We are into the second day and we are off to the Golden Triangle. Driving up highway one on the way to Mai Sai, we turned off towards Chiang Saen. The town of Chiang Saen is steeped in history and dates back to 545.
Once one of the major cities of the Lanna kingdom, it was originally called Wiang Hiran Nakhon Ngoen Yang and served as the capital before King Mengrai established Chiang Rai in 1262. The town was captured by the Burmese in the 16th century and sacked by King Rama I in 1803. Left a ghost town for a hundred years, it was repopulated around 1900, but still hasn’t really staggered to its feet. Traces of old double city walls and many other antiquities still remain in and outside the district town.
Once reaching the town we took a left off towards the small little tourist location of The Golden Triangle. Very much a tourist haven, but the prices are not inflated. We took a trip on a small long tail boat which costed 500 baht (15 dollars), the boat raced up the Mekong towards Myanmar and then off towards Laos. We were able to get off the boat at Laos and although not actually go in land, it is another country visited.
Back on the boat and at full speed, a bit like 007 going down the river, we made our way back to main land Thailand, where we had a quick cold drink before moving on.
Returning to Chiang Saen I managed to take a few pictures of the historical ruins, before setting off to the mountains in search of hill tribes. Passing through the hills I noticed an old lady sitting outside her house wearing traditional clothing of the Akha tribe. She was more than happy for us to takes few pictures. There is a story behind this lady, in the excitement of seeing this lady I managed to back into a tree, dented the back end, anyways I got the picture.