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Getting There

By Bus -- Buses from Chiang Rai's Bus Terminal leave every 15 minutes from 6am to 6pm (trip time 1 1/2 hr.; fare 35B). The bus drops you on Chiang Saen's main street, where the museum and main temples are within walking distance.

By Car -- Take the Superhighway Route 110 north from Chiang Rai to Mae Chan, and then Route 1016 northeast to Chiang Saen.

Orientation -- Route 1016 is the village's main street, also called Phaholyothin Road, which terminates at the Mekong River. Along the river road there are a few guesthouses, eateries, and souvenir, clothing, and food stalls.

The Golden Triangle and the town of Sob Ruak are just 10km (6 1/4 miles) north of the town of Chiang Saen, and the choicest accommodations (the Anantara and the Four Seasons) are just a few clicks west from there. Mae Sai is some 30km (19 miles) west of the Golden Triangle.

Getting Around

On Foot -- There's so little traffic, it is a pleasure to walk around here; most of the temple ruins are within a 15-minute walk of the town center, though you'll need transport for the more far-flung sites.

By Bicycle & Motorcycle -- It's a great bike ride (45 min.) from Chiang Saen to the prime nearby attraction, the Golden Triangle. The roads are well paved and pretty flat. Bicycles are also ideal for exploring Chiang Saen's more remote temples. Several places on the main road have bicycles for 50B per day, and 100cc motorcycles for 200B per day, as does Gin's Guest House (tel. 05365-0847), 2km (1 1/4 miles) north of the center beside the river.

By Songtaew -- Public songtaews make frequent trips between Chiang Saen and the Golden Triangle for about 50B. They leave from the eastern end of Phaholyothin Road, near the river.

By Longtail Boat -- Longtail boat captains down by the river offer Golden Triangle tours for as little as 800B per boat (seating eight) per half-hour. Many people enjoy the half-hour cruise, take a walk around the village of Sob Ruak after they've seen the Golden Triangle, and then continue by bus.

Fast Facts

A Siam Commercial Bank is in the middle of the town's main street, Phaholyothin Road, Route 1016. It's close to the bus stop, the post and telegram office (with no overseas service and few local telephones), the police station, and such attractions as the Chiang Saen National Museum. There are currency exchange booths at the Golden Triangle.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.