Exploring South East Asia’s Golden Triangle

Asia  /   /  By Cher

Quite possibly one of the most rewarding journeys you will ever take

Travelling around different regions allows you to explore cultures, traditions, and landscapes, no matter where in the world you go, however there are certain regions which deliver in abundance, and without a doubt, one of those regions is known as the Golden Triangle.

If you have no idea where we’re talking about here, basically the Golden Triangle is situated in South East Asia, a part of the world rich in culture, history, and some of the most jaw-dropping sights known to man, and makes up the region where Thailand (northern), Laos, and Burma (Myanmar) all meet. This is also the confluence of the Mekong and Ruak rivers.

Exploring the Golden Triangle opens you up to three very different types of culture, which also slightly similar, have major but subtle differences. As far as off the beaten track travel goes, this is as good as it gets, with the comfort blanket of knowing that it is a well-trodden road for those who like to see something a little different.

The northern Thai part of the triangle is perhaps the most visited, but this is also where there is most to see. Throughout the whole stretch you will encounter jungle landscapes, mysterious, misty mountains, stunning views, and tribal villages, as well as temples and towns. Chiang Rai is the gateway to the triangle from northern Thailand, the former capital of the Lanna kingdom. From here you venture towards Wat Rong Khun, aka the White Temple, before heading into Doi Luang National Park, where you can totally be at one with nature in unspoilt surroundings. Namtok Khun Kon Forest Park takes you close to the border with Burma, or Myanmar, with yet more stunning landscapes, and the thundering Tat Mok waterfall.

We mentioned that the confluence of the Mekong and Ruak rivers is the heart of the triangle, and this is the must visit part of the region. Sop Ruak is where you can see all three countries which make up the triangle from one point – where else in the world can you view this?

We know that visa requirements and border issues change regularly, so before you venture off do check up to date rules on such things. Having said that, it is possible currently to cross from Thailand into Burma for a cost at Mae Sai, which allows you to visit the Burmese town of Tachilek. If you want to explore more extensively, you will need to do a little research.

Alternatively, you can cross from Thailand into Laos from Chiang Khong, over to Huay Xai.

Basically, if you’re looking for scenery, culture, history, and an experience that will stay with you forever, then exploring South East Asia’s Golden Triangle is the off the beaten track trip you’ve been waiting for.

Photo Credit: lisa angulo reid

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