…From the City to Chiang Rai... The Charm of Chiang Khong and Chiang Saen Border... written by Forzanu

... To name about well known sites around our borderline, I strongly believe there must be plenty of places come up. Depending on where you have been or information you have received from either newspaper or TV ... For example, a boundary on the west, next to Myanmar, must be Aumphoe Sangkhla Buri

…From the City to Chiang Rai... The Charm of Chiang Khong and Chiang Saen Border...

…From the City to Chiang Rai... The Charm of Chiang Khong and Chiang Saen Border...


... To name about well known sites around our borderline, I strongly believe there must be plenty of places come up. Depending on where you have been or information you have received from either newspaper or TV ... For example, a boundary on the west, next to Myanmar, must be Aumphoe Sangkhla Buri and Aumphoe Thongphapoom of Kanchanaburi province ... Or crossing to north eastern side, a province next to Khong river border, neighboring country like Laos. There surely be many more places along Khong river that we are familiar with ... And for Thailand, a prime location on Khong river is Aumphoe Chiang Saen, following by Aumphoe Chiang Khong of Chiang Rai province ... In the album of this trip, I would like to present photos of interesting attractions on these 2 districts. Although it doesn't mainly focus on atmosphere along Khong river, the way of 2 districts can also be counted as one of the most beautiful routes along the river ...


…The trip is 3 days 2 nights, during 17 - 19 February 2015, mid of last month. This mission is sponsored by Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) of Chiang Rai, Avis car rental and AirAsia ...


... As I have introduced earlier that there might not be photos of Khong river, many places I visited could explore new aspects of traveling destinations for you. For example; "Hioy Nam Chang", "relaxing atmosphere in the evening at Chiang Khong", "Ancient Town", "Chamomile Field and Lake at Aumphoe Chiang Saen". What I have mentioned are major highlights of the journey ... Coming to this point, let's start the trip.


… PS. There are more than 100 photos in this trip ... If you have time, you can leave the review for a while and come back to watch the photos later ... In the link is my old albums from previous trips. Just in case any of you are interested http://pantip.com/profile/172795 ...



... Start the journey at Don Muang Airport which is my first time trying AirAsia's Self-Check In System ... It is very convenient since we don't have loading luggage. I keep personal bag and camera bag with me all the time ... I was observing others using the machine for a while but didn't try it myself yet. Then AirAsia staff came up and arranged everything perfectly ... Very convenient and fast ... For those who don't wanna waste time waiting in long queue, this is a new interesting method to check in ...


... The plane departs at 8.10AM heading to Mae Fah Luang Airport, Chiang Rai province. It takes around 1.20 hours to safely arrive at Chiang Rai's international airport ... The weather in late morning, 9.30AM, is bright and little sunny, to give a sendoff for winter ...



... Since I don't have any loading luggage, there's nothing to wait ... As soon as the gate opens, we hurriedly go to counter for car rental service, AVIS THAILAND. The vehicle we choose for the trip is Toyota Altis which will be with us for 3 days ...



... After done on renting documents ... We are now ready, the car is also ready! ... I am responsible for photographing while my companion takes care of driving ... We wait for the car around 15 minutes, not too long. Then we start the journey at 10AM ...



... From airport, we are on the way towards Aumphoe Wiang Chiang Rung, following by a route to Aumphoe Chiang Khong. The Highway no. 1098 and turn left at Highway no. 1174 (If you turn right, it would be a path to Aumphoe Phaya Meng Rai) ...



... We leisurely head towards our destination. From the airport, we drop by at restaurant to recharge energy ... Including taking photos of sideways. The road is in a good condition. We can drive comfortably ... Selective songs in my mobile are connected to AUX channel and car radio, with cable sized 3.5 that I buy from computer shop at airport ... Turning on the music helps creating much better atmosphere ... Although today is slightly too sunny, it is still suitable for photographing along the way ...



... Following the path, there is a sign for "Hioy Nam Chang" on the left hand side ... Or easily notice by a sign of village "Bor Fan" which indicates you are on the correct way ...



...Going inside would be an area for reservoir with office on the top and border below ...



... Could be because today is a weekday plus very hot weather in the afternoon, there is no tourist at all ...



... The dam border is approximately 200 - 400 m. length parallel with reservoir. In front is the forest and sky and mountain at the back. The sunlight is way too hot but it facilitates to see things clearly ...



... Next to the dam border, there is a small summer house for taking some rest and escaping from hotness ... The view of boats on riverbanks with dry ground perfectly explains the hot weather ...



... The silence and these boats make me think of the twilight ambiance. Must be gorgeous if we come at the right time ...



