Fossicking Around The Top North

Discussion in 'Touring Northern Thailand - Trip Reports Forum' started by DavidFL, Jun 29, 2019.

  1. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    #1 DavidFL, Jun 29, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2020
    Chiang Rai - Mae Sai - Chiang Saen - Chiang Khong

    The last few weeks I've been fossicking around the for new attractions & places to go for a GT map update.
    The longer you stay here the more you realize how little you know and how much you need to go back out again to ride & see more. The pace of change has been quite rapid the last few years, and since the big 2011 Bangkok floods, a lot of people from Bangkok have cleared out & set up nice little businesses in the North.
    You also get to realize that the slower you go the more you see & notice. Pottering around, taking your time is just fine.

    Living in Chiang Khong now I have the privilege of enjoying Paradise Road any day I want, & nearly all my rides go out this way now.

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    and the ride is often nicer with some good company.

    The View Coffee is a magic spot on the Mekong is a highly recommended spot if you're taking R1290.
    It is just 6.5 kms upstream from Chiang Khong, & a mere 7 minutes from my house.

    A Mekong View from the View Coffee
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    The View Coffee is here: Google Maps

    Chiang Saen is generally the first stop, but sometimes I go up to Wat Phrathat Pha Ngao for a coffee and look at the Khong / Chiang Saen, Golden Triangle. On a clear day the view is stupendous

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    Wat Phrathat Pha Ngao is here: Google Maps

    Passing through & exiting Chiang Saen, ancient Wat Chedi Luang is on the left

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    Wat Chedi Luang is here: Google Maps

    and then a wee bit further along, on the other side of the road is the Chiang Saen city gate "Chao Por Pratu Pa SakChao Por Pratu Pa Sak"

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    Just out of Chiang Saen, and off R1016 there are some other little lakes other than by the main Chiang Saen lake next to Ian's Viang Yonok Resort.

    I discovered them by accident, looking for a nearby hill top temple, but first took a wrong turn & went past Wat Chua Ched Ton.

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    The location is here: Google Maps

    Finally on the right road I stumbled across this little beauty on the way to the nearby hill top temple.
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    The location is here: Google Maps

    And down the end of the road the hill top temple of Wat Phrathat Doi Ku Kaeo

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    I would have stayed longer to get some nice view photos, but the welcome from the temple dogs could have been better.

    Should you fancy challenging the canines, the location is here: Google Maps

    Back on the winding back roads looking for a Birds Eye view I found a suitable resting place for the Vstrom's retirement.

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    Location here: Google Maps

    Continuing the search eventually my destination was reached : The Bird i View Cafe.
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    Hanging out for a nice cuppa to sit, relax & enjoy the view I was warmly greeted by the very affable owner, who regretted to advise me that today was a "no electric day" - official power cut all day until 5PM, but if I wanted to hang out for an hour and a half they would most definitely be able to provide a refreshing cuppa. sadly I declined.

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    On a power day the BIrd i View is worth a visit.

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    The location here: Google Maps

    To be continued.
     
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  2. Eoin Christie

    Eoin Christie Ol'Timer

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    Excellent, David. You provide us with very enticing geo-dreams! Thank you.
     
  3. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    Carrying on from the Bird I View I headed west towards Mae Chan. along R6035,
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    The lovely rural back road hooks up with R4006, hook a left and 600 metres along on the left is Wat Phra That Chom Chan.

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    The Google Maps Location: Google Maps

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    The temple has a commanding over the rice fields & the surrounding area.
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    Back onto the 4006 & it is 1.8 kms to R1016, turn left & 3.7 kms further on you're at the Mae Chan / Mae Sai / Chiang Saen road junction.

    to be continued..
     
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  4. ianyonok

    ianyonok Ol'Timer

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    I was in Bird I View cafe 2 days ago, taking a spin on the '52 BSA, when the power was on. Great spot to chill with lovely views across the valley.
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    The banana samosas were good too.
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  5. Eoin Christie

    Eoin Christie Ol'Timer

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    #5 Eoin Christie, Aug 10, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2019
    The car park view looks good, too, with the Best of Birmingham sitting there.
    Looks like a good day out, Ian.
     
  6. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    From Mae Chan , the Panor Coffee is just a kilometre out of town.
    A beauty of a Coffee Shop

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    heading north then The Choui Fong tea plantation was the next stop. A massive tea plantation hugely popular with Thais & tour operators.
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    Their restaurant cafeteria is an incredible business that always leaves you somewhat stunned at the volume of people visiting the place.
    For me today it was a super convenient toilet stop - a splash and a dash.

