Thailand is a country of many facets, on one hand there is the great night life exemplified in the capital Bangkok, the crowded beaches and the raunchy crowds of Pattaya, the spiritualism ingrained in the thousands of Buddhist monasteries and finally its natural beauty is evident in the mountains, the rainforests and its waterways. Thailand’s Golden Triangle is a popular destination among tourists and pilgrims for the ancient Buddhist monasteries that are found here. Some of these temples date back thousands of years and have been custodians of the faith in South East Asia.
On the other hand the, Golden Triangle is also famous for the Opium trade, it was the epicenter of Opium cultivation in Asia at one time and relics of that past still remain. An interesting place to understand the history of the Opium farmers and the trade is the Hall of Opium at the Golden Triangle Park. This rather eccentric museum chronicles the process of production, the history of the crop and also recent government attempts at replacing it. The museum also has some interesting informative multimedia presentations on the effects of smoking and hazards associated with its use.
Being a rather remote area of Thailand, the landscape of the Golden Triangle area is unspoiled and covered with lush vegetation. The countryside is composed mostly of mountains that are dotted with tiny traditional villages. Most farmers engage in rice cultivation, having given up the now illegal Opium. The Huay Mae Sak Waterfall Park is a government forest reserve that has been established to protect the natural environment of the region and is well worth the visit if you are interested in hiking.
The forest is composed mostly of mixed vegetation and is typically of the mountainous terrain. Several natural waterfalls are seen here but the largest is the Huay Mae Sak Waterfall which lends its name to the park. This interesting natural excursion is within easy reach of travelers staying at Chiang Rai hotels. Staying at a hotel Chiang Rai such as Anantara Golden Triangle Thailand gives travelers an opportunity to explore a region of Thailand that has been shrouded in mystery for centuries.
Thanuja Silva is a travel writer who writes under the pen name Auburn Silver. She has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world.