From Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai and back
The Black House
Your guide and driver will meet you at the hotel at 0700 for your full-day tour from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai and back. We will cover about 400 km today, so prepare for a lot of driving. We leave Chiang Mai and go to the Mae Kachan Hot Springs, where we will stop briefly. Then we continue to Chiang Rai, where we will take the bypass road to our first destination: the Black House, aka “Ban Dam.” It is the proud work of Thawan Duchanee (1939-2014), a contemporary painter, architect, and sculptor who achieved international renown during his lifetime. His work represents the darkness in humanity. The Black House is a fascinating, unique, open-air museum of buildings and exhibits.
Wat Huay Pla Kang, the Temple of Mercy
After this, we will continue to Wat Huay Pla Kang, a remarkable, Chinese-style temple with a giant statue of Kuan Im, the goddess of Mercy. This temple complex is unlike any other in North Thailand. The temple functions as a center of social welfare and raises donations that the temple uses to care for more than 500 orphans. Apart from that, donations have paid for the construction of a hospital on the temple compound that offers free medical treatment to local people. After this temple, it is time for a delicious Thai lunch.
The Blue and White Temples
Next is Wat Rong Suea Ten, aka the Blue Temple. This is also a Buddhist temple that was developed in this century. Thawan Duchanee, the Thai national artist who created the Black House, designed the dragon statues in front of the assembly hall. After the Blue Temple, we will visit Wat Rong Khun, the White Temple. Another Thai national artist, Chalermchai Kositpipat, founded the White Temple in 1997. Since then, it has become Chiang Rai province’s most popular tourist attraction. Over time they added more buildings to the White Temple. There are now large parking areas, many shops, and restaurants around Wat Rong Khun. It is a dazzling, exceptional place where we will spend at least an hour.
Besides the main building, there is much more to see at Wat Rong Khun. Several museums exhibit the works of Chalerm, an incredibly multi-talented individual.
Then it is time to drive back to Chiang Mai, where we will drop you off at the hotel at around 1800. We hope you enjoyed our trip “From Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai and back.”
End of the program