The mind-blowing Wat Rong Khun, white temple of Northern Thailand.

Browsing through my photo albums, looking for something to blog about, I stumbled upon pictures of me in Chiang Rai, Thailand. It’s been so long I really don’t remember the order of my trip anymore but the thing that was most memorable to me was visiting the Wat Rong Khun (White Temple). I knew the Thais are incredibly amazing when it comes to building temples but I was completely blown away by the magnificent White Temple.

Been in construction since 1997, it’s not a very old temple considering the average age of temples in Thailand probably runs in the upper hundreds of years. But it is very different from the regular temple that you can find in Thailand that it’s completely white and covered in mirrored tiles. The temple literally blinded my eyes for a second.

The weather was brilliant when I was there, the skies blue and the sun shone like it was determined to give everyone skin cancer. For some reason, I felt that the whiteness of the temple helped to reflect more heat onto its surroundings because while on temple ground, I felt like I was going to keel over and die. So please do bring ample supply of drinking water and wear loads, and loads of sunblock.

To visit the main hall of Wat Rong Khun, you’d have to cross a bridge, which is built over the “pit of hell”.

The details of the bridge.

When you look over, you could see a lot of hands reaching out of the pit, perhaps trying to grab you to join them :P It’s a little freakish.

Pit of hell under the bridge.

In fact, the people banished to hell were so pissed off by their fates, that one actually gave the world the finger, manicured nails and all.

Flipping the bird.

As the temple is still under construction, the main temple hall is quite underwhelming. Nothing compared to the exterior of the temple. Pictures were not allowed, so I don’t have any of the temple’s interior.

No idea when the construction is going to finish, it’s been more than 10 years after all. The thing is, the construction is entirely dependent on donations, so perhaps that’s the reason why it has taken so long.

Imagine these covered in mirrored tiles.

I’d love to go back there again with the bf cause it’s immensely beautiful. Apparently, it’s even more beautiful when seen in the moonlight!

Chiang Mai – Part 2

This is a continuation of my last post on Thailand.

The elephant park is really cool! It’s also a resort cum school for learning how to train elephants. I think it’s a such a novel way to spend your holidays, learning how to train elephants.

#1 – Elephants bathing in the river with the student trainers.

You don’t see any elephant locked up in a cages like Malaysia. The area is free for the elephants to wander about but they’re never without a master (mahout) so you don’t have to be afraid about getting trampled into a pulp :P

#2 – Posing with baby of the herd.

There’s also an elephant show where they get to show off their talents. It’s pretty amazing what these bigass animals can do. Balancing on one leg on a tree trunk, moving stuff around etc. The baby elephant even knew how to help a person put a hat on!

#3 – Baby elephant putting a hat over the girl’s head.

And they can paint! You can buy an elephant’s painting from 500 baht and above.

#4 – Elephant paintings gallery.

The sanctuary’s got a blog here, you can see much better pictures of the elephants and the activities there.

We left the elephant sanctuary for Wat Phra That Lampang Luang. The sky was glorious, just perfect for pictures.

#5 – Temple entrance.

There weren’t many people so it felt really serene and peaceful. I could hang out there for a while.

#6 – Prayers in progress.

#7 – Under the bell.

#8 – Another one at the entrance before leaving.

Next, we went to a ceramics factory, nothing much to shout about. It’s huge and filled with high quality ceramic stuff for sale. I got a couple of ceramic magnets as souveniers and a mug. I thought of buying more stuff but the moment I put something into my shopping basket, my brain screamed LOGISTIC NIGHTMARE.

Dinner time was at this restaurant called Khum Khan Tok. We were treated to a cultural show and authentic Thai food presented specially for very honoured guests.

#9 – Thai food platter.

Speaking of this food platter, it’s basically a few bowls of different food with dips. My favourite part of the platter is definitely the bowl of pork cracklings. Hmmm hmmm. Best thing about it? It’s refillable, babeh.

#10 – Pork cracklings.

After dinner, we even got to light up these lanterns, not unlike the traditional chinese flying lanterns. Lighting those lanterns was a hot affair, literally.

#11 – Lighting up the lantern. Can you spot my me?

#12 – Drifting away…

#13 – And away…

We went back to hotel in a tuktuk convoy lead by a cop. We felt like proper VIPs!

#14 – In my tuktuk.

#15 – My tuktuk driver.

#16 – One with the convoy leader. A real police! Don’t play play.

Next post will be about Chiang Rai, kap kun ka!

Read Chiang Mai – Part 1.