This is the most highly revered wat in Chiang Rai. Legend has it that in 1434 the stupa was struck by lightning and fell apart to reveal the Emerald Buddha. From that moment on, the statue travelled, visiting Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Ayutthaya, Lopburi, Kamphaeng Phet, Chiang Mai, Lampang and Vientiane over a period of more than 300 years. Today it rests in Bangkok in the temple of the same name. An almost but not exact replica was made from Canadian jade in celebration of the Queen Mother's 90th birthday in 1990 and it is now housed on site. With its lush gardens and large stands of bamboo (it was once known as the Bamboo Forest monastery), Wat Phra Kaew has peaceful grounds plus a pond plays host to massive turtles.
Constructed around 1385 by King Mahaphrom, this wat is regarded as a fine example of Lanna-style architecture. Note the twin sets of peacocks that flank the bot entrance and the white bunnies straight out of Alice in Wonderland at the back of the compound entranceway, along with the tree which has a Buddha for each day of the week standing around it. The wat once contained the Phra Phutthasihing, an important Theravada Buddha image which is now stored at Wat Phra Singh in Chiang Mai. A copy sits in its place.
The Hill Tribe Museum is funded by famed Thai philanthropist Meechai's PDA and serves as a handy place to visit for anyone considering trekking from Chiang Rai. The museum includes a brief overview and photographic display covering some of the hill tribes you are more likely to visit. A lengthy opium exhibit featuring opium weights and other tit bits is also worth a browse. Exhibits include typical clothing from six major tribes plus their housing styles, tools, utensils and traditional hunting, fishing and agricultural equipment. A slideshow is available upon request. Your admission includes a complimentary drink at the Cabbages and Condoms restaurant on the ground floor.
Open: 9am-6pm. Admission: 50 baht.
This is a new clock tower built to commemorate His Majesty the King's 80th birthday and to replace an old and tatty version. It's gold, gaudy, brash and something of an assault on the eyes, but it really comes into its own at night. It doesn't do its tricks every evening and the timings seem a bit sporadic, but if you are passing the Clock Tower one night it may just give you a light show to remember. Every colour and hue is used, from lime green to outrageous pink as the Tower performs its own version of a bad disco. The show lasts for about 20 minutes and seems to start at around 8pm.
A nice place to stop off and stretch your legs on the drive to Chiang Rai. There are places to eat. The artist who is building this complex has a gallery on the premises. Visit wanjim-thailand.blogspot.com.
Wat Rong Khun is very different to any of temple you are likely to see in Thailand. A lifetime project of artist Chalermchai Kositpipat, the temple has a fine blend of traditional Buddhist art with contemporary themes. The temple is almost entirely white – no other colours are used at all. It is though decorated with small pieces of mirrored glass which add substantially to the temple’s spacious and airy feel. Designed to be viewed in moonlight, if you can manage to get there when the moon is out it’s worth the effort – very nice indeed. This temple is certainly worth a visit unless you have limited time.
Chalermchai Kositpipat seems very popular amongst the Thai. There is a picture exibithion as well. Furthermore there is a golden toilet and a lot of funny signs.
Wat Rong Khun is a buddhist temple in Chiang Rai, Thailand. It was designed by Chalermchai Kositpipat. Construction began in 1998 and is expected to end in 2008...but I dont think so. They are still building.
Wat Rong Khun is different from any other temples in Thailand as the "Ubosot" ( consecrated assembly hall ) has White Color and White Glass. The white color stands for the Lord Buddha’s purity; the white glass stands for the Lord Buddha’s wisdom that shines brightly all over the earth and the universe.
**from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wat_Rong_Khun **
You can't believe that on isolated mountains in North-Thailand live Chinese people.
Their ancestors are forgiven and lonely army from China. In 1949 Chiang Kai Shek withdrew to Taiwan, but the army kept at border to standby for fight back. Unfortunately, Ciang Kai Shek never did it. The army lived without supporting and was driven to settle in North-Thailand. To win their residence permit and citizenship in Thailand finally they had to fought twice with Burma.
A sad story. Fortunately, little by little they received supporting and now living a better life.
Chaingrai is at border and has various minority and now under good care of King.
The village gathers many tributes and show you their difference.
