We met Caz and Dave at the Chat House (our guesthouse in Chiang Rai) and got along with them straight away. By we I mean Dennis because I was lying in bed dying the previous night.
Anyway! So we decided to go, on the 24th of October – in case you are lost in our adventures! – the four of us, for one of the sightseeing tours offered by the guesthouse. Until the last minute, I thought I wasn’t going to be able to go. But I was!
Also, Caz managed to bargain the price down to 1000THB per person which is pretty good!
So off we went with Kai, Caz, Dave, Dennis and I in Kai’s car. First we went to the White Temple, south of Chiang Rai. The artist accepted no donations so that he was free to do all he wanted.
And here we are in front of the White Temple!
And this is the entrance, apparently representing hell. You then go on a bridge that takes you to the inside of the temple, where no photos are allowed.
The inside was had been slightly affected by an earthquake a while ago, but it was still extremely beautiful. The paintings are very much inspired by sci-fi, you can see spaceships and aliens, but also Michael Jackson and Superman. So strange, but so aawesme. Really worth stopping and having a look inside if you are around Chiang Rai.
Unlike many tourists, you should also take the time to go see the artist’s gallery. It is really worth a look. His art is so beautiful. It is so vivid and it seems sparkly, but it is not. I don’t really know how to express how gorgeous it is. You should really just go and check it out.
Our next stop was at the Black House. We only stopped for 10 minutes because it was closed at lunch time. Also, I was feeling quite poorly at that point and took a few pictures before passing out in the car.
Dennis said it was “black magic/voodoo shit” (I am sure he will tell you a lot about it in his own post!). To be honest, from what I quickly saw it did look very strange, with ceremonies places, stones circles and spirals, weird carvings…
After that, we went off to the mountain roads up to Mae Salong. The ride up there was absolutely gorgeous. If we could, we would have stopped at every bend if we had been able!
We also stopped at a hot spring on the way, but didn’t go for a swim! People were cooking eggs in the hot springs. It was really interesting!
So, here are more spectacular views when going up in the mountains…
And us being very silly…
When we arrived at mae Salong, we were startled by the beauty and the simplicity of the market. many people from hilltribes, mostly Akha and Lahu. It was a festival of colours and smells! Just fantastic. I really wish I had been better, I would have liked to wander around, maybe by some locally made craft…
Then Kai drove us to the Oolong tea plantations were you can also buy their tea. I didn’t go in because I was too sick and I had to stay in the car and nap. But everyone else had a great time! And the pictures that Dennis took show that well.
Finally, we headed to the Golden Triangle, which is one hour away from where we were. The drive was quite nice ad we talked a lot about many things. We got to know Caz and Dave better, and Kai (our guide) as well. And that’s what you want when you travel! Meet people, and have a fantastic time with them.
So, the Golden Triangle! It is the northern point in Thailand, and this is where the Mae Nam Sai River goes into the Mekong River. Therefore, it is where Laos, Myanmar and Thailand meet.
From this point of view where Kai took us, you can see Myanmar on the left, Laos on the right, and we are standing on the thai side. A little further away north is China.
At this point of view there is also the ruins of an old temple, and the entrance is just magnificent, as you can see.
After that we went to the Opium Museum, which was quite intteresting, but it was getting dark so we didn’t stay very long so we could see the giant buddha close by and then head home.
It was a really beautiful day and we had the best fun going around the area with Kai and listening to all he has to teach us! A fantastic start to our stay in Chiang Rai.