Golden Triangle (Chiang Saen) w/pit stop CR

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laphanphon
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Golden Triangle (Chiang Saen) w/pit stop CR

Post by laphanphon » March 16, 2009, 7:23 am

The golden triangle was all I expected, since I was there before, I wasn’t disappointed as my expectations were low. If in the area, worth a peek, but not a special trip just for the triangle itself, unless really enjoy trekking and a good bong experience.

From Phayao, previous visiting point, it is a easy short drive, but I made a pit stop in Chiang Rai, as past visit to the area, I simply drove by CR without stopping. Pity I didn’t repeat that this time. CR, since I don’t trek, possibly, did absolutely nothing for me, thought it was a sewer. Even the parks along the river had more plastic trash than would be seen at a local trash dump in USA. I’m sure there are some nice restaurants, w/view of the not too impressive river, but definitely not worth at special trip, or for myself, even a pit stop. Did stay at a new, nice hotel, thankfully out of main town, the Palm Garden, who were starving for customers, as Ree phoned and got a rate, cheaper than on sawadee res. site. 850 w/brekkie on site, down to 700 w/brekkie on phone request. Well appointed, comfy room. Basic hotel, only 30 some rooms, the usually mediocre buffet, but did reheat my eggs and ham, with a smile, and the above normal assortment of fruit juices from cartons, not sugarized, and various croissant/toast along with some tasty self serve refillable, many times, coffee. cereals and cookies also. Nice effort, but the usual fare. Staff through out were very helpful and seem honestly smiling and wanting to help. Rare. The only saving grace to being in the town.

The Golden Triangle..............basically there is no reason to visit here, with the exception of my purpose, I wanted Ree and Gem to see the ‘Hall of Opium’ museum, the real one, as there are 2. It is a well done history, not whitewashed of the golden triangle, and gov’t involvement at one time profiting, and now trying to turn things around, though failing at that, as I read opium production is on the rise again. One of the best things I’ve seen in Thailand. Been here a few years, so I am watted out, but did repay a visit to a couple I liked, at same location, which, on a better time of year, is the best viewpoint overlooking the actual triangle, rivers joining and view Laos/Myanmar/Thailand at one time. As most realize now, one of the worst years for burn off pollution/overcast, so I felt sorry for those few, very few tourist in the area who hadn’t seen it before, because you really couldn’t see much past the meeting point of the countries and river. Much better to take the pic, then find a good one on internet, and Photoshop yourself in. Unless wanting to say you’ve been to the GT, or happen to be in the area and want to see a nice museum, there is no reason to visit.

Though if you do, I highly recommend the Imperial Golden Triangle resort, best location and view of why you are there. They also were starving for customers. When I checked in, by myself as they visited museum, as too cheap to pay 300 baht (entrance fee) to revisit it, 200 for Thaïs. The desk clerk at hotel had a blank expression, as, WTF do you want, we have no reservation for farangs today, until she noticed my name, LA Phanphon, for those who just thought I hit a few keys when registering for UM. But it is a Thai name, and she got quite a chuckle out of it, as she was expecting a Thai. We chatted, her English excellent and had a good laugh. Service, was excellent, what little we needed, as were the accommodations. This will probably be my high end stop for the whole trip. Can be had on sawadee for 1550 w/brekkie, plus 150 extra for kids brekkie, discounted from 250 if a walk in breakfast customer, which is too much, unless buffet is offered, then I’m sure justified.

Sadly, not enough customers to warrant a buffet, set ABF, just ok, but was asked, and first time ever, if wanting more toast.....................and F’g coffee. When was the last time you were offered unlimited coffee at any restaurant, which is standard procedure for yanks, even if that’s all you ordered was coffee. So they made up the best they could for not having buffet. Choice of eggs and such, though the omelet was simply a rolled up scrambled egg order. Besides ourselves, maybe three other tables of customers. We were the only ones at the pool, which lasted about 15 mins in water, as temps dropped over night past couple days and it was damn cold. But, if staying overnight, the place to be, worth the extra fare.

