Private Tour Chiang Rai : White Temple – Black House – Blue Temple, Long Neck Karen and Golden Triangle
- Location: Chiang Rai Province
- Highlights: White Temple, Blue Temple, Black House , Akha and Long Neck Karen hill tribe villages, Golden Triangle
- English-speaking tour guide
- Private Tour
This extended full-day tour takes you to the best sites in Chiang Rai, a neighboring city north of Chiang Mai. Enjoy a scenic drive through the Northern Thai mountains and jungle-covered valleys and visit the area’s most stunning and culturally rich places. Highlights include the famous White Temple (Wat Rong Khun) and the beautiful Blue Temple (Wat Rong Suea Ten Temple). Explore the bizarre Black House (Baan Dam), Akha and Long Neck Karen hill tribe villages, and a beautiful overlook point at the infamous Golden Triangle.
- 7:00 AM: Meet in your hotel lobby
- 8:30 AM: Enjoy a short coffee break at a natural hot spring (about 20 minutes)
- 10:30 AM: Visit the White Temple (about 1 hour)
- 12:00 PM: Walk through the many buildings of the Black House compound (about 45 minutes)
- 1:00 PM: Eat lunch at a restaurant
- 3:00 PM: Explore the Golden Triangle viewpoint of Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar (about 45 minutes)
- 4:45 PM: Visit the ‘Long Neck’ Karen hill tribe village (about 45 minutes)
- 6:00 PM: Visit the Blue Temple (about 30 minutes)
- 6:30 PM: Depart from Chiang Rai; stop at a gas station along the way
- 10:00 PM: Return to your accommodation
Please Note: Your guide will make sure that you spend as much time as possible at each activity. However, the schedule may vary depending on the weather and traffic.
What we’ll do
Coffee at a hot spring
Start the day off right with a steaming cup of coffee at a hot spring. This is the first stop after the relaxing drive through the rolling countryside of Northern Thailand. Stretch your legs and dip your feet in if you can handle the heat! These hot springs are rich with sulfur, a mineral with a long list of healing properties. We will spend about twenty minutes here getting energized for the experience that lies ahead.
The White Temple
Grab some snacks for the road and head onwards to the first major stop of the day: the White Temple, or Wat Rong Khun. This extraordinary structure is breathtaking in daylight, painted top-to-bottom in dazzling white and decorated with tiny mirrors that catch the sun. Every meticulous detail is symbolic, from the bizarre pit of sculptures to the huge paintings of cartoon characters and pop culture icons. Designed by a famous artist, the structure invites visitors to reflect on the cycle of rebirth and the path to enlightenment. Walk through hell, and enter heaven: a set of giant gates leads to gardens, a koi pond, and the world’s most beautiful bathrooms.
The Black House
Visit the White Temple’s counterpart next: the Black House. This Chiang Rai landmark is actually a collection of about 40 buildings arranged around a garden. In stark contrast to the bright, ethereal facade of the White Temple, the Black House buildings are built out of heavy wood, dark metal, and painted in hues of deep brown and black. The artist who built this surreal place has filled it with paintings and installations made out of animal bones, horns, and skins thought to represent the worldly suffering the Buddha saw along his travels. The macabre décor and dark colors are sombre and mysterious, but the displays are artistic rather than simply shocking.
The White Temple and Black House are incredible works of art that are well worth seeing together, especially with a guide who can explain the history and significance of the structures.
The Golden Triangle
Break for lunch at a local restaurant to rest and talk about the last two stops, then continue north to the Golden Triangle. This world-famous viewpoint marks the meeting of Thailand, Myanmar, and Laos where the Mekong and Ruak Rivers converge. Once the center of the opium trade in Southeast Asia, the area is now a peaceful and picturesque landscape of temples and tiny hill tribe villages. Stand at the very edge of the Thai border and look out over two rivers and three countries to feel the lingering power of history and humanity here.
Long Neck Karen hill tribe village
Come down from the Golden Triangle overlook and head to a Long Neck Karen hill tribe village. Karen women are famous for wearing heavy brass rings around their necks. The practice started long ago to protect against tigers, and is now a beautification ritual. As women age, they add additional rings, creating the elongated necks they are now widely recognized for. Visit their village to see this tradition while it still exists, as younger generations are beginning to depart from this practice. Be sure to visit the local market while you are here, as the Long Neck Karen also have a long history of carving and weaving and sell handicrafts that can be taken home as beautiful souvenirs.
Last but not least, stop at the Blue Temple, or Wat Rong Suea Ten. “Suea Ten” means “the dancing tiger”, and this name comes from the tigers that once jumped over the nearby river. Though there are no longer any tigers here, this structure was recently built upon the ruins of an ancient temple, completely abandoned almost a century ago. Built by a student of the artist who painted the White Temple, the intricate art that covers the Blue Temple is reminiscent of that very style. Finish the tour off here, where the walls are painted a vibrant sapphire blue and accented with inlays of glowing gold.
- A free pick-up and drop-off service is included within 6 kilometers of the city center
- Transportation via minibus with air conditioning and driver
- Private English-speaking tour guide
- Drinking water
- All entrance fees, sites and activities as mentioned
- Travel Accident insurance
- Personal Expense
What To Bring
- Comfortable walking shoes
- Hat and sunglasses
- Sunscreen and insect repellent
- Camera (optional)
- If you have any dietary restrictions or allergies, please inform your tour guide. We can serve vegetarian food upon request.
Learn more about our cancellation policy.
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