7th - 9th December 2014It was an incredibly smooth and carefree crossing into Thailand from Laos. In fact if it hadn't been for our transport suddenly driving on the left hand side of the road (the proper side) we wouldn't have even noticed the transition.
Two hours later we were in Chiang Rai's second bus terminal which is located around 10km out of the city centre. The new station is convenient for travelers bypassing Chiang Rai but if your staying it means catching a tuk tuk. I had a slight problem as my debit card was not responding well to any of the stations ATM's. This becomes a bit stressful when you have no Thai Baht to hand, however the tuk tuk driver was nice enough to drop us off at a good bank so we could pay him.
After making some accommodation inquiries and booked a couple of nights in "Orchids Guesthouse". Its located a few streets away from the central bus terminal and the night market and the cheap private rooms with private bathroom were luxury to us.
Chiang Rai itself has very little in the way of sights once you have seen the clock tower and night market that's it. However round this province city there are a few sights that compete with Thailands best. We opted for a day tour around the region with stop offs at Wat Rong Khun, Baan Dam, The Golden Triangle and a tea plantation.
Wat Rong Khun known by tourists as "The White Temple" is not the oldest Wat we've visited but certainly the most interesting. Designed an owned by local artist Chalermchai Kositpipat the temple is a reflection of the artists image of heaven and hell with Buddhist influences thrown into the mix. Despite opening in 1997 the temple remains unfinished and slightly damaged due to the impact of a recent earthquake in May 2014. Sadly we were unable to see the interior as it was "cleaning day" but there is enough unusual architecture to keep you interested for the one hour stop. The grounds also contain a gallery containing the artists work.
|The White Temple|
|The Golden Triangle and Tea Plantation|
Travelfish: Chiang Rai
Wat Rong Khun (White Temple)
Black House (Baan Dam)
The Golden Triangle