Thailand
Changwat Chiang Rai

Here you’ll find travel reports about Changwat Chiang Rai. Discover travel destinations in Thailand of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

153 travelers at this place:

  • Day8

    Day 8/72: Day trip to Chaing Rai

    November 4 in Thailand

    We woke up bright and early this morning to have a long day out to Chaing Rai and the Golden Triangle. We were downstairs at 0700 waiting for the transport and after forgetting shoes and passports, we hopped onto the minivan with 10 other people for the day. Our guide was called Moon and she was very informative and told us what the day would entail. We were to head up North, stopping at interesting points along the way until we reached the Golden triangle and then head all the way back to Chaing Mai.

    Stop 1: Chiang Rai hot water springs
    After a hour or so we came to a small village across the main road that was literally steaming. Here, hot water springs come through the earth into pools and spout up in great boiling fountains. Locals boil eggs in the hot pools so the air is pungent with the smell, however further up we escaped it. Up here, there were smaller less violent pools where you could sit and dip your feet. These were about the same temperature as when you run a bath too hot but after a few of dips of the toes can leave your foot in there.

    Stop 2: White Temple
    The white temple was a spectacle to behold. A huge, pure white and mirrored building, it's a modern take on Buddhism. Outside, you cross a walkway over "hell" and pass by two gate guardians, fiercely fighting off the demons from hell. You then cross over a long bridge and walk up the steps into the temple. Inside, the wall is painted from the entrance to the Buddha at back, as a scene moving from this world to the next. "This world" was almost depicted as hell, with weapons, scenes from wars, and terrorist figures amongst the many demons and dark drawings. Among these, cartoon characters and superheros are painted, showing that even with these fictitious hero's amongst us, nothing can save us from this horror world like the Buddha. Along the walls, the hell world flows into an idyllic garden with Thai people on boats sailing towards a huge Buddha. You can only move through the temple in one direction as to turn back is to go through hell again, so we came out the other side in awe of what was being built. The site is only 25 years into its 75 year construction but this main temple is fantastic.
    We then came across a beautiful huge golden building, almost as stunning as the white temple with mirrors and jewels shining in the sun. This was the toilet. This is another Buddhist lesson: on the outside you can be beautiful but on the inside you're still just a toilet.

    Stop 3: Blue Temple

    The blue temple was constructed by a monk who used to pray at the white temple, but didn't like the commute so decided to renovate the temple in his home town instead. He brought in the architects who designed the White Temple and the Black House (next) and the result was probably our favorite experience of the day. It was very blue, with huge open windows and doors where light could flow into the dark blue interior and shine off the gold inside. We also had some of the best and cheapest ice cream we've ever tasted. Fresh coconut icecream where a large tub cost 50p, the whole experience was great!

    Stop 4: The Black House
    This was an interesting one. The Black House is an area of land with lots of beautiful, black wooden buildings in the grounds. Owned by an old artist who passed away maybe 2 years ago, it's essentially his collection of things. The things he loved were wood and animal bones, skins and hair. It was very, very strange. The area was idyllic with grasses and trees, and dotted amongst them were huge black wooden buildings filled with complete crocodile skins, animal horns, tusks, skulls. Some buildings were dedicated to animals, a huge room filled with shells, sharks Jaws and fish skeletons. Or others with hundreds of chairs and beds made with wood, animals horns and skins. We didn't warm to the place, or the man: his two passions in life seemed to be dead animals, and phallic symbols. It was a complete contrast to any other temple like place we'd been to though, really worth doing.

    Stop 5: Long Neck Village
    Next stop was the long neck village, a small tribe of people where the women wear rings on their necks to 1) traditionally protect them from tigers and 2) make their necks seem longer, as the longer the neck the more beautiful they supposedly are. They start with rings at the age of 5 and add 3 every 3 years until they are around 45. It ends up being about 5-10kg on their shoulders, 24/7 for most of their lives. It was a strange feeling, going into this village and seeing their lifestyle. Lots of people were taking photos but we couldn't bring ourselves to take any as some of the other people on our tour made it felt like we were on a zoo field trip. We ended up talking to a girl and her baby sister who had a puppy and bought a scarf she had weaved. It was an incredibly peaceful village and an amazing experience, but having paid to go there and walking along the streets of their homes felt very intrusive.

