A golden time in Thailand


You never know what type of amazing experience will be around the next corner in Thailand. As Tanya Rubin discovered, it could be one of your best adventures yet…

“After spending three days trekking through the hills of northern Thailand, we thought we might give the following day’s trip to the Golden Triangle a miss, because we were still weary from our walk. But the next day we dragged ourselves out of bed, jumped in the back of our songtheaw and headed out of Chang Rai to the Golden Triangle.

By this time we knew our fellow travellers well and the conversation flowed as the Thai countryside rambled by. Our first stop was Mae Song, the northern most of Thailand and border town with Burma. Our group leader, Sam, told us that this was the cheapest place on the trip to shop, and as usual he was right.

One of our party bought himself a self-winding watch, which was to be the cause of much teasing in the days to come as it never kept time! It was here that we discovered the delicious snack of deep fried broad beans, sold on the street by toothless old ladies for just a few baht. If only we’d known that the regional speciality was so delicious, we would have bought the larger bag!

Our next stop was the actual ‘Golden Triangle’ – the meeting of the Mae Song and mighty Mekong rivers and the border of Thailand, Laos and Burma.

We had the most delicious lunch overlooking the river, and the two other countries, before jumping onto a long tail boat for a cruise on the Mekong. The boat stopped on the banks of Laos and we got a stamp in our passport, plus enjoyed finding a shop that sold “Johnny Worker” and “Red Lady” whiskey.

Our last stop was the Opium Museum, the history of which in the area was fascinating. We topped off our visit with the purchase of some antique opium weights from a lovely young man who had to keep asking his mother, the store owner, if our offered price could be accepted.

Finally after the trip home in the songthaew, we headed to the night market in Chiang Rai for a hotpot dinner with our travelling companions. It was the best day of the trip, and to think we’d almost missed it!”

Amazing Thailand it begins with the people
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* photo by Marcus Alborn – Intrepid Photography Competition

About the author

Sue Elliot - Like many of us, Sue contracted a serious travel bug at an early age. She's visited over 90 countries in search of a cure, but her wanderlust just seems to get worse. Thankfully at Intrepid Travel she's amongst people who understand the affliction and since 1998 Sue has enjoyed being our blog and newsletter editor. Here you'll find helpful travel advice and inspiring tales from Sue and other Intrepid travellers.

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