We left Chiang Mai early in the morning. This was going to be a big bus day. The purpose of today was basically to go north enough so that we could cross into Loas tomorrow. But that did not mean that we did not do anything.
For example, we went to Cabbages and Condoms, a public health outreach centre which wants to make sexual health as common as buying cabbages at the market.
Or we went to visit Wat Rong Khyn, also known as the white temple. It is a contemporary unconventional Buddhist temple outside of Chaing Mai. It was designed by artist Chalermchai Kositpipat in 1997 and is an ongoing process to build it.
Superman flies through the paintings on a temple wall. A towering demon rises above you wielding a sword. Hands reach out from the depths below you on a bridge to a heavenly temple. Shrunken heads sprouting Spanish moss hang from tree branches. Thai angels and mystical creatures cavort through the temple grounds and on the masterpiece sanctuary at the temple’s heart. The temple tries to show how Hollywoods heroes can inspire but they will not save you without inner peace.
Update: On May 6th, 2014 there was an earthquake here – so check to make sure it is still open to the public.
There was also a wishing well, so make sure to make a wish for lots of good fortunes! (Look how many Baht are in there)
After the White Temple, we arrived in Chiang Rai. There is probably 5 restaurants in Chiang Rai and a night market. That is about it. The highlight is the golden round-about. (See photo on the side.) Our afternoon trip was too the hilltop villages.
So I was not overly a fan of the hilltop villages. Sure you got to see the Thai grass houses, and see women weaving, and see the tribe with rings around their neck. But it was weird to see them “preforming” for us. And to see them forced to maintain their culture and have guests go throughout their houses. Also weird that the only bit of technology in their grass hut was a big screen TV.
After that we went to the market to buy a shit shirt – for the shit shirt party. OMG. It was ridiculous. The market was selling BBQ’d insects. Also there were lady boy shows. I got a happy face shirt for 70 baht. At the Shit Shirt party everyone dance on the streets, the cops came to make sure we stayed in the bar, but everyone stayed up late and got into all kinds of trouble.