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