Took the morning AA flight to Chiang Mai (Around 3 hours). Warm welcome by the tour guide (Mr. Siao Ma) who spoke mandarin. First destination was Doi Suthep temple that located in the west of Chiangmai city on Doi Suthep, 929 feet above sea level. As we have a senior visitor with us, we took the tram car up to the temple. You can choose to climb up the 300 steps by yourself though. It was a wonderful 1st day with fascinating view of Chiang Mai town and chilling fresh air at this temple.
After the trip, we went for a Khantoke Dinner where we were served with Northern Thai food accompanied with cultural Lanna-Style Performance during the dinner. Checked in to our hotel (Centara Duang Tawan Hotel).
1 SEP 2009: DAY 02 – CHIANGRAI DAY-TRIP
Woke up at 630am for early breakfast at hotel and headed to Chiang Rai via Van, which took around 4 hours drive.1st drop off point was Mae Kajan Hot Spring, which didn’t give me any surprise. Stayed for 30 minutes and went to 2nd destination, which was White Temple (Rong Khun Temple). As it was rained at the time we reached, we happily carried our umbrella and walked around the temple. It is a very beautiful temple with all white in color, which is very different from typical temple around Thailand; a must visit place if you happen to come here. Proceed with lunch nearby The Golden Triangle, which is the intersection between Mekong River and Kong River (The border of Thailand, Vietnam and Laos). Took a boat ride to a small village located in Laos, which has nothing much there apart some stalls selling local-made souvenirs. Another 4 hours drive back to Chiang Mai. And yeah, I managed to hit the hotel’s gym for an hour of workout. The night ended with shopping along the night market.
2 SEP 2009: DAY 03 - CHIANGMAI
After breakfast went to visit Orchid & Butterfly Farm before we proceed to Ban Tong Luang (Mix Hill Tribes village) to visit those Chiang Mai famous long-neck people. The village was nice and clean, where the whole village was actually supported by government. There were some nice looking ladies, but most of them were married with kids. Anyhow, I think the village was too commercialized and kind of loss its culture. The next destination was Elephant Camp in a Natural Park, which was quite an interesting place to visit where we were entertained with some performances by those well trained elephants. Took our lunch and visited some bird nest and honey manufacturers before visited the final destination of the day, which was San Kham Pang Village (Home Industries). This village has assorted size and design of those paper-made umbrellas. The umbrella was nicely painted with assorted design and colors. Had dinner and did our final shopping at night market.