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This tour is a wonderful way to explore the area known as Sop Ruak, the official centre of the Golden Triangle – which is where the Nam Ruak and Mekong rivers meet. This area has for centuries been the crossroads for border trade between Thailand, Burma and Laos. Located in Chiang Rai province, the most northerly of all the 77 Thai provinces, the Golden Triangle itself is steeped in history and did not become part of Thailand until the 1880s
We pick you up in Chiang Rai and then transfer to the highlight of Golden Triangle, Opium Museum, which depicts the story of opium cultivation and its effect on society. Then we change into our bike gear for a scenic loop on dirt tracks to seasonal fruit plantations before heading to our hotel.
We start off the day with a visit to the Golden Buddha near the village of Ban Saeo, the starting point of today’s more challenging ride. We follow the Mekong, riding east from Chiang Saen towards Chiang Khong through plantations of lychee, banana, chilli, eggplant, corn and more. We have a riverside lunch stop today at a restaurant where our hosts grow most of the vegetables for our meal. After a few more kilometres we have a choice to either get in the van or try the challenging 2-km climb to Huai Sai Man viewpoint. We overnight at a lodge right in the middle of a Hmong village. After you have settled in we’ll have tea with the shaman and learn some Hmong customs. There’ll also be an option to help villagers plant trees at the Herbal Plant Nursery Project with a small fee.
Today we complete our loop and ride towards Chiang Rai. We start cycling west and ride on small country roads, between fields and karsts jutting out of the landscape. On the outskirts of the city we’ll stop to visit the White Temple, a unique modern temple that was designed and built by a local artist. After our visit we can drop you off at the airport or a hotel.