“Golden Triangle” multi-culturalism in Chiang Rai

Thai Cave Rescue
The Golden Triangle - The Meeting Point for 3 Countries: Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar

Thai Cave Rescue (ถ้ำหลวง: ภารกิจแห่งความหวัง), Netflix’s limited series, realistically retells the story of how 13 members of the Wild Boars football team were rescued. Chiang Rai Province was one of the main filming locations for the series, among others.

For those who want to experience the storied multi-culturalism of Chiang Rai, the Golden Triangle is a must-visit. This area is a meeting point for 3 countries: Thailand’s Chiang Saen District in Chiang Rai, Laos’s Bokeo Province, and Myanmar’s Tachileik town. With the mighty Mekong River flowing right through the heart of the Golden Triangle, the area is unique for the sheer variety and beauty of its natural scenery, which attracts many adventurous visitors from all over the world.

A multiracial and multicultural land

As a meeting point for 3 countries, the Golden Triangle has developed its own cultural identity that sets it apart from other attractions. Bringing together the people and cultures of 3 countries, the area is not only a natural wonderland but also a cultural melting pot of shops, restaurants, and souvenir stores that attract tourists all year round.


An absolute must when visiting the Golden Triangle is the opportunity to visit the Golden Triangle Monument Arch. This viewpoint provides clear vistas of Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar stretching off in each direction in a photographer’s dream.

Phra Chao Lan Tue Shrine

Legend says that the original Phra Chao Lan Tue, a statue worshiped by Buddhists in all 3 countries of the Golden Triangle, fell into the river near where Chiang Saen District Office currently stands. However, as recovering and taking the statue from the Mekong River would likely create an ownership dispute, the 3 nations eventually built the Golden Triangle Buddha to replace Phra Chao Lan Tue and they named it “Phra Buddha Nawa Lan Tue Chiang Saen Si Phaendin Chaloem Phra Kiat.” This Chiang Saen-styled golden Buddha statue is considered to be a center of people’s minds that everyone should visit if they are in Chiang Saen.

The Golden Triangle Cruise

The Golden Triangle scenic cruise service enables tourists to experience the local community’s way of life up close, while also taking in the beautiful scenery around the many sand bars in the river. Tourists can also visit casinos in Myanmar and shop for souvenirs in Laos.

House of Opium Museum

This privately-owned museum tells the history of opium and its role in the Golden Triangle through priceless ancient artifacts. The museum provides wonderful insights into the local beliefs and cultures that have been passed on through many generations.  

Hill Tribe Handicraft Souvenirs

The handmade souvenirs made by the local hill tribe people are distinguished by their unique patterns. Besides their beauty, these souvenirs are seen as a way of preserving the original cultures of the many hill tribes in the area.


The Golden Triangle is in Chiang Saen District, about 70 kilometers from Chiang Rai. Driving takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes. Alternatively, take a green Chiang Rai-Chiang Saen bus from the Chiang Rai bus terminal to Chiang Saen for 40 THB/person.

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