Thailand in Photos: Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, and the Golden Triangle

Lotus flowers being offered at Doi Suthep Temple near Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Although I've lived in Southeast Asia for over two years, I rarely do "touristy" things. My usual quick trips to Thailand involve an IKEA run, a McDonald's stop (or three), and lots of toasted sandwich lovin' from any number of 7-Eleven convenience stores in Bangkok. I take the short flight from Yangon every two months or so to renew my Myanmar work visa. It's high time I start exploring more of the area's hotspots, wouldn't you think?

I found out there's plenty to taste and do around Chiang Mai, Thailand. You can fill up on feeding and bathing elephants at Maesa Elephant Camp in Mae Rim. Get up close and personal with tigers at one of Thailand's infamous Tiger Kingdoms. Enjoy afternoon strolls through orchid gardens and butterfly sanctuaries. And practice your bargaining skills at Chiang Mai's bustling night bazaar.

I also had the chance to check out the White Temple in Chiang Rai, the border town of Mae Sai, as well as a place referred to as the "Golden Triangle" where Thailand, Myanmar and Laos meet along the Mekong River. To get to these places involves a lot of driving, but traveling alongside a great group of people makes the trek worth it. I wouldn't necessarily recommend venturing to these locations as Chiang Mai already has so much to offer; however, if you've got the time and baht to spare, why not?

Colorful lanterns hanging above the night bazaar in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Colorful lanterns hanging above the night bazaar in Chiang Mai, Thailand. December, 2015.
Eggs being boiled in hot springs near Chiang Rai, Thailand.
Eggs being boiled in hot springs near Chiang Rai, Thailand. December, 2015.
Reflections of the area surrounding the White Temple in Chiang Rai, Thailand.
Reflections of the area surrounding the White Temple in Chiang Rai, Thailand. December, 2015.
A latte on a table at a coffee shop next to the White Temple in Chiang Rai, Thailand.
A latte on a table at a coffee shop next to the White Temple in Chiang Rai, Thailand. December, 2015.
Orchid roots dangling at an orchid garden near Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Orchid roots dangling at an orchid garden near Chiang Mai, Thailand. December, 2015.
A large tiger inside a cage at Tiger Kingdom near Chiang Mai, Thailand.
A large tiger inside a cage at Tiger Kingdom near Chiang Mai, Thailand. December, 2015.
Roasted chestnuts for sale in Mae Sai, Thailand, near the border of Myanmar.
Roasted chestnuts for sale in Mae Sai, Thailand, near the border of Myanmar. December, 2015.
A man cuts coconuts for tourists to eat and drink from near the "Golden Triangle" in Thailand.
A man cuts coconuts for tourists to eat and drink from near the "Golden Triangle" in Thailand. December, 2015.
A Thai woman with a wide grin by the area where Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar meet.
A Thai woman with a wide grin by the area where Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar meet. December, 2015.
A massive elephant foot with reflection at the Golden Triangle, Laos.
A massive elephant foot with reflection at the "Golden Triangle", Laos. December, 2015.

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