Chiang Rai & Golden Triangle
Chiang Rai is a lovely town in Northern Thailand and very close to the Burma/Laos border. At one time CR was the northern capitol of Thailand. I booked myself a trip myself to the Golden Triangle where all three countries meet (Burma, Laos, Thailand); it was a fun journey and only about an hour from CR. Along the way I visited the lovely White Temple (an ongoing project); then visited the Black House/Baan Si Dum (a complete opposite of the White Temple)
before heading north. While at the Golden Triangle/Sob Ruak, I stopped at the infamous Hall of Opium, a museum of the history of opium and the impact of illegal drugs. For the next few days, I rented a bicycle and made my way to the various temples to include Wat Phra Kaeo where the Emerald Buddha was originally found, different monuments and too many temples to name, but being on a bike was great. I took a short river boat trip up and down the Mekong River stopping at a few places – the hot springs (a waste of time) and CR Beach (very dirty). I biked to Boomaring Park which looked like fun but just ran out of time. For quick snacks I frequented the “connect café” (opposite the bus station), but in the evening I made my way to the night market and experienced the many local dishes, enjoying the entertainment to include people watching and endless vendors selling everything under the sun. My journey eventually came to an end. If you ever have the chance, give Chiang Rai a visit; it is often overlooked.