6. Ancient City – Golden Triangle – Mae Sai
Chiang Rai is home to many artists – two of whom are National Artists. The more popular National artist is Chalermchai Kositpiphat – who created the White Temple. The other National Artist – Tawan Duchanee created the Black House complex north of Chiang Rai city. I prefer visiting the Black house as it has a more eclectic collection of interesting things to see.
The next stop on this tour is the Doi Tung Factories where you can observe up close and personal – how hand-made paper is created and hand-woven materials are made.
We will not be stopping at Mae Sai town because there is really nothing much to see there. You will proceed to the town of Sop Ruak – which many people refer to as the Golden Triangle. Learn more about this history of opium by visiting the House of Opium (included in our fees). If you have more time, you could opt to visit the Hall of Opium (200 Baht additional charge for museum entrance fee). You will need at least 2 hours for the Hall of Opium.
Ten km south of Sop Ruak is the Ancient City of Chiang Saen, believed to have been established more than 1,000 years ago. The city was along an important “highway” that was the Mekong River.
Chiang Saen was one of the most important cites of the Lanna Kingdom. The city fell into ruin after soon after the Burmese were defeated 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.
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.