When your private car picks you up from your Chiang Rai hotel you’re driven to the northern Thai border where you’re accompanied by your guide into Myanmar (formerly Burma). Once you cross into Tachileik a three-wheeled tuk tuk whisks you around for a sightseeing tour of several temples.
Stop at the gold-trimmed Temple of the Enrobed Elephant and learn about the intricate architectural design. Admire typical Burmese temple architecture at the Maha Muni pagoda before continuing on to a gilded stupa replica of Shwedagon Pagoda that showcases a large golden Buddha flanked by statue disciples.
Another cultural highlight is a visit to a Long-neck Karen Hill Tribe village, where you can purchase handicrafts made by local artisans; each sale provides income for the community. As you explore with your guide, please limit photos of local women, whose elongated necks — traditionally adorned in heavy brass coils — represent beauty and tribal identity.
Stop for a restaurant lunch of Burmese dishes, then browse goods at a market before returning across the border into the Golden Triangle. See where Thailand, Myanmar and Laos meet at the confluence of the Mekong and Ruak rivers. On a visit to the Hall of Opium, learn about the region’s opium trade — now supplanted by tea production — with an alternate riverboat trip when the museum is closed on Mondays.
After your daylong private tour, you’re returned to your Chiang Rai hotel.