A cornucopia of excursion opportunities await once you plan your travel agenda for Chiang Rai province exploration and this full day tour is merely one of the examples of the variety of opportunities for journeying the Golden Triangle area. With the charm of the mountains, which is home to various ethnic minorities, access to this playground for Thailand explorers does not only encompass seeing three countries coming together at the point where the Mekong and the Ruak River meet. Once the centre of the Lanna Kingdom, towns such as Chiang Saen and Chiang Khong tell their own story about the province. It is a day filled with panoramic views and local encounters with the hospitable people with the Mighty Mekong taking a lead role in guiding through and along one of Thailand’s most cherished parts in the north.
Within easy reach of your Chiang Rai hotel, the morning starts with a leisurely drive, accompanied by your English speaking guide and driver, to the actual Golden Triangle. Stories aplenty about the importance of this region when papaver and opium trade ruled the nation with numerous routes through and along the mountains in and out the surrounding countries formed the back bone of local ‘trading’. These days of a bygone era now make way for a more traditional and authentic visits, with trading going more toward sustainable practices and preserving handicraft. Boarding local boats nearby the Golden Triangle, we move downstream to Chiang Saen, the former capital of the Lanna Kingdom and now home to a few traditional hill tribe villages, specializing in weaving. Small settlements such as Baan Had Pai, A Tai Leu with a strong affinity to the Lahu will be visited before moving on to Chiang Khong.
Before venturing into and outside the Chiang Khong town borders, lunch will be served at a local restaurant in town. Aside from being a place where local fisherman able to catch the giant Mekong catfish, Chiang Khong is an important market town for local hill tribes and for trade with neighbouring Laos. As one of the main overland / river crossings between Thailand and Laos (Houiesay), one may see regular ferries traveling between both countries with both locals and tourists alike. We, however, drive up to one of the highest points in the area to a small White Hmong settlement, called Baan Kiew Kam. Besides seeing how this hill tribe lives, it primarily is visited for its stunning views over the region. Landscape photographers will definitely love the area with its panoramic views over the Mekong and Chiang Khong.
After this visit, we make our way back to Chiang Rai where we expect to reach your accommodation at around 16:30 hrs. It’s time to thank your guide and driver for a day out and about before you continue with your onward travel plans.