Thailand, Chiang Rai tour

03/10/16

As I was stumped on what to do in Chiang Mai, I decided to go see Chiang Rai in a day. It cost me 1250B which was super pricey but thought it would be the same price to go there by myself.

We set off at 7am and the first stop was the hot springs, where we only got around 20mins there which was a shame. There was the main hot spring at the front which spewed water mechanically and really smelt like sulphur, then there was another small pool where you could cook some eggs. At the back there’s some spots where you can dip your feet into the water, and this water was super hot! Most people had half red half white legs.

Our next destination was the white temple which is a modern build, it’s extremely beautiful and shiney. There’s also the random hints of pop culture with hanging batman heads and paintings of Michael Jackson. We spent around 45 mins here and again I could have spent longer. Even the toilet was a fancy affair with gold elements shining in the sun.

Lunch was next and it was a casual buffet which works well to please everyone, it was decent food with vegetables on offer so I can’t complain!

We then headed North to the Golden Triangle, which was cool to see the point were the 3 countries come together, but having seen the Mekong river multiple times before was slightly underwhelmed. I didn’t have to but thought I may as well go on the boat trip with everyone else for an extra 300B, but wished I hadn’t. It wasn’t interesting and when we stopped off at an island in Laos, there was nothing cultural in the slightest, just fake bags and other fake items to puchase. There were also a ton of small children begging and holding babies for more effect, I didn’t like it at all.

Our next stop, which in my opinion was a bit a pointless and a waste of time, was to go look at the Myanmar boarder which we can’t cross because of visa issues and we just stayed there for 20mins to look at stuff to buy or go toilet. It took us around 30mins just to drive there!

Finally we went to the Karen Long neck village, I like a good village having spent some time in local villages in Laos, but this wasn’t a natural village. The women all sit at their designated posts where they sell some stuff they made and then you take a picture with them or of them. It’s a tough one this as you can’t help but think that these women are forced into wearing the rings still or they are being exploited, but at the same time it was a tradition made before tourism latched on and maybe some of the women genuinely want to keep that tradition. My guess is the majority now just do it for money as they have no other option, which is saddening. I half enjoyed visiting and half did not.

We then headed back to Chiang Mai, and arrived back at around 8.30pm. I would genuinely say that I didn’t enjoy this tour as much as I’d hoped, but glad I saw the white temple.

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