While we were in Laos, we were looking at where to go next. We decided to head to Malaysia and convinced Blanca’s parents to take a holiday and come visit us there. Looking for flights, we realized that it would be cheaper to fly from Thailand than from Laos, so we took a bus to Thailand! Why not?
3rd April 2019
Getting into Chiang Rai, Thailand!
We promised ourselves to never take a night bus again, our last experience was not a very comfortable ride…. But here we are again, in a night bus!
After a 12 hrs drive, we arrived in the village just before the Thai border. After a couple of hours, an old woman came to us and asked if we have tickets to go to Chiang Rai. She only had to see our passports and walk away for a couple of minutes. This is how transport business goes in South East Asia! You never really know what’s going on….
She told us the bus 0085 will come in a few minutes and that bus will take us to the border. And like magic, that’s exactly what happened! At the border, we got the stamp out of Laos, and the entry stamp for Thailand. For the first time this is exactly how it happened. We were surprised by the smoothness in the Thai border and how used everyone is to tourists there.
Two hours later we arrived in the bus terminal 1 in Chiang Rai, far from the city. Tuk tuk drivers are waiting for an easy tourist customer, but that’s not us. They asked 120 bath to get to our hostel. Or 20 bath to get to the centre, and then it was 40 bath. They didn’t even know the price themselves!
We knew what to do, and as always, walked out of the station to find a fair price. Unfortunately, this time the station was pretty far away from the city and there were not so many options to come to town. But we found a taxi that wanted to bring us to our accommodation for 100 bath. And with airco. Win!
The markets in Chiang Rai
We arrived to our accommodation and relaxed at the pool for a bit, had lunch and went to see the city. We saw the fruit market, the night market and the centre area. After having dinner at the market around 20:00 we went back to get some fruit and head home. All of a sudden, everyone at the market was rushing and packing their stalls. We could guess that it was going to rain and you could feel it in the air!
Back at the hotel we spoke with the hosts about what to see around for the next days – because as usual, we had no plans! Renting a bike would be an option.
Visiting Chiang Rai temples by scooter
4th April 2019
We got up early, had breakfast and ordered the motorbike. Today we’re going to explore Chiang Rai! We also have a post with a guide to travel in Chiang Rai, and what to visit. Click here to read it!
At 9 AM we drove off to the White temple, or Wat Rong Khun in Thai. The entry fee was 50 bath per person and it was worth it. What a wonderful temple.
After that we headed into the country side where there was a farm experience. We drove around ourselves but didn’t get into the farm itself. It’s just… too made up for tourists.
We headed towards the main road where we had seen a mall before. We were in need of aircon, so we had a cheat lunch there at the KFC.
After lunch we went back to our apartment to have a cooldown dip in the pool. We met Charlie who has been in Thailand for 2 years now. He told us he had been working teaching English online, and gave us some tips to visit Chiang Rai.
Once cooled down we headed to a temple on the countryside with a huge Buddah statue on top of a hill. We were there just before sunset, with a beautiful light.
At last we went to see the Blue temple just around the corner of our accommodation. Same as the white temple, a completely new style of temples which is amazing to see.
5th April 2019
Another relaxing day in Chiang Rai
We woke up early and took the bike to the city to get fresh fruit. At 7 eleven we got some cornflakes and milk for breakfast as well, before handing back our bike.
It was a relaxing day by the pool, working on our blog, backing up pictures and so on. And jumping in the pool every now and then!
We also realized that withdrawing money from the ATM is really expensive in Thailand, with a fee of 6€. Since we’re only in Thailand for a few days, we don’t need much money and it wouldn’t make sense to withdraw for that fee! So, we’ll be having lunch at our hostel where we can pay with card. Great!
In the afternoon, we walked to the city to get some bananas. Cheap, nice and healthy, that’s how we like it!
The next days we explored some areas of the countryside of Chiang Rai and found some very unxepected spots, as we wrote in the next post!