Sited just a mere 10 minutes drive outskirt of Chiang Rai City Centre. Rong Khun Temple or locally known as "The White Temple". Unlike most of the buddhist temple in Thailand, White temple is very unique in its own way, thank to Thailand renowned painter, Chaleumchai Kositpipat.
The best way to visit this temple is to rent a car or motorbike from the hotel so you can spend as much time to absorb all delicate facade of the temple.
Unique Suggestions: Khun Chaleumchai Kositpipat is not only devoting his time to designed, but also teach 10 of local artists to help him build this unique temple as his last gift to his hometown and beloved country. The temple you see is not just religious practice but also the monumental of Lanna Decoration Style.
Khun Chaleumchai Kositpipat has placed his life long knowledge and passion of art into the buiding as a gift and preservation of the ancient craft.
REMEMBER TO WEAR RESPECTABLE ATTIRE;
MEN: SHORT THAT KNEE LEVEL AND T-SHIRT IS FINE BUT MAKE SURE THAT YOU WARE SHOES THAT CAN TAKE OFF EASILY AS YOU HAVE TO TAKE IT OFF BEFORE ENTERING TO THE MAIN TEMPLE.
WOMAN: WARE SHOLDERS COVERED SHIRT WITH LONG PANTS AND SHORTS THAT COVER YOUR KNEES.
Fun Alternatives: IT IS THE LIFE TIME OPPOTUNITY. IF YOU ARE IN THE AREA, VISITING THIS TEMPLE IS A MUST. EARLY MORNING AND LATE AFTER NOON IS THE BEST AS DURING 11-16:00 HRS THE TEMPLE IS PACKED WITH THAI TOURISTS.
I visited here as a part of my tour to the Golden Triangle from Chiang Mai.
This place was a real disappointment, especially as I have been to Rotarua in New Zealand, and Yellowstone in America.
What you see in my photo, is all there is, other than lots and lots of souvenir shops!
So, if you have seen Hot Springs before, DON'T BOTHER COMING HERE!!!
ON the tour I did, was included a visit to the Akha & Yao tribes, something I was looking forward too!
You head out through the open fields on the backroads to reach here, so you would expect to see a village.... but NO...........
THERE WAS NOT A VILLAGE..................
ONLY SOUVENIR STALLS, WITH THE LADIES DRESSED IN TRADITIONAL ATTIRE
............AND ALL OF THEM WANT YOU TO BUY!!
I was looking forward to seeing where they live, etc, etc, nothing like this, so that was disappointing.
In saying that, I did enjoy it though, I saw their traditional dress, their babies and what they made themselves. Also, our tour group have a good time with some of the Tribal ladies, we all had a laugh!!!!
Unique Suggestions: Have a laugh with the ladies, and buy something cheap, nothing is really expensive.*
Donsao Island does not belong to Thailand but to Laos: it's listed here because it's sold as a few hours trip from the Golden Triangle area in Thailand. There's is nothing to do and to see there on this middle-of-mekong island - it's just a tourist trap selling Laotian goods and Lao beer. I don't even think people go there for this reason, but simply because they can say that they have been to Laos - the proof that you haven't is that no passport is required.
Unique Suggestions: Do not even remotedly think you have been to Laos
Fun Alternatives: Go to Laos, the real one!
As soon as you enter the airport in Ciang Rai we saw the tourist desk. Knowing we only had 3 days I thought maybe I should book something right away . Lucky I decided to wait their prices are at least twice what they were from travel desk at the hotel...tours all go to the same places....so better to book in town!!
We checked into the hotel a few days ago, paying no attention that there was only one bath towel in the bathroom. The horror was, we were asked to pay B400 upon check out for the towel that was not there in the first place
Unique Suggestions: Make sure there are 2 towels in the bathroom
Fun Alternatives: Do not stay in this hotel
Always ask for a check list in Thailand
Unfortunately, as it is a thing to do, to me it was also quite a tourist trap. There are just a few souvenir shops selling more or less the same things on the weeny part of Laos we landed on. The people there were not welcoming and the speedboat driver even got quite impatient and unhappy after we delayed our departure by only a few minutes!
The Golden Triangle, located at Sop Ruak, is possibly the most evident trap, especially if you stop along the Mekong River to have your picture taken; it's where all the tour buses stop and there are many Golden triangle signs - none too original i think
Unique Suggestions: A bit less of a tourist trap is the 10 minutes walk up to the view point: there was absolutely no one there, views are way better, but still a trap it is.
Fun Alternatives: Visit the tiny opium museum: the opium scales are little works of art
You are Portuguese.
You arrive to "the end of the world", in the Golden Triangle, sit at the restaurant for a drink, browse the list and find - Port Wine.
I don't use to drink Port wine quite often, but, in that place, it was mandatory. I ordered it.
"Sorry sir, it's finished!"
Coca Cola - never!
Despite all the ethical questions that surround Long Neck tourism and the reasons people choose not to visit one. Bear in mind the advantages too, which include:
- Visiting the villages gives them a livelihood which may be better than the alternative of going back to their native homeland in Burma where they may face persecution
- Some long necks were born in these villages and it feels like home for them
- Whilst it is a form of voyeurism, if outsiders are curious about this tradition and it provides them with a livelihood it may encourage them to continue this practice instead of letting it die out
- Compared to other job alternatives such as working on the fields they can make considerably more money buy selling their handicrafts in the villages
Unique Suggestions: -If you decide to visit a Long Neck village the best way to support them is through purchasing the handicrafts/souvenirs they sell as the money goes directly to them. It is not clear how much of the entrance fee goes to them or management