The Golden Triangle, strictly speaking, refers to the geographical area that includes the 4 mountain ranges in Burma, Thailand, Laos and Vietnam, where opium was produced, you can read the history here. However in Thailand, it refers to the borders of 3 countries in one area (Burma, Laos and Thailand) where the Mekong River meets Ruak River.
As you can see in the picture, the piece of land in the foreground (with the huts) is Thailand, then river with boat, then the promontory is Burma, and beyond that is Laos. I thought that was pretty cool. We had originally planned to take a boat to Laos for lunch and also collect a Laotian immigration stamp but we were pressed for time.
There were rows of boat huts along the river that offer you a ride across for a small fee. Not sure how the immigration works though. Maybe you’re forced to run across the fields like illegal immigrants looking for a better life.
Picture time! anyone who, when told that I went to Golden Triangle, asked (1) if I had a good time there (2) did I smoke any weed (they don’t grow weed la!) or (3) did I breathe the air in deeply.
Nearby there’s some larger than life Buddha statue and temple. I assumed it was one of those holy places but Bryan said it sprung up because of the tourist trade streaming to catch a whiff of the Golden Triangle. So it’s not like some wandering monk decided to set up shop here because the place is holy but the temple was built purely for touristic purposes. Hence we didn’t bother going in but took a drive-by shoot.