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.