From modern and new temples to ancient tribes - Chiang Rai, the capital of Northern Thailand's district is a mix of new and old and the first destination we chose to start our honeymoon. It's less touristy than the city Chang Mai but still holds stunning photo locations! For your next time in Thailand, get the 24-hour guide to Chiang Rai. Enjoy your reading!
Finally, after three flights, we made it to the first destination of our honeymoon - Chiang Rai. We choose to stay in a fine and central hotel, called "Mora Boutique Hotel" - located in the city center so that in a minutes' walk you're in the city's clock square and night market. The hotel, just as in the name, is a boutique and spacious, with large rooms designed in modern Thai style, with a lounge and minibar. You can also relax next to the big pool, or take a spa treatment in the hotel.
Since we arrived in Chiang Rai knowing we were limited in time, we were very focused on which temples and places we don't want to miss. We took a day trip with a private tuk-tuk driver who drove us around all the attractions we wanted to see ( 700 baht). The first stop was at WAT RUNG KUHN, the white temple.
WAT RUNG KUHN
A privately-owned art exhibit by Chalermchai Kositpipat, who designed, constructed, and opened it to visitors in 1997.
It consists of nine white structures that create a glittering look through pieces of glass and tiny mirrors glowing and dazzling from the sun. The white color signifies the purity of the Buddha, while the outside of the temple is white and clean, the inside is completely a new world with intense colors everywhere, some will say Psychodal, with unique murals such as Batman and Spider-Man, 9/11, Harry Potter and Picchu. The fierce paintings simulate the modern man, greed and lust - the bad values that Buddhism must overcome. In order to enter the building, you must cross a bridge which signifies the transition from the life cycle to the Buddha Kingdom.The many hands that outstretched before the bridge symbolize hell and those who suffer from it.
Entrance: 50 baht
Next Stop : Wat Rong Seur Ten
Art at its best! Founded in 2005 and designed by a student of Chalarmachi CositePipat, the temple is rich in colors and the inside walls of the temple are covered with paintings describing Buddha's life, with the blue color representing the sky and the Dharma. At the center of the temple, you will see a huge white statue of the Buddha.
Entrance : Free.
Wat Huai Pla Kang
A Huge statue and a Chinese-style pagoda. The huge statue is often referred to as the "Great Buddha Statue" when in fact it's the goddess of mercy "Guan Yin", in Thai Buddhism. The statue height is 23 Floors! You can take the elevator and go up at 40 baht, enjoy the view of Chiang Rai and see the inside statue design - all white, shining walls, with small pieces of glittering mirror.
Entrance : free.
Baan Dam Museum
I have to confess that at first, we got the impression that it's a temple, but actually, it is the work of a well-known Thai artist Thawan Duchanee who passed away in 2014. He created a surreal and mysterious art that is everywhere as you enter the museum. Spaces that are open to the public display skulls and bones of animals, horn-shaped seats, crocodile bodies and more.
Entrance: 20 baht.
Karen long neck village
The long-necked tribe in Thailand which is originally from Myanmar are mostly recognized for its long neck and body with bracelets and gold chains. While the men are working in farming, the women are making a handmade, colorful scarf, woodwork, and fabrics. The technology is slowly beginning to seep into the tribe, but it's still amazing to see how they maintain their culture and tradition.
Since we were short in time in Chiang Rai, we got mostly to enjoy the Night Bazaar Market.
The Night Bazaar
A 5 minutes walk from the clock square, and you will find the city's night market. Simple, tasty, cheap street food, inside huts, restaurants, and bars -it's a great way to feel and taste the Thai atmosphere and, end a long day of exploring.
Don't forget to include Chiang Rai in your next visit to Thailand. In a short time, there's a lot you can manage to see. It's a great first stop and a good way to see the Thai culture!
Know more about interesting things to do in Chiang Rai? Leave me a comment below 😊
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