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“Sop Ruak may not be worth your time or money”

Ranked #27 of 95 things to do in Chiang Rai
Attraction details
Reviewed April 26, 2013

We went on the Golden Triangle Tour from Chiang Rai (4 hour tour). Stopped at several interesting temples enroute. However part of the focus was going to an island between Thailand and Laos. This island is set up to sell 'stuff' to tourists. I am not a shopper and found nothing worthwhile in seeing the shirts, handbags and junk souvenirs. The boat ride on the Mekong River to and from the island was enjoyable.

We did see from the overlook a peek of Myanmar (Burma) and Laos to the North but not very impressive. Unless you need to say I was in Laos (the island), if you are short on time I would carefully consider this outing for cost and use of your time.

Thank Sue F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 26, 2013

In all honesty, the town of Sop Ruak is nothing special, just a tourist trap selling t-shirts, souvenirs, and overpriced icreams. But, if you do go, you should do two things:

One: climb to the lookout point (up the stairs to the temple, then further up the road) where you get a great view looking out over the actual point where Thailand, Laos and Burma collide. (Allow 30 minutes for this)

Two: visit the Hall of Opium (http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Attraction_Review-g317131-d456633-Reviews-Hall_of_Opium_Museum-Chiang_Saen_Chiang_Rai_Province.html), a GREAT GREAT museum, offering a fascinating insight into the opium trade, as well as its links with the tea trade, and drugs in general. Very educational. (Allow 2 hours for this).

2  Thank DavidSaulFineberg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 24, 2013

We visited Chiang Saen while staying in Chiang Rai...I couldn't pass up the opportunity to take a boat ride on the Mekong River, see Myanmar from the river and visit Laos. We paid the extra Baht to go to Laos...no passport or visa needed...we went to the special economic zone at Done Xao just to say we had been there. This gave us the chance to buy a couple of items and help out the economy in Laos. Worth the time and effort to make the visit...

1  Thank Takarehi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 6, 2013

The Golden Triangle has its own magic about it. The confluence of three countries two of which are just coming into the Tourist arena - Laos and Myanmar. That's worth a visit, but up your your thrill and get into one of the dragon boats and roar up the river. Two inline seats with the driver perched on the back and a a roaring pedestal mounted motor with a short exhaust and long shaft out to a surface drive. Magic.
You get to visit Laos where you go ashore for a miserly 30 Baht for a 1 hour Visa. It's a border market but enjoy it and get back into the boat for the return thrash up the Mekong back to Sop Ruack.
Get your breath back with a visit to the opium museum and you've done the experience. It was a memorable town.

Thank BisoninExile
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed February 8, 2013

We hired a car in Chiang Mai and drove here. We left Chiang Mai around 10am and got here around 1.30 after a couple of stops.
The lookout itself has the big Buddha statue and some other touristy statues to take pictures of.
Then you can lookout to see Myanmar, Laos and sort of up to China.
We decided to do the boat trip. There are various boats around. A guy approached us when we got out of our car and offered us a boat with just the two of us with an hour stop in Laos for 500 Baht. You can probably get it cheaper but we thought this was good value and didn't bother trying to bargain.
So after taking some pics and looking around the touristy souvenier stands we set off.
I LOVED the boat trip. It was a small boat with just us two and the driver. The boat skipped across the water to the Myanmar casino, then followed the Laos coast along to the Laos economic zone. When the boat pulled up 4 kids came sprinting down to help tie up the boat and then started to plead non stop for '5 baht'

We started walking along the pier to another set of steps and our boat captain called us back and said we should go up the stairs where he dropped us off. He accompanied us and at the top of the stairs where there was a ticket booth for the 'entrance fee' into the village.
We got charged 30 Baht and issued a ticket. I read previously the price was 20 Baht, I searched the ticket for some kind of price and didn't find any.
I suspect our boat captain received 10 Baht.

The village itself was just a tourist souvenier place. Zillions of fake handbags on sale. Along with t'shirts, cushions, trinkets and most distubingly 'man whisky' which had snakes inside. Or even more disturbingly and big jar with scorpions, snakes, a baby crocodile and who knows what else with a label claiming it was great for rheumatism and other various ailments. I couldn't imagine who would buy such a thing, until I saw a group of asian tourists all sampling the various concoctions.
We took the back way and walked through to the another row of shops which had another ticket booth at the front. I tried to enquire about the price of tickets but interestingly, the lady wouldn't tell me.
There wasn't really anything to eat here, so make sure you eat before you come.
After that we got the boat ride back to Sop Ruak. We went to the Opium Museum which was quite informative. We didn't go to the Hall of Opium.
Then we drove back to Chiang Mai and got there around 5pm.
The roads there are quite good and we found it really easy to drive ourselves with a GPS.
I thought it was worth going to in the area.

2  Thank kar-travel-01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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