Thursday, April 5, 2012

Chiang Saen, Thailand

Chiang Saen in the northern Thai province of Chiang Rai was our first brief encounter with the Mekong River. The Mekong meets up here with Thailand, Laos and Myanmar in the so called Golden Triangle. Formerly an area where drugs were planted and smuggled. Nowadays it is a heaven for gamblers in the Casinos and for tourists. 

We decided to just take a look from far onto the Golden Triangle and focused on the town of Chiang Saen instead. It is an ancient settlement and was part of the former Kingdom of Lan Na and we came here to visit the remains of the old city and the many important Buddhist temples in the area. 

In this northernmost point of Thailand, the Mekong forms the border with Laos for a few kilometers before it heads east into Laos at the town of Wiang Kaen.  

We did this tour here in what we called our "Great Northern Tour" heading over the mountains of the provinces of Nan, Phayao and into Chiang Rai with a very old car which almost did not make it. A very adventurous trip!

The Mekong and the Lao People's Democratic Republic in the distance

Golden Triangle
Wat Phra That Pha Ngao on the mountain
View from a hill overlooking the Mekong

Wat Phra That Song Phi Nong

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