Day trip to Golden Triangle

Old Jul 7th, 2009, 03:18 AM
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Day trip to Golden Triangle

We are now in Chiang Mai and have 4 days here. We are using one day to wander around town, 1 day for cooking class and then a 1 day trek. We are debating doing a tour up to the Golden Triangle and the White Temple. Any thoughts? Is there a tour group you would recommend or is it possible to do on your own? Thanks!

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Old Jul 7th, 2009, 06:01 AM
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One of our favorite activities there was a visit to an elephant camp, with an elephant ride in the jungle.
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Old Jul 7th, 2009, 06:19 AM
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The elephant camp, at Lampang is about a half an hour from Chiang Mai.

You can do a day trip to the Golden Triangle, but it makes for a very long day. It's about 3 hours each way, and once you are there, the places you'll want to see require driving. If you decide you want to do it, any of the travel agencies can arrange a group tour. The group tours are all pretty much the same. You may want to ask about the size of the group, as that may be the major difference. Ask exactly where you go. I don't recommend any that say they stop at a hilltribe village, as those stops are pretty awful. You really have to do an overnight trek to get to a hilltribe village that retains any of its traditional lifeways.

I live the Golden Triangle area, so I'd recommend you not go and save it for your next trip when you can go and stay there for a few days.
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Old Jul 7th, 2009, 08:07 AM
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The "white" temple is unique and it was created by a famous local artist, he has a gallery there as well and the paintings are very expensive and quite popular.

I would drop by for a quick look.
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Old Jul 7th, 2009, 11:56 PM
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I was in Chiang Rai[bit further north] a couple of nights and hired a motor scooter there and managed to fit in a bit of a loop ride first of all up to Myanmar border for lunch [having stopped at some supposedly called Monkey Caves - the monkeys being outside and don not waste your time].

Then after lunch we headed back over to Golden triangle area, being checked at a road block making part of the day where a couple on another scooter were being asked by police what these round suspicious looking things in the girls bag were!
The Mekong River there is glorious and wished myself I had been able to stay a couple of days there at least - one spot very near top of "to return to list".

If you can organise yourself to get to Chiang Rai the day before for overnighting and give Myanmar border a miss and head for the Golden Triangle, you'll not be disappointed. You can get direct back to Bangkok from there if that's your next move.
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Old Jul 8th, 2009, 06:33 AM
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Bushranger's idea is a good one. Chaing Rai is only an hour from the Golden Triangle. If you spent a night there you wouldn't have a full day of driving and you can fly to Bangkok from CR.
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Old Jul 10th, 2009, 07:04 PM
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Thanks for all your suggestions. We really wanted to do an overnight, but just didn't have enough time. After reading how everyone loved the GT and not knowing when we would make it back here next, we decided to do a day trip up there. The 3 hour drive wasn't really a big deal to us considering we do it all the time at home. The tour was nice and it was great to see the white temple and the Golden Triangle. Unfortunately, we did go to one of the hill-tribe villages which was interesting to see, but definitely zoo-type. They explained to us why the people move to these places, which helped a bit. We also decided to do the elephant conservancy the next day (or so we thought). We ended up at a Mahout camp for a day training. I wasn't too happy at first, but it turned out to be a great place where the elephants are well-cared for and loved. We had a great day. We are a little behind on our blog, but will continue updating over the next couple of days.

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