Hi, I’m Calvin from South Korea and I helped to build what3words in Korean. I recently took a trip in the far north of Thailand – a loop between Chiang Rai and Mae Hong Son. I call these places a ‘hilly paradise’! You probably know Thailand for beautiful beaches but I really recommend visiting this part as there are so many breathtaking places. Here are my recommendations using what3words:

Murky river with sign post pointing at different countries

1. Golden Triangle

Here the borders of Thailand, Myanmar and Laos meet at the majestic Mekong river. The area was the world’s largest opium-producing and trafficking place but now you can visit and sail down the curvy river enjoying the breeze and view of the mountains. A nearby museum offers a full tour of the opium history in Asia. It was really interesting and I felt properly educated afterwards! The Golden Triangle area felt too touristy for us so we stayed in a small town called Chiang Saen, and cycled up to the Golden Triangle along the Mekong river. The Mekong river is 4,350 km long and covers 795,000 km²? In other words, it has more than 265 million 3 word addresses!

Enter the Golden Triangle at ///thighbone.grab.taverns

woman taking a photo next to a river under the tree line

2. Tham Lot cave 

This cave is a home to thousands of bats and swifts. If you go at dusk (around 6pm), you’ll see thousands of swifts flying above your head before gliding into the cave while bats make their way out to feed. There’s a freshwater stream piercing the cave and you can hop on a bamboo raft and sail through in the darkness while feeding hundreds of massive fish. The cave is an archaeological site with some teak wood coffins that are over 1,000 years old! Oh, and if you are lucky like us, you might spot cave snakes too!

Enter the Tham Lot cave park at ///informers.flammable.spearing

Chinese lanterns hang in garden with traditional house in background

3. Ban Rak Thai

This beautiful village was settled by soldiers from Yunnan in China. We felt like we were in China as we walked into a restaurant and immediately got served with two types of home-grown tea before even opening the menu! The photo was taken at Lee Wine Rak Thai resort, where rows of tea trees surround the Chinese-style houses. There is a nice lake to stroll around after delicious Yunnanese food. We particularly enjoyed the cool evening air as it’s 1,800m above sea level.

Park for Lee Wine Rak Thai at ///furnished.inflamed.referee

village surrounded by hills covered in forest

4. Mae Hong Son

There is a buddhist temple called Wat Phra That Doi Kong Mu on the top of the hill in the small city Mae Hong Son and the panoramic view from the temple was one of the highlights of our trip. You can walk up the stairs from the bottom or just drive up to the view point. I would recommend you to get there shortly before sunset so you can capture the whole city in a frame, then walk a few steps to see the red sun disappear over the mountains in Myanmar. This temple itself is also very interesting because its architecture is different to others you see in Thailand due to a strong Burmese influence. While staying in Mae Hong Son, you can also do tracking and visit hill tribes.

Enter the temple in Mae Hong Son at ///cultures.timetable.trotted

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