Flowers and Opium of the Golden Triangle Tour
Your guide and driver will pick you up from your hotel in Chiang Rai for your Golden Triangle Tour. First we drive to Doi Tung. Doi (“Doi” means mountain in Thai) Tung used to be a major opium growing area. Local, mostly tribal, people grew opium on the slopes of Doi Tung. HRH The Princess Mother established the Doi Tung Development Project in 1987 under the management of the Mae Fah Luang Foundation, also established by the Princess Mother. The aim of the project was to eradicate opium cultivation and help the hilltribe people of Doi Tung to earn their livelihood from cash crops such as coffee and macadamia nuts. As she traveled to remote areas by helicopter she was given the name “Mae Fah Luang” (“Royal Mother from the Sky” in Thai). The Royal Project turned a troubled mountain into a wonderful tourist destination, really worth visiting. We will visit the Mae Fah Luang botanic gardens and learn about the Royal Project. Afterwards we will visit the Royal Villa where HRH the Princess Mother spent a lot of time. The views from the villa are magnificent. Taste some of the delicious Doi Tung coffee.
We will continue to the Golden Triangle. This region used to be the main opium-growing region in Southeast Asia. Triangle refers to the area where the borders of Thailand, Laos and Myanmar meet. Traders used to pay for opium or heroin with gold, hence the name Golden Triangle. The Mekong River forms the border here between Thailand and Laos. We will have lunch at a riverside restaurant. We’ll proceed to the actual spot where the three borders meet. Follows a short boatride on the Mekong River to Don Sao, an island that belongs to Laos. We will briefly walk around the souvenir market on Don Sao before we head back to Thailand. Last stop today will be the Hall of Opium, an excellent museum that tells the history of the use of Opium, poppy cultivation and the opium trade in the Golden Triangle. Return to your hotel in Chiang Rai late this afternoon. It is the end of your Golden Triangle Tour.