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From Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai by a road less travelled

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Perth, Australia
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From Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai by a road less travelled

We have a gap of 3 nights between when we leave CM and when we are due to arrive in CR. This is flexible, however. We know about the direct bus from CM to CR, but would be interested to hear from travellers who've travelled other than via the direct route. Are there interesting places that one could visit en route (perhaps even via a circuitous route)? We'll be travelling by public transport, we think.

We assume that public transport won't limit us, but really don't know for sure.

lewes uk
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1. Re: From Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai by a road less travelled

Hi,

You could look at going up to Chiang Dao, stay a night, then carry on up to Tha Ton via Fang, stay there the night and then take the boat down the river to Chiang Rai.

Cheers

Italy
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2. Re: From Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai by a road less travelled

If you want to be more flexible with the route you could hire a car we do this and it's an easy drive up to Chiang Rai and you can stop off where you like. We hire from North wheels it's a reputable company in Chiang Mai.

Wyong, Australia
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3. Re: From Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai by a road less travelled

http://www.wat-thaton.org/index-english.html

http://wikitravel.org/en/Thaton_(Thailand)

ikhishi, check out these two links and see what you think.

It's a trip the cook and I will take one day...soon.

Have fun

Colorado
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for Chiang Rai, Chiang Rai Province
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4. Re: From Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai by a road less travelled

I'd suggest the trip to Thaton and then a boat trip down to Chiang Rai or traveling from Thaton up to Mae Salong and then heading down to Chiang Rai. Thaton is a small town and very rural with not many tourists. The scenery was beautiful. Mae Salong is primarily a Chinese/Thai village/town and has a very unique charm with stunning scenery. I enjoy both towns but right now prefer Mae Salong over Thaton, but Thaton is more remote so it depends on what you are looking for. If you have three days a side trip to Thaton, and possibly Mae Salong, would be lovely.

Broder

Chiang Rai, Thailand
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5. Re: From Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai by a road less travelled

Hi Janis,

I recently took a circuitous route myself from CR to CM to Nan back to CR.

Whether you go East towards Nan or North towards CR/Tha Ton, the scenery is not really interesting for most of the journey though it gets a little better past Fang. I think the journey to Tha Ton and then a boat ride to CR sounds a wonderful journey.

You could get a bus to Nan, the journey "over the top" from Nan up to CR is breathtaking, but I am unsure whether you can get public transport to take you that way, I suspect the buses won't climb over the top of the world this way and you would probably need a taxi or to hire a car, and if you hired a car, you would definitely need GPS, it's quite complicated.

Bruce

Rotherham, England...
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6. Re: From Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai by a road less travelled

I did this itenary (adding to it myself on my return) a few months ago:

wikitravel.org/en/Chiang_Mai_to_Chiang_Rai_i…

Thailand
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7. Re: From Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai by a road less travelled

Brilliant! Thank you for that. Read every word.

Perth, Australia
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8. Re: From Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai by a road less travelled

Thank you all for your responses.

paulosussex: We had thought of doing that, but wondered about taking the boat from Tha Ton to CR. I believe it can take 5 hours, that it can be rough and very noisy, and it seems it doesn't run unless it has a certain number of passengers. Have you done this trip? If so, how was your experience?

Chrella: How do you find driving on the roads in the north? I heard the roads are narrow and very winding.

Inaspn: Thanks for those links. Have you visited Tha Ton? If so, what were your impressions?

Perth, Australia
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9. Re: From Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai by a road less travelled

Broder: Thank you for your suggestion. Have you taken the boat trip down to Chiang Rai? As I've just commented to paulosussex, we have a few reservations. Interested in your views, please.

Also considered travelling from Thaton up to Mae Salong and then down to Chiang Rai. Is that route very scenic?

I gathered that Thaton is small and not so touristy. Is the scenery in the town beautiful? Mae Salong is definitely a place we'll visit, just not sure if it's better to go there en route to CR or as a loop from CR.

Appreciate your suggestions.

Wyong, Australia
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10. Re: From Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai by a road less travelled

Brilliant ikhishi, just brilliant.

tripadvisor.com.au/ShowTopic-g293917-i9325-k…

Have fun