Thursday, December 31, 2015

My Top 4 Things To Do In Chiang Rai

Spending time working on my blog post on a relaxing holiday is quite therapeutic to me, how I wish my everyday are like these...more time for myself, and more time to manage my blog. Xiang and I visited Chiang Mai/ Chiang Rai on mid October this year, read my first post here -

We drove all the way from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai and spent less than a day there, so we didn't get to visit all the tourist attractions that we intended to. Below are my top 4 things to do in Chiang Rai, given our tight schedule.

1. Wat Rong Khun (White Temple)

First place we went after arriving in Chiang Rai, at about three in the afternoon. The weather was scorching hot but it was all worth it when we caught the first glimpse of this magnificent white temple. This is the icon of Chiang Rai city, and the reason why Xiang willing to ride up north. 

It is a Buddhist temple privately owned by Chalermchai Kositpipat. He designed, and constructed himself. He's a great artist, undeniably.  

It was still under construction at the time of our visit, but still the temple look as great.

This tree startled me before entering the temple!

Still...a quick shot with "them"!

Entering the bridge of "the cycle of rebirth"

Hundreds of outreaching hands that symbolize unrestrained desire!

There's a saying not to look at those "hands" when you passed by, if you look at them those hands might pull you down to the hell. How we captured this photo? Camera behind and eyes looking to the front hahaha. 

At the bridge

It was burning hot, don't forget your sunscreen!

Opening Hour: 8.00 am- 6.00 pm

Entrance Fee: FREE

2. Black House (Baan Si Dum)

After visiting White Temple, we went straight to the Black House. We've been told that this is not a temple, but a private place owned by some rich guy and open for visitors. Since I know some basic Thai, it's easy to recognize from the name too. Baan means house whereas Wat means temple, "ok this is a black house, not a black temple", I told myself. Some calls it a museum.

The compound is so huge, all the houses are designed in black and only parts of them are open for visitors.

Besides black houses, there are lots of animal skeletons and animal skins too. This place is full of the signs of death, but they were all too creepy so I chose to ignore them, and only focus on the impressive arts and designs.

Follow me to find out what's behind the door. No we're not allowed to enter any houses.

There is an art gallery in the house behind this rock too, but it was so quiet. As a sign of respect I didn't take any pictures of the paintings.

Opening Hour: 9.00 am- 12.00 pm/ 1.00 pm- 5.00 pm

Entrance fee: FREE

3. Thaweesin Hotspring

This is a random spot that we chanced upon when we were driving back to Chiang Mai. We spotted the sky-scraping water splashing from the hot spring well and we decided to make a stop.

Some Thai ladies selling hot spring boiled eggs!

The water isn't very clean, we didn't soak our foot in here.

What we found at the back!

The ancient and forbidden temple, just right outside the hot spring.

Entrance fee: FREE

4. Thai Food

Thai food is much cheaper in Chiang Rai compare to Chiang Mai! We had a satisfying Thai dinner at Moommai Restaurant.

Tomyum Plaa

Seafood in coconut

Fish with lemongrass

They provide outdoor and indoor seats.

Cute dolls everywhere inside and outside of the restaurant!

A cute restaurant to dine in at night, not so sure about day time. There're only fans and no air-conditioner available in this restaurant. 

Travel Tips:

1. Avoid Chiang Rai Night Bazaar as it's really nothing much to discover and very limited food stall. I wasn't too sure about weekend but on a Thursday, it was nothing much to buy or eat.

2. Use Google Map instead of Waze if you're driving.

3. We bought data plan from AIS, it works everywhere even in the rural area! Superb data coverage!

4. White temple is too exposed to the sun, prepare yourself with full sun protection.

5. Other tourist recommendations to discover: Long Neck Village and Golden Triangle.

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