“There must be quite a few things that a hot bath won’t cure, but I don’t know many of them.”

While in Chiang Mai, I took a day trip to Chiang Rai and the Golden Triangle where Thailand, Myanmar/Burma and Lao meet. The trip took about 13 hours total, and it was a lot of riding in a small van packed with Europeans. But the day was both fascinating and zany. The next few posts will detail my adventures that day.

The main road to Chiang Rai from Chiang Mai

Our first stop was to the Mae Kachan Hot Springs. When I read in the tour description that we were going to hot springs where you can soak your feet or cook food in the geothermal waters, I expected a resort or something similar. Then on the day, we pulled into the 7-Eleven parking lot, and there are the hot springs. This was both spectacular and unsettling.

Mae Kachan Hot Springs

There were women selling food to cook in the waters: eggs and other little bundles of things I can’t identify. You put the food in a little basket and lower it into the water on a string, much like reverse fishing in hot water. There was also a market in the rest of the shopping center. This stop was pretty short, only 20 minutes or so, but that was plenty of time to see everything here. It also set up the reality of the gonzo day ahead. Check back tomorrow to read about the White Temple, one of the weirdest and most fascinating places I visited in Thailand.

Title quote: Sylvia Plath

Mae Kachan Hot Springs
Mae Kachan Hot Springs

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