The Explore Chiang Rai Tour
Market visit and Samlor tour
Your guide and driver will meet you at the hotel at 0800 for your Explore Chiang Rai Tour. Today our vehicle will be a songtaew, a local taxi. Our first destination will be Kad Luang, the big fresh market of Chiang Rai. It is the oldest market in the city. We take our time to enjoy the hustle and bustle of morning shopping. We will let you taste a typical Thai delicacy, the kind you can only buy on these amazing fresh markets. This market is also the place where you can find the last of the traditional bicycle taxis of Chiang Rai. In Thailand, they call these a “samlor,” which literally means “three wheels.” We support the local samlors to take a ride through the old center of Chiang Rai.
The oldest Buddhist temples
The Wat Phra Kaew is one of the oldest temples in Chiang Rai. It used to be the home of the Emerald Buddha statue in the Wat Phra Kaew in Bangkok. We visit the interesting museum before we continue to another temple: Wat Phra Singh. Next to Wat Phra Singh is the beautiful old Chiang Rai City Hall, dating back to 1899. Along a road lined with majestic rain trees, we continue to the statue of the founder of Chiang Rai: King Mangrai. Here we say goodbye to our samlor drivers and continue our Chiang Rai Tour. The Kok River streams through Chiang Rai. It is a tributary of the Mekong River and originates in Shan State in Myanmar. Our next destination is the local boat station where our fast boat is waiting for us.
Boat Trip on the Kok River
We greet our boatman and board his local boat for the 45 minutes trip to the Karen village Baan Ruammitr. Relax and enjoy the scenery. We pass “Chiang Rai Beach,” several Buddha statues, pineapple fields, and forests. It is a delightful trip. Just beyond the Baan Ruammitr Elephant Camp, we disembark. Here our car is waiting for us to take us to Armue’s plantation. Armue, our Akha friend, will show us his crops and his fish pond. We sample some of the ingredients for our lunch. After this, we will continue to Armue’s homestay. Here we will work together with the local people to prepare our lunch: it is a very local and interesting experience! We will cook our rice in bamboo on a wood fire as the Akha people have done for centuries.
Trekking to Huay Mae Sai Waterfall
After our cooking experience, it is time to consume our delicious lunch. The Akha people will show you their traditional dress, and there will be time for some photographs. Having filled our tummies, it is time for some exercise. We will hike through the forest to the Huay Mae Sai waterfall. This will take between one and one-and-a-half hours. We take our time. At the Huay Mae Sai waterfall, you will have the opportunity to take a refreshing swim. We spend some time here until we walk to where our driver is waiting for us. It is time to drive back to Chiang Rai and say goodbye to our host Armue.
It is only half an hour’s drive back to Chiang Rai. We will pass Wat Huay Pla Kang, a recently constructed temple with a giant statue on the way back. We will stop here briefly. The statue is not of the Buddha but Kuan Im, the Goddess of Mercy. After this visit, we will drop you off at the hotel. We hope you enjoyed our Explore Chiang Rai Tour.
We have shown you only some of the sights of Chiang Rai. For more things to do and see, please click here.