The Hall of Opium Museum is located in Chiang Rai Province, Chiang Saen District. Often people mix up two places. There is one nearby called House of Opium and this one is called Hall of Opium on a 40-acre site near Golden Triangle Park. The light gray building, combined with the lush greenery of the surrounding area, conveys a sense of calm and serenity. The museum has been built to educate people about how opium poppies are grown in the hills of Chiang Rai and traded in the Golden Triangle, the dangers of opium addiction, and how the industry has become a global crisis.
Through interactive and multimedia exhibits, the museum is dedicated to the process of opium production, trade and consumption. It illustrates the dark effects of drug abuse at all levels, from individuals and communities to entire nations. The museum is open to people of all ages, but can be a little intense, as it seeks to show visitors the true devastating effects of drug addiction and dependence.
Inside the Hall of Opium
As you enter the museum, you’re greeted by a dim hall illuminated with blue light, the walls of which are littered with grotesque sculptures, giving a sense of unease and solemnity. This hall leads to a white-walled room whose light is focused on a bed of poppies, the beautiful flower infamously used in the production of opium.
Follow the history of opium back to its origin 5000 years ago, then its use and abuse through time until the present. Learn about its presence and place in ancient Egypt and ancient Greece, where it was legal and widely used. The exhibits also document some of the most important events in human history, such as the Chinese Opium Wars, the colonization of India, and the later modernization of the international drug cartels.
One of the most popular exhibits in the Hall of Opium Golden Triangle Park is a display on the various ways opium is grown, harvested, sold and consumed. In a glass case, you can see a fascinating collection of pipes, scales, knives and scrapers used in the different eras of opium production. After you look at the technology, another room shows the aftermath. A sickly, skin-and-bones figure lies on the floor smoking from a pipe. He’s clearly on his deathbed, offering a clear and visible example of how the long-term use and abuse of opium affects the human body.
Beyond carrying a warning message, the museum does an excellent job of educating visitors about the objective history of opium. Along with the borders of Laos and Myanmar, this region of Thailand was known as the Golden Triangle. Between the 1960s and the 1990s, this was the main supplier of heroin and opium to the rest of the world. View photos and interactive panels about the opium wars, drug smuggling, and opium warlords, and learn about the living conditions of the people and villages devastated by drug abuse and conflict.
For a Healthy Future
The Hall of Opium is moving and informative, emotional and educational at the same time. Tourists interested in the history of the Golden Triangle – and northern Thailand in particular – should take the time to stop by.
It was built by the Princess Mother together with the Mae Fah Luang Foundation to educate the world, especially the youth, about the harsh reality of opium in hopes of changing the world and the future for the better. Here you’ll also learn about the positive side of Thailand, which has evolved from one of the main distributors of opium to a country that completely bans opium and combats its use and production through education and community empowerment.
How to get to the Hall Of Opium, Golden Triangle Park
By car or motorcycle
Chiang Rai city to Chiang Sean, Golden Triangle Route 1016, takes about 1.30 hours.
The Golden Triangle Park, opposite the Anatara Hotel, the Hall of Opium, is about 9 km from Chiang Saen.
If you’re coming from Chiang Mai, you should add this venue to your private tour of Chiang Rai.
Foreign adults – 200 Baht/person
From Tuesday to Sunday, 8:30 am to 4:00 pm. Closed on Mondays.
We recommend spending at least two hours in the Hall of Opium.
Moo 1 Ban Sop Ruak , Chiang Saen, Thailand, 57150
Google Map : https://goo.gl/maps/tQ7htjfiWdcR37r78
- E-mail : [email protected]
- Tel :+66 5378 4444