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Commonly believed to be the oldest city in Thailand, Chiang Saen offers a unique glimpse into the history of this majestic district. Facilitating trade with other countries via the Mekong River, Chiang Saen was originally a thriving commercial area. Whilst a turbulent history led to the area being abandoned by many residents, Chiang Saen has recovered in recent years and is now a hidden gem for tourists and holidaymakers.

With rural villages and well-known attractions to explore, Chiang Saen gives you a glimpse into Thailand’s unique history. Despite the natural, historical and contemporary sights, many tourists miss out on what the district has to offer. For holidaymakers and travellers lucky enough to stop off at this stunning destination on their Mekong river cruise, the lack of tourists only serves to provide a more peaceful and authentic Thai experience.

RV Champa Pandaw at Chiang SaenRV Champa Pandaw at Chiang Saen

Top Attractions in Chiang Saen

Golden Triangle

The Golden Triangle lies at the joining point of Laos, Thailand and Myanmar, meeting altogether in the Mekong River. Historically, this has been known as one of the biggest opium-producing locations of the world.

The Golden Triangle Park offers educational experiences, souvenir shops and views of Thailand, Laos and Myanmar. Situated just 9 kilometres outside of Chiang Saen, day visitors can access the Park via public transport or pre-arranged hire vehicles. With the Golden Triangle tri-point situated within the village of Wiang, this is perhaps the most popular place to visit in Chiang Saen.

Hall of Opium

The Golden Triangle Hall of Opium is located within the Chiang Saen district and is a must-see for Chiang Saen visitors. Offering a unique insight into the opium trade, the museum reflects the area’s history and gives visitors an unparalleled understanding of how the drugs trade impacted the district and the Golden Triangle as a whole.

Wat Pa Sak

This stunning Buddhist temple in Chiang Saen is perfect for those wanting to learn more about ancient history as it originates back to the 13th or 14th century. This site is filled with teak trees and intricate architecture.

More Reasons To Visit Chiang Saen

With new destinations being developed in Chiang Saen, there are more reasons to visit this remarkable city than ever before. A new museum and learning centre is set to open in 2020, along with the world’s largest flagpole. Visible from distances as far as 20km away, the city’s new landmark will be a reminder of the area’s historic importance and its cultural revival.

Perfect for holidaymakers and travellers of all ages, the Chiang Saen district provides an unrivalled view of Thai culture and history. Whilst the Chiang Saen district may sometimes be overlooked by some tourists, its location ensures its ideally situated for guests aboard Pandaw river cruises. Our Laos Mekong expedition, Laos to China cruise and the Halong Bay, Red River and Laos, Mekong river cruises all include stops at Chiang Saen, so you can enjoy this undiscovered gem as part of your travels.

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