We loved this trip and although it is a lot of driving the van they provide is very comfortable. Our tour guide and driver picked us up last for the tour about about 7:30 AM from our condo. We then headed out to the hot springs while he explained what to expect in a very humorous way. We arrived at the hot springs at 9 AM and they gave us 20 min to use the facilities, wander about and get refreshments if we choose to. This is mostly a bathroom stop, but there are hot springs, there are shops, little places to get food and drinks, etc. There is a very cool temple next door also that we explored, but it is not kept up. We got back in the van and drove on to the white temple where we arrived at 11 AM. This is a very cool place to explore. We spent the first 30 min with our tour guide explaining the place to us, then had 30 min to explore on our own. This was the perfect amount of time so you can see everything, but not get bored. We then headed out from there to the remnants of the 7th-century Thai kingdom at Chiang Saen where we arrived a little after 1 PM. This was an interesting place and our tour guide showed us around here for about 30 minutes. From there we went to a nearby restaurant for lunch. It was a great meal of Thai food served family style. It included fried dry chicken with thai basil, curry pork dish, coconut soup, fried spring rolls, fried rice and a few other dishes. It was very tasty and there was plenty to fill up even the most hardy appetites. They then gave us little bananas grown locally for desert. It was a great meal. From there we drove on to the Opium Museum and spent about 20 minutes there. We then walked across to the boat docs and got on a comfortable size boat and went down the river for 15 minutes or so to Laos. They gave us 30 minutes at the market there which was more than enough time for all of us. It was OK to see, but the market itself is not that interesting. The boat ride and the fact that this is the point where Laos, Myanmar and Thailand meet makes it very interesting. We found it interesting that you can just hop off the boat in Laos without going through any customs. After we left this area it was back in the van for the long drive back. We stopped after two hours for a bathroom break and they offered us all smoothies, coffee, juice, or tea, as well as a chance to use the facilities. From there we headed back to Chiang Mai which took about 2 more hours getting us back at about 8:30 PM. We really enjoyed our tour guide Ekk and the driver Tom was a very good driver. I would highly recommend this tour, but do be prepared for a long day and a lot of driving, sometimes on roads that are not so nice.Show less
Picked up on time by our guide John and the driver Tom and we were on our way. A few quick stops to pick up the rest of the small group before heading out of the town. John explained the day and after a while we reached the first stop by the hot springs. It was OK, not fantastic but still a nice stop en route.Then the day continued. The White Temple was spectacular. Completely stunning artistry in every detail and so much to see. A must see if you have the chance. Then off for a delicious lunch at a local restaurant. The food was plenty and every bit of it tasty.The trip then took us up to the Golden Triangle with a visit to the Opium Museum and a short boat trip to the market on the Laotian side of the river. Quite interesting as well.Then time to head back with a short coffee break on the way courtesy of John, the guide.This is a long day out but well worth it. Loads to see and our guide John and driver Tom did an excellent job in making the trip a delight. Highly recommended.
Amazing tour with an on-time pickup. It's meant to be a rushed tour given the sightseeing spots we need to cover in one day, but it's worth it to see the Golden Triangle and have a chance to see tidbits of Laos. I'd recommend it to anyone looking for a good, action-packed 1-day adventure.
This is a LONG day - 13 hours of touring. Our guides were great John and Linda and kept things moving, as well as knowing the delicate balance of letting us sit in quiet. A trip to Laos, Golden Triangle, Opium Museum and the absolute amazing White Temple are all worth the visit! It can be incredibly hot at the white temple - but the guides were ready with cold water and wipes upon our return. The stop at the hot springs is pretty lame, but it did break up the long journey to Chiang Rai.
Loved the White Temple. Well worth the travel time. Was extremely unimpressed with the Opium Museum and that should honestly be eliminated from the itinerary. Our guide’s English was extremely difficult to understand. In retrospect, I’d book another tour if the White Temple is your main goal.
I am AMAZED at how much this tour included, especially for the price! Our guide, Arrow and his colleague driver were FABULOUS! the itinerary provided is not nearly an accurate description of all the tour includes. I highly recommend this trip, just for the food alone seriously the best we had during our holiday. And if you are lucky enough to be paired with the same guide, you are in for a treat!!
Overall I enjoyed the tour. The temple in Chiang Rai was amazing. It is different than the others I had seen on my trip so it felt interesting and unique. It was very crowded though. The boat tour to Laos for the shopping mall was just ok, nothing spectacular to see but I can say I went to Laos. The museum at the Golden Triangle was interesting, but I think the 30 minutes we were there was plenty of time to see everything they had. Even though it is a long drive, the scenery is nice and the van was comfortable. Our guide was very nice and cheerful and had good information about the places we went.
Long day but worth it. Pick up on time, comfortable van, small group with a more intimate experience. Our driver Max was great and Toi, our guide was outstanding, they made sure to make it to the attractions before the big tour groups showed up and ruin it for everyone.
There was always cold water on the van and moist towelettes after every stop. Lunch was one of the best meals we had in all of Thailand.
They were acomodating of vegetarian guests. We had stops at an ancient temple in Chang Rai were clearly most tour groups don't stop and had a very clear description of local culture and religious practices
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