top of page

Visit the Golden Triangle in Thailand + VIP Accommodation

The Golden Triangle is a natural border between the countries of Thailand, Myanmar and Laos. Its natural division is through the Mekong River and the Ruak River.

It was an important area of ​​commercial exchange, in which the cultivation of opium stood out, cultivated in the area there hundreds of years ago.

If you are going to travel to the north of Thailand, the Golden Triangle is located in the province of Chiang Rai, and it is an essential visit.

In this post I tell you what to see in the Golden Triangle of Thailand, how to get there from the city of Chiang Rai, where to stay on a low budget and where to stay on a VIP budget, amazing accommodation in the middle of the Thai jungle!


The area is named the Golden Triangle when the gold was used by Chinese merchants to pay for the opium that was grown in the area.

These crops began with the arrival of different ethnic groups in northern Myanmar, Thailand and Laos from the Yunnan area. At this time they brought a new way of life to the area, they brought the custom of planting and cultivating opium, which at that time was used for medicinal purposes.

With the increase in opium consumption worldwide in the 19th century, cultivation and trade also increased, becoming a large producing area. It must be remembered that in those years opium was consumed in Europe, which even led to the famous Opium War between China and England to control its distribution and trade.

After the triumph of the Communist Revolution in China and their seizure of the Yunnan region, many of its members had to flee to the south (Myanmar, Thailand and Laos). These remnants of the nationalist army turned into refugees began to settle on the border, fighting as a guerrilla against the communist army. With the context of the cold war, they began to make contact with the American government, which began to help them militarily in the fight against the communists in Myanmar, Thailand and Laos. It was then that they began to cultivate and traffic opium on a large scale as a way of earning a living and having income to buy war material and pay for their guerrilla struggles.

All this increased with the famous Vietnam War and the increase in the consumption of the chemical derivative of opium, heroin, making this area the largest producer in the world.

After the end of the Vietnam War and the transfer of world production to other places, Thailand's production fell sharply, with Myanmar being the only major producer that still remains today in some border areas.

Currently, in the Golden Triangle of Thailand, cultivation has disappeared and only allowed to the ethnic groups that have historically used it. Its cultivation has been replaced by tourism and other crops, such as tea and coffee.

The Golden Triangle has become a tourist spot, for those who not only want to know its history, but also want to enjoy a boat ride on the Mekong, visit the temples in the area and even stay in some unique places in between. from the jungle.


If you are doing a tour of northern Thailand, the Golden Triangle is one of the essential places you must visit.

From Chiang Rai to Chiang Saen, the cheapest way is to go by bus. The price is about 50 baths (1.40 euros) and the journey takes about 3 hours. The fastest and most comfortable way is to arrive by taxi or rental car. By taxi from Chiang Rai the cost is about 900 baths (26 euros) the total price of the taxi, whether you are 1, 2 or 4. By taxi or with your car it will take at most an hour and a half.

If you are thinking of touring the north of Thailand, the best option is to do it by rental car. I have already told you about this in other posts from Thailand. In the North the roads are very good, there is much less traffic than the Bangkok area, and you can visit all the essential places in the north of Thailand; Sukhothai, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Pai, National Parks, the Golden Triangle... The price of the rental car is usually around 17 euros for the full day.

If you want, you have the option of hiring an excursion that includes a visit to the Golden Triangle:


Enjoy the views from the lookout

The Golden Triangle Park is located on the outskirts of Chiang Saen and is famous for the viewpoint, where you can see the natural border of the 3 countries, Thailand, Myanmar and Laos.

Visit Wat Phra That Doi Pu Khao

The Wat Phra That Doi Pu Khao is one of the oldest temples in all of Thailand, dating from the 8th century and is an essential stop on your visit to the Golden Triangle.

Meet the Big Buddha

In Chiang Sen, you will find a 15 meter tall sitting life. It is one of the icons of the city.

Take a walk along the Mekong River

You can hire a passage through the Mekong River right there and arrive right at the borders of Laos and Myanmar. Tours usually last 1 hour. You can take small boats individually, for you and your family or group of friends, or you can take the cheapest option, which are larger boats that hold about 50 people.

Opium Museum

In this museum you will learn about the history of the place and the cultivation of the poppy, about the elaboration of Opium, about its traffic and about the different times in which the Golden Triangle was one of the most important commercial areas.

It is an essential stop on your visit to the Golden Triangle. It is located on the outskirts of town, on the way to Mae Sai.


The cheapest option is to stay in Chiang Saen. Although there are not a large number of accommodations to choose from, there are options for all budgets.

This time I want to talk about a VIP hotel, which is located in the Golden Triangle, deep in the jungle. To get there, they pick you up at the port (the same one where the tours and river trips depart from) and start a tour of the river until you reach the Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle hotel, Thailand.

This 5-star hotel is a luxury complex, deep in the jungle. Its rooms are huge cabins, with a terrace, jacuzzi and all kinds of luxuries, with views of the plain. A plain where you can see "elephants in freedom".

The hotel offers all-inclusive packages; Pick up at the port, transfer to the hotel and return, boat trips, meals, shows, archery, hiking trails... One of the coolest activities is taking care of the elephants.

The hotel has a herd of elephants in its plains and forests. They live in semi freedom, because they belong to the hotel. And the hotel has a very nice project to care for and save elephants that had been used for transportation or as a tourist attraction in the past. They are usually quite large elephants. You can participate in the activities of washing elephants, feeding them... They have veterinary assistance and day-to-day care. And best of all, they don't live in cages or enclosures. They live in the forests and the land where the hotel is located.

Staying at this hotel is not cheap, since its rates are usually around 2,500 euros (or more) per night in one of its double cabins, with everything included.


I hope you enjoy your trip to Thailand very much and that this article has been useful to you. You can continue reading many more related articles on the blog.

If you liked this article, subscribe to the blog so you don't miss the next destinations, curiosities, travel tips and inspiration for your trips.

A hug and see you soon!


bottom of page