Chiang Rai Thailand, Bordering Laos, and Burma
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Chiang Rai Thailand, Bordering Laos, and Burma
Chiang rai Province is in the northwestern most tip of Thailand, and can be an adventure of its own. It is possible to visit 3 countries in one single day. Chiang Rai is home to the famous White Temple, and is part of the infamous Golden Triangle.
Chiang Rai Facts
The historical sites here are a testament to the period dated Lanna Kingdom, housing Stupas and Pagodas ranging from 700 to 900 years old, there are historic sites and temples centuries old in Chiang Rai that are absolutely astounding. The famous Mekong River divides Lao and Thailand, a short boat ride across the Mekong River, allows you to enter a small island in Laos to visit a market selling handmade items, as well as other exotic wares. You will discover some really weird whiskeys for sale here, with Cobras, Scorpions, and other odd creatures right inside the bottle. The boat ride across the river is on a long-tail boat that is only found in SE Asia, and is a nice addition to the adventure.
Luang Prabang Laos and Kunming China
One may book a ferry boat ride from Thailand to Luang Prabang Laos, where the over night stay is simply fabulous. From Luang Prabang you may even take a bus on to Kunming China, which is approximately 8 hours, the Chinese border is not very far at all from Luang Prabang.
Mae Sai Thailand and Tachilek Burma
Mai Sai is quite famous for its markets, this is a popular holiday destination for a lot of Bangkok Thai’s. The market in Mae Sai is something to behold, get your shopping bags and tennis shoes ready; this market has everything and at prices that are incredible. Being that this town is close to Laos, Burma and China the wares and goods are marked way below prices you will find elsewhere. If you choose to cross the border from Mae Sai into Tachilek, you will see the stark contrast in poverty, as Tachilek is part of the northern Shan State of Burma that has been suppressed by the Burmese Government. The people are very friendly, but do try hard to hawk their wares. Do be aware that some will try to sell you drugs, do not under any circumstances do this.
Chiang Rai City
Chiang Rai city is fascinating in a lot of ways, and can be quite entertaining, especially the Sunday Walking Street which is when many vendors set-up shops on one of the city’s main roads. The Night Bazaar which is very close to the bus station is also very lively, here you can enjoy cultural shows as well as some pretty good local live music. There are tables set-up all in the center close to the stage, and food vendors encircle the area. Grabbing some local Thai delicacies, listening to local Thai music, and having a beer, now that is a fun way to conclude an evening after seeing the sites.
The Infamous White Temple of Chiang Rai
This is one of the most stunning and beautiful temples in all of Thailand, and is the first stop for most tourists to Chiang Rai. The temple was built and designed by one of Thailand’s top artists. There is an area where you can view some of his paintings on the temple grounds. This temple is so beautiful that it is frequented by thousands of travelers daily. One was lucky enough to meet this artist years ago on premises; a very nice man, lets hope you get the chance to meet him too.
There is Even More to This Culture Rich Province.
Take a river cruise on the Mekong
Visit caves and national parks
Visit the Long-Neck Hilltribe Village
Visit Ancient Temples
Go for a mountain hike
Rent a scooter and see the rural areas
Visit the Opium Museum
A Summary of Chiang Rai Thailand.
Chiang Rai is very different from a lot of major tourist destinations in Thailand, the people are very honest, friendly and laid back. Being just a 3 ½ hour bus-ride from Chiang Mai City, this is a must visit place while in Northern Thailand. Many visitors come to the north, and decide to stay longer requiring a visa extension, you may extend your visa by crossing the Tachilek bridge into Burma and returning a few hours later (Note: Do Check with Thai immigration as visa policies change often.). For those less adventurous, finding a driver to take you around to see all of these wonderful places I do highly recommend.
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