Thailand is a country known not only for its exciting nightlife but also for its cities with remnants of ancient culture. The town of Chiang Rai; once the capital of the Mengrai dynasty, is no exception to this. It is home to a number of hill tribes including Akhas, Hmong, Karen, Lahu, Lisu, Mien and Long Neck Karen (Padong) communities.
Because of its location in the Golden Triangle; a place where Laos, Burma and Thailand come together, Chiang Rai was once the center of opium activity. A key attraction of The Hill Tribe Museum and Education Centre is its display of the city’s opium history, which spans almost 5,500 years. From quaint opium pillows to elaborate opium pipes, antique weighing scales to legendary opium stories, each exhibit paints a vivid picture of the glorious past of opium trade.