Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Chiang Rai in Black and White

No, this is not about the Northern lights of Europe, what I’m talking about is the Lantern Festival annually celebrated in Northern Thailand.  Yi Peng to Thais was one of those festivals that I wanted to experience in my lifetime, fortunately it coincide with our long weekend holiday at the office which not only saves me vacation leave credits but provide me opportunity to see some of the Northern Thai cities that I long for to visit in slower phase, kinda like your long term travel phase, but only for 8 days. 

I was debating to myself weeks before my flight, thinking if I should go or not. It might be travel jitters, if such thing exist or maybe not, well what do I know? But one thing is for sure, I don’t want to waste my holiday. So here's a quick snap of what happened to me in Chiang Rai and hopefully I'll have the strength to write about my Yi Peng experience as well.

I just finished my graveyard shift so basically this is red eye flight for me. By 4 AM I'm already at the airport
waiting at the gate and very eager for them to let us go inside the plane because seriously I want some shut eye at that very moment.

After more than 3 hours, I landed safely in Bangkok. First thing first, bought myself a local sim with a 7 day free mobile data services, tip: this is helpful specially to countries who don'ts speak English. Just make sure you have some essentials like, Google Map and Google Translate  apps on your smart phones. Also, didn't forget to drop by 711 for some giant yakult fix.

Went straight to Bangkok's domestic airport and waited for my afternoon flight to Chiang Rai, my first stop for this trip. Whenever I'm travelling I always asked the ground stewardess if I can secure a window seat specially if my flight is about the time of sunrise/sunset.

It was until the next day when I started exploring Chiang Rai. I made sure that this trip will be chill and relax trip, so I visit one attraction at a time. That day I went to White Temple just five minutes outside of the city center. This place didn't disappoint, even if its a bit touristy.

The next morning brought me to the Golden Triangle, where Laos, Myanmar and Thailand share borders via the mighty Mekong River. At this point I'm officially out of track, I intended to visit the Black House just 15 minutes north of the city center. I enjoyed getting lost anyways, now I can at least say I've seen the Mekong.

But I eventually found what I was looking for, thanks to Google and that lovely French lady I met in the bus. Just a bit of a bummer that I didn't got the chance to see the Karen Village, maybe another trip will do.

I spent my first 3 days in Chiang Rai and was already happy of what I saw and ready to move to Chiang Mai to experience Yi Peng. At this point I'm already feeling the excitement creeping in.

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