... The vehicle that has been parked for 20 minutes start to move on again. Bringing us to city center of Muang Chiang Khong ... To get prepared for collecting atmosphere later ...



... As soon as we get to Chiang Khong, we firstly drop in for delicious food to refresh ... The recommended restaurant is "Khao Sawy Par Aon" ... Sipsongpanna Northern Thai Noodle Curry Soup ... It is located on a small way. If you would like to try, I think you can ask direction from locals ...




... The habitation and shops in some areas look similar to Muang Chiang Khan in Loei province. But the road is slightly bigger ...



... However, this is enough to absorb ancient atmosphere like old time ...



... Then we spend time taking fresh air around Khong river. In the evening, it gets more crowded with tourists and locals. To relax, exercise and do other activities ...



... Apart from that, riverbanks area is managed to be cute tiny flower garden for those who like colorful garden in order to photograph as a memory ...



... Apart from villagers working on transferring products at below port area ... Upper part, beside the road, is a small activity ground for exercising ...



... It becomes pleasant ambiance along Khong riverside where we get the touch of happiness until it's time to go ... Because we plan to return to Hioy Nam Chang reservoir again ... We hurriedly go there before sun set ...



... Some sit leisurely or some bicycle ... It is easy to gather happiness in this green atmosphere with cooling weather ...


... The sun light and hotness has faded out, comparing to afternoon time, in the same place. But can perceive different feelings ... The cool breeze softly and continuously blows. Eventually dry the sweat ...



... The grass on waterside is staring at sunset while moving by the wind. It sometimes stops when the wind doesn't blow hard enough ... Same to me, I walk and take some rest along the way in order to find photographing corner ...



...The tiny summer house, where I used to hide from hotness in the afternoon, is receiving sun light from opposite forest outline ...



... You cannot find fresh air like this in the city ... Comparing to my daily activity, this time I suppose to finish working and struggle to get home, either by car, sky train, boat or even subway ... But today what I receive is silence and time to appreciate the wind of happiness that blows into my mind. It is another day to live in the middle of peaceful ambiance like this ...



... The radiant sun light slowly turns to be golden light. The boats are moored at same place because they are not in use for a while. Some of them sink while some are not. All of these become background and create more stories to old scenery ...



... The wind makes us relax and, at the same time, creates tiny waves in the river ... The perfect nature with birds singing and surrounding forest outline. Feeling like they are giving a sign of ending the day ...



... According to our original plan, we intend to visit only Aumphoe Chiang Khong and Aumphoe Chiang Saen ... But during the way, due to short distance between each attraction and driver's full energy ... Make us turn back to Aumphoe Wiang Kan tonight ... To find accommodation for the next morning that we plan to take a deep breath on "Doi Pha Tang" ...



... End first day with the photo of boats floating along riverside plus the sun, mountain, forest and beautiful water reflection as background ... A moment of the sun disappearing into mountains is such a splendid view and worthwhile to visit this place "Hioy Nam Chang" ...



... The first day has passed ... If the next morning was an ordinary day, I was supposed to sleep without willingness to wake up at all ... But today is opposite from usual. I wake up at 5AM and bring myself to this superb place "Doi Pha Tang" ...



... Talking about famous peak of Chiang Rai, number one must be "Phu Chi Fa" and 20 km. from Phu Chi Fa is Doi Pha Tang ... Though there is on sea fog like previous winter, for late winter like this, slight fog is impessed enough. Because I can feel winter breeze all the time ...



... We spend time at Doi Pha Tang for a while before saying goodbye in morning ambiance, together with crisp roti and scented coffee at the shop below. Then we continue the journey again ...



... Along the path on Doi Pha Tang, we drive pass huge Silk Cotton Tree spreading its branches outstandingly. Finally we couldn't resist. We stop at safe roadside and look up to the sky finding orange Silk Cotton Flowers, contrast with blue sky in the afternoon ...



... And these Silk Cotton Flowers are delicious tips of Chiang Rai "Nam Ngeow" (Northern style spicy pork sauce). Because other areas don't add them in recipe. However, Chiang Rai locals like to add the flowers for more intense and mellow taste. Moreover, benefits of the flowers are maintaining health and blood circulation to function efficiently ...



... From orange Silk Cotton Flowers, let's move to another plant "Kachnar". White-pink flower with 5 petals looking like star fish ... The trunk is pretty tall causing difficulty in taking close up photos ... But when I change to tele zoom lens, I can take closer photos, enough to see its beauty ...



... We spend long time appreciating beauty of Kachnar. Until it's time to depart from Aumphoe Wiang Kaen heading to destination of this trip "Aumphoe Chiang Saen" ...



