Myles Harrington

Posts Tagged ‘Chiang Rai’

Myanmar? Might As Well

In Myanmar, Thailand on December 12, 2010 at 11:37 am

I had a couple of places in mind to visit for the week I had to return to Thailand before my flight from Bangkok. Chiang Rai was the natural stop off point from Laos being the first major town. After a swift and fun border crossing that involved drinking the only cider I have managed to find in Asia a couple of Swedish pear ciders and we paid the boatman an extra 10,000 kip to go a long route to Thailand, slightly down stream on the Mekong. Once over we had a swift transfer to a rickety local bus for two and a half hours to Chiang Rai.

CIDER!

When I’d spoken to people about Chiang Rai they pretty much all said the same thing, it’s like a mini Chiang Mai and has an amazing white temple that is well worth a visit. Our first night there didn’t involve much, just the usual drunken antics like annoying a couple of Thai girls by trying to cook in their kitchen and making friends with groups of locals in the hip Face Club in order to have some of their whisky.

Annoying the staff

On day two we got a local bus from the conveniently, and unusually for Asia, centrally located bus station to the White temple. I was blown away by the place. Its official name is Wat Rong Khun and it’s the brainchild of a Thai artist called Chalermchai Kositpipat. Kositpitat is hoping to expand on the current building and have nine identical white temples on the site completed by 2070, the outside of the temple is magnificent and it’s a shame it wasn’t a sunny day when we visited because I can imagine it would have looked even more impressive glistening in the sunlight. The inside of the temple was just as fantastic. It’s meant to signify a type of heaven and hell with Buddha on the wall facing the entrance and on the entrance wall ‘hell’ depicted using modern sci-fi creation murals, these include Neo from The Matrix, the guy from Avatar, Spiderman and Superman. Read the rest of this entry »