|We awoke this morning to a beautiful day and after breakfast made our way to Mae Sai and it's cross border sister town of Tachileik on the Burmese side of the border. While in Mae Sai we visited the monument to King Nareseun and Wat Phra That Doi Wao or Scorpion Temple which had spectacular views of Mae Sai and Tachileik in Burma (now known as Myanmar). We took a walk thru the bustling market and stopped for a coffee at Doi Chang Coffee where we took some pictures of the most northern point of Thailand and the crossing into Burma over the Nam Ruak River. After our coffee, we continued on our way to the area of The Golden Triangle where the Nam Ruak River flows into the Mekong River at Sop Ruak and which is considered the "centre" of The Golden Triangle. In actuality, The Golden Triangle is a much larger geographic area which reaches deep into Myanmar, Laos and Thailand and within which the opium trade runs rampant. At Sop Ruak is a large seated Golden Buddha and Elephant Monument. After leaving Sop Ruak we traveled back to Chiang Rai where we visited Wat Phra Kaew, where legends say the original Emerald Buddha (now in Bangkok) was hidden in the stupa and was only discovered after the stupa was struck by lightening in 1434 and fell apart. A second copy (the other is in Chiang Mai) of the Emerald Buddha (not exactly the same) was sculpted from Canadian jade in 1990 and sits in Haw Phra Kaew (in the same wat compound) and is called Phra Yok Chiang Rai (also known as Chiang Rai Jade Buddha). Also located in Chiang Rai is Wat Rong Khun, which is completely white in colour with mirror glass mosaics. This temple was constructed about 3 to 4 years ago funded by a local Thai artist who became very successful and wanted to give something back to his community. The project started out to be just a simple temple hall or "wihaan" but became much more with numerous other buildings being added over time and construction still continues. We made our way back to Chiang Mai and returned to The Empress Hotel ....