A day in Chiang Rai, Thailand, Laos and nearly Myanmar

in #travelfeed3 months ago

I really do not like going on organised trip when I go away. Most of the time you join other tourists and get transported around like cattle from one place to another. The tour guide tells you most of the information you need to know about an attraction and all you need to do is to go in to take a photo and tick the been there and done it box. Food, as expected is tourist grade meaning its edible if you're lucky. Who cares about tourists? 99% of them aren't coming back again.

Anyway, whilst in Thailand, I took a day trip from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai with an organised tour. I didn't have enough time to do any research so the organised tour was the only option unless I was willing to pay much more for a private rental car which I wasn't. Here's how my day went.


Mae Kachan Hot Spring and Geyser

Pick up was at 7.15am. We were the second pick up, four more to go and we drove around town for half an hour more to pick them up before we start our three hour journey up north. En route we stopped at the Mae Kachan Hot Spring and Geyser. The geyser erupted maybe about two meters high, nothing dramatic but it was pretty hot. There were a few ladies selling eggs in little baskets. You can either cook them in the spring yourself or buy the cooked ones. We had 20 minutes to stop for souvenirs and a comfort break. Toilets cost 5 baht. They were clean and modern ie not the Thai style raised level squatting ones where I'm always afraid I might fall off. I keep on meaning to take a photo of these Thai style toilets but I'm worried I might drop my phone...


White Temple

The highlight of the trip is the White Temple. This temple was built in 1997 and designed by a local artist. Its a fusion of contemporary, Buddhist and Lanna style. Lanna style architecture is unique to northern Thailand. We arrived at the White Temple late Sunday morning. The sun was scorching hot and it was packed with people, not surprising given this is the most visited tourist attraction in Chiang Rai. I could hardly see what I was capturing on the photos as it was very bright everywhere. Luckily the photos seems to be OK.

We only had 40 minutes here, barely enough to fight through the crowds and admire the temple in detail. That's why I don't like organised tours as you're constantly on the move to cram in as much in as possible. Everywhere ends up as a been there and done it visit. Luckily I managed to snap a quick shot of the golden toilet on the way out - as recommened by the tour guide!


Lunch

Lunch was two minutes drive away and we had half an hour for that. We were the second group of cattle to arrive and five or six more followed us. Twenty minutes later someone asked for more food, the restaurant said no more!!! Not surprised I had no expectation of lunch. The food was ok to fill you up, but that's about it. The highlight meals were the prawn crackers and the dessert.


Long Neck Village

We drove 40 minutes after lunch to the long neck village. You may have seen photos of tribal ladies with elongated necks from wearing rings on the neck. This is an optional tour. I didn't like the idea of paying to see someone's unique body feature. It's not the paying part I don't like. I don't mind that as it was only 300 baht which is around USD10 / £7.7. It just felt odd like going to a circus which I didnt like. Those who went inside the village to see the long neck ladies had twenty minutes. I hanged around outside with a couple of other people and looked at the handicraft on sale and munched on fresh mini pineapples.


Mae Sai border

Mae sai was forty minutes drive away. This is the most northern part of Thailand and is the border with Myanmar. We stopped for twenty minutes watching the buzz at the border. Our tour guide said there used to be a lot of drug trafficking here in the old days but they've crackdown on it now. Crossing the border cost 30 baht for locals and 500 for foreigners. We didn't cross here as we drove another forty minutes to our next and final stop.


The Golden Triangle

The Golden Triangle refers to the part of Mekong River and Ruak River bordered by Thailand, Myanmar and Laos. We boarded a ship from Thailand, where everyone had to leave their passport with my guide, probably to make sure we wouldn't defect to Laos. Then we went for a spin on the river. On one side is Thailand, next to it an inlet is Myanmar territory, and then on the other side of the river is Laos. All three countries are incredibly close here. The ship stopped at Laos and we all got off and entered Laos.

The area by the river is the Donesao Island, the Golden Triangle Special Economic Zone. It is leased by Laos to China for 99 years. The Chinese are building fancy high rise flats and casinos here so the Chinese can come here to gamble. Bit of an irony since gambling is illegal in China. Just shows, you can buy anything with money. We had half an hour here, and walked around the market where traders were selling goods, probably imported from China, to the many Chinese tourists.

We did buy one thing, a local Laos beer. It was surprisingly good (even hubby says so), and that was the highlight of my half an hour visit to Laos!


View this post on TravelFeed for the best experience.

Sort:  

Chang Mai is one of my favorite trips so far. The White Temple was creepy as well as very interesting. Thanks for sharing.

There's also the bridge of hell which is on my video, need to get round to edit that sometime.

Your post has been curated by the bitcoin myk project. Tokens are available for this account you can trade for steem at: https://steem-engine.com/. Join our curation priority list to earn more tokens by registering at:

http://www.bitcoinmyk.com/register/

Visit our discord at: https://discordapp.com/channels/523971711733858364/523971711733858366

Bitcoin MYK
admin
Register - Bitcoin MYK
This post earned 250 BTCMYK

Congratulations, Your Post Has Been Added To The Steemit Worldmap!
Author link: http://steemitworldmap.com?author=livinguktaiwan
Post link: http://steemitworldmap.com?post=a-day-in-chiang-rai-thailand-laos-and-nearly-myanmar


Want to have your post on the map too?

