Chiang Rai

After a quick stop off in Chiang Mai on the way back from Mae Hong Son, we were heading to Chiang Rai, this would be our final destination in Thailand before we crossed the border into Laos. Getting there was easy enough, we jumped on a Green Line bus and as the price increment between ticket class was small we booked VIP class: TV and games consoles in the seat, full leg rests, snacks and large comfy seats – even Andy was happy!

Upon arriving in Chiang Rai I took charge and led us the 15 min walk to our hostel. In true Claire Maps fashion, it turned out to be only 2 mins away. But its not all about the destination….

We picked a great hostel for our two-night stay. The top floor where we stayed was a fake indoor campsite with tents. I thought I had seen it all!

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Our room in Chiang Rai

In Chiang Rai there are two well-known main attractions, the White Temple and the Black House. We also discovered the newly-built Blue Temple.
We jumped on some bikes and headed out. The weather was not on our side but first stop was the White Temple.

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The White Temple

This is one of my favourite temples visited to date. We spent ages just looking at the many different characters around the temple.

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One of the faces at the White Temple

I even found myself a new suitor.

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My New Man

It also had the most ornate toilet block I have ever had the joy of using.

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Posh Loo

It was time to leave the White Temple. We scooted down to the Blue Temple, still very much in construction. It was a bright and quirky spot and when its popularity picks up in a few years-time it will be a main attraction.

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Blue Temple

Our final stop was the Black House. I didn’t know what to expect but it definitely wasn’t what I got.

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The Black House (Baan Dam)

Hands down the most disturbing place I have ever been. The house is the work of Thawan Duchanee, a famed Thai artist who clearly has some issues and insecurities. Words can’t explain this place so I will let the pictures do the talking. If you are into penis’s and dead animals then this is the place for you.

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Interesting Work of Art
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Creepy Table Layout
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In case there was any confusion

That evening we went for dinner in the night bazaar. Chiang Rai takes the place as my favourite night market so far. It has a different offering to the standard mass-produced elephant trouser tat. The ‘beer garden’ was a great experience, effectively a massive street feast experience with beer and entertainment. We ordered a hot pot which was delicious, fun and for only 100 bhat (£2.50), a bargain.

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Dinner

After dinner, we went to watch the famous clock tower show which I think summed up the place nicely.

Turns out we enjoyed Chiang Rai a lot more than we had expected. What a great way to end a brilliant time in Northern Thailand. Onwards to Laos.

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