Attractions near the border
A trip to Chiang Rai would not be complete without a visit to the infamous Golden Triangle on the Mekong Riverside in the Chiang Sean district where the borders of Thailand, Laos and Myanmar meet. As well as exploring the Hall of Opium museum, visitors can visit three countries on a one-hour cruise.
The Golden Triangle used to be one of the largest producers and trading centres of opium. Various Thai organisations led by the Royal Project and Doi Tung Development Project, have spent decades battling this trade. As part of this campaign, the Hall of Opium was built to educate people about the dangers of the drug through an entertaining exhibition which traces opium’s history from its first use 5000 years ago to current issues of drug abuse and addiction. It is regarded as one of the best museums in Thailand.
Situated at the northernmost point of Thailand, facing Myanmar across the Mae Sai River, Mae Sai town presents great shopping opportunities for an amazing variety of Thai, Burmese and Chinese goods.
Located 114km northeast of Chiang Rai town, Chiang Khong is a pleasant traditional settlement facing Laos across the Mekong River. From its Bak Pier, visitors can take a long-tailed boat ride to Laos.