There is also a local museum, closed for renovations. Besides that, nothing of interest to myself. Accommodations are far and few, all high end, or something you wouldn’t check the dog into. While they were in museum at lunch time, I cruised looking for a place to munch when they were done, only 2 had customers. Rightfully so, the ones I stopped at, were all overpriced tourist traps, the others I didn’t stop at, I wouldn’t eat at, all aspects of hygiene suspect. We did eat at the one across from hotel, quite tasty. Prior it was full of police and tourist police. So I figured locals who can eat anywhere, possible at extreme discount, and I’ll follow their lead, a wise choice. Also recommended by the hotel staff, thank you very much. Tasty and fairly priced.

IRRELEVENT SIDE NOTE: Something surprising, though shouldn’t of been, I’ve been here long enough, but 1st time I noticed. Next to clear view restaurant, or something like that, (overpriced, no customers), close to but not the one we ate at, a small market next to it, possible same owner, I purchased 3 Leos for my balcony experience, and some ice. Smartly asking how much for beer, lg 45, ok, seems normal, and ice please, picking up a very small plastic bag, he asks 5 baht or 10, well the bag was very small, so I said 10, larger bag, ok almost normal size as I would get in Udon..........................the punch line. Drank all of 2 beers and there was a couple things that could use just a bit of ice, for hour or so. On departure, gave Ree 5 baht, for small bag of ice to keep yogurt cold. She comes out with same 10 baht bag I had day before. F me.............ok, honey, browse and ask how much for Leo.............40............F me again. That’s the 1st time I experience double pricing in small store. Don’t know how he didn’t notice me in car outside as same customer as yesterday. TIT.

GT view from balcony of hotel room
Image

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arjay
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Re: Golden Triangle (Chiang Saen) w/pit stop CR

Post by arjay » March 16, 2009, 10:09 am

Another interesting and amusing report. Thanks LA. :D

I always watch out for your reports which I read with interest, and sometimes a touch of bemused confusion. :D Large Leos are usually 38 to 40 baht. ;)

I have visited Pu Chi Fa in that area before, - whilst a long and windy (winding road) journey from CR where I was staying, it had some spectacular views. 8)

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Aardvark
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Re: Golden Triangle (Chiang Saen) w/pit stop CR

Post by Aardvark » March 16, 2009, 10:40 am

Our "Roaming Gourmet" is hard at it I see :D if you keep this up LA you might end up writing your own version of lonely planet ;) dont take too many deep breaths in that Mountain smog, a lot of bad reports in the Bkk Post last couple of days. Look forward to you next report :D

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arjay
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Re: Golden Triangle (Chiang Saen) w/pit stop CR

Post by arjay » March 16, 2009, 11:34 am

La, on tour in Northern Thailand. ;)
IS252-020.jpg
Note connection in smog mask for Leo Beer input
IS252-020.jpg (42.56 KiB) Viewed 3931 times

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BKKSTAN
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Re: Golden Triangle (Chiang Saen) w/pit stop CR

Post by BKKSTAN » March 16, 2009, 11:37 am

Looks like a ''Bong''setup up to me!LA might be in the ''high''mountains by now! :lol:

laphanphon
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Re: Golden Triangle (Chiang Saen) w/pit stop CR

Post by laphanphon » March 18, 2009, 9:53 am

couple more pics of recent visit, wouldn't be thailand without a few locals strolling around
Image
view from the breakfast dining area, well, just behind us
Image
couple of closer view of river from restaurant across from hotel
Image

Image

some more pics of GT, from past visit, all the same, except pic of chiang khong which we bypassed this time.
http://travel.webshots.com/album/158265727inRBqY
to lazy to upload present repeat pics, plus better vis in old ones 8) 8)

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aznyron
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Re: Golden Triangle (Chiang Saen) w/pit stop CR

Post by aznyron » March 18, 2009, 8:18 pm

nice photos LA of you and the family I hope you enjoyed your trip see you when you get back best my friend

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