Chiang Rai, is the northern most province in Thailand and is a good base from which to explore the Golden Triangle, the remote area where the Mekong River makes its borders with Laos to the east and Myanmar to the west. Populated by diverse hill tribes, this region has long been associated with the opium trade. Today, in the most part, the poppy fields have given way to vegetable plots. The museum dedicated to explaining the social and economic significance of opium through the ages is well worth visiting. The city of Chiang Rai itself is 565 metres above sea level and has a laid back atmosphere, refreshing climate, and tree lined riverbanks.