The white temple

One of the main attractions of Chiang Rai is Wat Rong Khun, aka the white temple. It is very recent, built in 1997 and work is still ongoing, and is very unconventional and unique. It looks like Gaudi and HR Giger got together to design the Snow Queen's palace. It is completely overrun with tourists so it is impossible to get a decent shot of it at the time we arrived.

It is a few kilometres out of town but well worth the visit. The murals inside are pretty mad (the temple designer is actually a painter) with depictions of, instead of the usual scenes from Buddha's life, Keanu Reeves in the Matrix, Freddy Kruger, Michael Jackson and Angry Birds (much to the delight of Lucas); a fresh look at the samsara (the realm of rebirth and delusion).

The main square in central Chiang Rai is amazing. A huge flower garden with all sorts of orchids, lilacs and... well there ends my flower knowledge. We visited it at nighttime where it was beautifully illuminated and the water sprays gave it an eerie misty magical feel.

Lesson learnt today: when visiting something out of town make sure you have booked transport to get back.

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