    Stop 6:
    The final stop was the Golden Triangle. This is a section of river that separates Thailand, Laos and Myanmar. It is named the golden triangle because of the opium trade; 1kg of opium used to be traded for 1kg of gold. We hopped on a boat and they took us up and down the river, showing us an island that used to be a site for black market trade of opium. It was an area of no man's land so no laws applied and no one could be stopped for doing anything. We then pulled up in Laos, got off and explored the market. They showed us some whisky which apparently was a greeting drink, but floating in the glass jars were a snake, a turtle and a lizard. All very bizzare! It was great to go to Laos though as we can add another country to our list of places visited. After the golden triangle, we headed all the way back to Chiang Mai, the van driver hitting the apex of the mountain roads in the darkness with an air of "company van, let's have fun". All in all, a great day out!
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  • Day144

    Back to Baan Nana, Mae Sai

    October 10 in Thailand

    After travelling to Chiang Rai we rent a motorbike to head to border town Mae Sai, to visit Baan Nana (or Childlife), the children's shelter we both volunteered at more than 10 years ago. It's been about 5 years since I last visited and about 7 years for Jean. It was nice to see Kru Ngaow, the founder, who hasn't changed too much and this place in the middle of rice paddy fields which has and also hasn't changed so much. There are a lot more strutures on the property as they have plans for a vocational college, and this year they got electricity! Kru Ngaow told us there are less street kids now (especially since Myanmar has changed somewhat politically), however there is still big problems with alcohol and drugs and broken families.

    There are still a few familiar faces which is nice, including one boy we knew as a 9yr old, now 20 years old and working there. It's also nice to hear of stories about other children we spent time with there and what they are doing.
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  • Day145

    Around Chiang Rai

    October 11 in Thailand

    With the weather looking a little overcast we went on a little motorbike ride next to the Kok River, passing by yellowing rice paddy fields and pineapple fields. Lila was surprised that pineapples grow from the ground like that (as she thought they came from a tree). We make a very quick stop at a hot spring and then pass an elephant camp and had a little ride. Heading back to town we met up with one of the very grown up kids from Baan Nana, now working in Chiang Rai.
    That night was another night bus to Bangkok for our journey southwards towards Malaysia.
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  • Day13

    The Hill People

    November 29 in Thailand

    Perhaps the nicest day, weather wise we have had this trip, 28 and sunny. We headed out to the mountains to visit Akha and Yao, minority villages. The Akha are originally from Burma, having fled the fighting there. We were able to walk through a thatched, bamboo house owned by an elderly woman who sold us bracelets. She didn’t have running water but had electricity and an old satellite t.v. We walked the length of the town of 500 and met the mayor who was quite personable. The mayor is ‘elected’ but buys his votes. He has a great deal of power. As well as being headman, he is also policeman, judge and jury. He is a young man and has big plans for the village. He wants to encourage tourism by having his older citizens dress in traditional garb (they already sell souvenirs). He is trying to address the drug trade but has already been shot at, twice! Being mayor is very lucrative. He gets a salary from the government and unspecified ‘perks’. He drove a brand new Honda and had the biggest house in the village.

    A short drive took us to the second town whose people are from Tibet. The older women where turbans and ethnic dress. We walked to a public school and looked into the classrooms. A teacher applies for the job and must be approved by the bureaucracy of the royal family as the royal family are the patrons of the school. The rooms were small but everyone seemed in good spirits. The teachers must teach but also get the kids to like them as there is no infrastructure to keep them in school. If they are unhappy, they stay home.
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  • Day33

    Hello Chiang Rai ☀️

    December 7, 2017 in Thailand

    Mit dem Bus sind wir für 2 Nächte nach Chiang Rai gefahren. 🚐

    Der weiße Tempel stand auf unserer Liste ganz weit oben 😊 - so ein wunderschöner Tempel mit vielen kleinen Details.

