When you are staying in the northern part of Thailand, there are so many different things to go and see. Therefore we have chosen to make our suggestion for a good one day tour in Chiang Rai region.
First off – you have to get up pretty early, so rise and shine and get on your way. We rented a a van with a private driver, which was quite cheap, compared to the luxury of having you own driver, and own timetable. This is highly recommendable.
We took of from Chiang Mai and had the first stop after about a hour. Our driver and bulter told us that they thought we should see one of the hot springs, so we topped at the Thaweesin Hotspring, which is really nothing special to see. The hot springs is very popular for sightseeing among tourists, and are combined with mineral baths, which is said to be good for your health. Honestly, in our humble opinion, the hot springs is really not anything to spend time on a one day trip.
The next stop was The White Temple in Chiang Rai, a modern version of a traditional thai temple, with millions of small special details, curves and edges. This is something you should remember to see, even if it seems a little artificial. You can read our full review here
After the White Temple, we headed towards the mountains to visit Khun Jae Waterfall, unfortunately the waterfall was closed because the rainy season has caused to much mud in area. But after what we have been told about this waterfall, you should really go here of it is open.
On this specific day, it was pretty rainy, and as we turned the minivan towards the next destination, the rain just got heavier and heavier. As we arrived at The Golden Triangle, the rain was pouring down and as we hid under our umbrellas, we could enjoy the views over Laos and Myanmar from the spot where the Mekong River meets the Ruak River. The thai side of the golden Triangle hosts a series of big golden buddha statues, elephants and a big treasure ship. When the weather i more friendly, it is possible to board a boat and have a little trip up and down the rivers, to see the triangle from the riverside. The golden triangle is said to be one of the biggest tourist traps in northern Thailand, but as we where hiding under the umbrellas, it was quite peaceful here.
The last stop on our one day tour in Chiang Rai, was the Long Neck Karen village, which is a version of a human zoo, but still very fascinating to see, and the possibility to take some great shots of the Karan tribe members living here. Beware that this is also quite an tourist trap, where you quickly can spend a lot of money on a lot of thing you never knew that you couldn’t live without. You can read our post on the tribe here
All in all the northern part of Thailand has so much to offer, and if you would like to spend one day exploring Chiang Rai, the suggestions above will be possible to see within a day, and have you back in Chiang Mai around 8 pm in the evening. A great way to spend one day sightseeing, on our own without a lot of other tourists around you.