Wake up freshly and it was a good day for long drive session. At first I was kinda worry that the road in the old city closed due to the marathon event but it seem it was the very first phase opened for public transport to move around after cut off time applied when almost all the runners leave the old city. I went to the car park to grab our car, while the rest of my families busy buying varieties of breakfast from road side stalls and 7-11. Well, it seem I no need to worry much on breakfast plan for them though.
I study the route and decide to go with highway 118 which went through a mountainous path all the way to Chiang Rai. The road condition was superb during the early stage on the hill, but there was lots of maintenance works during the second half of the route. Good thing about the construction works is the condition wasn't really bad at all even it was under repairing state, it probably bumpy a bit, but almost flat without any huge holes along the way. Those are something good that should be adopted by local JKR team on road constructions in Malaysia.
There was a pit stop, the Mae Kachan Hot Spring and Geyser area by the road side after complete the hectic mountainous route, and luckily everyone still looked very comfortable at this stage mean my driving skill was still superb. It was a very touristy zone where many tourists buses stopping over with lots of shops and restaurant operate at this area. The toilets wasn't free of course but there was a hot water stream just close to the water area which you can freely soaked your leg there, it was just very comfortable seriously! We also bought some bird and chicken eggs from the local and steam it in the hot water pool, very commercialize, but was surprisingly enjoyable as well.
Mum soaking the eggs on the hot spring pool.
Take turn to experience the activity here.
Everyone having foggy glasses staying too long by the pool.
They got shocked with sudden geyser blast.
Getting extra eggs from the local.
Group photo by the hot spring area before continuing our journey.
After another 100 KM or drive, we finally reach the famous iconic white temple in Chiang Rai, Wat Rong Khun. Initially I thought this was a very spiritual temple that make it a famous tourism spot, but after understanding more about it, it was actually a privately owned art exhibit in the style of Buddhist temple in Chiang Rai, owned by a visual artist named Chalermchai Kositpipat who was the actual designer of the temple. The temple was opened to public in 1997, while the construction works still on going today, and expect only able to complet the whole plan on year 2070.
You will have to pay 50 Baht to enter the paid compound, which including a closer view on the majestic white temple exterior as well as entering the inside of the temple through Gate of Heaven which guarded by two creatures represent Death and Rahu, who decides the fate and death. Mural depicts inside was truly the one that shock me the most, instead of Buddha teaching related murals like most of the temple have, the interior here was full of modern idols such as Michael Jackson, Neo from The Matrix, Freddy Krueger, Terminator, Harry Potter, Superman, Hello Kitty, and even depicts the terrorst attack on the World Trade Center. Probably that is why it was classified as art exhibit, too bad photo was not allowed inside!
The other significant structure here was definitely the castle like golden building, which was actually a restroom!
Very new and modern structure at the parking bays.
Walk through the compound towards the iconic white temple.
Knowing you for very long time, finally have the chance to visit you!
Family at Wat Rong Khun.
Looked at the complexity of the exterior! Simply astonishing!
Looked like a zombie.
Thanks fellow tourists for helping us to snap this group photo.
A shot with the bridge of "the cycle of rebirth".
Walkway after passing the gate of heaven.
Getting closer to the main hall.
You will have to take off your shoes and hand carry by yourself before entering the main hall.
Absolutely impressed with the attention to detail at every corner of the temple!
Mum at the rear of the main temple.
The exit from the paid area.
The golden castle in the compound!
Which in fact was a rest room!
Love those crafting high up above the roof.
Another monk statue on top of a structure.
The view of the white temple from outside the paid area. I felt the composition on the temple looked much better from this spot here!
A monk praying on the gate of heaven before entering the temple.
The white temple in bokeh.
We drove into Chiang Rai city center to have our lunch at Por Jai Khao Soy, which was a signature north Thailand dishes which looked quite similar to curry noodles in Penang, with notable different on the rice noodles served in the bowl. The broth was kinda different as well, with strong mixture of coconut milk with specialty curry here. Overall, the meal was superb for us and the price was cheap as well! Definitely recommended spot for foodie!
The menu here at Por Jai.
Traditional dish in north Thailand, Khao Soy, a must try for foodie lover!
The exterior look of the restaurant, but it does not have big English signboard.
Just a minute walk to the south from Chiang Rai iconic golden clock tower.
We have a short drive from city center for around 3 KM to visit another famous iconic Blue temple here in Chiang Rai, Wat Rong Seua Ten See. As the name resemble, blue is the major color you can see exploring almost every corner of the temple compound, with the exception of a large white Buddha statue that marks the spirits inside the main hall, and a great standing Buddha behind the temple. The main artist of Blue temple, Putha Kabkaew was actually the student of Chalermchai Kositpipat, but I personally love the vibes here much better that white temple, probably because the crowd was much more loosen here. The temple was just completed on 2016 hence not very known among tourists yet, and the admission was free!
The two guardians at the entrance to blue temple.
A small fountain with a sitting Buddha upon entering the temple compound.
The temple mostly covered with eye striking blue with overlays of gold embelishments.
My family and the blue temple.
What a majestic modern temple!
Time to explore the inside of the temple.
Only one words can describe the vibe inside the temple, peace.
Mum enjoy the vibe inside here very much too.
The sisters praying peacefully inside the blue temple.
The murals style quite resemble to the one we saw inside the white temple, as it was built by the student of Chalermchai Kositpipat himself.
Not overly crowded, just nice during our visit here.
The entrance to the main temple.
Exploring the other side of the temple.
Mum and the standing Buddha at the rear of the main temple.
The rear part of the main temple and the standing Buddha in white.
Zoom in shot on the white sitting Buddha inside the main temple.