During my time I Chiang Mai I wanted to get out and explore the surrounding areas. One place I had always wanted to visit was what is most commonly known as ‘The White Temple’. I looked at different ways to get to Wat Rong Khun (The White Temple) and came up with a few options.
One of those options was the ‘Chiang Rai’ tour. This tour is offered by various different tour companies, but I partnered withTravel Hub Chiang Mai to experience the tour. The tour is a full day tour, that heads to Wat Rong Khun, the Golden Triangle, takes you on a boat trip across to Laos (optional) and lets you visit a Karen Long Neck Village. (among other smaller stops along the way)
Our day started as we were picked up from the local Travel Hub office (you can select to be picked up from your hotel if you’re staying in the city centre) and we set off to the first stop of the day, the Hot Springs. The Hot Springs aren’t very interesting, however it’s a chance to stop and use the toilet along the way. We used this time to grab some lunch as we never had any breakfast before we set off. We had some of the best chicken fried rice we have ever had and it came to a total of about $2.
After this we headed to the Myanmar boarder, this was another really unexciting part of the day. It’s literally a sign that says ‘Welcome to Myanmar’ and a collection of souvenir stores. In my opinion they should skip this stop so that you arrive at the White Temple earlier.
Back in the mini bus we headed off to Wat Rong Khun. I was particularly excited to visit the White Temple and while this temple is overly impressive from every angle, when looking at it online it would appear a lot more serene and peaceful. In reality, it’s extremely crowded and based at the side of a busy road. However I still thoroughly enjoyed my time here. You’re given just under an hour to visit the temple and you’re free to roam the area as you wish. Our guide was there to offer insight if you so required. This remains to me a spot you should absolutely visit if in the area, and if staying in the Chiang Rai area I’d recommend visiting early in the morning before the coach trips of tourists arrive from Chiang Mai.
While here, make sure you check out all surrounding areas. Including the ridiculously impressive toilets. Look for the gold building and you’ll be in the right spot.
Hop back on the bus again and now you’ll be on track to the Golden Triangle. The Golden Triangle is the area where the boarders of Thailand, Laos and Myanmar meet. Here you can take the option to pay extra and take a boat trip across to Laos which is something I opted for. As you disembark in Laos, you’re in a market area. Here you can do some shopping and grab something to eat. Be sure to haggle with prices when you’re here. You get about an hour to experience Laos before heading back across to Thailand.
It’s time to head to the Karen Longneck Village. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the Long Neck Village as a lot of people online had compared the village to a human zoo and stated that these places only existed for tourism and while that’s true, it did not feel anyway like a human zoo. People would go about their normal daily lives while they were places you could take photos with the longnecks and shop around for some souvenirs. We didn’t spend too much here as the area isn’t huge but it’s worth stopping off as it’s definitely an interesting place to visit. All the local women are happy to pose for photos and your guide will answer any questions. Before you head in to the village properly he will give a little information on the village and people.
After this it was time to head back to Chiang Mai. The journey back took about 4 hours with toilet breaks and we arrived back in Chiang Mai at around 9:30pm.
All in all this is a great tour to see a lot in one day, however just be warned in advance that you will be spending a lot of time on a tour bus. This is definitely worth doing if you want to visit the White Temple or the Golden Triangle as you get the most time at these two spots.Golden Triangle
Thanks TravelHub Chiang Mai for patterning with TravelFoodFilm during our time in Chiang Mai.
As always, opinions are entirely my own.