22 Nov Chiang Rai the beauty in the north.
The city of Chiang Rai is 4h in bus from Chiang Mai, so I decided, after my four days in Chiang Mai to go a little bit further to the north. Once I’ve been there, I would tell you my mistake, not to stay longer.
Chiang Rai and its surroundings deserve more than 2 nights, although the city is not very big, there are a lot of places related to nature to visit around the city. So if I have the chance I will go back for a week or so, and for sure I will rent a scooter to get the opportunity to see and enjoy this area much better.
This time, as I am at the beginning of my adventure, I didn’t wanted to spend a lot of money, so I did everything by public transport.
First of all I went to the main bus station from Chiang Mai to take the Greenbus line to Chiang Rai. This is for the moment the only company that does this route. You can buy the ticket the same day, it is difficult not to have a seat in any of the buses going everyday. But if you want to chose a bit, is better to take the ticket in advance in the same bus station. Depending on the time the bus leaves, you can find 3 different prices. As I am totally flexible with the times, I took one ticket for the cheap hour, 132B (3.3€) and I bought in advance the return ticket because I had to be on time to take the bus night to Kanchanaburi. The buses from Greenbus are very comfortable and with aircon.
I arrived in Chiang Rai around 16h, so I went to the guest house I had booked, Baan Bua Guesthouse, to leave the things, you can read my review aboout it here. On my way, I could already feel that Chiang Rai was more like a town than a city. I was feeling more relax as everything around was quitter than in the previous cities I had been.
After, I went for a walk. Next to the bus station, they have the night market everyday. There you can find everything, clothes, tech, handicrafts and they have nice music going on during the night market. And once you think you have seen the whole market, you get to the food court. A huge place outdoors, where you can find like 40 different places where to chose the food you want to have for dinner, and then you can take a sit in any of the tables…if you find one.
I was amazed and it was very difficult for me to chose the first night. After walking around all the food stands, I finally decided to have some fried mix food, with chicken, shrimps, spring rolls and French fries. The food was really nice, and the experience too, so the next night I went there back for dinner, but this time I had a nice Khao Soi.
The next day, I woke up and went to a really nice place for breakfast. You can check it in BaanChivitMai Bakery and Restaurant. And then I went to the bus station to take the bus to the White Temple. You will be probably thinking if I’m not fed up of temples…well a bit, but this one is special, totally different of all the temples you can see in Bangkok or Chiang Mai.
Wat Ron Khun, or what’s the same, White Temple, is a must if you visit Chiang Rai, the bus until there is only 20B (0,5€) and the entrance is free. It is amazing from outside, and the buildings surrounding it too… but you cannot miss the chance to go inside, you will be really surprised with the paintings inside the temple, I won’t say more, just go and check it by yourself.
They close the temple at noon for lunch time, from 12h to 13h. It is a good opportunity to take some nice pictures from the temple without people around. I did the visit before lunch time, and waited until they closed to take some nice pictures.
After that, I took again the bus to Chiang Rai city center, and there another one to the Black House. I think that this is another must to see in Chiang Rai. Although the place itself it is a bit odd, it is quite interesting to visit. If you go there by bus, it is again 20B and it leaves you in the main road, there you have to walk for around 10minuts to get to the place. To go back to the city, just go to the main road and stop a bus or a songthaew.
And that afternoon, before going to the night market for dinner, I went to the lovely BaanChivitMai for a smoothie and to write a bit for the blog.
The next day I had the bus at 13h, so didn’t have much time, some walking around, a nice brunch in BaanChivitMai and bus back to Chiang Mai to get the night bus to Kanchanaburi.
So it was time to leave Chiang Rai, but with a bittersweet taste. I had seen and enjoyed some spots of this lovely area, but I had too much to see next time 🙂
If you have been to Chiang Rai, please leave a comment with the places around you would recommend me, so I can get ready my wish list for my return!!