*Review my hostel: My first two nights I stayed at Marktel & Coffee Hostel, the owner is a Korean, so most of the guests stay here are also Korean guests, so no need to say that Korean guests are more civilized than Chinese guests. So, in general the dorm room is quite clean and quiet. The toilet is clean and nice, airy space, under the hostel is a very nice cafe, for the first time I stayed at the hostel but I got free breakfast in the morning. The room rates is also very soft, about 180 baht/night. (You can check rates, reviews and book on Agoda.com).
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Northern Thailand travel blog — Day 3: Chiang Mai – Pai
On the third day, I feel quite relaxed, so I got up at around 9AM, got down to the hall of the hotel for breakfast, then I went to visit 2 spots.
The first location is the Umbrella Village, here you can watch the steps of making an umbrella as well as participate in making an umbrella drawn by yourself. I went to another spot meet some uncles and ladies who all knew English, they asked where I came from, I spoke Vietnam, a foreign student in Bangkok, they were quite surprised because Vietnamese visitors were rarely seen here. The people are very friendly, let me take photos freely, discount the umbrella drawing price too, but because I am afraid of being late so I refuse, they are still happy to say goodbye.
The second locations is Silver Temple, this temple does not cost money to visit (free admission), but before visiting the temple, you must fill out an information form on the computer. I vowed to see this case in the temple for the first time. When I said I’m Vietnamese, they laughed surprisingly. Called Silver Pagoda because there is a temple completely decorated with silver, so Chiang Mai has Gold must has Silver, LOL ^ _ ^.
After that, I went to have lunch at a Pho restaurant with the owner is a Vietnamese, one of the rare Vietnamese restaurants, and so you can try to imagine how a boy who live abroad for 5 months crave Pho it is?! Although a bit expensive compared to in Vietnam but delicious so it worth a try. Around 1:30PM I took a motorbike to the bus station, from the hotel to the bus station is 100 baht (too expensive but I had no choice). After arrival at the bus station you need to buy tickets at the counters, then waiting for the coach. The coach departs to get to Pai at 3PM. The road to Pai is quite zigzag, like going to Dalat, Vietnam.
At 5:30PM, the coach arrives at Pai station, it can be said that Pai is a small village, you can explore it for a while. The scenery here is quite poetic and natural. I was so tired, so I went to the hotel to rest for a while, then I wandering around Pai town and night market in the evening. Generally the night market is quite small. Then I chose a small classic bar with jazz, order a cocktail and enjoy music. My drinking capacity is terrible, drinking cocktails but quite drunk :”). At around 10PM, I go to sleep.
*Heart of Pai Hotel: I have to paid 470 baht for a room at this hotel because I stay in a private room with super large bed. The downside is that there is no breakfast and a bit far from the night market in the center.
Northern Thailand trip — Day 4: Pai – Chiang Mai
Because I was quite tired after a few days of wandering, so I slept until 9AM, personal hygiene was also 10AM. Then I check-out and send my luggage at the hotel. Afterwards, I rented a Zoomer X motorcycle that saw an advertisement in The Hormones The series, and rent for half a day for 100 baht.
I find a local restaurant to eat noodles. Later, when I was riding on this rental motorbike I was stopped by the police and fined 200 baht for not wearing a helmet because the helmet attached was so dirty, LOL. Fortunately, it only takes 200 baht.
- Pai Canyon: This is the first place I visited in Pai, like the Grand Canyon in Chiang Mai but this place is still wild and there is no water below. It was quite sunny at the moment, some Westerners went down to explore. I followed but gave up halfway. Go back to take some shots, then get on the motorbike and continue riding.
- Strawberry Garden: This is like a stop selling strawberry products, but in my opinion, nothing stands out.
- Bamboo Bridge: A long bamboo bridge on a green field – it is my imagination at the beginning, but getting there is quite far and also unlucky when rice is harvested. So there is only one bridge on the plain wild field, so boring, T_T. But you should still go.
While going in you will see a sign that shows if you go deep into will be the stream, but as I saw, that season is a dry season, there is not much water, and I am not very interested so I did not go. If you come there on your upcoming trip, please take pictures and sharing with me ^ _ ^.
- On that route, there is a very funny place called The Land Split, which is a garden of a Thai owner, visit this place you will get free fruit jam, bananas, sweet potatoes, tamarind, … even drink fruit wine. Then, you can buy agricultural products or put some money into a donation box. Then you will be going on a tour of his garden with a variety of fruit trees. The reason for calling this The Land Split is because it was originally a hill here, but then it was naturally split into two creating a deep. The owner saw that so he decided to plant fruit trees as well as exploit trade and tourism.
- Art in Chai: Having some hesitation, I decided to find a coffee shop to chill and rest. Finally, I chose Art in Chai – an Indian’s style coffee shop (Address: Rat Damrong Rd, Wiang Tai, Pai District, Mae Hong Son 58130, Thailand / Hours: 9AM–10PM; Tuesday: Closed). The water also smells of cinnamon, generally a little hard to drink. This shop is decorated in Indian bold style and quite quiet.
