This was my last day in the North of Thailand and in advance I had decided that I’d participate in a full days trip which would take in The White Temple (Wat Rong Khun) in Chiang Rai and the Golden Triangle, which is where the countries of Thailand, Myanmar (Burma) and Laos all meet, split by the mighty Mekong and Ruak rivers which converge here.
As with all my other trips in this area I booked with Travel Hub Chiang Mai. A really nice and professional company.
Starting early in the morning (and I mean wayyy too early!) we got picked up in the bus and started driving North. First stop was at The White Temple, Chiang Rai. This is a spectacular sight (even the toilet block is magnificent – but sadly not yet opened for us!).
After a short while here it was back in the bus to head up to The Golden Triangle. We experienced some pretty stormy weather on the way up and I lost count of the times we aquaplaned. We had a schedule to keep to! My seat belt was firmly fastened I tell you! The Golden Triangle was interesting to see (despite the downpour) and it was fascinating hearing about the history of opium in the area.
The trip included a visit to Don Sao island, which technically is in Laos. On arrival we were given a free shot of ‘Cobra Whiskey’. This is supposed to help men with sexual ailments and to ‘make you strong’. I got given two shots – I wonder if I looked like I might need help in that department?
We then headed up to Wat Phra That Doi Wao, which is a temple overlooking the town of Mae Sai, an official border point into Myanmar. The views were pretty great and we had some lovely golden afternoon light making it really special. I was so engrossed taking photos that I nearly missed our bus leaving!
On the way back we stopped in a hill village (just like the previous day). Again a bit too touristy for me, but then again this I think is what you should expect and I certainly didn’t begrudge our time there.
We got back into Chiang Mai mid-evening. Most of the day seemed to be spent travelling, yet it was completely worth it to see such an interesting part of the country. I’d do it again in a heartbeat.
The next day however … I’d be heading off down to Phuket!