Chang Rai, White Temple

Of course, one of the most famous sites in Northern Thailand is Wat Rong Khun – known to foreigners as The White Temple. It’s a short 20Baht public bus ride from town, and as our hotel is less than 100m from the bus station, a simple task to hop onto our magic ride. The locals are always keen to help us ensure we get on the correct vehicle: fair mix of foreigners too, so we must be on the right bus to Mae Kachan bound we go, but of course, we need to hop off before the endpoint.

The White Temple itself is a total buzz of activity – food stalls and people swarming everywhere. It’s an amazing site to see and work the 100Baht entry to come in and check this out. It’s design and constructed by a local Thai artist Chalermchai Kositpipat, completed in 1997: and everything is truly over the top!

Huge white Temples on the exterior, there is a more traditional though bizzare content on the inside. Photographs are unfortunately not permitted, so you’ll have to trust us on that! One of the items we saw was a place to purchase a thin tin leaf, that you sign your name on and hang as part of the display. There are 10’s of thousands of these in various ornimants. We could not resist, and somewhere at the temple you can find our donation.

Another key part of the display are the unique sculptures. There’s an unbounded amount of imagination in this area. This is a small fragment of the variations: even the street pylons are unique!

Of course, the part that caught my eye at some point in the afternoon was the public washroom. The men’s are a that I check out is highly decorated, and gilded in gold paint. I’ll happily rank this as one of the top-10 bathrooms I’ve had the pleasure to visit.

Enough of the White Temple, we head back to Chang Rai, and check out some of the more traditional temples at Wat Ming Muang. We still like the decorations and the dragons eating dragons for guardrails. Some of the construction efforts remain impressive as always. Bamboo scaffolding is in place, and the bare-foot laborer’s are working unaided without any type of safety harnesses!

Weary from the long day in the road, and in the 30C heat, we decided to take a break in a building that caught our eye: The Cat Cafe! There are limited seating, and once we purchase our frosty beverage, we can sit at a small table among the room with other patrons, and probably around 50 cats hanging out with their people. Of course, one almost immediately checked out my lap, and curled up for a snooze while his friends watched. Only in Thailand!

Of course the evening ends with dinner at The Night Bazzar food court. This is a nightly event that has food stalls along all the sides, and the large square in the center contains food tables. We love the Hot Pot with all the fresh vegetables, washed down with a icy fruit shake – wrap up another ideal day!

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