Gay Chiang Rai Tours
Spend one night or two in Chiang Rai, gateway to the "Golden Triangle, where Thailand, Myanmar and Laos meet on this independent tour with a private guide.
Wide Open Spaces, Sample Myanmar and a Night Bazaar
Drive north from Chiang Mai (or fly directly from Bangkok to Chiang Rai airport) and enjoy the lush green carpet of mountain forests, emerald valleys, and electric green rice fields. Big sky and clean air invigorate the senses. There are several beautiful National Parks here and if you enjoy hiking and wildlife, we can help weave them into your itinerary.
Thailand's northernmost province is rich in natural beauty and its fertile valleys have nourished the country's most ancient kingdoms. Here, glorious dynasties enjoyed their golden eras and suffered dramatic defeats as powerful armies clashed to dominate the region's riches. Today, myriad traditional cultures coexist with the modern world, mingling influences from China, Myanmar, Laos, and indigenous hill tribes.
Chiang Rai is the gateway to one of the most interesting and one of the biggest regions of Thailand. It's home to tea (and former opium) plantations and, the place where Thailand, Loas and Myanmar meet, and many colorful villages that ae home to ethnic minority ("hill tribe") people. Its vastness and spectacular natural beautify deserve a leisurely exploration. Chiang Rai is the place to begin an extended trip through the stunning rural hills along the Mekong River that lead you to Thailand's Golden Triangle. You even get to dip your toe in Myanmar for a day.
Just on the outskirts of Chiang Rai pay a visit to one of Thailand's most extraordinary modern temples, Wat Rongkhun, an ongoing project of artist Chalermchai Kositpipat. Decorated entirely in pure white with mirroraccents, it is designed to be viewed best by moonlight. This is a unique chance to witness the birth of an entirely unique style of temple.
This afternoon, explore the border town of Mae Sai where you may cross over into Myanmar (bring your passport) to wander around the market in Tachieleik where cheap goods from China and gems, jade and lacquerware from Burma are on offer. If you fancy a climb, there's a great view to be had from Wat Phra Tat Doi Wao. Spelunkers may also like to visit the limestone caves of Tham Luang, Tham Pum and Tham Pla (rent or bring a lantern).
Spend the rest of the afternoon at the famous Golden Triangle, the confluence of the Mekong and Nam Ruak rivers where Laos meets Myanmar and Thailand. Nearby is charming town of Chiang Saen, a former 14th century capital, where boats from China dock to unload goods. This quiet little town has grown up around the ancient city walls and red brick ruins, many in excellent shape. The ruins of Wat Pa Sak are in an impressive park setting of huge trees and moats.
This evening, check out Chiang Rai's night bazaar, with a large outdoor food court and live entertainment. Our guide will be happy to point out the local gay hang-outs nearby.
Time to stay longer? If you are not in a hurry to see the highlights of this remarkable region, why not spend a second night? Your car, driver and driver will remain with you to enjoy the places mentioned above at a more leisurely pace. And why not? It's your holiday, isn't it? We also have a two-night visit to Chiang Rai and the Golden Triangle.
Purple Dragon pioneered LGBTQ travel to Thailand, but everyone is welcome on our tours!
Photos: Suradet Konipakarnsr