Sitting there until 4PM, I returned the motorbike, ate a little bit, then went to the bus station to come back to Chiang Mai. The car departs at 5PM and arrives in Chiang Mai at 7:30PM. Take a Songthaew with some other tourists, costs about 50 baht/person. That night I just walked around my hotel because I was tired, near the hotel is Night Bazzar bustling area but I did not like it very much, so popular, nothing special.
*Soho Hostel: This hostel has only one advantage is near Night Bazzar, the room rates per night for a bed in a dorm room is 215 baht, with locker but without key, a bed is small, the bathroom is tight and no soap and no breakfast. In general, the price is higher but worse than the previous Marktel hostel. However, stay here is not bad.
Northern Thailand trip — Day 5: Chiang Mai – Chiang Rai
6AM, I catch Tuk Tuk to get to the bus station, costs 100 baht (continue be rip-off). The coach departs to Chiang Rai at 7AM, arrives Chiang Rai bus station at 10AM. I catch a motorbike taxi to the hotel, about 80 baht. Then check-in but will get a room later. Renting a motorbike here is quite inhibited, they not for rent for half a day. So I have to rent for 2 days with the price of 500 baht.
- I go to lunch then visit Wat Phra Kaew: This is a famous temple in Chiang Rai with the Jade Buddha image in the main hall.
- Singha Park: This park is also quite far from the center, on the whole big yard is nothing other than the golden lion statue – the symbol of Singha. There is another park inside, but if you want to go in, you have to buy tickets, it is quite expensive so I just drink coffee and go to the next spot.
- Wat Rong Khun – White Temple (Devil’s Temple): This temple is designed by a famous architect, the entire temple is white. Around the main hall are ghostly shapes and all kinds of skulls. Inside the main hall, around the walls are the drawings of three realms (Triloka), so eye-catching. Outside the campus there are also many things to see as a lotus pond, a toilet like a palace, a store selling typical products (I was lured to buy an ethnic shirt) and a museum that exhibits all the This monk’s crafts. Tickets to visit is 50 baht. (Address: 60 หมู่ที่ 1 Phahonyothin Rd, Pa O Don Chai, Mueang Chiang Rai District, Chiang Rai 57000 / Hours: 8AM–5PM)
When I return the hotel, it was 4pm, check-in and take a nap. At night, I went to met a local friend, a bit upset when he dated me in the Mall, then I asked him if he knew any beautiful coffee shop, he said he did not know. So, me and him strolling around the mall and then return hotel. In Chiang Rai, there are not many nice cafes (or I do not know), at first I wanted to go to cafe, I saw a nice and cheap one but when entering to know that it is a cat cafe. So, I run away, I swear I don’t like cats, LOL.
Do not know where to go, I turn to Night Bazaar of Chiang Rai, go around to buy some durian plus sticky rice and barbecue. Sit, eat and watch art performance in the market and then return hotel to sleep.
Northern Thailand travel blog — Day 6: Chiang rai – Bangkok.
Today is a long day, around 7AM, I started to pick up the motorbike and go to the Golden Triangle in Chiang Saen.
- Long-neck ethnic minority village (Karen Long Neck Village): I swear, I lose money for my stupid, the entrance fee for foreigners is 300 baht. At first, I wanted to speak Thai, but later I got exposed. Wondering whether to enter or not, finally curiosity won over my mind, I go in with a little disappointed. And after coming in, it was a pity T_T. It is a tiny village, there are some women with their long necks, some stalls selling brocade. Visiting less than 10 minutes is over. I was feeling lost my money, but they looked so poor, they sat there naturally, and then let the tourists come to take pictures and filming. I also find it embarrassing, telling myself that 300 baht fee entry is to helping improve their lives.
- Golden Triangle Park: If you watched a movie or hear the name “Golden Triangle” with cross-border smuggling, that’s it. This is the intersection of the three countries Thailand – Laos – Myanmar, the river in the Golden Triangle area is quite zigzag so it is very suitable for criminals. However, this area still exploits tourism and does not seem as dangerous as on movies. They also organizes tours to visit Lao’s markets and Casino. I want to go, but the ticket is expensive and I have deposit my passport for a rental motorbike (700 baht/person).
- The House of Opium: This is a museum about the harmful effects of opium and the sophisticated tricks of criminals. In general it is pretty creepy, mentally weak is obsessed right away. (Tickets to visit 200 baht).
After finishing the tour, I drive to Chiang Rai, around 4PM (from Chiang Rai to the Golden Triangle quite far). Going to eat, return the rental motorbike, pack luggage and book Uber to get to the airport at around 6PM. Although I was flying at 10PM, but tired + run out of money so it is the best to going to the airport early and sleep a little.
So, this is the end of the trip and also the end of my article in Northern Thailand. Hopefully it helps you planning a future trip.
The total cost for the trip from Bangkok – Chiang Mai – Pai – Chiang Rai – Bangkok for 6 days 5 nights is: 10.800 baht (Equivalent to $345.10). It can be said that domestic travel in Thailand is still cheap. If you get boring with Bangkok or Pattaya then make a trip to Northern Thailand right away. The weather will be much better at the end of the year. Have a good trip!
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