    For some reason I missed the link up & back road to the Golden Horse temple & ended up back on the main road & so the main road to the Golden Horse temple.
    The Golden Horse Temple - Wat Tham Pa A Cha Thom has featured on GTR a couple of times

    Monks on Horseback - Ordination of Novices.

    The Legend of the Golden Horse Temple

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    No luck to catch up with the famous monk, but I did get a couple of Buddha images.
    I note that the concrete car park is massive now & the place has definitely become a mega tourist attraction for Thai people now, such is the fame of Phra Khru Bah Neua Chai Kositto. It would be interesting to be at the temple for an early morning tak bat on a "Buddha. Phra Khru Bah Neua Chai Kositto is aging, but his followers continue to increase significantly.

    Phra Khru Bah Neua Chai Kositto Facebook Page

    The Golden Horse Temple Facebook page

    The Golden Horse Temple on Google Maps.

    Leaving the wat I found a winding rural back road that lead me out onto the highway, further north. Time to head home & 4 kms south I spotted a new Steak House on the highway.
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    The Rasee Steak House & Bar
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    intrigued I had to make a stop & check it out.
    A big smart clean, premises with indoor & outdoor dining.
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    Not really hungry, I settled for a light Salmon Caesar Salad & was suitably impressed...much more than adequate.
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    If you're heading along R1 north of Mae Chan, going to /from Mae Sai & feel hungry, give this place a go. They deserve to succeed .

    Rasee Steak House on Facebook

    Rasee Steak House on Google Maps

    and 2 hours later I was home by the Khong @ Chiang Khong.
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  7. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    Rai Chern Tawan is a massive Buddhist Meditation learning centre off R1020, 14 kms from the Chiang Rai super.

    The centre was founded by a famous monk the Venerable Phra Maha Vudhijaya Vajiramedhi, who is also an official UNHCR Patrons for Peace and Compassion, in recognition of his efforts to promote peace and compassion towards refugees and humanitarian crises, as well as engaging others to support UNHCR work. He was granted this position on 15 November 2018.
    A Patron is an honorary title given to those who support UNHCR and refugees by dedicating valuable time to disseminate information and knowledge. The role is to influence public opinion and change negative attitudes towards refugees and engage others to support the work of UNHCR.

    Take R1020 out of Chiang Rai & turn right in Huai Sak & wind your way along R4064.

    The road passes the Huai Sak dam, a popular local picnic spot.
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    Entrance to Rai Chern Tawan is 4kms past the dam / lake.
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    The garden is a sprawling complex that includes a Buddhist library, temple, a restaurant, coffee shop, art gallery.

    I was impressed with the art gallery & statues scattered round the grounds.
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    Acharn Duchanee from Ban Dam
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    Some humour
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    Rai Cherntawan Facebook
    Google Maps Location: Google Maps
    The Chern Tawan Meditation centre is on the 2020 GTR GT Map, grid 4E
     
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  8. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    Chiang Rai Attractions - Cocoa Land - Huai Sak

    Back on the highway R1021 from Rai Chern Tawan & 9 kms awy to the north-east on R1306 is Cocoa Land a new chocolate ranch & restaurant.

    The entrance goes past young cocoa trees
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    Official entrance to the Cocoa Land
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    Check into the non-aircon restarat
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    & it can be hot out there with no big trees
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    Some chocolate info
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    The menu
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    and I went for he White Chocolate Menthe.
    Bloody refreshing it was too
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    There's loads of outside seating
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    There's a variety of different strength chocolates to try, but the tough old fellah went for the 100% chocolate, and boy does it have a kick.
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    I shall return, once it cools off a bit & the countryside starts turning green
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    there's more than enough go around

    Some chocolate info for North Thailand

    Google Maps Location
     
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  9. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    Phra Chao Kue Na Ancient Remains - Wiang Neua - Chiang Rung

    Inspired by Ian Yonok's post Hammock camping - first trip

    I had to find the ancient chedi that was enveloped by an old banyan tree.
    And I wasn't disappointed.

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    At the back in front of a sala nearby, there is an enormous old log & a boat carved from one piece of timber.
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    check it out sometime if you're wandering around the area.
    The Phra Chao Kue Na Ancient ruins are on the 2020 GTR Golden Triangle map Grid 3F
    Golden Triangle Map

    Google Maps Location:

    If want to get the big picture where things are, take a look at the GTR GT map, as there are a few other attractions in that area that need further investigation.
     
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