23.4.11: Golden Triangle and boat ride to Don Sao Island, Laos

After lunch, we headed towards the river, where the large Buddha statue and elephant statues stood at the Golden Triangle. There were ominous looking clouds in the sky. I was afraid that it would rain and affect our long tail boat trip to Don Sao Island, Laos.  
Ominous looking black clouds covered the sky

Fortunately the wind blew the dark clouds away as we donned our life jackets. As we walked down the steps to the jetty, a man with a camera came up and snapped our photos, and again, I wondered why. 

We got into the long tail boat. Our guide had asked for a covered boat, so that it there would be some shelter. I sat in front with S. The sides of the boat were very low and the water seemed at a rather high level. The water splashed at our faces and we turned around to face the other way, to allow the water to splash our backs instead. We head in one direction, then the boat turned around 180 degrees and headed the other way. He stopped the boat halfway to change the gas tank, as the gas had finished.  
Long tail boat trip 
View of the large golden Buddha from the boat
Finally, we reached the jetty of Don Sao village. It was so different looking from the jetty at Chiang Rai. Some young children helped to dock the boat, and asked for tips. Our guide told us to give tips only during our return, as they would come back for more, if we gave them the tips at that point in time.

Paying the entrance fee
Interesting basket to rock a child in
There were many bags, handbags, belts and leather goods sold there. One has to bargain to get a good deal. We bought 2 knapsacks, one large and one smaller for 500 baht (around RM50). We wouldn't have been able to get it at this price in Malaysia.
Bottom right: Snake whiskey. I wonder what it is used for. 
The boys went to chase chickens. Some young children there did not wear shoes.
We had very limited time there (around 45 minutes) and hurriedly shopped. When we got back to the jetty, some children were playing in the water jumping off the boats into the water. 

As we entered our boat, the earlier children came back and asked us for tips. Everyone held out their hands, and hubby gave some tips to the "leader" and told them to share. Upon reaching back to The Golden Triangle jetty, we found that displayed on a table, our photos (taken as we were walking down the steps to the jetty) framed in a plate to be sold to us as souvenirs. How enterprising. 

After that, we headed back to Chiang Mai. We didn't stay in Chiang Rai. On hindsight, it would be better to stay overnight in Chiang Rai, as the journey is quite long. 

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