Updated on July 9, 2016
Holidays in Thai: Chiang Rai on February 6th, 2016
We are only staying at Chiang Rai for one day, having checked out of the hotel in the morning we asked the front desk clerk about motorcycle rent (last night as I walked around Chiang Rai, I found virtually no motorcycle shop, much contrary to Pai which is restaurant + hotel + motorcycle shop). Much to my surprise, the clerk showed me a chart saying “they have a partner shop”.
P.S. With much less competition for business as in Pai, motorcycle rent in Chiang Rai is much more expensive.
Then we set off to Wat Rong Khun. Since Chiang Rai’s anyway a city, road condition was much better than Pai.
It wasn’t until nearly half way that we found a gas station on our side of the highway and resolved the fuel gauge issue. Upon arriving at Wat Rong Khun, we found the whole temple had nearly been occupied by Chinese tour groups, with a majority of them coming from Chiang Mai early in the morning, and some taking minivan tours from Chiang Rai. It seemed that there were few people riding motorbikes like us two. The whole Wat Rong Khun welcomed these Chinese tourists from loud speakers
while reminding them to behave.
It was cloudy that day. Since Wat Rong Khun’s covered with tiny reflecting mirrors, which glitters magnificently in sunshine.
P.S. Given the amount of Chinese tourists, I found it quite hard to take photos without having to Photoshop people out.
Only the main temple of the Wat Rong Khun is open for visit, other parts can only be viewed at distance, maybe because they were still under construction.
The following photos come from raw and have undergone limited adjustment
for I’m not too familiar with Photoshop.
Just next to Wat Rong Khun there’s an art museum featuring the designer of Wat Rong Khun. No photos inside.
Then we picked a less traveled road back to Chiang Rai and visited Singha Park along the way.
Maybe because it’s winter, when we arrived at it, we found Singha Park not as attractive as in the photos where grass extends beyond horizon. It’s like a park where the locals hung around.
And this was obviously an artificial park, with lots of money poured by local government.
Then we went back to downtown Chiang Rai. It’s 1 in the afternoon, and we randomly picked a restaurant along the road for lunch.
When placing orders, the waitress recommended a kind of “Thai Salad” as their special. Since we stuffed our bellies with night bazaar in Pai, I chose “pork + Thai Salad” hoping to reacquaint myself with the taste of meat. It turned out, that Thai Salad really burned.
Much to our luck, the same restaurant offered chicken rings that were much more visitor-friendly.
After lunch we were off to Baan Dam. Both Baan Dam and Wat Rong Khun are along Super Highway, yet on two different directions from Chiang Rai City.
It’s no surprise that at Baan Dam, the terrace’s filled with Chinese tour groups and local minivan groups. My mom and I seemed to be the only ones that came by motorcycle.
With clouds blocking the sun, it was quite cold that day, but I only brought shorts thinking Thai climate would only be between warm and hot. And then there’s the Baan Dam depicting death, plus it’s nearing dusk, it felt quite gruesome.
It seemed that Baan Dam mirrored the management model of Wat Rong Khun, which opened its main Ubosot for visit and walled off other buildings. But unlike Wat Rong Khun, there’re also exhibits in the perimeter buildings of Baan Dam.
When we left Baan Dam, we needed to cross the Super Highway. My mom and I were unskilled
and unlicensed, the traffic never seemed to stop and we were never able to cross the road, that is, until two locals happened to cross the road.
Then we rode back to Chiang Rai. There’s too much wind that for once I thought the cell phones in my pocket were blown off.
Having returned our bikes to the hotel, I learned from the lunch and insisted eating something non-Thai. We arrived at a pizza shop, and since any pork I had for lunch was completely overwhelmed by that strange Thai salad sauce, so I still “hadn’t eaten meat for days” and ordered a pizza with only meat (round 440THB). After dinner, my mom insisted that our next meal should be vegetarian.
Then we took a taxi to Chiang Rai airport, end of day in Chiang Rai.