|Happy Buddha at the Golden Triangle - North Thailand|
Reposting from 2015. We made a beautiful trip along the Mekong River from Mai Sai to the point where the Mekong River starts to be the border between Thailand and Laos. And then following the river until the point where the river enters Laos for the first time. You will need your own transport but traveling east of Mai Sai along the not anymore so mighty Mekong River (Mae Nam Khong) one comes in a all new area of Thailand bordering with Laos where you are passing the Golden Triangle (stop at the Hall of Opium), Chiang Saen, Chiang Khong (border crossing to Laos) and Wiang Kaen to go in direction Chiang Kham but not before you visit Phu Patang and Phu Chi Fa and Doi Pha Tang.
For me it was really one of Thailand's most remarkable trips, reasonable good roads, not much tourists and even for me as long term resident of Thailand it did feel like I was on holiday in a foreign country. Stunning view along the Mekong River and from view points. Beautiful flowers (depending on the time of the year) and friendly people everywhere. Amazingly no tourists also. Doi Pha Tang is part of Doi Pha Mon of the Luang Prabang Range, which forms a boundary between Thailand and Laos. This mountains area is where Chinese Haw, Hmong and Yao minorities settled down. The Haws used to be part of the world famous Chinese 93 Division that later partly was “secretly” air-lifted “back” to what we now call Taiwan. You still find villages where all signs are in Chinese and you are feeling like you are on Chinese high-lands. In January and February the all area is full with Nang Phaya Suea Khrong (Thai Sakura) and Siao in full bloom, really a very beautiful view over the mountains of Phu Si Fa. And on top of a high mountain of course a Buddha to guide your way. For the people who do like long hiking trips, there are walking tracks on top of the mountains here. And at a very steep path on the foot of the mountain is a small village (well all houses are guesthouses and hotels) surrounded by thousands of Thai Sakura flowers. Coming in this area in the right time you might even see a garden full of Tulips at Doi Pamon.