Thailand 2015 (3/4) : Chiang Rai

[Nov 5- 10, 2015] This is the continuation of my recent post — Thailand 2015 (2/4) : Chiang Mai.

Day 3 – CHIANG RAI!

We had our day trip to Chiang Rai arranged beforehand with the help of Chana Place. The Chiang Rai Day Tour costs 1300 Baht— inclusive of the roundtrip transportation, lunch buffet, Hot Spring, Wat Rong Khun (White Temple), Karen Long Neck Tribe, Golden Triangle, and Thailand-Myanmar Border. Really a good deal given the distance of one place to another.

Joy, our tour guide, happily gave us brief history about each place. Like Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai being ruled by the same leader – King Rai. Chiang Rai being the older city — Chiang means “City”, while Rai named after the King. X years after (yep, bad memory!), he built the nearby city and called it Chiang Mai, meaning “New City”.

Here are the places we visited:

Hot Spring – Nothing really much to do here. The place has lots of souvenir shops and food stalls. More of a quick stopover before heading to the next destination.

Wat Rong Khun (White Temple) – one of the reasons why I’ve insisted going to Chiang Rai. From online photos to real life, this temple is amazing. See how intricate the details are! This is privately owned by a renowned artist. Until now, it is not yet finished and he keeps on adding more!

Karen Long Neck Tribe – the sweetest encounter I had from the trip. The Karen (Padong) Long Neck Tribe are originally from Myanmar but had traveled and migrated to Chiang Rai. Up to this date, women still uphold their tradition of wearing heavy brass metals around their necks. Yes, even little girls do this!

I got to talk to Mema, a little girl from the tribe who’s very fond of taking photos. Such a sweet little kid! <3

Golden Triangle and Thailand-Myanmar Border – this is where the great Mekong River divides three different countries : Thailand – Myanmar – Laos. We opted not to ride the boat to tour around the Mekong and go to Laos border (w/c is also another 300 Baht) and just waited for our tour group. We stayed at a nearby cafe with free WiFi instead! I just love their Strawberry Shake!

We had our free buffet afterwards and had our stopover at the Thailand – Myanmar border for souvenirs. Ate Jen had bought a silver ring with gemstone for only 600 baht!

Chiang Mai Saturday Market – At around 4:00 PM, we are already on our way back to Chiang Mai. It took us almost 4 – 4.5 hours to get back. We had our tour group dropped us at the Saturday Market so we can get our Chiang Mai souvenirs and dinner. Diverse selection of souvenirs and knick-knacks can be found at the market. One thing I’ve noticed is how they greatly support and promote local handicrafts. No wonder tourism in this area is good!

Like all the other nights, we went back tired but happy! For our next trip, we’ll see more of the beach – to Phuket!

That’s it for now.

<3 always, Irene

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