Thailand Country Guide

Tour Itineraries


Golden Triangle Tour

The Golden Triangle tour is a five-day trip of the region where Thailand, Laos and Myanmar (Burma) meet. You can visit all three countries on this tour and no visas are necessary! The easiest ways to travel are to join a tour group or hire a car with driver. It is also feasible to use public transport and travel on your own. A common staging point for the Golden Triangle tour is from the city of Chiang Rai (well-connected with the rest of the country) but the smaller town of Chiang Saen offers a quieter alternative. 

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Day 1 (Doi Tung and Mae Sai)
Head to Doi Tung and visit Phra That Doi Tung (Doi Tung Garden), the twin pagodas where it is believed the collarbone of Buddha is contained and the Doi Tung Royal Villa with the beautiful Mae Fah Luang Garden. Then continue the journey to Mae Sai, Thailand’s northernmost point. Visit the bustling market-place in Mae Sai with goods from Burma and China and then cross the border to Tachileik in Myanmar (no visa needed).
Note that you can save yourself some backtracking if you stay overnight in Mae Sai before continuing directly to the Golden Triangle.

Doi Tung Garden by Elgaard

Day 2 (Chiang Saen, Sop Ruak & Chiang Khong)
Visit Chiang Saen to see the ruins of this ancient city including temples, stupas and Buddha images. Lanna Thai artifacts and archeological objects are exhibited at the museum. Then head 10 km north to the the Golden Triangle (Sop Ruak), next to the point where the three countries (Thailand, Myanmar and Laos) meet in the centre of the Mekong. Pop over to the Lao island of Don Sao (no visa needed) and pay a visit to either of the two Opium Museums.

Later you can take a cruise on a long-tail boat to enjoy scenic views along the Mekong River with spectacular views of the Laotian countryside via Ban Hat Bai (Thai Lue weaving village). Visit the town of Chiang Khong where giant fresh water catfish are caught between April 18 and early June each year. Alternatively (instead of taking the boat cruise) you can visit the hill tribe villages before returning to Chiang Rai.

Cruise along the Mekong River in Chiang Saen by Oatz

Day 3 (Chiang Rai)
Enjoy a pleasant ride in Chiang Rai by rickshaw and tour the city. Visit the local market area as well as major temples such as Wat Phra Kaeo which once housed the Emerald Buddha or visit Wat Doi Khao Khwai or Wat Doi Thong. Then continue with a short excursion along the Mae Kok River on a long-tail boat.

Day 4 (Elephant Safari)
Take a one-hour excursion along the Mae Kok River on a long-tail boat to a Karen village and begin on a two-hour elephant ride across hills, valleys and streams to hill tribe villages. Continue with a one-hour walk to visit the waterfall and return to Chiang Rai by passenger van or local minibus.

Day 5 (Doi Mae Salong)
Visit Doi Mae Salong, a village and home to descendants of Chinese refugees. Along the way make a stop at the Hill Tribe Development Centre, which aids and administers local hill tribe settlements in the region. Hill-tribe handicrafts including woven cloth can be purchased here. Continue to Pa Tai and begin a two-hour excursion along Mae Kok river to Chiang Rai passing through hill tribe villages and rainforest.

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