Chiang Rai had a big influence on my decision to say that
“the north of Thailand is better than the south”
Controversial I know but in the end it all goes down to personal choice.
Literally as soon as we stepped out the taxi at Chiang Mai Airport the atmosphere completely changed. After spending the 2 days previous in Phuket the north was a welcome sight! We received no hassle at the airport and found the nicest taxi driver who told us that he lived in the jungle far north where he grew his own Opium and lives with tigers!- Fair enough.
After getting to our AMAZING hostel, Green Tulip House (there will be more coming about this haven) we were at the desk checking in and a local Thai man comes up to my friend with her purse in his hands- she had dropped her purse when she was getting out the taxi and this honest man returns the purse and wouldn’t take and money off us as a thank you! This is the first time that I had seen a local really care about a backpacker. ANOTHER REASON TO LOVE THE NORTH!
But anyway, stuff to do in Chiang Mai…
We took an amazing tour from Chiang Mai, basically it was an all day/all night tour with three parts.
The White Temple-
This is kind of Thailand’s version of Gaudi and the Sagarada Familia! The temple is still not complete with both old architecture and new. But it really is magnificent…
The Golden Triangle-
The golden triangle is a patch of land in the middle of the Mekong River separating Myanmar, Laos and Thailand- doesn’t sound very interesting right?
This patch of land was where most of the worlds Opium was traded, and it was traded it gold! The land belonged to no country or nobody so the currency was gold. Cool.
The Long Neck Karen Tribe-
First of all I thought ‘Karen” might have been one of the wives in the tribe with a really big neck. Wrong! Karen is the name of the tribe. I really enjoyed this part of the trip but kind of felt like we were at a ‘people zoo’- your lead round the ‘village’ where there are different stalls with tribes people of different ages and sizes (including neck length). Its all nice to see that these people do this to themselves as part of their culture but I think now the culture has been lost in tourism.