden Triangle Tour
This is a fairly lengthy tour with lots of driving. We first take you to the Black House – less popular than the White Temple but in our opinion – a more rewarding visit compared to the White Temple. The Black House is owned by one of two National Artists that reside in Chiang Rai. This place is like a museum as the owner is an avid collector of old artifacts used by the people of Lanna.
Thereafter, we proceed to the Doi Tung factories where you can observe hand-paper making and hand-weaving activities. These factories manufacture products under the brand name Doi Tung which is owned by the Mae Fah Luang Foundation created in honor of King Bhumipol’s mother.
The next stop in the town of Sop Ruak or more commonly referred to as the Golden Triangle. We do not like to use Golden Triangle because it is like shooting yourself in the foot every time you use it. Thailand is no longer a major Opium Producer. At Sop Ruak, you can see the border area where three countries (Thailand, Myanmar and Laos) meet. There is a world-class museum here called the Hall of Opium (operated by the Mae Fah Luang Foundation). Entrance fee to the Hall of Opium is 200 baht per person (Closed on Mondays).
From Sop Ruak, we drive 10 km south along the Mekong River to the ancient city of Chiang Saen estimated to be around 1,000 years old. The city is located along an important ancient “super highway” that is the Mekong River and was at one time a very important city during the Lanna Era.
The city fell into ruin after it was sacked by the Burmese in the 18th Century. This picturesque ancient city is beginning to reawaken. Much restoration work has been done on ancient structures such as temples, pagodas and the earthen city ramparts that kept enemies away.
From Chiang Saen, we proceed to Chiang Khong. For some of you, this will be the final stop on your tour (in case you are travelling onwards to Laos). Chiang Khong is an interesting town as it is one of the gateways to Laos. A new bridge now connects Thailand and Laos and will be an important link for travelers coming from Southern China. Chiang Khong also has Tai Lue communities. Tai Lue people are a culturally distinct ethnic group that originated in Xishuangbanna (Sipsongpanna) district of Yunnan province in Southern China.
Return to Chiang Rai.
Minimum number of passengers recommended is two.
Warning! If you have a non-immigrant visa, make sure you apply for a re-entry permit before exiting the Kingdom of Thailand. Otherwise your non-immigrant visa and work-permit will be cancelled.