The souvenviors they sell are mainly from outside market.
AKha people are in black. In the past they showered only 3 times in life: birth, wedding and death. They like eating betel nuts and usually have bad tooth. Dog is their favorite dish. They believed twins are evil and burned them lively. Fortunately, nowadays they are getting moderner ideas.
Long Neck people are well-known in world for their pretty symbol: neck lace. It can be so heavy more than 10 kgs.
"The Land of the Giraffe Women" as Polish explorer Vitole De Golish called it. Here lives a tribe of 7,000 members. Legend claims that the brass rings protect the women from tiger bites while the men are at work. Rings worn on arms and legs may weigh a woman down with an additional 30 pounds of brass.
Once you have bought the entrance ticket, you will be given a leaflet. I scratched my head trying to understand the English writings on the paper. It is full of errors. You will walk pass some jungle and farming areas before you reach the first Akha tribal village. Akha, Yao, Lahu, Long Neck / Padaung / Karen & Palong (Big Earring) are populated in this hilltribe village.
Akha villagers will welcome you to their huts with music from traditional musical instrument. You can also buy some tribal handicrafts from them. Basically villagers will greet you with traditonal dance and music whenever they see tourists coming. You can either purchase some souvenirs or give cash as a form of donation. Visiting these villages is like walking, watching cultural performance, buy souvenirs & make donation, repeatingly for all the villages. Personally I find it a bit boring, fake & commercialised. Hope the entrance fees and donation collected will go to their welfare. I didn't get to see more of Yao ethnic group as they just hide under their huts busy selling souvenirs to tourists.
The centre of attraction is of course the Long Neck Village. I can see three women and a few children living there. Some of their faces are familiar as you might see them through television programmes. Their TV presence / exposure rate is really high. Their main livelihood is weaving cloth and for sale to tourists.
The small kids are especially friendly to tourists. Try not to intrude their houses and interfere their daily living, respect their culture, custom & belief.
The border town of Mae Sai is one of the official overland border checkpoints for travel between Thailand and Myanmar.
After passing rows of shophouses, the road ends at the Sai River Bridge. There stood the Immigration & Custom building to Myannmar border. For some decades now the town has prospered, trading all kinds of goods from Burmese jade, gem & precious stones (genuine & fake), goods from China, etc.
The border with Burma, closed except to locals for almost for more than 40 years, is now open to foreign visitors and day trips can be made to the Burmese border town of Tachilek. You need your passport plus a photocopy and USD10.
Walk past until the end row of shops, turn into the small lane and there are many stalls selling food stuff all at a cheaper price compared to the main street. It is as busy as the main street. Most of the products are still from China.
Once you have ride on a boat for Mekong River cruise, you will notice a giant golden buddha erected on the bank of Mekong River. This is the Golden Triangle Buddha. The buddha is like sitting on a long boat.
I didn't have enough time to explore this place but I managed to snap a few photos of the replica elephants. They are so nice with gold paint.
This is a new private temple and thus not a temple with historical value. The temple is painted in white and on all the surface is decorated with glass mirror. On a sunny day, the light reflects on mirror and making the temple outstandingly sparkling white. The architecture is amazing and the sculpture is so intricate & detailed. However, i don't understand why some of the western mythology sculptures have been built here. Maybe it's just the liking of the owner and to make it more distinctive.
Every angle of the temple is an art or architecture marvel. There's no information leaflet available in English. You have to pay for most of the information booklet. Some of the complexes are still under construction.
There's really nothing special to this tourist spot except two hot springs steaming and bubbling. You can buy a basket of chicken or quail eggs to boil them for a few minutes. There you go, cooked and ready to be eaten.
There's a myriad of stalls here selling souvenirs, knick knacks, food stuff, clothings etc. Basically they are selling similar merchandise. Don't get lost in the place and price though. However, you can bargain more for the price here and they are generally lower than the price in Chiang Mai.
8km north of Chiang Saen, this famous riverside spot marks where the borders of Thailand, Laos & Myanmar meet at the junction of Mekong River and the small Ruak tributary. Boats on the Mekong River can be hired for travel upstream from Chiang Saen to the Golden Triangle or downstream to Chiang Khong.