Chiang Mai is the perfect hub to take day trips throughout Northern Thailand and there’s something for everyone. Luckily, there are travel agencies out there to help you find the right tour for you. We partnered with Blugecko Chiang Mai to take a jam-packed day tour throughout Northern Thailand.
Mae Kha Jan Hot Springs
Our first big stop on the tour was the White Temple, but they strategically planned a bathroom stop at the Mae Kha Jan Hot Springs. It’s the perfect location because you get to see something, go to the restroom AND there’s a beloved 7-eleven there where you can grab a couple snacks if needed. I’ve now been to a good handful of several natural hot springs but this was the most unique for two reasons. One, they’ve been really built up including a manmade geyser installed [pictured left]. Two, the tourism opportunity here is to boil eggs in the hot spring. So interesting!
The White Temple in Chiang Rai
We arrived at the White Temple in late morning, so it was very crowded already. However, it was still easy to take in its amazing beauty. This temple was created and funded by one man: Chalermchai Kositpipat. It stands on the site of an old temple that had fallen into disrepair. He opened Wat Rong Khun (a.k.a. The White Temple) to the public 20 years ago.
Right Photo: These hands represent the temptations of unrestrained desire. The temptations that keep you in the cycle of rebirth instead of reaching enlightenment.
These trees contain metal leaves that people write their wishes + prayers on. Then they attach them, There are multiple of these trees. I loved seeing them shimmer and hearing them chime in the wind. So amazing.
Karen Long Neck Hill Tribe
Most tours include a trip to one of the Hill tribes. We chose a tour that included the Long Neck Hill Tribe because it seemed most unique.
You get to meet the women of the tribe that actually originated in Myanmar. This stop is decently short stop, but honestly all the time you need. The women work on their handicrafts and you can explore the shops while talking to these sweet women.
These stalls contain the shops + locals.
Matt really enjoyed seeing this man play his homemade guitar + sing. He was really talented.
This little cutie stole my heart.
The Golden Triangle
After stopping at a buffet lunch, we made our way up to the Golden Triangle. This is where Thailand, Laos and Myanmar all meet! This tour has an optional boat trip to Laos available, but we opted out of that to explore the area since we were heading to Laos soon after anyway.
Left: Matt + I stopped in at the Opium Museum – this used to be an opium hotspot // Right: The Large Standing Buddha at Wat Prahat Pukhao that overlooks The Golden Triangle
The tour typically includes a trip to a border market, but our guide told us that the market was filled with the same trinkets that are available at the Night Bazaar back in Chiang Mai. So, instead, she took us to Wat Prahat Pukhao to get an amazing view.
Review of the Tour:
If I could change anything about the tour it would be the transportation. The minivan was pretty basic, which is fine, but my seat unfortunately didn’t have a working seatbelt, so I had to tie it around my waist instead. Also, I know that the driver was absolutely going over the speed limit (because we were watching the speedometer) on some pretty intense mountain roads which only made the lack of seatbelt worse. The tour guide did offer to switch seats with me on the ride home because she needed to be up front for the ride there, but I didn’t feel comfortable denying her a seatbelt on the way home. That being said, I would still recommend the tour.
Our guide was informative and very sweet. She kept everything going smoothly. I really loved that this tour was a bit like organized free time. Our tour guide gave us information on each stop in transit. Because of this, I felt like I could do things at my pace while having the benefit of transportation, information and planning taken care of for me. I also loved that they weren’t afraid to alter the tour a smidge to be sure that we had the best experience possible. I also loved that they picked you up and dropped you off at your hotel, which made the day so simple. They even offered to take us to the night bazaar in Chiang Mai instead of our hotel. I also feel that the value of the tour was great, especially considering we were with them for 14 hours of awesome sightseeing.
Review of Blugecko Chiang Mai:
Blugecko’s website is unbelievably easy to use. You can select how long you want your tour to be and go from there. There are so many amazing options that you can be sure to find something you’ll enjoy. Plus, each tour on the website has a detailed itinerary and lets you know everything from wardrobe suggestions to activity level. Communication with them was straightforward and easy. Everyone I came into contact with through this company was very friendly. I felt like I was well taken care of with this travel agency and would recommend Blugecko for an affordable tour out of Chiang Mai.
Disclaimer: Although I took this tour courtesy of Blugecko, all opinions, as always, are my own.
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