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"Opium House" PDF Print E-mail
Written by Somchit Srimoon   
Wednesday, 28 January 2009 08:10

"Opium House" in Chiang Rai

Often confused with the hall of Opium, the House of Opium or the Opium House consists of numerous antiques that are related to the Golden Triangle of the Chiang Rai. The Golden Triangle is a 60km stretch in the Chiang Rai province of the Northern Thailand. It was well known for its notorious opium trade which began in 1900s. The opium trade was introduced by the hill tribes which had migrated from the neighboring countries. The trade has been officially banned now and the government is promoting growth of alternate crops.

The Opium House not only houses the relics belonging to the historical Golden Triangle but also the painting and some handicraft items that are related to the cultural heritage of the Chiang Rai province. The Opium House is located in:

212 Moo.1 (Ban Sop Ruak Village)
Tumbon Wiang
Umpoe Chinag Sean
Chiang Rai Province
Thailand 57150

It is easy to reach the small village. You can drive north all along the Asia Highway from the city of Chiang Rai. Another common route is to go by car from Chiang Rai and travel to north along the Burmese border town of Mae Sai. From here you can drive along the Mekong River which goes east along the Thai border and in the town of Ban Sop Ruak.  

The small town of Ban Sob Ruak Village is so dedicated to this subject that there are actually two museums related to it. The smaller one is located right in the middle of the town. The Opium House or popularly called as the House of Opium is kept extremely well. Even though the museum is not a government property and it is owned by private group, it is a place you would like to visit. It is opened daily from 7am-6pm and the admission fee is Baht 50. The entry is free for children who are 120 cm or less.

The Opium House has a souvenir shop from where you can buy items for your collection.  

The Opium House was started by Mrs. Patcharee out of her passion for collecting curios and antiques. She has dedicated her collection to her home town and the province Chiang Rai. Ever since the museum started in 1990, it has a plethora of tourists visiting it everyday. The tools of interest in the House of Opium include Opium pipes, Knives and Scrappers, Opium boxes, Weights and Scales, Pillows and Mats. Apart from these you can also view the lovely poppy flowers which are the prime source of producing opium. The museum exhibits and erudite the visitors on the production of opium and its usage in the lives of the hill tribe people and you can get educated about the opium history in this place right from the time it started.

Last Updated on Thursday, 29 January 2009 09:06