One Day Chiang Rai Tour and White temple
This is an exclusive private trip from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai to visit the White Temple, Golden Triangle and House of Opium. You will also enjoy a slow ride in a long-tail boat along the Mekong River, which is the world’s 12th longest river, to a local market in Laos.
This is an exclusive private trip from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai to visit the White Temple, Golden Triangle and House of Opium. You will also enjoy a slow ride in a long-tail boat along the Mekong River, which is the world’s 12th longest river, to a local market in Laos.Itinerary:
- 6:00 am. We will pick you up from your hotel in Chiang Mai in the morning in an air-conditioned van. During the 3 - 4 hour drive to Chiang Rai, your English-speaking guide will share more information about the day’s excursion and a brief history of the places you will visit.
- After about 90 minutes drive, we will make a brief stop at a hot spring to get coffee. You may soak your legs in the hot spring during the break.
- Then it’s another 2 hours drive to the White Temple, where you will be awed by the beautiful temple. It is an architectural masterpiece that you need to view to appreciate. Please be prepared to take off your shoes and carry your shoes while you visit the main hall. You may put them back on when you exit. Read more about the White Temple below.
- Have lunch at a local restaurant.
- Drive 70 km to the Golden Triangle. Visit the famous viewpoint that overlooks the confluence of the Ruak River and Mekong River, where the borders of Laos, Thailand, and Myanmar meet.
- Take a slow boat ride along the Mekong river. The normal long-tail boat can fit 3 or 4 people. For larger groups, a bigger boat is used. The ride from Thailand to Laos and back will take you past beautiful landscape views, a casino, and a giant Buddha before docking on the Laos side. We will visit the DonSao market, where you can enjoy a cool dark or light Laos beer, and shop for souvenirs.
- Next, you’ll visit the Opium House.
- In the evening, you’ll return to Chiang Mai and get dropped off at your hotel.
- English speaking tour guide
- Private air-conditioned vehicle with driver
- Bottled drinking water
- All activities and fees
- Pick-up and drop off
- Other tours not mentioned in the above itinerary
- Personal expenses
- Spending money
- Camera and or smartphone
- Cap or hat
Chiang Rai is a city in northern Thailand, situated near the borders of Laos and Myanmar (formerly Burma). It was founded in 1262 as the capital of the Mengrai Dynasty. Today, its traditional Lanna culture can still be seen through its impressive temples, art, language, cuisine, and music.
It is situated about 4 hours drive from Chiang Mai, which took over from it as the capital of the Lanna Kingdom.
The Golden Triangle was an infamous place in the past. From 1960 to the early 1990s, the Golden Triangle was reputed to have supplied most of the world’s opium before Afghanistan became the world’s largest producer.
Today, the location of the illegal drug trade that once made it famous, has become a popular tourist destination. Most tourists come to take in the view, and photographs of the meeting place of the borders of Laos, Myanmar, and Thailand.
House of Opium
There was a time when opium was important to the Thai economy. If you want to know all about the narcotic and its past, the House of Opium will provide you with the answers. It is a museum that features everything about opium, from the history of the opium trade to the dangers of addiction. You will also learn the science behind opium.
The exhibits include figures, photographs, movies and tools used in consuming opium, from around the world. You will also learn about the indigenous tribe that cultivated the opium plants.
It is a good place to take children and educate them about the dangers of the drug. The scenes depicted in the photographs and videos will show them the reality of the effects.
White Temple or Wat Rong Khun
Wat Rong Khun, better known to foreigners as the White Temple, is privately-owned by a local artist, Chalermchai Kositpipat, who designed, constructed, and opened it to visitors in 1997. It is an art exhibit in the style of a Buddhist temple.
The main building at the white temple, the “ubosot”, is accessed by crossing a bridge over a small lake. Hundreds of outreaching hands that symbolize unrestrained desire greet you at the bridge. The bridge advocates the idea that the way to happiness is to forgo temptation, greed, and desire. Two very elegant Kinnaree, half-human, half-bird creatures from Buddhist mythology stand next to the lake. After crossing the bridge, you will arrive at the "gate of heaven". It is guarded by two creatures representing death and Rahu, who decides the fate of the dead. In front of the all-white “ubosot” are several meditative Buddha images. Its design displays classic Thai architecture such as the three-tiered roof and Naga serpents. Inside the temple, the decor includes murals depicting swirling orange flames and demon faces, and Western idols. There is a golden restroom building that symbolizes mankind’s focus on worldly desires and financial gain. In contrast, the white “ubosot” represents focusing on the mind and making merit, instead of material possessions. It is a temple that is unique and unlike the normal Buddhist temples you’ll see in Thailand. Mekong River
At 4,350 km (2,600 miles) in length, the Mekong River is the seventh longest river in Asia. It originates on the Tibetan Plateau and runs through China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam.
The river is a major trade route between western China and Southeast Asia and is important for the people who live on its banks. It’s the world’s most productive inland fishery according to National Geographic.
DonSao Market in Laos
This is a market on the Laos side of the Mekong River. It offers you a view of the Laos culture and its people. Souvenirs are sold here but please beware of buying fake products if your country prohibits them.