24 August GOLDEN TRIANGLE – Photos in Golden Triangle
- 7:00am: We wandered around the border area to observe the life of Burmese. They, every morning, come to the border of Thai to work. Many of them with a passport on hands go through the immigration gate.
- 7:30am: We had breakfast at the hotel. Two waitresses are Burmese. I had a bowl of soup and fried rice with egg. My partner had some Chinese food.
As other places in Thai, Mae Sai starts a day a little bit late. 7:00am is so early. Everyone is preparing or opening their shops or stores. Unlike Vietnam, we start to work at 7:00am. I wonder why we work so hard but we are still in a third-world country. As usual, we enjoyed some coffee before moving to the next destination.
- 9:00am: We checked out and walked to a bus stop. The bus stop is in front of a drugstore. A woman is selling lottery there. We waited until 9:30. A Song Tae started to move to GOLDEN TRIANGLE. Every 20 or 30 minutes, there is a Song Tae goes to Golden Triangle. I could see many people travel from Mae Sai to Golden Triangle. My partner said that they travel to do business not for traveling like us.
Along the road, there are many fields and farms. This is a countryside, hence most of the local people here are farmers. It took 40 minutes to Golden Triangle.
We, finally, reached our main destination of this trip. My first impression was that there is an immigration area for Lao people. Although Golden Triangle is super famous in the world, unlike my imagination, it is so quiet and not busy. There are also many souvenir stores, but not many tourists buying things. I finally saw the “Legend Triangle” but it is not as I imaged. It is very small. I thought it has to be very big.
Golden Triangle is a natural boundary of three countries: Thailand – Laos – Burma. From Thailand, I could see Burma (from the left hand) and Laos (from the right hand). We found a small “resort” called Ban Yoopensuk. 600-/dual room/night. Such a beautiful place. We checked in at 11:30am.
- 1:00pm: we had lunch at a range of food store. It was very cheap. Then we visited Opium Museum. Golden Triangle is well-known about trafficking heroin. People produced opium into heroin. In fact, opium had a very good function which helped people sleep well and kill pain. The ticket is 50-/person.
We asked some information for a boat trip. There are many boat trips. My partner asked two places and got the best price: 500- for 2 of us on a boat without roof. The time was 3:45pm and the weather was so hot, so we decided to turn back for the boat trip at 4:30pm. While waiting until 4:30, I ate 2 ice-creams and my partner had a latte. Chinese people were around us. I don’t like them much.
- 4:30pm: The adventure begun. The boat run the very high speed (around 120km/h). We moved to Burma area first, then U-turned and went ahead to Laos. We stopped at Donsao island of Laos. That island is a small market which sells thousands of things, mostly souvenirs for tourists. I got a good bag for mom with 600-. A girl (the shop owner’s daughter, I guessed) was so surprised when I gave her 600- (original price was 1200-). My partner got Beer Lao. He loves beer Lao so much. We got back Golden Triangle around 5:15pm. We slowly walked and found something to buy. Then we went back to the “resort” after having dinner at the same place in the morning.
- 8:00pm: we wandered around to enjoy atmosphere in Golden Triangle, then got back. We enjoyed beer Lao and then rested.
It was absolutely awesome.
- 7:00am: Morning in Golden Triangle was so peaceful. My partner got up every early to looked at the dawn and meditated. He bought banh bao and coffee for both of us. We found a place selling ticket to get back Chiang Rai. We recognized that, here, there are no people who look after the shop. Unlike Vietnam, when you just enter a shop, there will be somebody follow you all the time you’re in the shop. The bus would start at 8:00am, it’s sooner than we expected, but it’s ok. He had enough time for some coffee and tea.
- 8:15am: we checked out and walked to the waiting area. At exact 8:40, the bus departed. It took around 1h to Chiang Rai. On the way, the bus stopped at Chaing Sean to pick up more passengers. It rained on the way. There were not many people on the bus. I took a short nap. Before entering into Chiang Rai region, two polices got on the bus and checked every of us. My partner said that they are afraid of trafficking. It happened exactly a situation when I were in Cambodia in 2014.
- 10:30am: We arrived Bus Terminal in Chiang Rai. Again, we looked for a shop to enjoy coffee. My partner extremely loves coffee. While we were making gossip, a man came closer and talked to us. He said Chiang Rai Technical Collefe needed Vietnamese teachers. If we were interested, we could apply. He would introduce us to them. But the requirement is we have to know Thai language. His name is Karen. We had a short but nice conversation.
- 11:00am: We checked in to the North Hotel which is located near the bus Terminal. We took a rest and had lunch also at the station. People here are nice, kind and friendly. We moved around and found an optic store. My glasses got a problem. It becomes wider than my head, so it’s hard to keep it on my face. I came in and asked if they could fix it. A woman said that it may be broken. If I agreed any situations, they would fix it. My partner suggested to buy a new one. She said if we bought one glasses cost over 1000-, we would get one free. Oh hohoho!! Nice! We finally chose a red one for me with 900- and a dark green one for my partner with 2700-. But the woman said they could not give us the red one because of its low cost. We must select another one with higher price, from 1000- or more. I was so surprised. Finally, I chose another red one with 2200-, and my partner got a white one with 1700-. My lens were 2200-. In total, we had to pay 4400-. They took more than 2 hours to do my lens, so we traveled to the White Temple.
- 2:00pm: We reached White Temple. It’s marvelous and beautiful. It has been being built and designed by an artist. My partner met him once. The artist said he kept building this place until he died. We walked around around, took photos, enjoyed mango sticky rice, drank coconut and got back to Chiang Rai. The Temple has very good services. Free visiting and many arcades around. I was impressed with free postcards. At Opium Museum we also got free postcards. I received the glasses then.
- 3:45pm: We were back the hotel.
- 6:00pm: we went to the night market. It is very close to our accommodation. I recognized that usually in the night market, there is a small stage so that amateur artists or singers can perform there. We ordered real Thai hotpot. Unlike night market in Chiang Mai, here they bring food to us after ordering. We wandered around after enjoying good food. It rained, so we found an available table to sit in front of the stage. We enjoyed Thai music. My partner was so interested in their music not because of its nice melody, but because of its pronunciation. Some words sound like bad words in Vietnamese.
- 9:30pm: we got back to the hotel.
26 August We were back to BKK. This day was not so special because we spent most of our time in shopping mall. I did not like shopping much. However I bought some nice things to wear.
27 August We took a flight back to Vietnam.