Chiang Saen and the Golden Triangle
Chiang Saen and the
When talking about Lanna history, Chiang Saen has taken a prominent spot in the history books.
Its proximity near Thailand’s Golden Triangle, and charming location along the Mighty
Mekong, demands a visit, even if it is only for half a day.
WHY THIS TOUR?
Filled with historical importance and stories, Thailand’s Golden Triangle forms one of the must-see regions in the country. Once the playing grounds for drug lords, controlling the traffic of large volumes of opium and papaver into and between its neighbouring countries, this mountainous region now claims name and fame for the point where three nations – Laos, Myanmar and Thailand – convene with the Mekong as the natural border.
It is where ethnic hill tribes have lived for centuries, where the Mighty Mekong is the aquatic playing ground for scenic boat trips, and where authenticity has prevailed at Chiang Saen. Once the capital of the Lanna Kingdom, the province is packed with stories about its once notorious reputation as smugglers paradise. But what takes up pole position these days is its breathtaking nature and a finer few hours exploring this has yet to be designed.
08:00 - 12:00
13:30 - 17:30
This half-day exploration of the Golden Triangle highlights starts with receiving a warm welcome from your English-speaking guide at your hotel. Together with your driver, we first drive towards the Golden Triangle. A trip to Chiang Rai would not be complete without seeing the renowned Golden Triangle first hand. This famed border location where Thailand, Laos and Myanmar meet on the Mekong River was once the centre of all poppy cultivation in the kingdom will mark the departing point for a leisurely downstream boat ride to Chiang Saen.
Formerly known as Wiang Hiran Nakhon Ngoen Yang, Chiang Saen once was the administrative centre of the Lanna Thai kingdom until this was moved to Chiang Rai in 1262. Up until today, it still keeps vestiges of its past glory through ruins of double city walls, antiques, and its distinctive Buddhist sculpture style that flourished during the city’s reign. You will visit the Chiang Saen Museum, home of a remarkable collection of Buddha images and antiques that date back all the way when the town prospered from its Royal status.
We continue our tour through interesting Chiang Saen with visits to the renowned Wat Chedi Luang, the lesser-known Wat Pasak before ending at the Wat Phra Dhat Jom Kitti, built by the former Lanna King Phangkharat as a shrine to contain Lord Buddha’s relics. Once you conquer the flight of stair behind this pagoda, it leads to a great vantage point to enjoy the Mekong vista that even gives the Golden Triangle’s viewing point a run for its money.
The last part of this 4-hour excursion is an air-conditioned ride back to Chiang Rai.