What a Wat!!!

Trip Start Jul 05, 2012
Trip End Jun 19, 2013

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Flag of Thailand  , Chiang Rai,
Sunday, November 4, 2012


The White Temple.
As soon as we got out of the minivan and set eyes on this temple we were gob smacked. It's nothing like any other temple we've seen so far. Painted a bright white with small mirrored tiles it's actually quite painful to look at when the sun hits it. Before we got in we noticed masks and skulls dangling from the trees, along with unique anti smoking and drinking signs. Once across the pond, filled with white fish of course, we noticed 'the pits of hell' below, lots of hands desperately trying to escape, very strange! Then infront of the bridge was two large intimidating statues, we assume to guard the temple. The temple itself was similar design to other temples we've seen before but once inside there were a few more surprises. Firstly a wax work monk sat infront of a golden Buddha statue, looking eerily real and then we turned around to see the incredible hand painted walls. On them we found....superman, Michael Jackson, McDonald's logo, the twin towers being destroyed, Harry potter, angry birds, puppet from saw amongst other things. Unfortunately we wert allowed any photos. There was another wall just starting to be painted aswell. The temple was built in 1997 by some famous architect and will take a long time before completion. After the temple we saw the most beautiful bull weve ever seen, white obviously. Then the most beautiful toilet we've ever pee'd in. All gold (as its dirty). We would have loved to find out more information about Wat Rong Khun but our guide was brief and there isn't much on the Internet about it, except that its controversial. Either way it's amazing and a must see in Thailand in our book.

Tea Plantation Trekking.
We enjoyed a morning trekking in the hills around Chiang Rai, exploring the tea plantations with 2 guides to show us the way. The scenery was really good but the 3 hour walk was quite tough due to the steepness and slippery path. Along the way our guide hacked at some bamboo and then would magically produce something. A spoon, fan, gun....you name it he can make it! He used to serve in the Thai army, protecting the border with Myanmar from smugglers wanting the opium grown here. Now it's just tea and a few tourists so no need to worry about getting shot. We enjoyed lunch served on a banana leaf and using bamboo as a plate, which was really tasty before heading to some thermal baths. It felt so good relaxing our aching muscles and generally doing nothing for a while after our walk.


Chiang Rai.
The town itself felt quite seedy, especially at night on one main road where all the bars were. There were lots of old men with Thai brides and the atmosphere wasn't great especially after Chiang Mai. 
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