Thailand
Ban Sop Ruak

Here you’ll find travel reports about Ban Sop Ruak. Discover travel destinations in Thailand of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

19 travelers at this place:

  • Day8

    Day 8/72: Day trip to Chaing Rai

    November 4, 2018 in Thailand ⋅ ☀️ 27 °C

    We woke up bright and early this morning to have a long day out to Chaing Rai and the Golden Triangle. We were downstairs at 0700 waiting for the transport and after forgetting shoes and passports, we hopped onto the minivan with 10 other people for the day. Our guide was called Moon and she was very informative and told us what the day would entail. We were to head up North, stopping at interesting points along the way until we reached the Golden triangle and then head all the way back to Chaing Mai.

    Stop 1: Chiang Rai hot water springs
    After a hour or so we came to a small village across the main road that was literally steaming. Here, hot water springs come through the earth into pools and spout up in great boiling fountains. Locals boil eggs in the hot pools so the air is pungent with the smell, however further up we escaped it. Up here, there were smaller less violent pools where you could sit and dip your feet. These were about the same temperature as when you run a bath too hot but after a few of dips of the toes can leave your foot in there.

    Stop 2: White Temple
    The white temple was a spectacle to behold. A huge, pure white and mirrored building, it's a modern take on Buddhism. Outside, you cross a walkway over "hell" and pass by two gate guardians, fiercely fighting off the demons from hell. You then cross over a long bridge and walk up the steps into the temple. Inside, the wall is painted from the entrance to the Buddha at back, as a scene moving from this world to the next. "This world" was almost depicted as hell, with weapons, scenes from wars, and terrorist figures amongst the many demons and dark drawings. Among these, cartoon characters and superheros are painted, showing that even with these fictitious hero's amongst us, nothing can save us from this horror world like the Buddha. Along the walls, the hell world flows into an idyllic garden with Thai people on boats sailing towards a huge Buddha. You can only move through the temple in one direction as to turn back is to go through hell again, so we came out the other side in awe of what was being built. The site is only 25 years into its 75 year construction but this main temple is fantastic.
    We then came across a beautiful huge golden building, almost as stunning as the white temple with mirrors and jewels shining in the sun. This was the toilet. This is another Buddhist lesson: on the outside you can be beautiful but on the inside you're still just a toilet.

    Stop 3: Blue Temple

    The blue temple was constructed by a monk who used to pray at the white temple, but didn't like the commute so decided to renovate the temple in his home town instead. He brought in the architects who designed the White Temple and the Black House (next) and the result was probably our favorite experience of the day. It was very blue, with huge open windows and doors where light could flow into the dark blue interior and shine off the gold inside. We also had some of the best and cheapest ice cream we've ever tasted. Fresh coconut icecream where a large tub cost 50p, the whole experience was great!

    Stop 4: The Black House
    This was an interesting one. The Black House is an area of land with lots of beautiful, black wooden buildings in the grounds. Owned by an old artist who passed away maybe 2 years ago, it's essentially his collection of things. The things he loved were wood and animal bones, skins and hair. It was very, very strange. The area was idyllic with grasses and trees, and dotted amongst them were huge black wooden buildings filled with complete crocodile skins, animal horns, tusks, skulls. Some buildings were dedicated to animals, a huge room filled with shells, sharks Jaws and fish skeletons. Or others with hundreds of chairs and beds made with wood, animals horns and skins. We didn't warm to the place, or the man: his two passions in life seemed to be dead animals, and phallic symbols. It was a complete contrast to any other temple like place we'd been to though, really worth doing.

    Stop 5: Long Neck Village
    Next stop was the long neck village, a small tribe of people where the women wear rings on their necks to 1) traditionally protect them from tigers and 2) make their necks seem longer, as the longer the neck the more beautiful they supposedly are. They start with rings at the age of 5 and add 3 every 3 years until they are around 45. It ends up being about 5-10kg on their shoulders, 24/7 for most of their lives. It was a strange feeling, going into this village and seeing their lifestyle. Lots of people were taking photos but we couldn't bring ourselves to take any as some of the other people on our tour made it felt like we were on a zoo field trip. We ended up talking to a girl and her baby sister who had a puppy and bought a scarf she had weaved. It was an incredibly peaceful village and an amazing experience, but having paid to go there and walking along the streets of their homes felt very intrusive.

    Stop 6:
    The final stop was the Golden Triangle. This is a section of river that separates Thailand, Laos and Myanmar. It is named the golden triangle because of the opium trade; 1kg of opium used to be traded for 1kg of gold. We hopped on a boat and they took us up and down the river, showing us an island that used to be a site for black market trade of opium. It was an area of no man's land so no laws applied and no one could be stopped for doing anything. We then pulled up in Laos, got off and explored the market. They showed us some whisky which apparently was a greeting drink, but floating in the glass jars were a snake, a turtle and a lizard. All very bizzare! It was great to go to Laos though as we can add another country to our list of places visited. After the golden triangle, we headed all the way back to Chiang Mai, the van driver hitting the apex of the mountain roads in the darkness with an air of "company van, let's have fun". All in all, a great day out!
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  • Day9

