I don’t know about you, but I am very excited about our first meeting with Thailand and the city of Chiang Rai. Founded in 1262, the city welcomes us with a peaceful and pleasant atmosphere. Having preserved Lana’s strong identity, Chiang Rai reveals a wealth of art, music, language, cuisine and impressive temples. The night bazaar and the jazz festival contribute to the development of tourism, and in the evening, around the clock tower, you can enjoy the nightlife and the entertainment.
Before going to a night walk around the city, I want to show you around during the day.
What better than the amazing white temple Wat Rong Khun. Located about 5km south of Chiang Rai, it is the brainchild of visual artist and painter Chalermchai Kositpipat.
The temple is a wonderful combination of Buddhist symbols, from architecture to ornamented reliefs and mirror decorations. You can only enter by the narrow bridge in front of the temple, which passes over a pool of hands that symbolize suffering souls. Inside, you will be welcomed by two Buddha images, bearing themselves on the flower of lotus. Definitely a place, that leaves the people speechless of its beauty.
Let’s not stop here, but continue with the next attraction from our list.
Wat Huay Pla Kung temple is located six kilometers from Chiang Rai. Although it is a new temple, it quickly became a must-visit place for tourists. Often, you can hear people say it with the name “The Big Buddha of Chiang Rai”, because of the big statue of the ”Goddess of mercy” near the temple. Another name, that can be used for the temple is a ”9-storey temple”, because of the 9-storey pagoda, where you can climb to the top. From there is revealed the magnificent view of the surrounding area, and the bright lights at night contributes to the magical atmosphere.
If you’re still not convinced about the amazing beauty of Chiang Rai temples, next place will not fail with this mission. Wat Rong Seua Ten or as people say “Blue Temple” is located in the area of Rimkok. The temple is still under construction, but its main hall is now complete (22 January 2016) and accessible to visitors.
It’s not an accident that people call it “Blue Temple”, with its breathtaking blue interior and the large white Buddha marker of spirits, inside the temple. From outside it’s an impressive combination of blue and gold ornaments, dragons and white Buddha.
After our satisfying walk to the Blue Temple, we can continue our trip to Baan Dam, also known as “Black House”. Here, of course, it’s not about one house, but about 40, located on the territory of the garden. The place is a work of Thawan Duchanee (painter, architect and sculptor) combining his own style of interpreting Buddhist philosophy with the traditional and elegant.
The various buildings are museums and art galleries. One of the rooms is the bedroom of Thawan itself, and is a large whale building. The design of the buildings combines wood, glass, terracotta, bricks and concrete in a variety of styles. The art galleries can be seen sculptures, silver and gold objects, leather, animal bones, paintings – all depicting Thawan’s views.
And now, let’s go back in the past to the King Meng Rai’s monument. He is the 25th monarch of Lawa dynasty and the first king of the Meng Rai dynasty, who founded Chiang Rai. The statue of the ruler is highly respected by the locals.
Another interesting thing, also related to King Meng Rai is that this is the place of 108 pillars of Chiang Rai. The location is next to Wat Phra Tat Jom Thong Temple.
According to Hindu mythology, the central pillar is Mount Meru, surrounded by 108 pillars and 5 canals, symbolizing the universe and the Great Five Rivers. The six stepped platforms represent six floors of paradise. According to local beliefs, the pillar is as big as King Meng Rai. He stands on a three-level pedestal representing the three states of Rupabrahma, Arupabrahma and Nirvana.
As I mentioned at the beginning of our journey, it is time to dive into the nightly Chiang Rai.
The clock tower, around which, though modestly, the city nightlife happens, is also the creation of the creator of the White Temple (which we visited at the beginning of our journey). Located in the center of the city, it attracts visitors both during the day and at night. In the evening, within three hours from 19.00 to 21.00, the gold clock tower comes alive in a light-sound show.
After visiting the clock tower, we are heading to the Night Bazaar, located near Chiang Rai Bus station.
The market offers a variety of souvenirs, made by the local population. Everything from accessories, local products, curtains and embroidered fabrics to wooden furniture is at an extremely good price. Even the very thought of being a creation of locals, with a traditional sense, awakens the discoverer’s interest. Of course, here you will also enjoy a variety of restaurants serving traditional cuisine.
You also shouldn’t miss the beer garden, which offers music and dance programs for the good mood of the evening.
I hope that this time, you also liked our travel to the unknown, and even a little I had awakened your interest in Chiang Rai and its beauty.
Source: thailand guide и thailandee