A place that is a highlight of our trip to Chiang Rai. It is such a beautiful area. Especially with the view of three countries from the water. Thailand, Laos and Myanmar are connected with the Ruak River and the Mekong River. Interesting to learn why it is called the Golden Triangle. This is where Chinese traders bought opium with gold.

Mekong River Boat

We head out on a river boat. There no regulations here for safety on the water. We were hoping the boat would stay afloat. Fortunately we made it there and back.

The positive side of taking the river cruise, was seeing the three countries from the water. The negative is being dumped of in Laos at a shopping center. The mall is filled with fake designer products. Another bunch of Prada purses and fake pearls. With that aside, knowing what I know, I would still have taken the cruise on the river. The best way of seeing all three countries from the water.

Opium Trade

The opium poppy has been grown here for centuries. It began with the Chinese. It was a part of their herbal medicine traditions. Later it was sold and became a huge trade business to the French during their reign of Indochina.

Today the opium trade has been ruled out by Thailand. They are doing their best to stop the production of opium. Today Myanmar is the largest producer of opium in the Golden Triangle.

When we arrived back in Thailand we took a walk up to the top of the hill. There is an ancient old Temple and some old relics from years ago. Not sure how old this area is . It is over ruled by all the latest and greatest monuments here now.


  1. That is the trouble when you take these tours’re always dropped off at some mall or factory or even given the hard sell on the boat itself
    I’d love to go to Myanmar though someday. We loved Luang Prabang has a special kind of atmosphere


      1. Yes I can imagine ..I do try and buy something that might be useful but a lot is made from wood and it’s such a pain having to declare it in Australia ..I like a tea towel mostly


  2. I’ve heard of the Opium War in Chinese history, but I had no idea that Myanmar was a hotspot for the opium trade. Myanmar (Burma) still remains a rather obscure country to visit, but it looks like a gorgeous place all the same. Thanks for sharing!


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