The Golden Triangle is a geographic area located in the mountainous regions of northern Thailand, northeastern Burma (Myanmar), northwestern and central Laos, which in the middle of the last century became notorious as the world’s main center for the opium trade.
Sop Ruak. The Mekong riverfront. The Big Golden Buddha
The village of Sop Ruak is located at the confluence of the rivers Ruak and Mekong. Here you can stroll along the waterfront admiring the wonderful views and go to the Great Golden Buddha sitting in the center of the composition depicting a boat over the Mekong. Also, here is a statue of Ganesha, Happy Buddha, huge elephants and other tourist attractions.
Wat Phra That Phu Khao
This 1200-year-old temple on a hill above the village certainly deserves a visit. It itself is interesting for fans of antiquities and people not alien to the aesthetic component. But, importantly, from its observation platform offers a wonderful view of the three countries – Thailand, Burma, and Laos. Here it becomes clear why the Golden Triangle is a triangle. And to understand why it is “golden” you need to visit the Opium Museum or Opium Hall.
Opium Museum and Opium Hall
The museum is small but gives a fairly complete picture of the history of the Golden Triangle. Here you can learn everything about growing and smoking opium. There is also information about the mountain people who grew the opium poppy and the history of the Golden Triangle of its heyday (the 70s of the last century). Interesting exhibits, a good souvenir shop. Entrance ticket – 50 baht.
Opium Hall is essentially the same opium museum, but much larger, more detailed and more interesting than in the Museum of Opium. And, of course, the entrance ticket is more expensive – 300 baht.
Don Sao Island (Laos)
Right on the waterfront village you can negotiate a river trip and visit the island of Don Sao, owned by Laos. By and large, there are no sights on this island – only a market with cheap fakes for fashion brands. But the very fact that you visited another country – for this it is worth a ride with a breeze on the river. Moreover, the trip on the river itself is of some interest. Entrance ticket to the island – 30 baht. A boat for several people – about 400-500 baht for 1.5 hours.
The oldest city in Northern Thailand, for a time (not long), was its capital. Here you can admire the picturesque ruins of the fortress walls of XIII-XIV centuries buildings and a couple of temples of the XIV century: Wat Pa Sak and Wat Jaro That Chedi Luang.