Day trips
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Places to visit that require some time to get to and need take a day or half a day to view.


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Chiang Saen
Chiang Rai 
   
Chiang Saen is a picturesque tranquil little village situated beside the Mekong River.
Just a short bus ride from Chiang Rai, the village features some interesting rustic ruins, which date back to the 13th and 14th century, and a unique style of Buddha statue. There are more than 30 temples to explore throughout the village, as well as Buddha images, moats and fortresses.

Also worth a look is the Chiang Saen National Museum, which has an interesting display of Chiang Saen-style Buddha images and Lanna Thai artefacts. The museum is open to the public on Wednesdays to Sundays from 08:30 am to 16:30 pm and admission is 10 Baht.

When exploring gets too much, relax at Chiang Saen Lake, where you take part in water sports such as boating and kayaking or simply watch the waterfowl.

Buses from Chiang Rai to Chiang Saen run regularly and the fare is 25 Baht.
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Phu Chi Fa Forest Park

Chiang Rai Amphur Wiang Kaen 57310
Tel: (66) 0 5371 4914
Fax: (66) 0 5371 1961
This beautiful forest park is part of the Pa Mae Ing and Pa Mae Ngao National Forest Reserve, an area of approximately 2,500 rais in size. 1,200-1,628 meters above sea level, the park offers spectacular views of the Doi Pa Mohn Mountain range, which runs along the Thai-Laos border.

There are many types of plants and animals to be discovered and it keen nature lovers will enjoy exploring the park. There are a large number of cinnamon trees as well as moss and ferns. Animals include wild pigs, civet, deer, tigers, jungle cats, the Asian golden cat, wild hare, porcupine, bats, squirrels, hog badgers and the flying lemur.

There is a tent area and toilets are available for people who wish to stay overnight, although tourists are advised to bring their own tents and food.

To get there, take bus number 677, which leaves the Chiang Rai bus terminal daily at 12:30pm. The journey is extremely picturesque as it takes you up winding mountain roads with numerous valley views.

The bus arrives at 4:30, which allows just enough to find a good place to enjoy the sunset.
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Elephant Village Pattaya
54/1 Moo 2,
Tambol Nong Prue Pattaya Chonburi 20260
Tel: 038-249818
 
Opened in 1973, the Elephant Village is a sanctuary for elephants, who have been forced to retire because of injury or ill health.

The Elephant Village provides these elephants with a place to live out their lives with freedom and dignity. All fees paid by visitors to the village directly contribute to the survival of the elephants.

There are currently thirty elephants in the village and they are lovingly looked after by around one hundred staff. There are three 90-minute demonstration shows each day, where the mighty beasts show their capabilities to audiences of more than 1,000 visitors.

An important feature of the Elephant Village is that there is plenty of space for feeding and the natural surroundings are good for the elephants.

As well as watching the shows, visitors can go Elephant Back Trekking for 60 minutes or take a combination tour, which includes Elephant Trekking, Jungle Walking, Rafting, Lunch / Dinner.

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Tha Pai Hot Springs
 
   
Tha Pai Hot Springs are part of Huai Nam Dang National Park, which is located just 8 kms south of Pai. There is a stream running through the hot springs and visitors can choose either to bath in the river or in one of the hot tubs that have been cut into the river bank.

The water from these springs is said to have strong therapeutic value and the spectacular natural scenery definitely has rejuvenating effects. The water bubbles out of the ground in clouds of steam at the top of the hill and gets cooler as you head downhill.

Pools vary in heat, so it is a good idea to test the water before you jump right in.

Although previously free, entrance to the hot springs is now 400B for westerners.

How to get there: You can get to the springs by foot, bicycle, motorbike or car. The entrance to the park is kilometre 65 and 66 on highway 1095

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Ban Piang Luang
 
   
Nestled in the mountains on the Thai-Myanmar border, a small, picturesque village where many people from the surrounding villages on both sides of the border come to trade goods.

The villagers living in the area are of Haw and Shan descents - the Haw having migrated from China during Chiang Kai Shek period. The villagers still preserve their traditional lifestyle and study Chinese every evening with the support from the Taiwanese government.

Worth a visit is the Sweet Home Orphanage, with is home to around 20 children. The children go to school during the day and spend their evenings weaving and doing household chores. The woven items can be bought and make great gifts.

Also in the village you will find Ban Chong, a make-shift camp which houses 427 refugees from Shan State.
You can catch samlors from Pai to Ban Piang Luang, but the best way to get there is to hire a motorbike and take a good map.

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Bang Pa In
Ayutthaya 
   
Just a short journey from Ayutthaya, Bang Pa-In provides an interesting site for a day trip.

The main place of interest in Bang Pa-In is the Royal Palace, also known as the Summer Palace, which was used in the past the Thai kings.

The palace complex was originally built by King Prasat Thong in 1632. Points of interest include enormous gardens, a Chinese-style royal palace and throne room; a royal residence; a brightly-painted lookout tower; a pavilion built in the centre of a pond.
The palace is only used occasionally by the current King, so it is usually open to to visitors.

