Chiang Saen, Thailand - Visit to the Golden Triangle

Golden Triangle Travel Blog

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Golden Triangle, Thailand - Le motoculteur du futur

Ok, so we’ve pretty much made it to our final destination to be visited here in Thailand . . . the infamous, Golden Triangle, as it’s known here.

This special place is located in the Chiang Rai province, in the northernmost part of Thailand, and is the meeting point of Laos, Myanmar, and Thailand, hence, its name, the Golden Triangle.

Cool, huh?!

As we were making our way here, we were unsure where to go, really.  Some folks had told us that we needed to go to Chiang Rai.  

Others told us that we needed to go to some town called Chiang Saen .

Golden Triangle, Thailand - Arnaud faisant le "Bo"!!
. . where to go?!!

Eventually, after reaching and going past Chiang Rai, we arrived at Chiang Saen.  Well, we didn’t go to this town, precisely. 

We got lucky once again and landed a ride with a guy who was heading there, and who knew the precise place we wanted to go to . . . so he took us there! 

More door to door service, how ‘bout that?!!

I didn’t know what to expect really.  All I knew was that it was the meeting point of 3 countries in Southeast Asia. 

I was thinking that it was perhaps just a tourist spot, but, actually, it is a place. 

And, I guess, because so many tourists come to this spot, the locals decided to turn it into a tourist town, if I can call it that!!

There are hotels and money exchange places, all along the waterfront .

Golden Triangle, Thailand - View of Buddha at the Golden Triangle
. . all for the convenience of wealthy tourists!!  ;)

Uh oh!  Problem for us!!  We’re not one of those rich tourists!!  :(

Not only was it quite late by the time we arrived at the Golden Triangle, we also didn’t have much cash for a hotel . . . what’s new?!!! 

We figured we would just pitch our tent along the river . . . good or bad idea?!!

Well, the guy who did us the favor of driving us here, suggested that we pitch our tent at the Big Buddha . . . Hmmm . . . the Big Buddha?!!

Yes, we were puzzled too!  During the ride, I was picturing some huge Buddha at a temple or something. 

To my surprise, when we arrived at our drop-off point, indeed, there was a Big Buddha, in the middle of an open area, sort of like a park/square.  Not exactly what I was expecting.

Golden Triangle, Thailand - La montée vers le temple

It was a little problematic for us, because it wasn’t really safe for us to set up camp there. 

Now what?!!  Idea!  Why not sleep at a temple?! 

Up until now, so many folks had advised us to stay at a temple if we ever had any worries for accommodation, but it just never occurred to us to do so.

What a perfect opportunity to have another new and unique experience!!

So, we worked our way up to the temple, arriving right at the moment when the monks were meditating.  Of course, we waited for them to finish, before making our request. 

And well, since that’s Arnaud’s specialty, in the meantime, I went off to admire the view from the top of the hill, where the temple sits.

The view was spectacular, really.  The landscape around is hilly, and is divided by the Ruak River which flows into the Mae Khong River, or Mekong River as we know it.

Golden Triangle, Thailand - Le dragon aux 5 Têtes de serpents

The unique thing about this place is that these rivers actually form a natural boundary between the three countries. 

You have Laos to the east of the Mekong, Myanmar, to the north of the Ruak, and Thailand to the west of the Mekong.

Truly stunning and gorgeous at sunset!

So, while I was admiring the view, Arnaud was sweet-talking the monks after their meditation was completed. 

Didn’t take much though.  They were quite understanding and very willing to help us.

As a matter of fact, they’re used to having "visitors" stay with them.  And it wasn’t the first time they had heard such a request!!

Our tent wouldn’t be of use that night, because we had a HUGE room all to ourselves, with a bathroom, fans, and all.

The generosity we’ve experienced thus far is never-ending.

Golden Triangle, Thailand - La méditation des 6 moines

And our time at the temple was just another example of endless giving.

The monks made their special contribution to our experience, sharing their food, goodwill, and time with us.

It was truly a moving moment; because we had the honor of conversing with them and learning that the temple and its monks are looked after by fellow Buddhists, and solely kept up by them.

That evening was a revealing one . . . we learned that the country’s Buddhist population donates and gives selflessly, whatever they can, food or what have you, to take care of the monks and the temples.

Every morning, the monks go to various places around the city, collecting donations from the locals. 

Yes, people, both rich and poor, actually get up before dawn, and wait for the monks to arrive, so that they don’t go hungry or cold.

Golden Triangle, Thailand - Un repas tout simple
They give what they can. That's really something.

An amazing evening with such generous individuals, what more could we ask for?!  They shared what they had with us, with such joy and great kindness . . . left me really humbled.

I can still remember hearing one of the monks say, "Alloy Alloy!!"  Which I interpreted as meaning something like, "Enjoy!" or "Bon Appetit!"

After that inspiring evening, we had a well-rested night, and the following day it was the same kindness we had received the night before. 

The monks shared with us, what they had received in donations that morning, for breakfast . . . So, a BIG Thank You to our Monk friends!!

I’m definitely looking forward to interacting more with other Monks in other countries.  And interested to see if they are any different, as the Thai Monks told us.

Golden Triangle, Thailand - 2 moines & Arno

I'll just have to remember to be sure not to sit on the same side of the table as them, or to get too close . . . it’s not allowed!!! 

Thailand’s monks are G-R-E-A-T!!!!!!!!  Thanks friends!!

Le « Golden triangle » ou le « Triangle d’Or » est situé entre ces trois pays, il divise la Birmanie, le Laos et enfin la Thaïlande par le fleuve du Mékong.

Le Mékong puise sa source des montagnes Tibétaines et descend par la Chine et continu sa route vers le sud.

Arrivé sur le site en fin de journée, on se dépêcha pour prendre quelques photos avant que la nuit tombe.

Mais cette fois on allait expérimenter un conseil de l’un de nos autostoppeurs.

Golden Triangle, Thailand - La vue de là-haut
Pourquoi ne dormez-vous dans un temple. Les moines ont l’habitude.

Et pourquoi pas, me voilà au sommet de la montagne, attendant la fin de leur méditation, pour leur demander de l’aide.

Ils acceptèrent avec grand plaisir. Ils avaient une maison réservée uniquement aux invités, avec douche, matelas, ventilateurs...

On était comme des rois, ils nous invitèrent à manger, on discuta jusqu’à tard, on en profita pour les bombarder de questions, ce fut réciproque, c’était génial.

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Golden Triangle
photo by: dutch_duke