Scouting for Opium Along the Mekong in the Golden Triangle, Thailand
Your Northern Thai guide leads you to a lookout point, near the House of Opium, at the epicenter of the Golden Triangle, one of the world's fertile grounds of "black gold," or opium. You gaze across the wide Mekong River while your guide explains the "Triangle" isn't technically three-sided—that parts of Vietnam, and now a small slice of China, are included in the mix. Granted, the view isn't totally aesthetically pleasing, and the Mekong, while forceful, is a dull shade of milk chocolate. But the misty air is heavy with intrigue, and the lush green landscape, while static and serene, carries many secrets. Standing on this bluff is a quiet yet powerful experience—the region is full of history, and the panorama is awe-inspiring.