"Mae Sai & The Golden Triangle" Top 5 Page for this destination Mae Sai by BorderHopper

Mae Sai Travel Guide: 76 reviews and 203 photos

Thailand's Northern Most Point

My family & I have been travelling to Mae Sai over the past few years. It's a region of Thailand that we've really grown to love. The weather is tolerable, the scenery is beautiful, and with each trip we find something new to see & experience. On our last trip to Mae Sai we brought along our friends, Ronnie McCord of Los Angeles & Jason, My, and Connie Bisson of Hanoi, to take part in our annual adventure in the Golden Triangle. With our children in tow we headed to Thailand's most northern point, Mae Sai, which sits squarely in the Golden Triangle just across the river from Tachilek, Myanmar (Burma).

Why go to Mae Sai?

Mae Sai is about 1 hour north of Chiang Rai. From Bangkok you can easily take a direct bus to Chiang Rai and then catch a local bus from the depot for the one hour ride to Mae Sai. (You can also fly on one of the airlines that fly from Bangkok to Chiang Rai.) From the Mae Sai bus station its about another 10 minute moto ride to the actual border crossing for Myanmar. Many people come to Mae Sai for the oppurtunity to cross into Burma for a short visit in the town of Tachilek. You can easily get a one day pass from the Burmese authorities for $5 usd, but they hold onto your passport until you return that same day to Thailand. Mae Sai is also a nice base which can be used to explore the beautiful countryside and the once infamous Golden Triangle. The Mekong River is a day trip away by moto and it is where you can see the convergence of two rivers, the Ruak & the Mekong, that forms the border to three countries...Thailand, Myanmar, and Laos. All are easily visited by boat which you can hire for about 300 baht in Sop Ruak, Thailand!

Beacuse its the Golden Triangle!

The town of Mae Sai is just a good place to bed down while you are in the region. Its not a very big city so its pretty easy to get around and renting a moto for countryside excursions is easily done at the Honda dealership in town. My wife & I have been to this region 3 times & spent about a week each time in Mae Sai where we discovered many things, all equally fascinating, that kept us busy throughout our stay there. The Opium fields have been totally eradicated in the Golden Triangle region within Thailand have been replaced with other cash crops such as tobacco. The fields are green and expansive and spread across the land like an emerald blanket which reaches the base of the numerous limestone mountains that dot the region. There are plenty of caves to explore, hidden lakes to swim, open roads to ride, winding rivers to fish, and hillside villages to wander. Best of all the weather is superb in the winter time & the air is fresh!

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Green fields, limestone mountains, open roads and fresh air!
  • Cons:Nightlife can be limited here so expect quite nights (not really a con).
  • In a nutshell:A great place if you want to hit three countries in one day...Thailand, Burma, and Laos!
  • Last visit to Mae Sai: Aug 2004
  • Intro Updated Jul 13, 2007
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Reviews (34)

Comments (17)

  • kumarsps's Profile Photo
    Jun 6, 2008 at 6:29 AM

    Taking a taxi direct to Mae Sai... how much does it cost - is it safe??

  • crewrower's Profile Photo
    Jul 7, 2006 at 10:54 AM

    so McKinley has red/light colored hair? That's interesting since he's half Thai. Very suprising and unqiue too? Wow. Congrats to you.

  • victorwkf's Profile Photo
    Jul 31, 2005 at 7:55 AM

    Hi James, your Mae Sai information & photographs are really good ! Also, thanks a lot for dropping by at my Mae Sai page :)

  • deecat's Profile Photo
    Jun 23, 2005 at 11:20 AM

    James, your pages are truly enchanting. They captivate the reader with the temple, pagoda, caves, Mekong River, Thailand, Laos, Burma..love photo of you on bike with in the mirror. Your son is lucky to see so much with his folks. Bravo to you & yours.

  • 34N118W's Profile Photo
    Jun 13, 2005 at 10:31 PM

    I love your pic of the Golden Triangle with all the arrows.

  • le_Nil's Profile Photo
    Mar 8, 2004 at 1:27 PM

    so you gonna bring me too???

  • awayhome's Profile Photo
    Mar 4, 2004 at 3:01 PM

    Hey,,so we gonna go back there again or what??

  • herzog63's Profile Photo
    Jun 21, 2003 at 12:18 AM

    Mae Sai looks well worth the 12 hour ride!! I love your photos James!!

  • Venturingnow's Profile Photo
    Mar 2, 2003 at 7:33 PM

    Outstanding page, I really enjoyed the layout, pictures, and great tips.

  • richiecdisc's Profile Photo
    Jan 29, 2003 at 5:38 PM

    AND you can do a Burma page too. ;) Nice way to fill the categories, James.

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