16 July 2012

Wat Rong Khun, Chiang Rai - Day 6


From Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai with sight-seeing enroute...

Hot Springs, Mae Suai and Miniature Angkor Wat

Cute Toilet Sign

Suan Charin

Stuffed omelette with marinated minced pork, Jungle curry and slow braised pork belly

Suan Charin Bakery-Restaurant (Charin Garden Resort)

Suan Charin is one of the most popular and best resting spot in the Mae Suai district of Chiang Rai province on the way from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai the northernmost of Thailand.  It's a spectacular open-air restaurant with the view of Mae Lao river slowly flowing next to it.  They serve range of great Thai food and very incredible western cakes and homemade pies as well, which my tour guide told me that it's actually their specialities and what they are renowned for.  The food that we order are all tasted so authentic and delicious. With feeling quite regret, we ate too much and didn't think of the spare room for some dessert and end up to be too full for it.  So yeah next time surely we'll be back.  You really can't miss those mouthwatering sweets, as you walk into the dining area, you will see this huge cakes display right next to the counter.  So, I believe if you are a sweet tooth and no matter how strong you try to resist the temptation, you can't.  If in that case, skip the Thai meal and go for some pies and cakes along with the fresh coffee.  For those who might want to stay here a bit longer, there are some bungalows and resort around that area, surrounded by the lush tropical forest and picturesque Mae Lao river, would certainly be a ideal spot for stopover and have a good rest for a night.

Wat Rong Khun, Chaing Rai

We were very delightful and overwhelming when our tour guide told us the next destination will be Wat Rong Khun in Chiang Rai, is also known as The White Temple.  Wat Rong Khun is not just another Buddhist temple in Thailand like you may expect.  Its stunning architecture and story behind its construction is far beyond our ordinary imagination.  I can say that this is one of the most stunningly beautiful temple in the world.  The white color sparkling with mirrored glass mosaics decorated and embedded on the external of the temple, Shine brightly and mesmerising me so badly and we were all feeling so over the moon at the first sight we spot this temple as soon as we step into the area.  I am not surprised at all by this white temple has become one of the most visited temple and national land mark in the past decade.  By the time we went there, I was told that it was just only up to 50% complete.  But it still looks so amazing to me.

Every piece and details of this temple has a deep meaning in itself.  The white color refer to purification of The Lord of Buddha and his wisdom and white is a color of the good merit and enlightenment.  As you can see, even the fish in the pond still white too.  I have no idea what fish it is but it reflect the beautiful concept perfectly.

This temple's whole idea and concept of construction was found and directed by one of the Thailand living greatest and notable (Master) Ajarn Chalermchai Kositpipat.  He devoted and sacrify his entire life and all of his money earning from his artwork previously in building this heavenly temple and accomplishing his dream.  He has a very strong desire in replicating the temple in heaven from his imagination to be seen and touchable for the mankind.  Not only that, he demonstrates his passions in contemporary art and the belief of the Buddhism into this project to promote and enrich the religion and his beloved home town.  My husband is a big fan of him and also told me that Ajarn Chalermchai once said that he knows that he may not complete this mega project in his life time, so that he has already formed the team for the next generation to continue his dream until its perfectly finish.  Exciting stuffs, isn't it ?

Inside this white temple contain a beautiful white Buddha statue centralised the convention hall.  I was also stunned by a wall painting which rich of Buddhist and Hindu tradition that drawn by Ajarn Chalermchai.  Apart from admiring the white temple, there is also an art gallery exhibiting all the master works and paintings of Ajarn Chalermchai and the history and background of how this project begun.

“Money and possessions are insignificant. They are not mine but are only make-beliefs. Merits belong to me; therefore, money is of no value to me. Money is valuable only as a way to make merit for further journey of the soul”
~ Charlemchai Kositpipat ~

The main gate was protected by the angel of death commanding those who entering into the temple to drop off their sins.  The hands of those who are suffering and burning in hell is asking for help and forgiveness.

This project is predicted to complete in 2070 and by that time, this place may potentially be one of the world heritage that recognised from all over the world.

White fish in the Temple's pond

Guess what!!!  This is the restroom.  Ummmm.... 

Wat Rong Khun

To get to Wat Rong Khun is quite simple.  It is located just about 15kms from the city of Chiang Rai on highway No.1 and from Chiang Mai is about 170 km.  The best way, that I suggest in case of you don't have your own transportation is to buy a day trip in the city from any travel operators.  Seriously, if you are some sort of adventure traveler who like to feel like a local and not afraid of lost in translation then try public Song Thaew (a local 2 rows shuttle or mini pick-up car).  They normally pass this temple from the CBD. 

There is no entrance fees but small donations are more than welcome as this contribution will help in the ongoing cost of the temple's construction.

We spent the night at this Legend Chiang Rai Resort where its location lies along Mae Kok river.  Very boutique and charming resort with an interesting semi-open bathroom and offering the restaurant overlooking Mae Kok river.  What a shame that we only stayed here for one night whilst we fell in love with this place so much, as tomorrow we heading further north to see this famous place to visit, Golden Triangle.  Where the Mighty Mekong river separates the border of three countries, Thailand, Myanmar and Laos.

The Legend Chiang Rai
124/15 Kohloy Road, Muang
Chiang Rai
Ph: +66 53 999 333

Chiang Rai Night Bazaar
When you are in Chiang Rai, don't forget to visit this massive night Bazaar right in the middle of the city selling a local handmade, souvenirs and of course plenty of street food.  I'm telling you that this place is much much better than the Chiang Mai night bazaar (but regards that I'm a big market food hunter).  In there, they have this HUGH outdoor space of dining area in the centre, it's like an outdoor food court and heaps and heaps food stalls lining up there.  Yes you will be so spoiled by the choices.  The aromas of the food, the smell of the BBQ chicken, the crowd, the noise of people chatting really make you feel some sort of "life" and cheerful.  Also, live music performance will accompany along your dinner time.  A really really great place to soak up a festive atmosphere in the ordinary day.

Keep on reading for the next blog in Chiang Rai:

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