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Is a guide really needed for the white temple?

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Zurich, Switzerland
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Is a guide really needed for the white temple?

hello,

Im planning to take an early bus from chiang mai to the white temple, but have heard that you are only allowed inside if accompanied by a guiide? is this correct?

I would like to wonder around the temple grounds to do some photography, but not necesasrily go inside the main temple buiding, does one need a guide even on the grounds? any help appreiciated

Indianapolis...
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11. Re: Is a guide really needed for the white temple?

If one wanted to hire a guide and transportation for the day to go to the White Temple and then head further north to the Hall of Opium, Chiang Saen, take in an elephant ride, and maybe see a few other quick sites along the way how much should one expect to pay? And is it even possible to do all of this in one day?

Appreciate your help.

Colorado
Destination Expert
for Chiang Rai, Chiang Rai Province
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12. Re: Is a guide really needed for the white temple?

Hi Ayiticherie:

There is an FAQ on the upper right hand corner of this forum page that has cost for various tours in the Chiang Rai area from highly recommended guides. It is tiled "FAQ: Cost for Tours and Tourist Sites in Chiang Rai Area." It will probably answer a lot of your questions.

Here is a portion of it that might help you with the day trip costs for which you inquired:

"Day trip from Chiang Rai to Golden Triangle: full day trip = 2,900 baht if you have a separate guide and a driver; 2,600 baht if your guide is also the driver. This is for a van so the cost is the same whether you have two people or six people."

The Hall of Opium is in Sob Ruak, the same town as the Golden Triangle. Chiang Saen is along the way. You can easily visit the White Temple, Hall of Opium and visit Chiang Saen in one day and have it be a pretty relaxed trip. The drive from the White Temple to the Hall of Opium is about 1.5 hours. You are heading north from Chiang Rai for this trip. I'd suggest you visit the White Temple in the morning, the nhead up to the Hall of Opium, perhaps stop at the Golden Triangle seeing you will be there anyway, and then visit Chiang Saen on your way back.

It would be a very rushed day if you tried to fit elephant riding in Raummit in with this day trip. Raummit, which is where most people go elephant riding in the Chiang Rai area, is to the west of Chiang Rai about 20 to 30 minutes. Even if you just took an hour elephant ride, by the time you drove to Raummit, organized the ride, took the ride and got yourself back to Chiang Rai it would be at least 2.5 hours out of your day, and that would only be if you didn't stop to look at anything else in the Raummit area.

There is another option. Directly across the street from the Hall of Opium is the Anantara Resort. They have an elephant camp that is more of a conservatory. It is more expensive than Raummit but it is absolutely beautiful. If you are not staying at Anantara it would be advisable to book your elephant riding in advance. I think they may require half day bookings for their program but that could have changed since I was last there.

Safe Travels,

Broder

Chiang Mai, Thailand
Destination Expert
for Dubai
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13. Re: Is a guide really needed for the white temple?

I was at the White Temple three weeks ago. The sign saying you need a guide is still there but it's not enforced.

It's true the guards do stop people lingering on the bridge/entrance to the inside of the temple but I didn't feel herded. I found the inside of the temple disappointing but the outside is stunning. I was lucky enough to meet the artist who is building/designing the temple and get photos with him, quite special.

$200 for a guide for a day is very, very expensive.

ayiticherie_13, are you aware that's it really bad for elephants to carry people on their back? They might be huge but their spine is put under a lot of stress by carrying loads on top of it.

Indianapolis...
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14. Re: Is a guide really needed for the white temple?

Thanks for everyone's input. It is very helpful. When I was in Thailand (many, many years ago) I went to the "Small Elephant Training Center" in Lampang and we did not ride on the elephants back -- we rode on the shoulder area and rode bareback-- the way the mahouts do it. Is that also bad for the elephants? And is there anywhere in Thailand that they still offer these types of rides?

Edited: 8:58 pm, February 08, 2014
Grafton, Australia
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15. Re: Is a guide really needed for the white temple?

Hi

We are arriving in Chiang Rai around lunchtime, what would be the easiest way to get to the White temple after checking in ?

Thanks

keith

Chiang Rai, Thailand
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16. Re: Is a guide really needed for the white temple?

Hi Keith,

A lot depends where your hotel is, if it's absolute downtown you could take a taxi, song-taew or tuk tuk from the old bus station. You could even take a bus. But if I were you, I would ask the hotel to get you a cab and take that and get the driver to wait for you.

Bruce

Grafton, Australia
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17. Re: Is a guide really needed for the white temple?

A late thanks Bruce, I didn't get notified of the reply and I have been mainly on other area forums.

Keith

Chiang Rai, Thailand
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18. Re: Is a guide really needed for the white temple?

You're very welcome Keith

Zurich, Switzerland
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19. Re: Is a guide really needed for the white temple?

thanks for all that replied to my initial question (i didnt get a notification untill now), all spot on, no guide needed. I posted a quick review

tripadvisor.com/…REVIEWS

20. Re: Is a guide really needed for the white temple?

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