Chiang Saen, Thailand

Area Code 053 $1=38B, June 22, 2006

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In 8 th C. Thai moved from S. China to N Thai/Laos and made a country. Chiang Saen was the capital for the kingdom until 13 th C. when King Mengri the founder of Lanna Kingdom moved the capital to Chiang Rai. From 16 th C to 18 th c. Burma controlled here and the town was totally destroyed when Thai re-gain N Thailand.
The boundary line of the town, 1km width(W to E) and 3km in length(N to S), is strongly defined by the old city walls and moats (It is dry now.) Within the walls, you can see the remain of the old capital, ruins of temples.
If you are coming from Chiang Rai by bus, you enter Chiang Sean through the gate of the old town where you see the remain of the walls and moats.

Access & Arriving:
Buses from Chiang Rai and pickup trucks from Maesai arrive on the main road, near the river.
Buses from BKK arrive at the bus station, S the main road, 2nd street from the river.
Pickup trucks arrive on the river road, S from the the main road.
Boats from China arrive at the port, S from the main road.

Orientation:
We call the street where the bus is running is the "Main Rd." which is running from W to E. The east end is the Mekong River.. and the road with the river as "River Rd." which is running N to The boat pier to China is in S part of the town.

Photo: boats to China

i Information Centre: on Main Rd. just next to the main gate. N side, No assistants, just a town model and many photos with explanation in Thai. But you can get some idea what you can see in C.Saen. clean free toilet.
$ Banks: some on the main Rd. M-F 8:30-15:30.
I did not see any special booth for weekend.
M Post Office: on the main Rd. N side. 3 rd intersection
s 7 Eleven: on the main road, S side W from the bus stop to Chiang Rai
m Massage: on River Rd. N from Restaurant Shanghai, 100B/hr
@1 Internet: on Main Rd. E from the 7 Eleven. 20B/hr
@2 Internet: From the river, walk on the main road and turn right at the 2 corner. just S from Best House. 10B/hr
ta Gin Tour: From the river, walk W on the main road, turn left at the first alley. Agent for Gin's GH.See accommodation section.
Tours:
Chiang Saen -> Chiang Khong - Luang Prabang(Laos)
2580B for 2 people.
Boat to S China
2700B

Festival (2004 Info)
4/16-18 Chiang Sean Songkran Festival & Boat Racing: Parade and 3 nations boat racing and Entertainment.

Hotels
LOW MID HIGH

HOTEL CODE
There is another GH, N from the Chiang Saen GH is under construction.
h1 Chiang Sean GH: on River Rd. 200m N from the main intersection, T053-650196. sb CW d80, HW d100, ab HW d150-200, TV(L) ab d200-250B C2
h2 J.S. GH: 192 Moo 2, T. Wake W on the main Rd. turn to N at the post office. T053-777060, sb CW f s100, d150B,ab HW f d150 d200B C4 sw(future) Very comfortable place. Single and double rooms are same price even though the size is different. Rec
h3 Best House: 192 Moo 2,opp from JS, a/c ab HW CTV fr d500-600B C4.
h4 Gin's GH: 71 Moo 8 B.Sobruak, T784065, ab f s150-250 d300B+ R The GH is located on the NE corner of the town. About 1.5km from the police station. If you are coming from the Golden Triangle, get off when you just get in the town. The agent is near the bus stop which give you free ride to the GH. From the main intersection, walk 50m W and turn left into a small alley. It is on the right side.

Restaurant
There are some on the Main Rd. and River Rd. but not many choices. Please report to us if you find a good one.
r Shanghai: on River Rd. 100m N from the main intersection. Chinese. Chinese dumpling 50B

Transport
Bus N:Non Aircon, A1: Aircon 1 class
B1 Chiang Rai: 59km, N42B, 6-16:00 many, 2hrs, At the first intersection from the river on the main Rd.
B2 BKK:
(2007 info)
879km,12.5hr , A2-511B 15:30, A1-621B 17:00, A1-657B 7:00, V-767B 18:00,
Walk from the river on the main road and turn left at the 1 st large street with the traffic lights.
B3 Golden
Triangle:
8km, Mini bus 20B, N of the main road, opp from 7-Eleven the first block from the river, every 40min. from 7:00-15:30, 15min.
B3 Maesai: 43km, 40B, same mini bus to Golden Triangle.
B4 Chiang Khong: 53km, Min bus 60B, From the main road, walk on the River rd. opp from a temple. Time of the minibus is very hard to get. Probably after 12:00. ask around,
F1 Boat to China
From the pier S from the River road + the Main road, You may negotiate to the captains of the boats, if you can speak Chinese. Gin's GH and Travel organizes your trip. But it is cheaper to talk to the captain directly. The trip will be 2 night 2 day with full meal + your own cabin.

Sights
i Information Centre: see above
S1 Museum: on Main Rd. just next to the main gate. S side W-Su9-16:00 30B
Ruins: many temples, walls and moats: More than 40 ruins of temples/pagodas inside of the wall. Many are similar. Just walk around.
S2 Wat Chedi Luang: next to the museum. 88m Chedi, tallest religious monument in this area.
S3 Wat Pa Sal: 200m from the museum, out side of the wall. Beautiful stucco motifs, good example of Lanna architecture.
S9 Wat Phra That Chom Kitti: NW from the town. 3-4km(1km uphill) A temple on the hill. Go to the NW corner of the town and follow the road. It is supposed to be able to have a good view of the town.
S Wat Phra That Phangao: 4km from Chiang Saen toward Chiang Khong. Good view of Mekong and Laso.
S Chiang Saen Lake: 27km marker of the road toward Chiang Rai and 2km from the highway. Good for bird watch during November to Feb.


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