I had a fabulous weekend in Chiang Rai last weekend with my friend.
We stayed at the Teak Garden Spa and Resort, which I will do a seperate review on, but it was a lovely hotel, if a little on the quiet side! I think it is perhaps more of a conference centre and we were their only overnight guests - we had booked a twin room, but they gave us a double room each with an interconnecting door which was fabulous!
Our primary reason for visiting Chiang Rai was to see the White Temple. On Saturday with the help of our hotel receptionist who spoke really good English, we booked a taxi driver and arranged for him to take us to the Black House and the White Temple. We only decided the night before to go and see the Black House and wow I am so glad we did - we actually preferred it to the White Temple! We thought it was just going to be one Temple, but to walk amongst the 40 different houses was fantastic. There were very few other tourists, and it felt very calm and peaceful being there. The White Temple, whilst undoubtedly is a sight to be seen, felt very busy in comparison. I am glad however we took the time to see it, but we didnt stay as long as we planned.
On Saturday night we headed into town and went to see the clock tower, which does a brief light and music show on the hour every hour between 7-9. Would definitely recommend this! We ate in the Thai restaurant which was near the tower (sorry I didn't get the name, but if you find the clock tower you will know where I am talking about!) Good food, and a nice place to people watch!
We then went to the Walking Market. To be honest, and I feel a little guilty saying this, I wasn't that impressed. Perhaps my expectations were a little too high, but I far prefer the one in Chiang Mai. We sat and had a drink though and listened to the band and watch the dancing, which was nice.
On Sunday, we went to Doi Tung which I just loved! The Princess Villa was so interesting to walk around, and the gardens were just beautiful! I again would definitely recommend a visit here. It wasn't too busy and I felt like I learnt a lot about the Thai Royal Family. It is 190B for a combined ticket to see the Villa, the Gardens and the Hall of Inspiration.
We then asked our driver to take us somewhere where they served khao soi, and he took us to a fantastic roadside restaurant, 60B for the two of us.
We needed to be at the airport for 3, and we had seen on Friday night there was not much to see there, so we asked our driver if there was anything we could do for an hour. He suggested we go and visit a Long Necked karen village. My friend was a little unsure about this, but we decided to go. To begin with, I felt very intrusive and wished we hadn't gone, but in hindsight now I am glad we did. We were the only two people visiting the village - I think perhaps if I had been with a busful of people I would have felt uncomfortable - my favourite part was seeing the children play so happily together and just completely ignoring us! I found that very refreshing.
It was a fabulous weekend! If you are interested in looking at my photographs then please check: