11/2010 - Thailand, Golden Triangle

4-day trip to Thailand – the Golden Triangle area – visiting the city of Chang Rai , Wat Rong Khun (White Temple), the Rai Mae Fah Luang Cultural Park , the border town of Mae Sae , the “Temple of the Roosters” the village of Sop Ruak , the ancient town of Chiang Saen with its ancient temples , the village Doi Sahgo , the Royal Palace and the gardens of Doi Tung , a tea plantation and the village of Doi Mai Salong

We arrived late at night in Chang Rai where we stayed in the characteristic Hotel The Legend . The next day, on the outskirts of the city , we visited the Buddhist and Hindu temple Wat Rong Khun ( White Temple) made of white chalk and mirrors that create ever-changing play of light .

Then,  we visited the Rai Mae Fah Luang Cultural Park, in which the Haw Kham (Golden Pavilion ) stands out for its beauty. It is also known by the name of ” Queen’s Garden ” because it was donated to the Queen on the occasion of her 84th birthday.

Along the road that brings to Mae Sae , at the border town with Burma , we met a very strange temple, not mentioned by the guides , to which we gave the name ” Temple of the Roosters ” ( see photo gallery) .

We continued towards the place at the top of the ” Golden Triangle” where Thailand borders upon Burma and Laos. We admired what has been described from the top of the hill. Nearby there is the interesting temple Wat Phra That Phu Khao which reaches the below Sop Ruak village, near the Mekong River.

We visited Sop Ruak, a village with a large temple built on the bank of the Mekong. We made a boat tripand could enjoy scenes of local life : fishermen and fisherwomen , both on the shore and on the boats. Finally, we saw a series of small wooden houses on the shore. We thought they could be everything but  restaurants as, in fact, they were.

We went to the ancient town of Chiang Saen to visit the important temples that surround it.

The first temple that we visited is the Wat Phra That Cham Kitti which dates back to the tenth century and is situated on top of a hill from where we could enjoy great sights .

Another interesting temple is the Wat Pa Sak located within a teak trees forest. The Chedi dates back to 1295 and is the oldest temple in the city.

The temple Wat Chedi Luang is the largest one, dating back to the twelfth century, and is surrounded by a small market where they sell fabrics and foods.

We got in an “e -tan”, a local vehicle with which we crossed the country where we saw the farmers who were collecting the rice. We reached the village Doi Sahgo where we were greeted by women and children dressed in local costumes . We ate in the local ” restaurant” and went for a walk in the small village .

We visited the Doi Tung Royal Villa set, in 1988, on the top of a mountain, in an excellent panoramic position, with the aim of making the area a touristic one  and,  above all, of trying to eliminate the opium production . The Villa is surrounded by beautiful flower-beds.

Not far, we visited a large garden with ponds, play of water as well as magnificent and spectacular floral displays .

We visited the most important tea plantation in the area where we could admire both the cultivation and the processing of tea. We concluded tasting a local tea preparation . We went to the village of Doi Mae Salong to see the town market. We met numerous women dressed with the typical costumes of their ethnicity.