The works of human hands can be practical, mundane and painfully devoid of poetry. They can also impress, induce rapid mydriasis and opening the mouth. Among the terrestrial thing that could delight the representatives of races living somewhere in the universe, would surely be the most famous compositions of classical music. Perhaps it could also include the paintings by maestro da Vinci - who knows, maybe "they" could solve the mystery of Mona Lisa's smile?
Something that also deserves immortality is the architecture of different eras, starting from the lofty Gothic, ending with a delicious Baroque. Great, magnificent temples designed in various styles delighted in the past, and delight today. The list of monuments worth of preservation in memory of the people (and aliens) is very long, and certainly includes the stunning Wat Rong Khun, Thai marvel of religious architecture. It is located 860 km north of Bangkok and 62 km south of the border with Burma.
Wat Rong Khun – The White Temple
Wat Rong Khun (White Temple) is located in the northern part of the country, just a few kilometers from the center of the famous Chiang Rai. It’s not as famous as the palace complex which is a flagship of Bangkok, but impresses everyone – what’s important, it delights in a different way than the typical Thai temples, splendid, full of decoration and gilding. For this reason, it’s considered to be the most amazing temple of Thailand.
It’s hard not to notice it. Dazzling white gives the impression of flooding the building and all figures that are around it. It covers absolutely everything – just as if the life full of colors congealed under it, you only need to remove the paint to liberate them. Wat Rong Khun is a child and the life masterpiece of the architect, who is also the founder of the temple. Chalermchai Kositpipat devoted many years to give the building its present shape and what’s very important – it haven’t been completed yet. Since 1997, the artist is still putting the finishing touches, often acting as the guardian and instructing tourists who behave too loud. It’s a place of prayers and contemplation, far from a place where you can walk around with your camera.
Sharp façade and decorative figures (including the tails of dragon princesses, which can be seen in the gardens surrounding the temple) give both statues and building the impression of fragility and, paradoxically, sharpness. It's really hard to describe and to reflect the nature of Kositpipat work. Before entering the temple we encounter very suggestively presented human aspiration for enlightenment - through a long and suffering way. Keep in mind that it’s prohibited to photograph the interior of the building.
White, gold and red
If you desire colors, right at the temple, on the left, you will find a beautiful building, richly decorated and saturated with colors. It catches the eyes of all visitors with glittering gold, and leads many people to cry. Not everyone can keep a straight face when he realizes that this delicious, full of decorations building is a toilet.
At the entrance to the temple there are some amusing, moderately comely figures in an intense red color. Seeing this every fan of drugs should rethink his behavior - dangerous look plus a pack of cigarettes hold in their hands show that the road to enlightenment is difficult and full of temptations. The image is completed by a bottle of whiskey which symbolizes clear sting of remorse.
Things to do in Chiang Rai
Chiang Rai attracts tourists mainly with White Temple, but it’s not the only local attraction. At night, visitors can enjoy the Night Bazaar, located in the center - Chiangrai. It’s a place of free spectacles and a real paradise for those, who want to purchase original souvenirs and local products. There’re over forty restaurants in the area, so everyone will find appropriate cuisine and dish which will delight his taste buds.
During the day you can relax among the greenery of Saun Mai Ngam Park - a park, which is full of beautiful flowers and trees. Some of them have over 100 years. Every year there’s a Chiang Rai Flower Festival, very loud and colorful party. On the other hand, those who would like to visit local animals, can visit a place that is located 25 km south of the city. There’s Doi Tung Zoo, which can boast of a large section devoted to the birds, including flightless.
The big city attraction, which cannot be overlooked is the Wat Phra Kaew, in the past known as the Temple in the Bamboo Grove (Wat Pa Yeah). From the 60's it houses Phra Jao Lan Thong - the famous Buddha statue made of bronze. It’s considered one of the oldest and largest figure of the prophet in Thailand.
Chiang Rai along with its monuments is the real pearl of tourism. IT’s worth to come here and see the stunning White Temple and other attractions. No one will forget this trip.