... Depart from Aumphoe Wiang Kaen passing Aumphoe Chiang Khong again but we don't stop anywhere. We directly go to Aumphoe Chiang Saen ...



... Then we get to city center of Aumphoe Chiang Saen. The first location we dropped by is "Wat Phra That Hua Kwan" ... The temple is on Khong riverside. The reason that we wanna visit is because we just wanna make merit at any temple. But it turns out that we find peace and beauty of the temple ...



... We walk to the back of temple which is next to Khong coastal and find neighboring country across the river with plenty of beautifully green trees ... From this site, we could not resist to appreciate the charm of neighboring country ...



... After that, we continue the journey to "The Golden Triangle" to get prepared for discovering "Chamomile Field" at Sa-Ngo Royal Project Foundation ...



... Going further, there is a sign on left hand side. We make a turn according to the sign but the road is quite narrow. I'm not sure if we are lost or not. So, we ask from locals to save traveling time ... For my case, we try by ourselves and get lost for 2 times ...



... Finally we find Chamomile filed but what is shown in the photo is someone else's field, not apart of the royal foundation ... It is because the Chamomile field in royal foundation seem to be experiment field. So, it does not look like the one naturally grow by villagers ...



... The staffs therefore recommend us to go to a road before getting to royal foundation place. We drive around until we find it ... The Chamomile field is not difficult to find. There are some beside the road ...



PS. Photos of Chamomile in this review are sum up of those taken in the evening of the day we arrive and in the morning.



... There are few of large-sized field ... But you need to understand that the large filed is not extremely huge one ... In the photos may look large due to wide lens ...



... The area is approximately equal to 7-11 shop ... But how many field is based on villagers who own ...



... Evening sun light softly touch on Chamomile field ... Scent of tiny white-yellow flowers ... First perception of the smell is slightly too strong. It reminds me of Chamomile tea with its little scent but I don't know why it is different in real place like this ...



... Especially when villagers pick the flowers into a bucket. I can smell the scent from the bucket. So fresh and cheerful ...



... I believe that Chamomile must sound familiar to many people because Chamomile is popular in extracting as "Chamomile Tea". With its soft scent, especially to tea drinkers, I believe everyone know its smooth taste and mellow scent. You can drink more often and also provide various benefits to your health ...



... Chamomile has so many benefits that I couldn't believe it is as small as little finger tip. But it provides various benefits. For example, Chamomile tea helps relaxing muscle and body, reduces stress and helps to sleep better if you drink before go to bed.



... Apart from what I mentioned above, Chamomile tea also reduces flatulence, urging function of immunity system, heals injury in stomach, supports digestion, enriches skin, and reduces period pains as well.



... Although Chamomile field at Chiang Saen is not as large as Sunflower's or other fields, we can still gather happiness to walking around and finding nice view in this small place. If you stay in this peaceful ambiance and paying attention to what is in front of us. You can easily find another kind of happiness in traveling.



PS. Chamomile field is planted and blooms during January to February ... After that, around March to April, will change to plant other trees according to each owner ... So, if you wanna visit after the review, you have to wait for next year ... But you can note in your mind first.



... It's time to say goodbye to Chamomile field. The photos you see are collection of evening and morning period. Below are tiny insects; bee, butterfly and lady bug happily gathering scent from pollen of these little white-yellow flowers.



... The third day is another day started with Chamomile field following by "Chiang Saen Ancient Town" and ends with "Chiang Saen Lake" ...



... The Chiang Saen Ancient Town is located on west coast of Khong river, Aumphoe Wiang, which is another ancient town with long glowing history. The whole area of Chiang Saen Ancient Town includes many significant attractions such as Chiang Saen National Museum, Chiang Saen Lake (Nhong Bong Kai) and The Golden Triangle.



... The area around Chiang Saen gate is full with temples both inside and outside Chiang Saen wall ... But everything is in the same area ... The temples I choose to take photos are one inside Chiang Saen wall "Wat Phra That Chedi Luang" and one outside the wall "Wat Pa Sak" ...



... "Wat Phra That Chedi Luang" is next to Chiang Saen National Museum ... Was built by King Saen Phu (in the first picture), grandson of King Mangrai, the first ruler of the Lanna kingdom ... The name of the temple was given by its massive Chedi which measures 88 m. height with a base 24 m. width ... It is counted as the biggest Chedi of Muang Chaing Saen. It is a bell-shaped Chedi. The Viharn in front of Chedi is a location of the principal attitude of subduing Mara ...



... The day we travel is in the middle of February. Some area of the temple is under renovation but there are locals still coming for making merit, including foreign tourists walking around and appreciating the charm of Chedi.



