I went on the affordable and well organized Chiang Rai Temple Tour with Trip Guru and had an absolute blast. The tour included stops at the White Temple, Blue Temple, Black Temple and Mae Khachan Hot Spring. Pick up was between 7:00 and 7:30 a.m. with an official departure time of 7:45 a.m. The tour was $35 USD and the price covered pick-up, drop-off, entrance fees into the temples and bottled water.
The van you’ll ride in for the trip is air-conditioned and pretty comfortable with reclining seats. There are also curtains on the windows, so you can to block out the beaming Thailand sun when you’re ready for a nap. While Chiang Rai is only three hours from Chiang Mai the ride to Chiang Rai is especially brutal these days because a portion of the road is completely unpaved. The roads are bumpy, windy, dippy and overall nauseating, but well worth it to see the beauty that is Chiang Rai. My suggestion is to sleep the entire way. It will make the ride go by faster and it makes the ride easier to handle. I also have to commend the driver for doing a great job at handling the twists, turns and dips of the rugged roads.
White Temple (Wat Rong Khun)
We arrived around 10:30 a.m. and were permitted to stay there for an hour and a half. The White Temple was beautiful, but jam packed. The guide gave us clear directions on when and where to meet, so it was easy to depart. The best part about the guide was that he let us venture off on our own and take everything in at our own pace.
Chivit Thamma Da
At 12:00 p.m. we left the White Temple and made our way toward the Blue Temple. On the way to the Blue Temple we stopped for lunch at Chivit Thamma Da. Chivit Thamma Da is an eclectic restaurant on the water, which was excellent because it provided a much needed cool breeze. Chivit Thamma Da had loads of options between Thai food, western food, desserts, teas and beer. The restaurant is accommodating to most diets and even boasts an impressive vegetarian/vegan section!
Blue Temple (Wat Rong Suea Ten)
We arrived to the Blue Temple around 1:45 p.m. and were permitted to stay there for 30 minutes. The Blue Temple was stunning, and pretty empty by the time we got there. Getting there at the time we did made for a very comfortable visit, which contrasted our visit at the white temple.
Black Temple (Baandam Museum)
From the Blue Temple we went straight to the Black Temple and got there around 2:40 p.m. The Black Temple was also pretty empty for the time that we went, which made for another pleasant visit! The museum is so much less of a temple and much more of it’s proper name – a museum. The museum is home to different types of art created from animal remains such as animal hides and skeletons.
Karen Long Neck Hill Tribe Village
At the end of the trip we were informed that we would make a requested stop at the Karen Long Neck Hill Tribe Village. The other guests wanted to make the stop and the driver was really kind to accommodate them. He understood their sentiments of wanting to see the village because they had traveled all this way. The entrance fee to the village was 300 baht and wasn’t covered by the initial tour cost because it was an additional stop.
Mae Khachan Hot Spring
After visiting the Hill Tribe Village we hit the road to travel back to Chiang Mai. On the way back we stopped by a roadside hot spring called Mae Khachan Hot Spring. At the hot spring we got to soak our feet and try some hard boiled eggs cooked via the hot spring. We arrived home around 8 p.m. and were dropped off at our respective destinations. The driver was even kind enough to drop me off at a different location than where I was picked up with no qualms or issues.
The Chiang Rai Temple Tour with Trip Guru was excellent for those who are looking to see all the gems of Chiang Rai in a short amount of time for an affordable price. The drivers are professional, the customer service staff is helpful and the price is unbeatable for all the attractions you get to see. I would definitely recommend booking a tour with Trip Guru.