Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Chiang Rai and the White Temple

The beginning of last month Tanner and I went to Chiang Rai.  A couple of the girls had family members here visiting.  We rented a van to drive us up to Chiang Rai then crop us off in Chiang Mai.  There was the Loi Krathong festival that weekend.  

We squished in the van (which provided some of the most uncomfortable hours of my life) at 3 am.  We drove for about 6 hours until we got to the white temple.  It's really intricate and amazing (and a little bit strange).

It was sprinkling most of the time we were there.  It got us a little wet, but it was actually nice because it was cool.  It poured REALLY hard for about 15 minutes, but we were able to find a little ramada and stayed dry.

Due to the festival festivities we weren't able to go up to the temple or cross the bridge in the front.  So we just enjoyed it from afar and saw a procession of sorts.

The bridge leading up to the temple has bones and skeletons reaching up from below.  It's supposed to represent crossing through hell.  Around the temple they also have figures and statues to portray the message that people are evil. This page is an interesting read.

We sat these metal charm things hanging everywhere.  We didn't know what they were, but we saw a few people writing on them and hanging them up.  There was a window where you could buy them for a dollar so we got one.  We didn't know what we were supposed to so we wrote wishes on one side and decorated the other side.  My wish was for "lots of babies and money" :).  After we were one we found out we were 'supposed' to write a wish for someone ELSE.  Oh well...

After we finished at the temple we got back in the van and headed to the long neck village tribes. Tanner and I had been to one village tribe previously and since we'd already been and it didn't feel as authentic as I would choose we decided to pass.  There ended up being a bit of a fee to get in and Tanner and I (and a lot of the rest of the group) decided it wasn't really worth it.  So most of us waited outside while a few people went in.  Kim, Tanner and I decided to hike around a little while we waited.  It was still sprinkling and the ground was really muddy, but it was fun.

I still can't get over how green and lush it is here!

We all 3 took a picture at the same time on three different phone.  This was mine.

There were some really fun flowers up on the mountain.

After that we headed to Chiang Mai for a couple days. There were LOTS of people there for the festival weekend. We went down by the river and sent off some lanterns one of the nights.  There were also people down there sending little boat lanterns into the river.  It was a lot of fun!  I really like those lanterns.  It was a different feel that the lantern festival we were at the week before, but I'm glad I got to experience it both ways.  We also tried a new mexican food restaurant: Miguel's.  It was not nearly as good as Salsa Kitchen.  We went to the night markets and ate a lot of food (one of the reasons we love Chiang Mai so much).  We went to church and headed home on Sunday.  It was a good weekend!  I just turned to my husband and said "It seems like all we ever to is go to Chiang Mai..."  His response, "That's because it has everything we love!"  I counted and I think I've been there 5 or six times!  Anyways, here are the pictures from the rest of the trip.

We also took the Thai cooking class again.  We loved it that much the first time!