... The atmosphere is cool and pleasant with shade from big trees. We spend time at Wat Phra That Chedi Luang for around 30 minutes ... Before moving to "Wat Pa Sak" in the near area but located outside city wall.



... "Wat Pa Sak" is on the western suburb of Muang Chiang Saen. A legend said it was built by King Saen Phu for enshrining a relic from Pataliputra in India ... 300 teak trees were planted surround the temple ... Becoming the name of temple "Wat Pa Sak" (Teak Wood) ... The Chedi with 5 tops beautifully decorated with stucco ...



... The Chedi of Wat Pa Sak is in mondop-shaped with 5 bell tops ... The architecture of the base is inspired by Chedi Ku Kut in Lamphun province ... From mondop to the top is rather influenced by Chedi Chiang Yun in Lamphun province ... And the artworks are based on number of styles including Bagan, China, Cambodia and Sukhothai.



... The space inside Wat Pa Sak is mellow and with full with greenish trees making the temple and chedi even more attractive ...



... Wat Pa Sak is different from Wat Phra That Chedi Luang because it is more peaceful. There is no shops inside the temple ... So-called the site of temple and chedi is purely clam ...



... And now it is time to move to our last destination where we would appreciate natural atmosphere with "Chiang Saen Lake (Nhong Bong Kai)" ...



... From the city wall Wat Pa Sak and Wat Chedi Luang, we are on the main road again. We use the Highway no. 1016 driving based on sign of Aumphoe Mae Chan ... But we don't have to go the whole way. Only pass city wall, there is a small road on the left had side for "Nhong Bong Kai" or Chiang Saen Lake. Carefully observe for the sign and make a turn ...



... We arrive at the lake in the afternoon when the temperature and weather is extremely hot ... May not suit for relaxing but we get photos of Chiang Saen Lake, in another atmosphere, as a return ... We suppose to get something back upon our visit ...



... Nhong Bong Kai Non-Hunting Area or Chiang Saen Lake is originally normal swamp which is surrounded with mountains. Then the local government has built dam for storing water making the area becoming small lake with space of 2,711 Rai.



... Since the space on coast is bare, there is nothing to hide the view. We drive along until there is treeline on roadside and notice a big group of waterfowls near by ... I guess because there is a bush for birds to hide comparing to bare coast ...



... The site of Nhong Bong Kai is prohibited for hunting since April 4, 1985 in order to preserve and protect wild animals for their reproduction ...



... We drive along to find a small hole on bush for peeping and taking photos. I change camera lens to suit with collecting photos of waterfowls in scenery lake view . Strong sun light attaches with water in Nhong Bong Kai creating white and dark blue water. So splendid! ...



... We spend time waiting for the birds to fly. Just in case we would get some photos ... Before we finally cannot resist to the hot temperature of afternoon time ...



.... End up the dusk at Chiang Saen Lake with this photo ... Before decide to come back again in the evening which we expect to find something gorgeous ...



... Before the hand points at one ... We come back to the lake again at 5.30PM. The day light is eventually gone ... The fervent of scenery and environment in the afternoon slowly becomes soften with orange-pink light.



... More locals and tourists come to relax in the evening ... With nice weather and environment, everyone surely want to absorb happiness from the nature ...



... Photo of long-tailed boat that villagers used for fishing is well explaining about livelihood ...



... If we learn to live in harmony with nature and not exploit in either way ... I think that is a forever beauty and richness ... Chiang Saen Lake in this evening to like a farewell to the whole 3 days trip in Chiang Rai ... Starts from airport to Aumphoe Chiang Khong, returning to Aumphoe Wiang Kaen and returning to say goodbye at Aumphoe Ching Saen today ...



... The sky keeps changing color. Nature switches by time. Though the hand is moving at the same place but it never stops. Like the sun in this evening ... The picture of the round sun reflecting on the lake slowly comes down and finally disappears in faraway forest-line ... This is the end of the journey prior to preparation to fly back to the city tomorrow ...



... My opinion with this journey for those who are interested to come ... The best period is late winter to January - February ... It is because the weather in the north is much more attractive than summer ... Plus there are winter flower festivals ...The review is a guideline for you to see attractions that you may not have seen before including some details about routing, just to rough picture in your mind prior to the trip ...



... Thank you TAT Chaing Rai again for supporting this journey together with AirAsia and AVIS THAILAND. Especially thank you everyone for reading this review ..



... This review is for everyone who like traveling . Wish you were happy with the journey ... Summer is approaching, after winter has passed ... See you again next trip with me, Forzanu ... Good bye.


…Story/Photos: Forzanu



... Lastly, another channel for those who want to follow other photos or inquire information, please visit the link ^^

https://www.facebook.com/Forzanufoto




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