In this post I would like to tell you about our one day trip to Thailand, Burma and Laos which cost us $40 per person. Curious how that’s possible? Then continue reading!
After 2 months in Thailand our visa expired and we needed to leave and re-enter the country in order to get another 2 months visa. We read many stories about how foreigners cross the border and where they go, and decided to choose the easiest way to do that. We ventured to the travel agency across the road from our condominimum, Gem Travel. We met the owner in there, he explained everything about the tour, timing and procedure, showed us photos. As customary here in Thailand, we asked for a discount, and the owner was only too happy to oblige by lowering the price from 1000 to 800 baht ($26) per each.
Golden Triangle Tour was the name of the package we bought. It included:
- Travelling by comfortable air-conditioned mini bus with an English-speaking guide.
- Pick up from the hotel/apartment and return back.
- Visit to the Hot Spring in Chiang Rai. Nothing special, just a smelly (lots of sulphur) hot fountain from the underground. There you can rest a bit, walk, dip your feet in the hot water of the spring (you will find several bath tabs near the market), go to the toilet and maybe eat something quickly at the local market.
- Visit of the White Temple in Chiang Rai. A very famous and beautiful temple, which was built 15 years ago. You will find “hell” and “heaven” and the Golden Toilet.
- Visit to the Golden Triangle. It is an area where two rivers meet, and it lies between Thailand, Laos and Burma. There is an island right in the middle of this area, which is no man’s land and is used for opium trading.
- Boat trip by the river to Laos. You will need to pay an extra 300 baht ($10) per person if you want to cross the river and enter Laos territory. If you prefer to stay in Thailand you will have around 50 minutes for walking around and taking photos.
- Buffet Lunch. It was quite a good lunch. I was expecting something much worse actually. We found a variety of hot Thai food, salads, some soups, hot and soft drinks, fruit and dessert.
- Visit Mae Sai – the very northern town of Thailand next to the border of Burma. We had a short stop there. Crossed the border, had our passports stamped, paid 500 baht for the visa and walked along the local Thai-Burmese market.
- Hill Tribe Village, Long Neck Karen. You have to pay 300 baht ($10) if you want to see people (girls and women) belonging to the Karen Long Neck tribe. We were not planning to go there, as we felt a bit awkward about it. However we decided to go and take a look as there wasn’t much else to do. We found a place where the Long Neck Karen women were selling scarfs they make themselves as well as other handicrafts. But mainly they were posing for photos which tourists take all day long. In the beginning I felt uncomfortable, as I felt like I was in a human zoo. I felt pity seeing them wearing all these heavy rings…But after some time I got used to this atmosphere, as we were told the history of these people and this tradition, I saw women smiling and seemed that they feel quite comfortable under cameras, they looked pretty much happy posing. Though I can imagine how much they probably are tired from that, from such a kind of job.
The Golden Triangle tour took all day. We left Chiang Mai at 7:00 am in the morning and arrived back home only at 9:30 pm. Though the journey was very long, we didn’t get as tired as we thought we would be. Our mini bus was really comfortable and the trip was very interesting. The road all along the way was so picturistic that I didn’t want to close my eyes and miss out on some beautiful place.
I’ve published some more cool photos from this trip on my Facebook page. Check them out!