The walk along the riverfront gives many photo opportunities. The colourful monuments and decorations compete with the Mekong River and together they provide a great introduction to life in the Golden Triangle.
The shops and market stalls attract your attention, however for us the riverfront kept our attention.
The riverfront at Chiang Saen is very attractive with some magnificent monuments brightening up the river bank.
This Golden Buddha is very large and dominates the area. In fact it would stand out as a landmark if you were looking from across the river in Laos.
We stopped here to view one of the oldest Wat's from the Lanna Kingdom. There is much to see and understand, however I enjoyed walking around and admiring the various buildings. Inside the recently covered area is a Golden Buddha and local people in worship.
It is believed that Wat Chedi Luang was built between the 12th and 14th centuries.
Looking from our hotel we could easily see the Laos Immigration centre. It is located on the other riverbank, approximately 300 metres across the river. Very inviting, however our itinerary was fully booked and we lost the opportunity to visit Laos for a half day.
No airports, trains or buses, we only need our passport and visa, plus a long tail boat to take us the 300 metres.
This temple is located in Chiang Rai, only a short drive from the city centre. We travelled down from Chiang Saen, a trip which took approximately 1 hour in our coach.
This temple is being built by the Thai artist Chalermchai Kositpipat who has funded its construction from his owm pocket. He does not solicit money from anyone. He is a successful painter of Buddist art.
The temple is in its 10th year of construction and has been visited by more than 5 million people.
It is a nice looking temple, and well worth visiting if you are staying in Chiang Rai, however I thought there were better sights to see in Chiang Saen (Golden Triangle) during our limited time. In fact we did not have sufficient time to visit the Opium Museum in Chiang Saen!
No Entry Charge.
This surprisingly good museum is right beside Chedi Luang Temple, and is open only Wednesday to Sunday, from 8.30am to 4.30pm. Entrance fee is 30Baht. The museum as it is now, was opened in 1997, with an aim to display and educate visitors about the history, art, archeology and socialogical history of human settlement in the region.
The displays in the museum are of a surprisingly high standard, and include inscription and sculpture artefacts from excavations of the old city, including the pictured famous Kala face.
In the entrance were some beautiful examples of 15th and 16th Century Lanna style Buddha images, also pictured.
There are also a number of excavated examples of the Northern Thai ceramics, found along the Mekong River, and folk art from various hill tribes in the Chiang Saen district. There are also displays of various cultural items used by the dufferent tribes in the area - Mien, Akha and Hmong. In addition to the excavated items, were were also displays of contemporary cultural lifestyle tools and crafts from the various tribes.
Due to the location, close to the Golden Triange, there were also some cultural "overlapping" items, particularly some excellent lacquerware samples from Myanmar.
This was a surprisingly enjoyable find, and we easily spent a few hours poring over the displays.
The Golden Triangle is where the 3 countries Thailand, Burma and Laos come together.
The Mea Kong or Mekong or River Kong separates Thailand (where you stand) and Laos on the upper right side.
The side River Ruak separates Thailand from Burma (upper left side).
What you can also see is the bigger building with the red Roof. It satnds on Burmese territory and is a Casino.
Thai can visit the Casino (gambling is forbidden in Thailand) on a one day visa which they can get at the border.
Unfortunately it is not so easy for people from other countries. They need visas made at home.
The picture has been made from the classical viewing point.
If you turn around there is a whole line of small shops (of course) and the stairs to a nice temple further up the hills.
Wether you go way up to the big temples at ... or only take a short trip, at least once when in Thailand you must get in touch with this big mother River.
Generally two types of boats transport passengers on the Mekong.
Speed boats and slowboats. But "slow" is only in relativity with the speed boats, so don´t expect to be tuktukering along.
On one side Thailand, on the other Laos - so close you could touch and still so far if you don´t have a visa.
Most boats fill their tanks on the Laos side, because the fuel is a lot cheaper here.
Interesting is the current of the Mekong and its temperature. That can change a lot during the day. As far as I heard it is better to bath in the morning, because in the afternoon the colder water of the lakes arrive?
I am not sure whether I would go bathing in that brown soup, but those who do should know :-)
In front of the newer temple (the one with the nice look out) there are locals selling tiny cages with small birds in it. choose between two or six.
It is said to bring luck to let the birds fly free - well, I would say it is at least luck for the birds that get free again!
Another classical older Wat (temple) with a bigger Stone Chedi.
The temple lies on the top of a Hill with a very nice view on the Mekong River and right into Burma.
The Naga stairs has 383 steps - I would say you better walk them down than up - a lot easier.
The Naga is the fabulous animal (or are thy twoo?) that is protecting the stairs.
It is a crocodile that is eating a snake (sometimes with more than one head).
Collected and exhibited the artifacts which found in Chiang Sean and others area. Also presented about human and communities setting in this area.Included the lifestyle of old people ex. Textiles, Kitchen equipments, Money and more.
Visit here before discovering Chiang Sean city , you ‘ll get an understanding of city and also get a map shows where the monuments located. If you ‘d like to see all , bicycle ‘s the best thing .
Open 9.00am-4.00pm Wed-Sun
Admission fee 30 Baht.
Built in 1483 BE. by King Pungkharat and Phra Chao Phrom and rebuilt again in 2030 BE. and 2224 BE.You must walk up the mountain which 'll take about half an hour for topmost where located the main Chedi called Phra That Chom Kitti.Others interested are Ku or big gate in Lanna style ,some chedis and viharns.
Built in the reign of King Sean Phu in the 14th century AD .The main building is Chedi where built in Chiang Saen style with the combination of Mon, Burmese and Sukhothai influences.Not just the style of chedi ,all decorated stucco are one beautiul example of this Art style.
This sign confirms it, we are within the Golden Triangle.
My only regret was that we did not have enough time to cross the river and enter either Laos or Burma (Myanmar).
Here you'll find an impressive moss covered chedi dating back to the 13th century, as well as a crumbling temple home to several golden Buddha sculptures.