    Golden Triangel Park

    January 15 in Thailand ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C

    10, Tag Thailand
    Heute haben wir einen Ausflug zum "Goldenen Dreieck" gemacht. Vom Mekong getrennt treffen sich hier die Länder Thailand, Laos und Myanmar. Wir wurden um 9.00 Uhr von unserer privaten Reiseleiterin und ihrem Fahrer am Hotel abgeholt und dann ging's los. Im Anschluss konnten wir noch eine Teeplantage besichtigen und haben an einer Teeverkostung teilgenommen. Man muss Tee halt mögen.Read more

  • Day40

    Tag 40: Golden Triangle

    February 17, 2017 in Thailand ⋅

    Zwischen Thailand, Myanmar (Birma), und Laos fließt der Mekong zusammen, das ganze heißt dann Goldenes Dreieck🔺
    Mit einem dieser winzigen langen Boote sind wir den Fluss hochgefahren🚢, in Laos eingereist und einen Markt besucht und waren dann in allen drei Ländern gleichzeitig (oder im Niemandsland🤗).Read more

  • Day33

    TRIANGLE D'OR

    December 8, 2015 in Thailand ⋅

    On commence la Thaïlande avec la région du Triangle d'Or, région où se rejoignent les frontières du Laos, de la Thaïlande et du Myanmar. Découverte de cette région côté thaïlandais, jadis plaque tournante du commerce de l'opium...et premier contact avec le Mékong...

  • Day2

    Goldenes Dreieck

    December 5, 2012 in Thailand ⋅

    Nach dem Opium-Museum aber ein echter Höhepunkt: Der Blick auf das berühmt-berüchtigte goldene Dreieck, die Grenzregion zwischen Laos, Myanmar und Thailand.

    Nicht nur das goldene Dreieck besichtigen wir hier, nein, wir werfen auch einen ersten Blick auf den Mekong, der hier die Grenze im Dreiländereck bildet, und der in den kommenden Tagen unser Weg und unser Ziel sein soll...Read more

  • Day15

    Golden triangle

    May 8, 2017 in Thailand ⋅

    Last point of a very long and tiring day, but never the less a great view point: The Golden Triangle where two rivers, one of them the mighty Mekong, meet and three countries have their borders: Thailand, Myanmar and Laos.

    Not to far from here we will cross the border the next days on our journey leading us onwards into Laos.Read more

  • Day23

    Golden Triangle

    February 6, 2015 in Thailand ⋅

    Another long convoy drive takes us to the Golden Triangle. I sleep almost the whole way there so cannot tell you about the scenery. Once there we eat a buffet lunch overlooking Myanmar, which is only about 100m away on the other side of the river. I have a chuckle about how one of the biggest tourist attractions in Thailand is the view of its neighbours (Myanmar and Laos).

    After lunch we decide to pay the extra 330 Baht ($16) to take a boat ride on the Mekong River and to enter Laos. The river is muddy and wide. We head upstream to the place where we cross into Myanmar (on the boat). I am surprised to see a huge casino on the Myanmar bank of the river. The visa requirements for Myanmar are relatively complex so we cannot touch the shores but it doesn’t matter because I’m not into casinos anyway. The boat turns and we move towards the opposite bank, which is Laos. My excitement at being at these borders needs to be viewed in the context of my living on an island nation in Australia where visiting a foreign country requires a long flight over the oceans (hence why we call visiting foreign countries “going overseas”).

    The boat docks at an island on the Laos side of the river and we are allowed to disembark for thirty minutes. Our passports are back in Thailand and our tour guide has organised our land tax for the island as part of the 330 baht we paid for the boat trip. We are fortunate because the tall trees are bathed in red flowers. I can’t recall the name of the flower and Google isn’t helping me. The flowers drop to the ground with a thud and are then collected and dried for use as a tea. There’s a festival on the island and gambling seems to be the main purpose with all sorts of gambling games set up in the festival grounds. Nearby there is also a casino in the Laos side of the river. The locals jokingly call it Laos Vegas.

    Our final stop for the day is supposed to be the markets at Mai Sei on the Thailand-Myanmar land border but the tour guide offers us the option of going up a nearby hill to see a view over into Myanmar instead. We all readily agree and that’s our next stop. Here twin border towns flourish as vehicles cross a bridge into Myanmar. I’ve never been to a proper border town before (I don’t count border towns in Europe and the UK because you don’t need a visa or anything to cross them). On one side of the river the temples are Thai and on the other you can clearly see that they are Burmese. It’s fascinating.

    There is a massive Buddha statue on the side of a mountain near the border. It’s impressive and I wonder who it’s intended for.

    It’s already about 4.30pm when we leave the border and we have a long 4-5 hour drive back to Chiang Mai. We watch the sun set over the mountains to the west of the highway and then are plunged into a dull darkness. If you are taking this trip with children or are easily bored, I highly recommend carrying something you can use to watch movies on (because you can’t quite read in the dark). The drive is broken up by a short quarter hour stop for bathrooms and snacks. We arrived home at about 9:30pm, 14 hours after leaving. It was a brilliant day and well worth the 1,000 baht ($40) per person.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Ban Sop Ruak, Золотой Треугольник, บ้านสบรวก

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