Sunday, July 27, 2014

Day 82 // Temples of Chiang Rai

This weekend we rented a car and did the touristy thing, checking out Wat Rong Khun (the White Temple), Baan Dam (the Black House), and Doi Tung Royal Villa and Garden. 

I was SO happy we had a car. Rachael rented it for 24 hours for about 1000 baht and it made the day go so much smoother than attempting to take a bus, taxi, or any other mode of transportation. 

White Temple // Wat Rong Khun

Wat Rong Khun was created by well known Thai artist Chalermchai Kosipipat and is one of the most elaborate and unusual buddhist temples in Chiang Rai. Unfortunately it was damaged in the May earthquake, and much of the structure had pieces missing and rubble was covering the floor. Regardless of the damage, it is one of the most spectacular pieces of architecture I've had the pleasure of seeing. 

Black House // Baan Dam

Created by artist Thawan Duchanee, Baan Dam is a spectacular and dark arrangement of animal remains in 15 different houses that is quite morbid and completely entrancing.

Apparently, the Black house is Thawan Duchanee's portrayal of what hell is like. It provided a perfect antithesis to the purity and heaven like qualities of the White Temple.

Doi Tung Villa and Mae Fah Luang Gardens

Pardon my lack of photos for Doi Tung, I was tired and cranky and sweaty and only managed to take a few photos. 

Doi Tung Royal Villa was home to the current King's late mother, Princess Srinagarindra. She played an important role in fighting the opium trade that devastated the region, and the villa became a haven for the tribe people to recover. 

Mae Fah Luang Gardens

We ended the night at a friend's house for a birthday party and a jam session.

Definitely one of those weekends I never wanted to end. Thank you Thailand for constantly blowing my mind with the amazing things to see and incredible people. 

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