14 February 2018 – Chiang Mai – Day 3 – Day trip to Chiang Rai – White Temple, Blue Temple, Black House

Remember yesterday’s spider bite? Well, today you could see the puncture marks and it had swollen up to the size of a grape. Doug doesn’t think it was a spider bite, but I’m sticking to my theory. Add to that another bite further up my arm which was also swelling nicely and a nice rash on my ankle. You could say I was quite a mess.

Today we had booked an all day trip to Chiang Rai. Pick up at the hotel was for between 7:00 and 7:30. The tour included the White Temple, lunch, the Blue Temple and the Black House. The trip to Chiang Rai is approximately 3 hours each direction through the rolling hills and mountains, but the stops break up the travel time in the van. Let me say, I’m surprised we are still alive after that trip. Our driver was insane and I think, he thought he was Ricky Rally and in some kind of derby. The roads to Chiang Rai are winding and steep in many places and he was passing everything in sight, on curves and hills. Nothing phased him. A couple of times the oncoming traffic actually had to stop so they wouldn’t crash into us. The country side was beautiful but I wasn’t able to get many good pictures as it flashed by. I did snap this one of the rice paddies, but it was one of the few that came out, still a little blurry.

It took us a while to get out of Chiang Mai as it was rush hour and the traffic here was insane. Backed up as far as you could see. Their traffic lights don’t change as frequently as ours do so you sit at them for quite a while.

We had a ‘washroom’ break part way to the first Temple. At many washrooms you have to pay to use them and they will, if you’re lucky, give you a small piece of toilet paper. We were aware of this so came prepared and stocked up on toilet paper that hikers use. It’s a full roll without the cardboard Center so takes up a lot less space. We brought plenty. (We hope!) It was by a hot springs and an old abandoned temple.

There was a myna bird here that spoke Thai. I was saying hello to it and it spoke to me. I was pretty sure it was Thai so a lady near by said something to it in Thai and it answered her. Pretty cool.

First up was the White Temple. This is a relatively new temple that was built around 1998. Hard just to pick a few pictures as the place was big and spectacular.

The bathrooms were all in gold as was the water fountain. Didn’t catch what the reason was for this. Tour guide needed a speaker system but didn’t have one.

A flush toilet. Yeah! With gold walls and floor.

More freaky shots from around the grounds

From here we headed off to enjoy the provided lunch. It was a Thai food buffet. Not a lot of choice, but I choose what I somewhat recognized, a pork meat which tasted like teriyaki pork and was actually quite good. Took me a while to dig out 3 small pieces of meat since most of it was fat and pig skin. Doug had some kind of curried chicken and seemed to enjoy it. No curry for this girl! We sat with another couple and the girl was from Spain. After chatting with the guy for a bit, Doug says “your English is really good”. I almost peed my pants laughing. While Doug had been getting his lunch, the guy and I had been chatting and he was from the UK, south of London. I hope his English is good. Doug was thinking that they were both from Spain.

It took us about 30 minutes to get to the Blue Temple from where the White Temple was. Another spectacular and new temple. This one had been built by the town just a few years ago.

From here we headed to BAANDAM, which means the Black House in Thai. This is a collection of 40 buildings and is now a museum for the internationally known artist, Thawan Duchsnee who was born in 1939. He has passed away somewhat recently and his son now runs it. Much strange ‘art’.

This is the artist, Thawan Duchanee

The guy seemed to have an obsession with a certain body part. They were on display everywhere

This was the sign for the washroom.

Would you like a souvenir keychain?

On the way back to Chiang Mai we had another washroom break and these signs were posted in the stalls that actually had toilets and not the squat kind.

Would anyone like some snacks? We passed on them.

Crispy shredded pork roll

Dried Golden Squid anyone?

Another quick shot I was able to capture of a temple on a hill as we flew by at bullet speed.

We were tired by the time we got back to our hotel so went and grabbed a bite to eat at the Golden Arches, McDonalds. This was our view from where we sat outside eating over looking the night market stalls.

The prices at Hard Rick are insane. A Corona goes for about $18 Cdn. Needless to say we did not go in.

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