Mekong Golden Triangle Explorer
Your guide and driver will pick you up from your hotel in Chiang Rai for your Mekong Golden Triangle Tour. This is a private 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 project aimed to eradicate opium cultivation and help the hill tribe people of Doi Tung to earn their livelihood from cash crops such as coffee and macadamia nuts. As she travelled 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.
Boat trip on the Mighty River
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 boat ride 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. After this, we will visit the interesting small opium museum that gives excellent information on the history of opium use and cultivation*. It is now time to return to Chiang Rai. Along the way, we will stop briefly at Wat Chedi Luang, one of the ruins at the ancient city Chiang Saen. It is the end of your Mekong Golden Triangle Tour.
*Please note this is not the Hall of Opium