Chiang Rai, Northern Thailand

Ah to be back in the land of SevenElevens, pretty clothes, and sumptuous food again. I hopped (well, slow-boated for 30 secs) back over the border, then a skipped onto a 2h bus to Northern Chiang Rai. It’s nice enough, although I kind of thought there was more to it, but maybe i’m confusing it with Pai? Anyway, what is definitely here, and totally worthwhile, is the hideously beautiful monstrosity that is What Rong Khun (The White Temple).

It’s like they built their normal gold ornate Buddhist temple, and then sugar-coated it in a fluffy cloud. It’s Narnia meets a fairytale ice house, meets the inner working of Salvador Dali’s and Hannibal Lector’s minds.

Only ONE of these is a lie:

a)      Outside in the gardens which lead to the bridge, hang a number of sculpted decapitated heads, twisted with serpents where the brains should be.

b)      As you cross the bridge you pass over a pit of sculpted dismembered hands, like ‘thing’ off the Adams Family or Carrie when she reaches up from the grave in the 1980’s horror movie.

c)       Inside on the walls is a painted mural. Think Sistine Chapel. One half depicts your normal gods and religious imagery. The other has pained characters of in a burning red hell scene. These inluded Neo from the Matrix, Harry Potter, Jack Sparrow, Spider/Super/Batman, Michael Jackson, the Twin Towers in inferno, and a whole host of other crazed 21st century refences.

d)      In the center of the room is a praying figure of Buddhist monk.

Answer? D) It is in fact a plastic dummy of a monk. Im not sure whether the whole thing was a Thai temple or Madam Toussords gone utterly mad. I’ll never look at a temple the same way again.

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An.an.tas.in : The Anantasin is the name of a shipwreck just of the coast of the Sensi Parasise, Mae Haad Bay, Koh Tao, Thailand. It’s one of my many favorite places.

Lit.tle: Just because it’s cute.

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