Chiang Rai was our last destination after almost one month traveling through Thailand. Well-connected with Chiang Mai by a 2 hours bus trip (130 Baht) this little northern town still had a few interesting and fascinating places for us to visit.
Orchid Guesthouse was the place where we crashed for two nights. Clean, cheap (400 bath per night) and with a friendly staff always ready to help our needs.
We spent our first evening in the Night Bazaar. Nothing compared with the one we saw in Chiang Ma only a few types of things for sale and it wasn’t even half that big.
We would say the best part of it was the foodies where we ordered a tasty fish for a good price.
Next morning we hit the road in the direction of Wat Rong Khun – The White Temple. Designed and funded by a famous Thai visual artist, Chalermchai Kositipat with the idea of leaving on earth a piece of art to immortalize his name. The construction started in 1977 and it’s not finished yet. The author have in mind 9 buildings and till now only 2 of them are ready. The Temple will be a center of learning and meditation.
It was beautiful and completely different from all the temples we have seen before. All white with pieces of glass in the plaster and full of meaningful details.
The sculptures on the entrance are representing the “Cycle of Rebirth”, and after passing the bridge the “Gate of Heaven”.
For us it was a bit creepy and amazing at the same time. A must see if you ever travel to this northern side.
Contrasting with the whiteness of Chiang Rai was the Black House, our goal for the next day.
It wasn’t less weird as the first one! A complex of several black temples with exposed bones, skins, skulls and horns of animals dead by natural causes! Made by the Thai artist Thawan Duchanee, who developed a style of work showing the darkness in humanity.
On our way back we visited Boon Rawd Farm known as Singha Park. The biggest tea plantation in Thailand, giving over 400 tons of high quality tea each year.
You can’t miss it cause of the huge Singha lion sculpture in the middle of the field.
On the top of the highest hill there’s a restaurant with a beautiful view and beside that, the park offers several attractions like view-points, lakes, flower fields, mini bus tours to the zoo (50 Baht), and the possibility to rent a bike (100 Baht).
During our visit we also found a climbing wall with a zip line crossing the lake but unfortunately it was under construction. So more attractions soon!
On our last evening, we went to the cinema at Central Plaza shopping mall. With 6 screening rooms, some of them with 4D films, we watched the original version with Thai subtitles of the most recent Bond movie, Spectrum. The tickets cost 140 bath and we really enjoyed it 🙂
Next morning was the last day of our visas and we had two flights ahead, Chiang Rai –> Bangkok –> Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam.
The land of the ascending dragon here we go!