  • Go to Steemitworldmap
  • Click the code slider at the bottom
  • Click on the map where your post should be (zoom in if needed)
  • Copy and paste the generated code in your post
  • Congrats, your post is now on the map!

Thanks for share your memories

Posted using Partiko Android

Hi @livinguktaiwan, a modest tip of appreciation:
$trendotoken
Thanks!

Can't say I'm a fan of organised tours either, I would rather rent a car and do it myself.

Why the ripoff fees for tourists? 30/500 BAHT... it doesn't inspire me to visit.

I just ate a Pineapple cake, did you know they are individually packaged inside that box? They remind me of Fig Rolls.. without the figs.

The local vs foreigner price difference seems to be quite common in Thailand, I saw it in many places, but yeah, probably an easy way to get more income.

Pineapple cake is Taiwan's most famous snack, and that brand is my favourite. I always buy it for friends as it's not too sweet. Actually you are right, they're a bit like fig rolls, just a bit bigger and a different filling. They go quite well with a cuppa, even not the so posh ones ^_^

They go quite well with a cuppa, even not the so posh ones ^_^

Yes, just had one with a cup of expensive coffee from Rochdale bus station, what a bummer coming back to this.

and the cold I imagine 😂

Beautiful all

Posted using Partiko Android

Hiya, @LivingUKTaiwan here, just swinging by to let you know that this post made into our Honorable Mentions in Daily Travel Digest #686.

Your post has been manually curated by the @steemitworldmap team. If you like what we're doing, please drop by to check out all the rest of today's great posts and consider upvoting and supporting us.

A bonus $trendotoken tip from ONECENT!
Also consider MAPR fund and MAXUV vote bonds too.
MAP Steem FinTech: growing your STEEM without SP.

Wow looks like you got to see a lot of interesting things. That white temple is really interesting.

The charms of going on an organised tour, they cram so much in the day☺️

Congratulations! Your high-quality travel content was selected by @travelfeed curator @mrprofessor and earned you a reward, in form of an upvote and a resteem. Your work really stands out! Your article now has a chance to get featured under the appropriate daily topic on our TravelFeed blog.
Thank you for being part of the TravelFeed community!

Thanks for posting through TravelFeed.io! You have received a larger upvote from us. We hope to see you soon on TravelFeed.io!
Posting through TravelFeed.io also makes your post eligible to participate in the travel writing contest by @invisusmundi where you can earn up to 100 STEEM! Read the contest announcement for more information on how to participate.

We are continuously working on improving TravelFeed, recently we presented at SteemFest⁴, published our Android app and launched our Steem witness.

Please consider voting for us as a witness. If you're not sure how to do that, it's easy: Head over to our Support Us page and hit the witness voting button to vote with Steem Keychain, or Steemconnect if you are not a Keychain user. Alternatively, use this Steemconnect link or head over to the Steemit Wallet and enter travelfeed in the box.


Learn more about TravelFeed by clicking on the banner above and join our community on Discord.

Thank you guys!!

Hi, @livinguktaiwan!

You just got a 0.99% upvote from SteemPlus!
To get higher upvotes, earn more SteemPlus Points (SPP). On your Steemit wallet, check your SPP balance and click on "How to earn SPP?" to find out all the ways to earn.
If you're not using SteemPlus yet, please check our last posts in here to see the many ways in which SteemPlus can improve your Steem experience on Steemit and Busy.

An exotic excursion. I loved especially the White Temple. I liked also the bustle on the border, with the multiple flags waving in the wind. Very dynamic!

It certainly was an interesting day, tje White Temple was a bit surreal , more like a piece of art work than temple really , nice!

Hi @livinguktaiwan!

Your post was upvoted by @steem-ua, new Steem dApp, using UserAuthority for algorithmic post curation!
Your UA account score is currently 5.118 which ranks you at #997 across all Steem accounts.
Your rank has not changed in the last three days.

In our last Algorithmic Curation Round, consisting of 95 contributions, your post is ranked at #2. Congratulations!

Evaluation of your UA score:
  • You've built up a nice network.
  • The readers appreciate your great work!
  • Try to work on user engagement: the more people that interact with you via the comments, the higher your UA score!

Feel free to join our @steem-ua Discord server

Congratulations @livinguktaiwan, your post successfully recieved 11.69877938 TRDO from below listed TRENDO callers:

@rycharde earned : 3.130245 TRDO curation
@onecent earned : 4.66894125 TRDO curation


To view or trade TRDO go to steem-engine.com
Join TRDO Discord Channel or Join TRDO Web Site

Wow that's a lot of places in one day, that organized tour must be worth it! We just arrived in Chiang Rai today through motorbike and checking your post for things to do 😃 We passed by the hotspring area yesterday but accommodation was expensive there. We will check out the white temple tomorrow. They close early today for a light show. Saw the temple from the outside and it's gorgeous!