Riding on the Mea Kok River, Thailand
Chiangmai and Chiangrai Thailand
Most travelers take the long-tail boat on the Mae Kok River from Thaton to Chiangrai, Thailand. The boats are crowded and very uncomfortable during the three-hour journey. If you start in Chiangrai, you will probably be the only one on the boat.
|Lush Mountain Canyons|
This is because 95% of the people riding the boats start in Thatorn, leaving a lot of empty boats going in the opposite direction. The boats depart Chiangrai at 10:30 a.m., arriving in Thatorn at about 2 p.m. This way you miss the heat of the day and you will probably be the only one in the boat. This means you can stretch out and relax while enjoying the scenery along the river. Local hill tribe people who live along the river also take this boat, as it will stop for them if they wave it down.
If you don’t speak Thai, it is best to arrange for a guide from one of the tour companies or your guest house in Chiangrai. They can also provide things like blankets or sleeping bags and food if you would rather eat by campfire.
You can sleep aboard the boat, which has plenty of room and is comfortable. The hot springs have toilets and showers along with a small store. The springs run into the river, a good place to take a refreshing bath as the water is not too hot. The Akha hill-tribe village next to the hot springs is very authentic with most villagers dressed in their traditional costumes and all living in bamboo houses. Not many tourists visit the village, as most go to Rhummit to do elephant riding and trekking, leaving this area peaceful and mostly unspoiled.
|Rummit Elephant Camp|
Hundreds of people each day during the busy season ride to boats from Thatorn to Chiangrai. They all leave about the same time in a large convoy, one behind the other. For a better experience, be different and see the river in the opposite direction. When you see the boats full of people passing, just smile and wave from your empty boat, as they are sure to be envious.
For more information contact All Thailand Experiences.