Chiang Rai – Laundry and the White Temple

This story is getting a little old.  You see we found a guy in Chiang Mai who could get us a car.  His credentials you ask?  He spoke good English, and he smiled as he walked by pointing towards the place to get coffee.  What else does a Westerner need first thing in the morning?  No talk, No Tuk-tuk, just some coffee and then we can embrace all that you have to offer.

It turns out he lived in Baltimore for many years and could get us a car for $3000baht which would include a stop at a hot spring and at the White Temple.

The White Temple outside Chiang Rai

We left the hotel and found out his car fell threw (his sister took it out for the day?) but he knew another guy who had a car – shabang! we are back in business.  5 minutes later we are en-route in an off duty taxi to Chiang Rai.

Hot Springs

Before leaving I asked the concierge about the hot springs and whether you can swim in them.  He said it was too hot.  I asked our smart English speaking car-getter guy and he said you could change there if you need to.  He didn’t really answer the question and you can see why in the photos below.

Hot Spring
The Hot Springs is on both sides of the highway (like a tour operator planned it).  It is too hot and too small for swimming
The board is laden with rocks to keep the water spout from spraying everywhere so that they can sell boiled eggs from a hot spring
Soaking your feet in the hot spring is free but the bathroom  is 5baht

The White Temple

Our next stop was the illustrious White Temple which is on the outskirts of Chiang Rai.  It is a beautiful place and worth a stop.

Our first glimpse of the White Temple
Manicured Lawns, coy in the ponds, very quiet and peaceful
Each one of these silver leafs is a prayer that you buy and hang up.
A closer view of the silver charm

 

Ben walking under the archway. Silver charms will fill the trellis.
Hmmm… Skulls on the finials surrounding the Temple. Should I be worried?
There is Buddha so all is good
Interesting detail work of the different animals in Buddhist / Hindu faiths
A close up of the Animals
The Temple Hall
Side view of the Temple Hall
The Golden Temple stands out among all the white
Gollum hanging in a tree. Wait,… what? Gollum?
Iron Man? What the hey?
Captain America? Must be a Halloween thing
Pirates of the Caribbean? .. This is weird
Dead Pool … and more weird
A tree of heads in a Temple?
The umbrellas cover the workers who are painting the exterior of the temple
Dragon fountain in the water
An interesting sculpture
Hands reaching for freedom
It is a very surreal experience

 

Emma points to her favourite hand?
Here is the close up … You’ll have to Emma why she likes it?
Mesmerizing to look at …
Colleen with her faithful servant EyeGor in the background
You are unworthy and shall not pass!
Right … off you go
The final steps to the Temple
The sign says no photos in the temple. Our clandestine shot shows missiles, Pikachu, and a Droid from Star Wars. What kind of Temple is this?
The inner courtyard
Emma in front of the Temple area
At the Entrance/Exit is a beautiful bell
Buddha is present so what about all the other stuff?
Family Shot
Emma tries to attack the Monkey
I missed this warning sign at the front of the entrance

 

It turns out the original temple, Wat Rong Khun, was in terrible shape so the visual artist, Chalermchai Kositpipat, who was born in Chiang Rai invested his own money to build a private temple with his own innovation and learning style as a place for people to get a better appreciation for Buddhist teachings.  Hence the modern images to attract young people.

Le Meridien Chiang Rai

We stayed at this wonderful resort with awesome pools and beautiful grounds to walk upon.  The breakfast, was good although cooking eggs western style is a mystery yet to be learned.  Colleen and I were invited to a Buddhist ceremony where nine monks chanted prayers and we were showered with holy water. It was at 07:00 am so in my haste I forgot my camera.  The one thing we both noted was how fidgety and informal the monks are – we always equate them with peaceful serenity and movement but they are anything but.   Towards the end of the ceremony we were both asked to make an offering to the monks (each received packages of robes and other stuff from the hotel) so we ceremonially gave it to them.

Our resort at night
A woman playing the sitar in the reception area

Laundry Day

My running paid off when I found this laundry machine by the side of the road.  It looked in good condition so after a visual check from Colleen we were good to to some laundry!  Our hotel room ended up being the drying rack!!

I found this on a morning run beside a roadside restaurant
So we did Laundry for the day while the kids enjoyed the pool

Chang Rai was a brief stop and in hindsight it would have been nice to stay a couple of days longer but the value of the Le Meridien stay is really on the weekend so we moved back to Chiang Mai – with a car booked through the hotel.

One Reply to “Chiang Rai – Laundry and the White Temple”

  1. That is an interesting outing. Once again you have engaged a Mr. Stay and have lucked out with a good deal or is this Mr. Stay’s intended goal all along? I liked the temple. How were the boiled eggs?

    Right on Emma! Effective communication is a good thing! I use it while driving in Ottawa. We have such good drivers in this city.

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