Visiting Chiang Mai without visiting its sister city, Chiang Rai, is like going to Los Angeles without seeing the famous Beverly Hills.
A small city like Chiang Rai, located in the northern Thailand, would make one think there isn’t much to see but there is. This tour gives tourists a glimpse of all what Chiang Rai has to offer.
Note: This post was sponsored by TripGuru but all opinions expressed are mine.
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CHIANG RAI ONE DAY TOUR
TripGuru’s tour guide (driver) arrived promptly in an air-conditioned van to pick me up and an additional guest nearby in Chiang Mai. Enjoy the lush greenery as you head north towards Chiang Rai.
Mae Khachan Hot Springs
The hot springs was the first stop and is about an hour from Chiang Mai. Good spot to stretch your legs, buy some food and beverage, or use the toilet. To use the restroom, you must pay 5 baht.
We spent about 30-40 minutes here before moving to the next stop.
The springs water is either HOT or boiling HOT. Not sure there is any spot where the water is lukewarm.
White Temple (Wat Rong Khun)
An unconventional Buddhist temple designed by the Thai artist, Chalermchai Kositpipat, is every bit as stunning as you see in the photos. The minute we pulled up beside the temple, I was absolutely in awe of the exterior design!
The white colors of the temple is a symbol for Buddha’s purity. You’ll see some American pop culture characters which I did not expect to see.
Expect to see a crowd of tourists.
There is an exquisite golden building on the far left called the Ganesha Exhibition hall. Surrounded by water.
ร้านอร่อยเชียงราย was the chosen restaurant by TripGuru. Price was 120 baht, which is not covered.
The buffet consists of Southern and Northern Thai dishes. Limited choices for vegetarians and vegans.
Black House (Baan dam Museum)
In Thai, baan means house and dam means black. The museum took more than 50 years to build by the late Thai artist Thawan Duchanee. Features a variety of folk arts, past and present.
The building below, Main Sanctuary Hall, that resembles a temple contains sculptures, paintings, wood carvings, and more.
I admire Thawan’s creative work of art. My favorites from the museum were: Shan Pavilion, Pearl House, Reclining Buddha Pavilion, Sanctuary, and Sanctuary hall. There are a total of 40 buildings of varying shapes and sizes.
The black houses are made of wood, glass, concrete, bricks, or terracotta. The intricate wood carvings will make you marvel. I wonder how long it took to create each piece.
If you’re lucky, you might catch a cultural dance in the Main Sanctuary Hall.
Blue Temple (Wat Rong Suea Ten)
The calming blue color embellished with awe-inspiring gold is striking to see. Compared to the White Temple, this temple is more traditional. On the inside, you’ll find an enormous white Buddha statue.
It was designed by a student of the White Temple designer, Chalermchai Kositpipat.
Feel hot and sweaty? Make sure to get yourself some coconut water with coconut ice cream. It’s only 40 baht (less than $2)! A concoction of blue sticky rice, peanuts, coconut meat, sesame seeds, with 2 scoops of coconut ice cream.
Return To Chiang Mai
The driver dropped me back to my lodging around 7 pm.
WHERE TO STAY
If you’ll be staying in Chiang Mai and looking for a safe, cozy place with modern vibes all to yourself, I highly recommend booking a stay at Astra Condominiums through Airbnb. You can use this link to book for a discount.
Paid about $34 per night and for what you get for staying at Astra, nothing could beat it.
HOW TO BOOK + TIPS
Some tips to keep in mind:
- Bring cash for lunch, restroom fee, and extra food/beverage
- Dress properly (knees and shoulders should be covered)
- Take off your shoes when entering the buildings
- This tour is about 12 hours long
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