Chiang Rai

I continue my journey towards the North of Thailand. After the busy Chiang Mai, I want a quieter place to stay and choose a guest house a little outside the center of the much smaller Chiang Rai and close to the river. The place probably used to be very quiet, but it is not anymore due to the new road bridge (built 2y ago) just in front of the GH.

Chiang Rai hosts many beautiful Buddhist temples. According to the legend, the Emerald Buddha was revealed in 1434 in Chiang Rai before being transferred thought the country and Laos until the new capital Bangkok in the 18th century. A copy has been carved in Jade in the original place, now called Wat Phra Kaew.

As if there were not enough temples, many new Wat are under construction.

The most amazing modern temple is the Wat Rong Khun, aka “White Temple” 13km South from Chiang Rai.

The White Temple Chiang Rai, by Dan Silvershine

Built in 1997, the architecture designed by the painter Chalermchai Kositpipa (CK) mixes hell and heaven with very detailed carvings, challenging the European rococo style! The interior is as a first sight a standard temple, but the murals reveal the full talent of CK: it is an impressive ode to the modern American culture: Starwars., The Matrix, Spiderman, Lord of the Ring, Kun fu Panda, Avatar, even Mickael Jackson are mixed together with Buddhist symbols! And Buddha rules them all 😉

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