Although rather crowded at the weekend, this is a great place to visit during the week. Climb the chequered marble verandas of Thansana tower for a cool breeze and picturesque views over the grounds.
There are many places to relax in the shade or enjoy a picnic. The Therawat Khanlai Gate, which overlooks the Thai style pavilion in the lake, is a particuly good spot for this.

The best way to get there from Ayutthaya is by train, which leaves every 45 minutes until 13:28. The trip takes 15 minutes and costs 5B. The palace is 3km away from the station, so it is a good idea to take a tuk-tuk, which costs 20 baht.

Songtheaws from Ayutthaya take around an hour, cost 20 baht and you'll still need a tuk-tuk at the end of the ride.

To charter a return tuk-tuk from Ayutthaya, expect to pay around 350B, including waiting time.

Opening Hours: Daily 08:00 to 16:00
Admission fee is 50 baht.
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Death Railway Journey
Kanchanaburi 
   
This small railway, popularly known as the Death Railway in remembrance of the thousands of people of lost their lives working on it in WW II, offers a unique way to experience the beauty of Kanchanaburi and see some of the sights located near the pretty town.

The train journey from Kanchanaburi to Nam Tok takes about 2 hours each way and is thought by many to be the most beautiful in Thailand.

As the train makes its way to the last station on the line it follows the Kwai Noi River, with its lush, untamed banks. The scene is framed by gorgeous mountains. On route, the train glides past paddy fields, temple-topped hills, and rich coconut and banana plantations.

Trains leave Kanchanaburi at 6:11 am, 11:01 am and 4:37 pm. Trains depart from Nam Tok station at 5:25 am, 1 pm and 3:15. Ordinary tickets cost just 17 Baht. Special tourist cars leave Kanchanaburi at 11:01 am. B150 will reserve you a seat and includes soft drinks and snacks.
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Sri Racha Tiger Zoo
Pattaya 
   
At Sri Racha Tiger Zoo, visitors are treated to an interesting blend of capitalism and wildlife. The zoo was opened to the public on April 23rd 1997 and consists of more than 100 acres. At Sri Racha visitors can learn about, observe and even interact with wild animals.

There are many things to see and do: crocodile shows, elephant shows where the elephants play basket ball, and you can even cuddle cute baby tigers.

In the tiger tunnel, around a hundred tigers relax in a fairly natural environment. In this spacious enclosure are several caves for tigers to retreat from the heat, rocky ledges and muddy puddles.

The zoo’s philosophy is that different species of animals should interact with each other as though they were members of the same family. In another part of the park a tiger, a pig and a dog all share the same enclosure.

The admission fee is 300B for adults, 150B for children. Opening times are 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m. daily and you need at least four hours to see everything.
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Ayutthaya Elephant Camp
74/1 M.3 Tumbol Suanpik
Ayutthaya 13000
Tel: (66) 035 321-982
Fax: (66) 035 211-001
The Ayutthaya Elephant Camp offers an unique opportunity not only to meet the elephants, but to actually stay at the camp (known as a kraal) for between one to twenty-eight days and learn about how the 90 elephants who live there are cared for and trained.

At the Ayutthaya Elephant Camp you can learn about the care and effort it takes to keep the mighty beasts alive and well and see the care and love that their mahouts feel for them.

In the past, Thailand’s elephants were mainly used for heavy work such as moving logs and trees, but today they have turned their hands to the entertainment industry and can be seen giving rides, painting and even playing football.

You can visit the website and fill in the volunteer form for an up close and personal elephant experience, or simply stay at the camp for a couple of days.

Two night’s stay at the camp in a tent costs as little as 400 baht, or you can choose to sign up for one of their combination programs, which includes elephant trekking, riding, handling and instruction.
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Mae Salong
Chiang Rai 
   
This little town is situated in an area of extreme natural beauty and should not be missed. Situated 1800 meters above the sea level, the journey from Chiang Rai will take you through stunning mountains.

The journey takes you about 76 km from Chiang Rai and along the way you will see lush green tea plantations, picturesque sleepy valleys and tiny collections of wooden huts and houses.

The town itself is also very peaceful and picturesque. The community was established in the 1960s by former Kuomintang (anti-Communist) soldiers who had been barred from Myanmar and decided to stay on the attractive mountainside. The community’s wealth formerly came from drugs but has now adapted to growing fruit instead.

There are many things to explore in and around the village. Nearby, you will find Akha, Lisu, Mien and Hmong villages, where the people are quite used to tourists and welcoming.
Mae Salong itself has several beautiful Chinese temples to explore, rustic open air bazaars selling delicious locally grown fruit, and shops offering Chinese specialties such as tea and preserved fruit. There are some inviting cosy restaurants serving tasty southern Chinese food, and a couple of simple, clean guest houses for those who fall for the charms of the town and want to stay for a while.

To get to Mae Salong from Chiang Rai, either take a bus to Maesai and get off at Pasang (pronounced Basang), then change to a minibus (60B to Maesalong). Note: the last bus back leaves at 15:00
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