Chiang Rai

Chiang Rai

It’s time to get a new visa after being here nearly a month. I wanted to take a look at Chiang Rai, because I know there are a lot of schools up here and beautiful countryside around. Most people do their ‘visa runs’ at Mae Sai into Burma and back. It’s the cheapest and a little bit closer, but I wanted to head to Chiang Khong and stop by Chiang Rai on the way.

A Songthaew in Chiang Mai - sometimes know as the red bus

My transportation of the day included: a songthaew (meaning two rows. It is basically a covered truck with two benches to sit on in back), my feet, on the back of a motorbike to the bus station with my big backpack while my driver navigated flooded streets, bus from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai, then a bicycle taxi. Most of the bus ride to Chiang Rai was through gorgeous countryside. My favorite thing that exists many places in Thailand are the trees that line the road wrapped in the saffron colored cloth. I felt safe in all my modes of transport, but saw the aftermath of a motorbike crash that I wish I hadn’t seen just before arriving in Chiang Rai.

The countryside near Chiang Rai

Rice fields near Chiang Rai

Chiang Rai is significantly smaller than Chiang Mai with a lot fewer tourists. I looked around at some pretty basic guesthouses then upped it to flashpacker and was quite pleased.

Fish pond outside my flashpacker hotel

My flashpacker room in Chiang Rai

The night market in Chiang Rai seemed the place to go for food and shopping. Lots of things here to eat and not eat.

Yes, lots of insects for dinner. Perhaps the other white meat. I couldn't do it.

What I did NOT eat, but hope to someday get up the nerve to try. They are exactly what they look like - insects.

What I DID eat - a delicious vegetarian hot pot soup thing cooked over a bucket of coals at my table.

My dinner in Chiang Rai

Yum!

I didn’t spend much time here, and would like to explore further, but it’s October 1st now I’m on to Chiang Khong before my visa expires because I want to stay in Thailand for a while.

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