The Golden Triangle (Chiang Rai nearest VT spot!)
"GOLDEN TRIANGLE: Thailand, Burma, Laos"
The Mekong River confluence of Thailand (left), Burma (above) and Laos (right, not visible). Still a wonderful place for trekkers and those who want to get away from "most of it" but not all of it. Affirmative to all of the following: cheap internet, fantastic food, good prices, drugs... Thailand's Queen Mother has built a state-of-the-art Opium Hall (anti-drug museum), which is not to be missed.
"GOLDEN TRIANGLE: Chiangsaen, Thailand"
Chiangsen on the Mekong River boasts luxury hotels (Imperial Golden Triangle) as well as economical guest houses. It is the old capital of the Lanna Kingdom before it transferred to Chang Rai, away from the Mekong. The giant Buddha and two elephant statues dominate the riverfront; it is a way station for many forest monks.
"GOLDEN TRIANGLE: Taichelek, Myanmar/Burma"
Lively regional trade through this back door to Burma. A one-day visit (visa $5) to Taichelek includes the fantastic open market and a dramatic hillside vista from Taichelek's copy of the Wat Po (original in Yangon/Rangoon). Be sure to return to the Thai side before immigration officers decide to quit for the day!