Why you should pass on the Golden Triangle Tour in Thailand
I love the plan. It’s what I do. I admire those brave and adventure travelers who can leave their next destination to chance but not this guy. Ever since I spent a day lugging a 30 pound backpack through the hilly streets of Chamonix France in search of a place to sleep, I plan ahead. To never repeat that incident again and to ensure I find the best things to do at the best prices, I research. I utilize the inter-webs and other travel bloggers knowledge and always maximize my time. That is until I got signed up for the Golden Triangle Tour in Thailand. Here’s why:
Golden Triangle Tour in Thailand – What you should know
Beat from an extensive travel schedule, we left Chang Mai up to chance. We knew we were going to ride (walk) elephants and take a cooking class but beyond that we were free for whatever. Although I knew absolutely nothing about it, I knew I wanted to see the White Temple (Wat Rong Khun) in Chang Rai so when I walked past a tour company advertising a day trip to it I blindly booked it. Like a pigeon tourist I got up so sold to the Golden Triangle Tour in Thailand which included a stop at the Mekong River where Laos, Burma, and Thailand meet. The Golden Triangle Tour in Thailand also includes an optional stop at a longneck tribal Village, the Burma border, and an optional boat ride to Laos. Sounds solid right? Not so much.
Now if I would have planned ahead I would’ve known that:
- The Golden Triangle Tour in Thailand is over 12 hours, 9+ of it are spent on a bus.
- The alternative to going on the optional boat ride to Laos is waiting on the side of a dirt road until everyone gets back.
- The trip to Laos is like visiting a leather bag factory on the side of a road.
- The Longnecked tribe is not authentic. It is done for tourist entertainment which is sickening…although it provides money for those that may not have it otherwise so I don’t know…we did not partake.
- The alternative to visiting the Longneck tribe is sitting on the side of a dirt road until everyone gets back.
- Visiting the Burma border is like visiting a busy tourist market in Thailand.
- The White Temple (Wat Rong Khun) is unlike any other temple in the world.
Why This Temple is the highlight of Golden Triangle Tour in Thailand
At the time I didn’t know how to feel about this last point. From what I had seen in pictures, this place was a pristine shrine. What I didn’t realize is what this is a shrine for. Around the grounds there are decorations of shrunken heads to Predator coming out of the earth. Everything was some sort of homage to science-fiction with the mural inside of the shrine taking the proverbial slice of the weird cake.
I wasn’t able to take pictures inside but have a look here –> TURBO ODD PICTURES OF WAT RONG KHUN MURAL
What. The. Fuck.
I left there with more questions than answers. If I had planned ahead I think I would have appreciated Wat Rong Khun more for what it is than what it isn’t. Also, this was the highlight for me on the Golden Triangle Tour in Thailand and it isn’t even on the Golden Triangle! Blah.
Long Day, Little Results
In the end it was a long day of seeing things I would normally pass on. Still, as surprising as the Wat Rong Khun was to me, it really is interesting and I did get to have a beer in Laos which wasn’t on the travel itinerary. I will take those as wins but would not recommend this Golden Triangle Tour in Thailand to anyone. Alternatively renting motor bikes and doing the tour on your own over a couple of days would be fun. I essentially paid for sleeping on a short bus for 9 hours.
My loss is your win! Plan ahead.