Location: Golden Triangle, Chiang Rai, Thailand
Reason to visit: This is where opium was once traded for gold, 3 countries(Thailand, Myanmar, and Laos) meet
Our ratings: ★★★★
The Golden Triangle refers to a triangular area on the border of Thailand, Myanmar, and Laos in Southeast Asia. Because the region is rich in opium and other drugs, it is the world's major drug producing area, this is where opium was once traded for gold. The name "Golden Triangle" — coined by the CIA—is commonly used more broadly to refer to an area of approximately 950000 square kilometers that overlaps the mountains of the three adjacent countries.
History of Golden Triangle
The Golden Triangle is at the border of Thailand, Myanmar, and Laos. Local residents lived on safari from the start, and later they began to grow poppies on a large scale to gain huge profits. Along with Afghanistan in the Golden Crescent, it has been one of the most extensive opium-producing areas of Asia, and of the world, since the 1950s. Most of the world's heroin came from the Golden Triangle until the early 21st century when Afghanistan became the world's largest producer. After years of reformation by Thai government, The Golden Triangle is no longer the world's leading drug producing area anymore. Poppy cultivation in the country decreased more than 80 percent from 1998 to 2006. And it has gradually become a tourist attraction.
What to expect?
From the hill top it is a good view of Laos, Myanmar, and Thailand
Standing here, it is easy to fall into meditation. The place you stand is once a place where opium flourished.
Hall of Opium Museum
The Hall of Opium and House of O is a large museum and interactive information centre showing chronologically the story of the history of the Golden Triangle. the origin of opium, the opium wars, opium warlords, drug smugglers, opium effects and the battle against opium and poppy growing plantations. It provides a fascinating but sad insight in everything related to opium and the battle against it.
Plus: There are two museums located in the Golden Triangle area related to opium. The larger, up in the hills, is called Hall of Opium. The House of Opium is located in town, along the Mekong River.