The “Golden Triangle”, a term coined to denote a huge opium-producing area spreading across Burma, Laos and Thailand (see The Princess Mother Pagoda), has, for the benefit of tourists, been artificially concentrated into the precise spot where the borders meet, 70km northeast of Chiang Rai. Don’t come to the village of SOP RUAK, at the confluence of the Ruak (Mae Sai) and Mekong rivers, expecting to come across sinister drug-runners or poppy fields – instead you’ll find souvenir stalls, pay-toilets, a huge, supremely tacky golden Buddha shrine, two opium museums and lots of signs saying “Golden Triangle” which pop up in a million photo albums around the world.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Thailand features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Video: a 1 minute guide to Thailand

Video: a 1 minute guide to Thailand

Whether you're planning a two-week holiday or an epic backpacking trip, Thailand remains one of our readers' favourite destinations, and with good reason. Th…

01 Nov 2017 • Colt St. George videocam Video
Budget trips: 20 of the cheapest places to travel

Budget trips: 20 of the cheapest places to travel

That ever-growing travel wish list might be putting some pressure on your pocket – but there are plenty of destinations where you'll get more bang for your b…

11 Oct 2017 • Emma Gibbs camera_alt Gallery
Go it alone: solo travel in Thailand

Go it alone: solo travel in Thailand

Thailand is the quintessential backpacker destination. Here you can make the first footprints on secluded sands, dance shoeless under a full moon and swim benea…

28 Sep 2017 • Helen Ochyra insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Weekly newsletter

Sign up now for travel inspiration, discounts and competitions

Sign up now and get 20% off any ebook