We arrived off the boat in Chiang Rai. Where the boat drops you off is out-of-town, so 6 of us bundled into the back of a pick up truck and headed into the centre of town. We had a walk around and decided to stay at ‘Mercy Hostel’. The hostel was really clean and had a great common area with a pool table and a swimming pool (although it was more of a paddling pool). Overall it was a great hostel to meet people or have your own space if you wanted.
That evening we headed into the night market for a Pad Thai and had a browse around all the stalls as there were so many. On the way back we came across ‘Cat n a Cup’ which was literally a cafe filled with different types of cats! Distracted, we decided to go in for a coffee. The cat cafe was really clean and had great coffee and cakes. You could also purchase little pouches of cat food to feed the cats. We purchased a couple, but as soon as you walk in they can smell it and your surrounded by all the cats, leaving everyone without any.
The next morning we woke up and chilled out for the day, had a short walk around town and then in the evening we went for a meal at ‘Le Merridian Hotel’ as it was our 5th anniversary. The meal was amazing! We had a three course meal with two complimentary side dishes and two cocktails each which only came to £50! The value for money was exceptional! As it was getting late we then caught a taxi back to the hostel!
The next day we rented a scooter and rode to the famous ‘White Temple’. Although full of tourists it is still amazing and a must see. Inside the temple is amazing art work but with superhero’s including Pikachu, Superman, Spiderman and even Hello Kitty ect all incorporated on the wall. Unusual to see in a holy place but was amazingly incorporated into it. The reason for all this is because although they know superhero’s are not actually real, it to symbolise we all need to play the role of our idles to save the world.
Outside the temple in the gardens there was superhero’s heads dangling from string in the trees too! Unusual they fit in with the surroundings of the ‘White Temple’. The gardens are also full of good luck heart charms which you can write on to hang up around the temple, we decided to buy one and send it home as a present.
We then rode the bike to ‘Khun Korn Waterfall’. We just found it on the map and decided to take a ride to it. The road leading to it was beautiful and when we arrived we realised the sign from the car park said a 1.4km walk to the waterfall. As we had already travelled about 20-30 minutes from the ‘White Temple’ we decided to give it ago. The walk is very uneven and slippy, full of sheer drops, fallen down logs and streams, so make sure you have the correct footwear on or go barefoot! After a sweaty walk we hoped that we would be able to get in the water to refresh ourselves but unfortunately this was not the case! Harry gave it a go but the waterfall was so powerful he decided to just go for a dip in the stream as it seemed to be the safer option. It was about 4pm so we decided to walk back, so we wasn’t caught out in the dark as we didn’t have a torch! We headed back to the hostel and on the way back we noticed a massive ‘Singha’ dragon (the dragon on the Singha beer). We pulled over to check it out and realised we had come across ‘Singha Park’. It looked great with so much to do there so we decided to stay another night in Chiang Rai and check it out the next day!
The next morning we woke up and drove back there on the scooter, we didn’t even have to lock the bike up as they had roads leading to all different types of activities. Although some were only accessible by walking or cycling so we drove the scooter in as far as we could. The grounds were amazing and beautifully landscaped. We stopped off at the zip line and decided to give it ago although it seemed closed and nobody was on it. After noticing a few people waiting in line to get tickets, we decided that we were happy to go on it after watching them go on it first. Once reaching the top the view was amazing! The both of us really enjoyed it and it was great fun. Although Leila doesn’t like heights, so she was a bit sceptical at first but managed to brave it and get going without a fuss. We got picked up from the other end of the line and they took us back to where we started. So we grabbed the bike and then rode to the tea plantations to enjoy the food and a drink before having to walk to the mini zoo to see the animals. This can only be accessed by push bike, walking or the park bus.
We walked back to the bike then went to the entrance/cafe and had a drink before heading back to town as we still had a couple of things to do before leaving Chiang Rai. Once we got back we had to get our pictures done for our Laos visa. Then go to the post office to send off the Christmas presents home we had collected for our families before grabbing some dinner.
After managing to get this all sorted. We then decided to have an early night as we were being picked up from the hostel at 6:30am the next morning by minibus. Which took us to the border and then the long-boat to Luang Prabang.
Tip: If renting a scooter make sure you fill up the tank before 8pm as after this time all petrol stations locally close!