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Thailand: 1 Day Chiang Rai and Golden Triangle Tour

*This is super long overdue post!*

Chiang Rai is a small city in the most northern province of Thailand situated approximately three hours away from the most popular sister city of Chiang Mai. Of course if I had the chance, I would love to stay at least for a night here rather than taking an excursion tour but unfortunately due to time constraint, that's my last resort. I booked this tour from the hostel I stayed in Chiang Mai - So Hostel a day before it start for the priced of  800 baht (approx. to RM84).

1 Day Chiang Rai & Golden Triangle Tour Cover

The tour began as early as 7 am in order for the driver to pick up each and every guest from their hotel/hostels...

Our first pit stop is Maekhajan Hot Springs. a public hot spring that is well-known among the local and it's consider to be part of their rest stop before continue their way to Chiang Mai or Chiang Rai. The hot spring is exceptionally hot and therefore, don't ever think to take a bath here. However, you can purchase eggs from any of those stall nearby and boil them in this natural hot springs.

Thailand - Hot Spring Chiang Rai

Our tour then continued with the stunning Wat Rong Khun which also known as The White Temple for its dazzling white colour inlaid with mirrored glass. This is obviously the main highlight of this tour. I blogged about this marvelous temple before - you can check out here: Wat Rong Khun - The White Temple of Chiang Rai.

Thailand - Chiang Rai Wat Rong Khun 00

After that, we moved forward to the Golden Triangle where we get the chance to witness the meeting points of three Indo-China countries; Thailand, Myanmar (Burma) and Laos. Both of my parents been and experienced this Chiang Rai and Golden Triangle tour before, and they keep telling me how awesomeness of this Golden Triangle where they got to enter these three countries for free. So now, I want to experience myself to see how true is that. 

The tour package doesn't include a boat cruise along the Mekong River to the Laos island of Don Sao. If you are interested, you have to fork out extra fee of 300 baht (approx. to RM31) for it and also 30 baht for the entrance fee to Don Sao Island.  

Note: You are required to show your original passport when taking the boat ride on the Mekong to across Laos. Hence, remember to bring along your original passport in case you would like to take this optional tour. 

Thailand - Chiang Rai Golden Triangle Boat Ride
Golden Triangle, the meeting points of three countries; Thailand, Myanmar (Burma) and Laos

Thailand - Chiang Rai Golden Triangle Cross Border to Laos

And because this is a quick overview tour, we're given only a short limit of time to explore the island. Luckily it was small little town and there's nothing much to wander and venture for. There are few shops around selling abundance items like counterfeit handbags, local dry food which I found it's uninteresting.  

Then, we board on boat again back to Thailand border. From there, we had long hour drive to Mae Sai, a small town in northern Thai border. It's very popular among the visitors for it's close proximity to Myanmar border which is located a mere ten meters away across the river. However, unlike what my parents told me earlier, we're strictly prohibited from entering into Myanmar due to visa issue. For your information, a Malaysian is required to apply for visa in order to visit Myanmar. You can check out my post on Myanmar here. As a result, we can only catch a glimpse of Myanmar from far.  

Thailand - Chiang Rai Northern Most of Thailand

Thailand - Chiang Rai 03
So close, yet so far away

On the return leg back to Chiang Mai, we had our final and last stop at the ethnic hill tribes villages of Akha and Yao Lahu. Once again, we're being told that we need to pay extra of 300 baht (not again!) if we would like to visit Keren Hill Village which is famed for its long-necked tribe. Since it's optional, I chosen not to join cause I've seen this long-necked tribe when I was in Myanmar and you know what, it's free somemore.  

Thailand - Chiang Rai Native Village

Thailand - Chiang Rai Native Village 02

Would I recommend this one day tour execution? In case you only have a short period of time spending in Chiang Mai, then it's no harm to sign for this. But like I mentioned earlier since it's a whirlwind tour, everything is indeed rush and pack. That's explain why I dislike joining any organised tour company/agent, unless I have no other option. If I were given another chance to be back again in future, I would love to explore and discover Chiang Rai myself than signing a tour. Probably what my parents experienced are way more better than mine due to the different package tour they took. You know like they said, "When you pay peanuts, you get monkeys."  

1 Day Chiang Rai and Golden Triangle Tour
Tour Price: 800 baht 
Tour Includes:
  • Pick-up from Chiang Mai's hotels/hostels 
  • An English speaking tour guide
  • An air-conditioned car/minivan
  • Admission fees to all places indicated in tour except for Don Sao Island
  • Lunch
Majority of this tour starts at 7 am and end by 9 pm, at least.
Date Visited: 14th April 2014

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing the info about this interesting place which is in my bucket list. I have been procrastinating and delaying those nearby places for my old age! LOL
    Your blog posts often jolted my senses to visit! I love the place of the Golden Triangle's point.


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