28.01.2015 - 28.01.2015 30 °C
Today we drove ~200 km north and east of Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai, stopping at a hot spring on the way, to see the White Temple, a modern artistic, devotional and touristic development, and the Black Village, a reconstruction of ancient buildings and relics in a community setting.
The sulphurous hot springs have been channelled into pools for people to soak their feet and others used to boil chicken and quail eggs for sale.
Wat Rong Khun is a white temple and complex envisioned and funded by the famous Thai artist, Ajarn Chalermchai Kositpipat. His art is in the traditional Buddhist style, but his paintings inside the temple include modern political figures (George Bush, Osama bin Laden) to caution them to promote a peaceful world, and fantasy heroes (Superman, Captain Jack Sparrow and Harry Potter) to engage kids but make the point that we are all responsible for maintaining good morality in the world.
We enjoyed a delicious buffet lunch at the Rimkok Resort Hotel on the Maekok River in Chiang Rai before continuing on to the nearby Black Village.
The Black Village was created by another Thai artist, Thawan Duchanee, who reconstructed numerous buildings in ancient Thai architecture styles, and displayed artefacts collected from the several eras of Thai culture. The garden-like setting of the village includes many sculptures and beautiful flowers and other native plants.
It had been a long, hot day with 5-6 hours on the minibuses by the time we arrived back in Chiang Mai, with just enough time to recharge for our day of learning traditional Thai massage tomorrow!