The road trip from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai was at the same time peaceful, interesting, and just nice to see the landscape of Northern Thailand during this trip. The distance from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai by car is about 251 kilometers and lasted about four hours. It was a very interesting and very relatable journey personally due to many similarities with rural African / Togolese cities. The dirt roads, the fruits and crafts stalls on the side of the roads, and the landscape in general was very reminiscent of many villages in my native country of Togo. There were many rice fields along the way which was to be expected, but I also realized during the visit that the population also rely heavily on the pineapple, mango, and banana crops to survive as well. If you ever end up in one of these northern states, be sure to enjoy the fruits as they are very sweet.
Where to Stay: La Luna Hotel and Resort is exactly how I imagined a small hotel will fit in this small, beautiful and rich in culture city. The beautiful bungalow-type resort is very rich in trees and flowers, but unfortunately this set created an open invitation to bugs and mosquitoes so beware and prepare some mosquitoes and bugs repellants especially for this area.
Another particularity of Chiang Rai is its proximity to the golden triangle. The Golden triangle is a tri-junction between Thailand, Myanmar (formerly known as Burma), and Laos. This area gained notoriety due to its famous opium trade. The opium museum is a must-see.
The visit to Chiang Rai and the Golden triangle is very short, however there is so much more to see and I hope this helps in starting you off on your journey.