I'm skipping ahead, these photos are from today & I haven't yet uploaded my photos from earlier this week in Chiang Mai. But today's adventure trumps everything so far. I went to Wat Rong Kuhn, a must see for anyone interested in visionary art environments, strange shit & outright over the top places. Logan mentioned I should check this place out, which sometimes in a place where you don't speak the language can be easier said than done. I couldn't figure out a way to get there and ended up having to sign up for a full day package tour that a visit to the temple was included in.
From our friend Wikipedia I learned that the construction of Wat Rong Kuhn started in 1997. Designed by contemporary Thai artist Chalermchai Kositpipat his non-traditional Buddhist temple represents heaven & hell- with amazing flare. Hollywood references are all over, such as images of the Predator, Spiderman, Batman, Keanu Reeves from the Matrix- my personal favorite is the twin towers exploding with human headed serpants coming out of the smoke. I snuck photos of the inside of the temple out of excitement of getting to show people the INSANE mural right away (I bought postcards too- so I'm not a total jerk), but your not supposed to.
The first stop on my tour, Chiang Rai hot springs. I got to soak my feet in hot stinky sulfur water which was actually awesome. The temple, Wat Rong Kuhn, was the second stop. It was so much cooler than I had hoped for, that never happens....the tour deteriorated after that, including sad border villages in Lao, a visit to a "hill tribe", bad food, all the things you expect. BUT my mission was accomplished and since I had nothing else planned for the day it was 100% worth it. In hind-site, I should of paid a driver for the day so I wouldn't have to be subjected to crappy tourist traps but, alas, the hostess at the hotel talked me out of that idea. SO if you find yourself staying in Chiang Mai and riding elephants, seeing tigers in cages and extreme "adventure" day trips aren't your thing- go to this spot. Renting a taxi would be the same cost
(around 1000 bhat) as going on some dumb day trip- save yourself the painfulness I endured to get these photos.
I hope you enjoy these as much as I do & I also just found myself wondering if Keanu Reeves has even been here. To be immortalized inside a temple is pretty serious business.
Full photo set of Wat Rong Kuhn here + additional Chiang Mai photos (including the amazing Hmong wholesale fabric market I stumbled into) will be up as soon as possible. Tomorrow I fly back to Bangkok for 2 days before having some island time. Over & out from Thailand.