    An die kleinen Metallanhänger konnte man seine persönlichen Wünsche vermerken und an bestimmten Stellen der Tempelanlage aufhängen - in der Hoffnung das die Wünsche in Erfüllung gehen 💗.

    In der Nähe von einem Fluss haben wir anschließend ein wundervolles Cafè entdeckt - da ging Ileana's Vintage-Herz auf! 😊 Jede Menge antike Möbelstücke und Accessoires - der Kuchen war ebenfalls super lecker! 👍

    In Chiang Rai gibt es sogar ein Katzencafè - Cat 'n' a cup! 😍
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  • Day167

    Chiang Rai

    February 14 in Thailand

    Mit dem Bus ging's in 3.5h von Chiang Mai nach Chiang Rai. Nachdem wir uns in Chiang Mai wieder einmal ins Nachtleben gestürzt haben und ich ein paar Drinks ausprobiert hatte, gings mir am Morgen nicht gerade rosig. Nächstes mal bleib ich lieber wieder beim Bier und verzichte auf den Fusel. Katrin verkraftete den Abend ohne grössere Mühe; hier zeigen sich wohl die 4 Jahre Altersunterschied.
    Chiang Rai ist um einiges kleiner und hat uns jetzt nicht besonders vom Sockel gehauen. Der weisse Tempel ist natürlich speziell, aber den hat man auch schnell besichtigt. Unser Hostel war dafür erste Klasse und super schön eingerichtet, für 7.- CHF die Nacht im 8er Dorm. Stellt euch vor, wir haben sogar Übernachtungsmöglichkeiten in Hostels für CHF 2.-gesehen.
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  • Day164

    Chiang Rai

    March 2, 2017 in Thailand

    Thailand in het noorden kunnen we beschrijven met duizenden woorden. Een kookcursus en nightbazaar maakten onze gastronomische dromen waar. Koffieplanten op heuvels en tempels zo wit (als Oliver zijn tint) zorgden opnieuw voor een aangename brommerrit. Hierna komt Laos, Thailand's buur. Op naar het volgende avontuur!Read more

  • Day39

    Tag 39: Chiang Rai

    February 16, 2017 in Thailand

    Drei Stunden nördlich von Chiang Mai liegt Chiang Rai. Auch hier gibt's wieder jede Menge Tempel, unter anderem den schwarzen Tempel, der mehr Museum als Tempel ist.
    Ein thailändischer, sehr bärtiger Künstler hat hier in mehreren schwarzen Gebäuden, die ein bisschen an Stabkirchen erinnern, seine Kunst ausgestellt. Und obwohl die recht makaber ist, war es doch interessant😋
    Danach hieß es für uns nur noch den Clocktower anschauen und das Essen weiter ausprobieren😍😊
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  • Day40

    Tag 40: International Baloon Festival

    February 17, 2017 in Thailand

    Zurück in Chiang Rai sind wir zufällig auf ein internationales Heißluftballon Festival gestoßen😍 Wir haben richtig viele kreative Ballons gesehen, danach herrschte noch Jahrmarktstimmung und abends trat eine thailändische Boyband auf😂🎉
    Zurück zum Hostel hat uns dann das deutsche Pilotenteam genommen😊Read more

  • Day40

    Tag 40: Golden Triangle

    February 17, 2017 in Thailand

    Zwischen Thailand, Myanmar (Birma), und Laos fließt der Mekong zusammen, das ganze heißt dann Goldenes Dreieck🔺
    Mit einem dieser winzigen langen Boote sind wir den Fluss hochgefahren🚢, in Laos eingereist und einen Markt besucht und waren dann in allen drei Ländern gleichzeitig (oder im Niemandsland🤗).Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

Changwat Chiang Rai, จังหวัดเชียงราย

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