Inside this Chiang Mai Log

Pong Num Ron Hot Spring

I had vivid memory of this hot spring.

The last time I was here, I remembered the river but can't really recalled the well (must have erected years back only), which allowed visitors to boil the eggs in the hot spring water. 

But nothing was as dramatic as the one we saw across the road!


We encountered hazy weather during some part of the journey as we hit the road on the third day

Visitors gathered around this well to boil those eggs they purchased from the vendors

Behind me is the river which i still have a vivid memory of it

Piping hot!! that's the feel of the water flowed out of the pipe to the river

But this is the most spectacular of all springs, though it's located across the road...
YOUTUBE VIDEO of Pong Num Ron Hot Spring

It's no wonder some hotel groups is tapping on this natural resource


ROUTE MAP of the day...

This was our route of that day, after we left the hotspring.

We hit the road, passed by the "White Temple" (should be there before heading to Burma..sight), cut through the town of Chiang Rai and straight to Mae Sai - the northern most of the kingdom.

From Mae Sai, we crossed Ruak River and enter Burma via Tachileik.

After lunch, it was off to the "Golden Triangle" and concluded the day at "White Temple".

Mae Sai - the most northern part of the Kingdom

This place looks so different as compared to 20 years. 

Now, this border town, which is next door to Burma, is a thriving trading town with lots of human and vehicular traffic passing to-and-fro both sides.


Not exactly your 'Raffles" pose - at the "Northern Most of Thailand"

How times changed!! 20 years back, the guide constantly warned us the dreadful consequences of crossing into Burma BUT see the difference, we can just walk in anytime (at a price, of course..)

See the Line? (as guided by the arrows, RED- Burma, BLUE-Thailand) that defined the boundary of these two countries

Crossing over to Burma...

So it costs US$35 to cross this bridge to Burma.. it's shorter than Causeway but costly in that sense.

Was hesitated at first whether to snap this picture (since we were still inside the prohibited area), see the guy behind my back?
Whirlwind stroll in Tachileik

Tachileik - the town adjacent Mae Sai, is a mirror of it. 

Despite the thriving outlook, you can't help but notice the enormous poverty in this part of the world. 

At least, it revealed some lights and sights we don't get to see here too often or sometimes, being guilty for taking certain things for granted.

The first sight of Tachileik - it's something like JB to us, Shenzhen to Hong Kong.

The streets scene of Tachileik , not really like what you have in Bangkok or elsewhere (probably because the high petrol prices?)
So near, yet so far...

Just like Thailand - Burma is a mainly Buddhist nation as well.

Burmese-styled temples and the revered monks are spotted everywhere in this reclusive country, currently under the international spotlight for some unfavourable reasons.

Nonetheless, Buddhism plays a very important role in unified the nation and every aspect of the Burmese people.

However despite its close proximity, our guide Joe explained that, unlike the Laotian language, Burmese is more distinctive from the Thai language, in terms of speech and script-wise.


This is the first destination of our whirlwind tour around Tachileik The skyline of Tachileik from the Tachileik 's Shwedagon Pagoda

Not exactly the real thing but this is modelled after the famed pagoda in Rangoon and bears the same name as well.

A must for one to snap of picture in front this famed monument.
YOUTUBE VIDEO of Tachileik's Shwedagon Pagoda
Anyone keen to rely this message to those in power??

Stroll around the mart...
The streets with full of petty traders peddling their goods to any visitors who stepped onto their path.  

From cigarette to shavers, from knives to viagra! (yes, but whether is genuine is another question mark) you named it they have it. 

The shops along the streets stocked with goods, mainly imported from China (though was told some of the quality are undesirable.)

The general feeling is that Tachileik resembles SIngapore in the 60s

The signboard that informed that we were at the edge of Burma.

She was not exactly the prettiest spotted in Tachileik, but you cant help to take few more glimpse at some of the ladies you saw.

This must be the most expensive "chop" to date ...

YOUTUBE VIDEO of Tachileik and crossing back to Thailand

Golden Triangle

We were on a rush when we arrived at this infamous spot that shares common border with three different countries

The infamous drug trading spot (wonder if the trading still going on, doubt so as the drug lord Khun Sa is RIPed) is another major tourists attraction. 

From the Thai side of the triangle, visitors can easily spot the parts of both Burma and Laos that eventually formed the triangle.

(Picture Left- illustrated the territories belong to each individual country that formed this famed triangle)

It's hard to image this tranquil place has a shady past...
The map that depicted the location of the "Golden Triangle"

Such an unique setting that photo opportunity must not be missed

Being told this gigantic Buddha statue at Ban Sop Ruak was built only few years back

Guess the same applied to this arch as well



The White Temple

We were too late when we arrived at our last destination of the tour.

Due to some "unforced undesirable events" that derived from "forced undesirable events", we were late and missed out to witness the grandeur of this spectacular marble crafted temple (Bah!).

Various methods were tried to capture the any presentable image of this temple went fruitless- what an agony...


Instead, silhouette of the temple was snapped during the sunset.

I cant hide my disappointment for missing out the grandeur of this temple

Various method tried  - still pointless :( and definitely WHAT A WASTE!!

Never use flashlight in setting like this, it's pointless