It was easy to cross the river from Huay Xai to Chiang Kong. We got transport right away to Chiang Mai. Thailand, with its busy roads and crowded cities was a shock after the peaceful, relaxed atmosphere of Laos. We spent a few days in Chiang Mai, seeing the local temples and enjoying the wonderful food, but the feeling just wasn't the same. It does have a good night market with plenty of great trinkets to buy, and is a fun (but difficult) place to bargain. There are some upscale antique shops nearby, many of them selling items from Myanmar. Were they selling items stolen and smuggled out of the country?