Our stay in Northern Thailand’s Chiang Rai was brief, but packed with great memories. The resort we selected turned out to be a jungle paradise, where the owners and staff offered such warm Thai hospitality and impeccable attention to detail, that we hated to leave.
From the resort, it was only a moderate hike through a small village to a waterfall, or a short transport to a hot springs for a massage. We opted for the waterfall hike, which was perfect after the two hour VIP bus ride from Chiang Mai.
The following day, we hired a driver to take us to the area known as the Golden Triangle. The Golden Triangle is one of Asia’s main opium-producing areas, overlapping the mountains of Thailand, Myanmar and Laos. Although we saw no evidence – nor did we expect to – of opium production or trade, we did enjoy the natural beauty of the countryside and a few of the more popular tourist spots.
From strolls through local villages of the Akha hill tribe, to a tea plantation tea tasting, to a longboat ride across the Mekong River to Laos, to Wat Tham Pha Monkey Cave, where there were no monkeys to be seen, it was an area rich in discovery.