The Changing Seasons-June 2018

The Changing Seasons post, inspired by the lovely Sarah at Secret Art Expedition and hosted by Su at Zimmerbitch.

In June, I spent a glorious four days in Chiang Rai, in the north of Thailand.

I got there mid-afternoon and spent the rest of the day writing and reading, surrounded by the beautiful countryside and not a soul in sight.

Things to do in freetime
Ban Lom Jen Homestay

The next day I visited Wat Rong Khun (the White Temple), a beautifully ornate building owned by Chalermchai Kositpipat. The temple is unique and the white exterior has fragments of mirrored glass which makes it dazzle in the sunlight.

I took a taxi and went into town for lunch and another temple, Wat Phra That Doi Thong, which is also the highest point of the city.

Things to do in Chiang Rai
Wat Phra That Doi Thong
Things to do in Chiang Rai
Chiang Rai Clocktower

I got back to the homestay and had an another relaxing evening, my only company were the insects who had come out for the night, it was really soothing listening to their sounds in the dark night. It made such a wonderful change, my usual night time sounds are the rush of beeping horns on the busy Bangkok roads.

Wednesday, I hired a bicycle and explored the gorgeous countryside of Chiang Rai. What surprised me was the lack of people, there was hardly anyone around, even the people who live there seemed to be missing. So, I had no problems cycling on the roads, I wouldn’t dare in Bangkok!

Things to do in Chiang Rai
Chiang Rai countryside- gorgeous green fields surrounded by mountains

First stop was Wat Huai Pla Kung and an enormous statue on the hill, which is so large, I could see the top of its head from my accommodation, some 2 kilometres away. It’s not a Buddha statue, which is what I thought, but a depiction of the goddess of Mercy.

Walk up the stairs, flanked by white dragons, and you’ll be treated to views of the green and mountainous countryside. It’s rather impressive.

Things to do in Chiang Rai
Wat Huai Pla Kung

From there I cycled to Wat Rong Sear Tean or the Blue Temple, a gorgeous, blue building with ornately carved gold decoration. It is quite simply, stunning, and I have never seen anything like it in Thailand before. I kind of preferred it to the White Temple, if only for the lack of tourists!

Onward on my trusty steed, I spotted a small golden chedi and a gateway with lions standing on stone plinths on either side, so I went to investigate.

Things to do in Chiang Rai
Wat Tham Tu Pu

This was Wat Tham Tu Pu. It was quite eerie in the cave, so I didn’t hang around very long.

The last port of call was Wat Tham Phra (Buddha Images Cave) with a number of Buddhist statues and altars. The people there were preparing for some kind of celebration, so I had a quick look inside and then left to go back to the homestay where I drank a cold beer or two and relished in the quiet surround sound!

Things to do in Chiang Rai
Wat Tham Pra (Buddha images cave)
Things to do in Chiang Rai
Wat Tham Pra (Buddha images cave)

I left the following afternoon to go back to the concrete jungle, that is Bangkok, but I was so glad I went to Chiang Rai, it had been a while since I ventured anywhere in Thailand and, living in a big city, I sometimes forget just how beautiful it is.

If you would like to join me and the others in this challenge, here are the guidelines:

The Changing Seasons Version One (photographic)

  • Each month, post 5-20 photos in a gallery that you feel represent your month
  • Don’t use photos from your archive. Only new shots.
  • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so that others can find them

The Changing Seasons Version Two (you choose the format):

  • Each month, post a photo, recipe, painting, drawing, video, whatever that you feel says something about your month
  • Don’t use archive stuff. Only new material!
  • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so others can find them.

10 Responses

  1. All the different temples look so amazing! And the countryside is just beautiful! Everything exudes such a calm and peaceful feeling – what a lovely holiday you had, Gill! Your descriptions of quiet evenings spent listening to the insects and writing sound heavenly, especially since it’s so loud here at night, right in the city, but as you’re normally living in the middle of one too, you know how it is. xxx

    1. I was so impressed with the temples and I was so glad I went to Chiang Rai, and even more with my choice of accommodation! I couldn’t believe it when the lady told me I was the only guest, at least for a night or 2! It was so lovely and relaxing in the evenings, I forget to just take it all in sometimes, because I am always busy doing something (which I love) but it was just nice to sit and smell the roses, so to speak. Thank you for your lovely comment, Sarah, I hope you are having a wonderful weekend xxx

      1. I´m so glad you had such a lovely time there, Gill! It sounds rather heavenly and I wished I could have joined you, but then you wouldn´t have had that little paradise all for yourself. 😉 xxx

  2. I much prefer Chiang Rai to Chiang Mai, although back in 2014, Rai was also starting to become quite touristy.

    Looks like you found more sites than we did – well done!

    Your post and photos brought back memories. Did you get to the beautiful area of Mae Salong on this trip?

    1. Yes, me too Nilla. My first time in Chiang Rai and I loved it more than Chiang Mai, hardly any tourists, even in the town! I didn’t really venture very far which was my plan 🙂

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