Junction of three

Trip Start Mar 24, 2011
Trip End Sep 28, 2011

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Flag of Thailand  , Chiang Rai,
Saturday, April 30, 2011

The local bus arrived in Chiang Saen, a smallish town on the edge of the Mekong. Andy and i were starving by now so went to get some food before Jumping in a Tuk Tuk for twenty mins to get to the 'Golden Triangle'. We were taken straight to a guesthouse and decided that to save money we would share a room as they are quite big anyway. We dumped our bags and went for a walk to see what was around.

About a five minute walk from where we were was the Opium Museum, Andy is a big fan of the stuff and i know very little so we went for a look inside to learn the history and legends of Thailand's Opium industry.

The museum was small and only took about twenty minutes to get around not overly impressive but humorously informative.

Lunch was a restaurant overlooking The Golden Triangle. The Golden Triangle is the point where Laos, Burma (Myanmar) and Thailand meet and from our seats we could see all three countries.

I wanted to see it from a higher vantage point and thought that there must be a viewpoint around somewhere. Across the road from where we ate was an entrance to a temple site with a huge flight of stairs climbing up the side of a hill fronted by two multi-headed dragons with their snake like bodies edging the staircase.

The stairs conquered (it's a real effort in 35 degrees and ultra humidity) we checked out the temple with its intricately carved wooden doors and then followed a small sign to the viewpoint which was uphill again for about five minutes. There was no one else around as we reached the top, which made the effort and the view more worthwhile.

Going back down to the main road was a little easier, although by now the mosquitoes were out and you could actually see their black and white markings as they few around us. This made the descent a little more rapid than normal.

There was a small fishing shop at the bottom of the hill and as i am now following the Mekong pretty much all the way through Laos and Cambodia i thought i would buy a telescopic fishing rod with a reel for just under 5 (I'm sure it'll come in handy for the salt-water leg after too)

It was getting dark as we ate dinner so we went back to the guesthouse. Chilling outside we watched strange,colourful and sometimes huge bugs flying around the lights above us with geckos trying to catch them.

I watched a movie and went to bed early, tomorrow was a 7am start and a lot of traveling was ahead for the next few days.

Day 2

Up at seven a little bleary eyed i had showered, packed up my stuff and was drinking coffee in reception by half past (I'm getting good at this but still don't like early mornings). We checked out of the guesthouse and walked in the morning heat and humidity to the local bus stop to get the bus to the border

Whilst waiting for the local bus a songthaew driver offered us the journey straight to Chiang Khong and the border for 200 Baht (4). We jumped in the back and headed for the border town of Chiang Khong.

I didn't see much of the town, there didn't seem to be much there as we were thrown out of the songthaew and went straight to the border control and onto the 40baht (90p) longtail boat across the Mekong to Laos.
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