We were picked up on time from our guesthouse and our guide, Louis, introduced himself and told us about the itinerary for the day, including driving times to different locations. He also gave us some background information about Chiang Rai and the areas we were visiting.
The hot springs is basically a glamorised service station (full of shops and cafés).
The white temple was the other redeeming feature, although we didn't stay long we really enjoyed looking round the temple complex. Having seen hundreds of temples in Thailand this was something totally different, a contemporary temple with tonnes of modern artwork.
We had been warned about extra cost if you wanted to take the boat to laos etc, and as we were visiting laos a few days later we passed. We were left for around an hour to do our own thing, there isn't much to do once you've taken a few pictures but there is a small market and a 7eleven to get drinks and snacks.
Lunch was a buffet with mostly Thai food, not the tastiest we've had but was more than enough and good for a day tour.
Next we were due to go to another market but Louis (our guide) asked if we wanted to do that or go somewhere else, we opted for the golden triangle overlook and a hill tribe.
The hill tribe was interesting with Louis giving us a constant flow of information about the area and it's history. Be prepared to be followed by young children touting small souvenirs.
Overall we wouldn't advise this trip as there is much more to do around Chiang Mai for a lower price. It's worth getting a taxi etc to the white temple though.
Thank you again to Louis who was fantastic and didn't stop smiling all day!
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