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The Golden Triangle is the area where the borders of Thailand, Laos and Myanmar meet. Locally it is known as Sop Ruak, as it is also where the Mekong River meets the Ruak River. The rivers form the natural borders between the countries. Chiang Rai is the nearest city to this point, once a hub for the opium trade it is now a laid-back destination with a diverse range of attractions. With hill tribe country on your doorstep, treks and hiking excursions are a drawcard for many visitors. Chiang Mai is high in the hills and is Thailand’s second largest city. Renowned for its colourful cultures and traditional living practices of the many hill tribes, Chiang Mai boasts a striking mountain backdrop and hundreds of temples and monasteries still alive with Buddhist monks in residence. Chiang Mai’s heart is its ‘Old City’, an area surrounded by vestiges of walls and moats adding to the city’s charm.
The food in this region is very different to the rest of the country. Traditionally northern families sit on the floor and eat around a ‘Khantoke’, a small circular table. Enjoy a meal of several northern dishes, along with a graceful show of northern Thai dancing, including the fingernail dance.
When cooking, various local spices that enhance your health and physical well being are used as ingredients. Visit a local market to learn how to choose produce, and learn about the herbs and spices used in Thai cooking. Proceed to the school for your cooking class followed by lunch.
Chiang Rai is home to Thailand’s six largest ethnic hill tribes. Visit the Hill Tribes Museum to become familiar with the etiquette and customs before visiting one.
Here's a taste of some of our favourite hotels and resorts in Northern Thailand.
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Are you planning your next trip to The North? Want to learn more about this destination? Or looking for ideas and inspiration for your next holiday? Here is where you can find our featured articles on The North.
This is just a taste of the information and advice we have available through our House of Travel consultants.
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