2012 - Backpacking to Northern Thailand day 5 @ White Temple of Chiangrai

Northern Thailand Adventure, Mountains, Rivers and Temples
6th to 27th November 2012

at Wat Rong Khun the White Temple of Chiangrai

Day 05 (10.11.12) Chiangrai

We visited the white temple ‘Wat Rong Khun’, the City Navel Pillar, Wat Phrathat Doi Jom Thong and Wat Phra Kaew. We walked through the Chiangrai wet market and in the evening we explored the Saturday night street market and later had dinner at a ‘dance square’ with life band. We too joined in for the line-dance with the local folks. We then walked back to the Night Bazaar to have a few beers and listen to the singers on stage.

Sleeping: City Home Guest House at B600 a/c room for 2pax

pork noodle for breakfast in a shop opposite our guesthouse
after breakfast we walked back to the guesthouse for the free coffee and then planned for the day
I am posing with the artist Mr. Chaloemchai Khositphiphat who built the White Temple
the beautifully curved sculpture in the compound of the White Temple

The White Temple (Wat Rong Khun), located at Ban Rong Khun, Tambon Pa O Don Chai, approximately 13 km from the city is a unique modern temple designed and built by artist Chaloemchai Khositphiphat starting in 1998.

You can only enter the ubosot (main chapel) from the front, via the narrow bridge that passes over a pool of upturned, beseeching hands representing suffering souls in hell.

can you spot the only red finger nail in hell? can anybody explain why?

From here, there’s no turning back, as the only way is to ascend ‘heavenwards’ through the pathway guarded over by demons to the ubosot.
Inside, two Buddha images seem to be floating on a lotus pedestal, set against elaborately painted murals in various hues of gold and other colours. A beautiful white ordination hall - Phra Ubosot - is decorated with silver glittering pieces of mirrors. There are large mural paintings of the Lord Buddha in different gestures.

A gable is decorated with a gable apex, a leaf-shaped gable-edging in the shapes of Phya Naga, dragon and mythical creatures, which are entirely made of white stucco.

There are viharn, small halls for recitation surrounding the ordination hall, museum, and reception pavilion. The gallery exhibits paintings of Mr. Chaloemchai Khositphiphat.

the two cone shape wishing trees on the left and the a wishing well housed in a doom structure

the wishing well with all the coins at the bottom sparkle like diamonds

this is not a temple, but, a golden toilet beside the White Temple compound

Kam Boon did what he has to do in this golden toilet

these are the ghosts in hell

too much of whiskey can also get one into hell!!!

here comes the alien ghostbuster

Wat Phra That Doi Chom Thong located on Doi Chom Thong on the banks of the Kok River within the town area, contains what is believed to be the oldest holy relic even before King Mengrai built Chiang Rai. The chedi containing the holy relic was probably renovated at the same time the town was being built.

With ancient Khmer and Lanna concepts of the universe and man’s position in relation to them, the Naval City Pillar is a series of carved stone pillars – about 1m high – set atop Jom Thong Hill.

The main pillar – set on a marble pedestal and slightly bigger than the rest – is surrounded by 108 satellite pillars which occupy the six-tiered concentric circles that radiate around it, representing the six lower levels of heaven.

Kam Boon with the giant temple bells

Wat Phra Kaew is the original site where the Emerald Buddha (in Bangkok) was enshrined. It was known by the name of Wat Pa Ya (Bamboo Forest Temple), until one stormy night in 1434, a bolt of lightning struck the principal golden stupa, cracking it and revealing the Emerald Buddha inside.
Wat Phra Kaeo on Trairat Rd right in town is famous for having housed, in the 14th century, the Emerald Buddha, one of the most famous Buddha images in Thailand. According to legend, the statue was discovered when a bolt of lightning hit a chedi (stupa) on the grounds, cracking it open and revealing the Buddha inside.
The temple grounds are lush with greenery and house a compact but excellent two-story air conditioned museum, with a near-exact replica of the Emerald Buddha. The original is now housed in Bangkok in the temple of the same name, on the grounds of the Royal Palace.

a museum with permanent exhibitions on Lanna culture and ancient Buddhist relics

photo taken with the chief monk in the two-story air conditioned museum

Guarded by a pair of serpent deities, the main chapel (ubosot) housed the principal Buddha image, Phra Jao Lan Thong, cast from brass and copper in the beautiful Chiang Saen style.  Believed to be at least 700 years old, Phra Jao Lan Thong was relocated from the temple of the same name in the old town of Chiang Saen.

the road-side supermarket leading to Wat Mung Muang below and a wet market
this is Wat Mung Muang
Every Saturday night, Thanalai Road is closed to traffic from 5pm to 12pm, with the street adopting a festive / market vibe. Thanalai Road is located in the 1km Chinese quarter of the City. Saturday night the Chinese lanterns are lit, traffic diverted, and the whole feel of the street changes. It becomes very busy from 6pm onwards.

you can see and experience Street dancing by these girls

I was watching some schoolchildren performing with Angkalungs, an Indonesian instrument adopted by Thailand in the early twentieth century

Thai street food, Thai Music, Karaoke, market stalls and lots of handmade souvenirs at reasonable prices.

Cindy enjoying the street food

fried silk worms

fried crickets

fried sago worms

Captain Bernard Lee ordering more food for dinner

cheers to all with the exotic beers

The highlight for the evening though has to be the giant circle dancing (ram wong) area where hundreds of middle to well-aged Thais and a smattering of light-footed foreigners shake their body to Thai music.

back to the Night Bazaar to have a few beers and listen to the singers on stage

Kam Boon went up on stage to request some songs

Day Expenses  THB total   per pax
5 Breakfast 490 70
Sawngthaew to WhiteTemple & Wat PhraKaew 630 90
Bus Chiangrai to MaeChan B20 x 7 140 20
Bread 95 14
Papaya 25 4
Banana 75 11
Lunch 345 49
CityHome Guesthouse in Chiangrai 2,400 343

Day 1,2 @ Chiangmai
Day 3 @ Chiangmai – Thaton
Day 4 @ Thaton by River Boat to Chiangrai
Day 5 @ White Temple of Chiangrai

Day 6 @ Chiangrai - Mae Salong and Mae Fah Luang
Day 7 @ Chiangrai – Phu Chi Fa
Day 8 @ Phu Chi Fa – Phayao
Day 9,10 @ Phayao – Chiangmai - Mae Sariang
Day 11,12 @ Mae Sariang – Mae Sot
Day 13,14 @ Mae Sot - Bangkok
Day 15,16 @ Bangkok – Kanchanaburi - Sangkhlaburi
Day 17,18 @ Sangkhlaburi – Ayutthaya
Day 19-22 @ Ayutthaya - Bangkok – Butterworth

1 comment:

  1. Relaxed ambiance, great food and cool beers, light dancing, soothing music and songs, together with friendly aura that make Thailand No.1 hot spot travelling destination in the world. Malaysia has a lot to catch up, perhaps never. Beers and alcohol are too expensive; anyway, I ain't no seasoned drinkers.
    From Alancykok