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.

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Video: a 1 minute guide to Thailand

Video: a 1 minute guide to Thailand

Consistently voted as one of the best places to travel by our readers – most recently as one of the world's friendliest countries and one of the best place…

05 Dec 2016 • Rough Guides Editors videocam Video
The truth about elephant tourism in Asia

The truth about elephant tourism in Asia

Elephants are born free, but are everywhere in chains – and it’s tourism which is increasingly to blame. Riding an elephant used to be on every visitor’s …

25 Nov 2016 • Gavin Thomas insert_drive_file Article
9 essential tips for backpacking Thailand

9 essential tips for backpacking Thailand

Backpacking Thailand can mean staying in fun-packed hostels and idyllic beach bungalows, eating noodles so tasty and so cheap you’ll swear off all other food …

11 Apr 2016 • Helen Ochyra insert_drive_file Article
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