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At the Edge of Thailand: Mae Sai & The Golden Triangle

After being inspired by the White Temple our motley crew of tourists were taken to where the opium trade was in full bloom after World War II.

The Golden Triangle

I'm at the tri-point of three countries Laos, Myanmar, and Thailand
The Golden Triangle, or locally known as Sop Ruak, is the tri-point of Laos, Myanmar, and Thailand, is recognized for growing opium in the 1950s. The triangle is the confluence of the Mekong and Ruak River.

I was curious to see what the Golden Triangle was all about. Other than its historical significance regarding the opium trade and the view of three countries simultaneously, quite frankly there was nothing much to see in the Golden Triangle. It's one big tourist trap, but it was included in the package of my trip to Chiang Rai, so I was in why-not-I'm-already-here-mode. The opium trade along the Golden Triangle was slowly snuffed out through the years. The triangle is now a tourist destination where tourists can see three countries simultaneously or ride a boat around the area for approximately 200 Baht.

There was a huge statue of Buddha near the port. I decided to stay behind whilst the other tourists on the tour decided to waste their time and money riding the boat.

As there was plenty of time to kill, I decided to roam around the area. I stumbled upon Wat Prathat Pukhao. This temple is one of thousands of temples all over Thailand. There was just one small group of tourists that found this peaceful little temple near the Golden Triangle. I relaxed and thought about the meaning of life while trying to chat up a local who couldn't speak a word of English other than 'no English.' There's nothing more profound than the silence between two strangers who can't understand each other.

At the Edge of Thailand

Before calling it a day, our motley crew of strangers were taken to the northernmost part of Thailand, Mae Sai.

Look ma, I can see Burma and Burmese from here
Apparently, Thailand has proven time and time again that it has turned its country into the perfect holiday destination with all sorts of tours and easy access to its chosen tourist destinations. You can cross the border into Tachileik, Myanmar by paying the 500 Baht fee.

There were plenty of stalls that peddled all sorts of goods from both Thailand and Myanmar. You can buy different kinds of fruits, coffee, and all sorts of souvenir items while roaming the streets near the border. Mae Sai is a vibrant border town that is authentically Thai with a hint of Myanmar. One could clearly see the hustle and bustle of trade going to and from both countries.

*Mae Sai and the Golden Triangle were included in the 1100 Baht day tour (excluding boat ride) of Chiang Rai. You could easily go to these places yourself via bus or motorcycle. I decided to just do the day trip because I wanted to stay in Chiang Mai longer. Chiang Rai is definitely worth its own trip, if you have the time.

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