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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.