After New Year i left my friend Roger and flew up to Chiang Rai in northern Thailand. The north of Thailand is regarded by some as the real Thailand, not too touristy and not developed. Chiang Rai was an old walled city, the capital of northern Thailand many years ago, not very big and easy to walk around within the city walls. Even in a small area there are many temples to see, wanting to get out and about i booked myself on a day tour that covered most of the things in that area. First stop was the amazing white temple, not actually a temple but a work of art, created by a local sculpture it still isn’t finished after 10 years.
Next stop was the Black House ( they like to keep the names simple here), a huge wooden building with huge tables, chairs, buffalo heads, skins and spears. It got a bit stranger as we walked around the grounds, more wooden buildings with more skulls, spears, skins, furs,etc,etc. I’ve never seen so much animal paraphernalia in my life, the artist that created all of it must have had a slightly twisted mind or at least had a fascination with hunting. Didn’t take too many photos of this place, must have been slightly disturbed……
From there we headed north to the Golden Triangle, a place where Thailand, Burma (Myanmar) and Laos met. I thought that it was just a tourist name given to the place but it was called the golden triangle as gold was traded for opium between Burma and Thailand.
After this we go to a place where 5 different hill tribe people live. Many years ago people moved across the borders of Burma and Laos into northern Thailand to avoid various conflicts going on. They lived in a small corner of the country together, not recognised by the Thai country they stayed and lived but at least when their children were born they received Thai citizenship. One of the tribe was the famous Karen Tribe (long neck tribe)
Another different tribe, can’t remember their name !!
Whilst in Chiang Rai i booked on a combined ATV/white water rafting trip, a couple of hours on the river followed by lunch and then a 40 kms ride through some off road terrain around the hillside. Rafting outside of Chiang Rai –