Chiang Rai

Chiang Rai: The Golden Triangle for Travel Photo Thursday

Posted by on Jan 15, 2015 in Chiang Rai, Destinations, Featured, Thailand, Travel Photo Thursday | 25 comments

This past weekend I went on a meditation retreat in the very north of Thailand, close to the Thai city of Chiang Rai (The retreat deserves a post of its own.). Between the chanting and the meditation we did have time to do a bit of sightseeing, and we were treated to some awesome views of the South East Asia’s Golden Triangle. For this Travel Photo Thursday (#210/January, 15, 2015) here are some of the shots that I took that day from one of the viewpoints overlooking the Golden Triangle from the Thailand side.

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The Golden Triangle

The Golden Triangle is where the borders of Laos, Myanmar, and Thailand meet, and the Mekong River meets the Ruak. The official Thai name is  Saam Liam Thong Kham. However, to the locals it is simply known as Sop Ruak. Historically the area is known as being on of the largest producers of opium in the world. However, these days, about the only thing that is being cultivated (at least officially) is the tourist trade, and the casinos. Although gambling is illegal in Thailand, the Thais flock to the casinos; one in Myanmar and one in Laos. Small boats ferry the passengers to the casino of their choice.

Looking at the Myanmar border. The red roof marks the casino complex.

 

The Golden Triangle

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Chiang Rai’s Black House for Travel Photo Thursday

Posted by on Nov 6, 2014 in Budget Travel Tips, Chiang Rai, Featured, Travel Photo Thursday | 33 comments

Welcome to the 200th week of Travel Photo Thursday, and what virtual tours we have had during these weeks. I’m sure that we’ve been around this beautiful world of ours more than a few times. This week I’m taking you back to one of my favorite places, Thailand, and very specifically, Chiang Rai’s Black House, home to the artistic endeavors of Thai artist Thawan Duchanee.

To join in the Travel Photo Thursday fun simply post a photo on your blog.

Return here and place your link in the Mr. Linky at the bottom of this post.

Please post a link to a post featuring a travel photo, not simply a link to your blog.

The Twitter hashtag for Travel Photo Thursday is #TPThursday.

As a courtesy, please post a link to Budget Travelers Sandbox.

 

Travel Photo Thursday

 

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Travel Photo Thursday — Mar.27/14–Chiang Rai’s White Temple

Posted by on Mar 27, 2014 in Chiang Rai, Destinations, Featured, Travel Photo Thursday | 36 comments

Welcome to the 170th edition of Travel Photo Thursday. I just posted my first spring flower shot to Facebook. The magnolia trees are starting to blossom here in Daejeon. Spring is on the loose…YIPEEE…!! On that note I am taking you to Chiang Rai’s famed White Temple, Wat Rong Khun.

To join in the Travel Photo Thursday fun simply post a photo on your blog.

Return here and place your link in the Mr. Linky at the bottom of this post.

Please post a link to a post featuring a travel photo, not simply a link to your blog.

The Twitter hash tag for Travel Photo Thursday is #TPThursday.

As a courtesy please post a link to Budget Travelers Sandbox.

Billed as the most visited temple in Thailand, Wat Rong Khun (or The White Temple), a contemporary Buddhist and Hindu temple,  is the brain child of Thai artist Chalermchai Kositpipat, who started the temple complex in 1997. Work continues today, with no immediate signs of completion. We arrived  just before lunch, and believe me getting a shot without hordes of people in view was a feat! Notice that the pond in front is home to a large number of gorgeous koi. An added bonus are the awesome temple reflections.

White Temple, Chiang Rai, Thailand

 

To reach the main temple you traverse a bridge representing the cycle of rebirth with the pits of hell lurking below.  Hand begging to escape from hell…(a little disturbing, eh?)

 

Reaching Hands White Temple

 

I call these the “White Temple Gremlins”…

 

White Temple Gremlins

 

At the end of the bridge  you reach the Gate of Heaven, guarded by Death.

 

White Temple Statue

 

No photos inside the temple, but what you will see depicted on the walls will probably surprise you. You’ll be surrounded by a mural depicting a horrific ending to the end or the world. The mural includes such popular culture icons as Michael Jackson, the Matrix, Spiderman, and even the Twin Towers with billowing smoke. The first time I saw this mural I think I had to pick my jaw up from the floor on the way out! I was not at all prepared.

 

This beautiful Buddha statue restores the calm….

 

BudhaStatue.jpg

 

Posing with the Naga…

Posing with the Naga at the White Temple Exit.

 

Framed by the trees…

 

White Temple

 

There is also a gothic influence around the site…(A little strange don’t you think?)

 

Hanging Heads, White Temple

Gothic Influence, White Temple

 

You can roam around the workshop and discover what the artists are up to! That’s one big Ganesha!

 

Workshop at the White Templ

 

You can also wander through galleries displaying many of the artist’s paintings; all for sale/no photos You can also purchase postcards and prints.

Before you leave be sure to use what are probably the poshest washroom facilities in all of Thailand…

 

"The Facilities", White Temple

 

 Have you been to the White Temple? What did you think?

Travelers Tip

The White Temple is about a 3 hour drive north of Chiang Mai, 13km south of Chiang Rai. As far as getting there you have a lot of choices. You can take the public bus or a mini bus, or as I did, a day tour. If you go on you own, you’ll have to overnight in Chiang Rai. I opted for a day tour, which left Chiang Mai at 7:30 am and returned at 5:30pm. The cost was an affordable 1000 Baht ($30.ooUS) and that included lunch. We also visited another attraction, which will get its own post. A tour can be booked at any of the tour agencies in the old city. 

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This is the 170th edition of Travel Photo Thursday. You can browse the archives here.
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