These elephants are the products of local Chiang Rai artists. The management from Le Meridien hotel Chiang Rai saw the elephants at an art exhibition and purchased them for the hotel. I was informed by the reception staff.
In Chiang Rai, we decided to visit the White Temple to see what damage had been done to the beautiful architecture.
On May 5 of this year, a 6.3-magnitude earthquake struck Mae Lao, located 17 miles southwest of Chiang Rai. Wat Rong Khun sustained significant damage, and a devastatd Kositpipat initially declared that the temple would have to be demolished. Subsequent evaluations, however, have found that the cracked pillars, damaged murals, and broken spire can be repaired. The restoration process is expected to take about two years.
The temple is open to public and although the building shows the signs of the earthquake, still a place to visit.
Post from my visit to the temple:
Thailand is in the mists of their New Year called Songkarn. Which runs in many provenience’s from 13 to 15 April. The traditional water pouring is meant as a symbol of washing away all of their sins and the bad and is sometimes filled with fragrant herbs when celebrated in the traditional manner.
However, for many it is a chance to party and enjoy themselves and why not, by throwing as much water over each other. Many prepare themselves armed with water guns, ready to do battle to soak the nearest person. These include young monks.
Well, made it to Chiang Rai. Not a bad run from Sukhothai, just over 5 hours traveling time and arrived at the hotel. We splashed out a little and settled into the Le Meridien, right on the River Mae Kok.
The hotel are full of Elephants. Yes elephants and here they are:
More later and info on the artists.
The hotel upgraded us to Grand Deluxe room, a very big room with a view of the river. Move into the room and went straight to the pool for a refreshing swim.
History of Chiang Rai:
The city was founded by King Mangrai in 1262 and became the capital of the Mangrai Dynasty. Subsequently, Chiang Rai was conquered by Burma and remained under Burmese rule for several hundred years. It was not until 1786 that Chiang Rai became a Chiang Mai vassal. Siam (Thailand) annexed Chiang Mai in 1899, and Chiang Rai was proclaimed a province of Thailand in 1933.
We have been to Chiang Rai 3 times now and still find the charm of the city captivating.
What to see and do: There will be follow up posts of all the attractions we covered on this trip.
However, just one item that must be viewed is the Clock Tower.
Picture’s are of a night view I took just below the light show.
If you can time your visit for 7, 8 or 9pm you’ll also be treated to a light and sound show as the clock chimes the hour. The laser lights with musical accompaniment make for a surreal night-time scene as pick-up trucks, tuk-tuks and motorbikes continue to buzz around the golden clocktower. Designed by Thai artist Chalermchai Khositpipat and unveiled in 2008 in honour of His Majesty the King, Chiang Rai’s elaborate golden clocktower (Hoh Nalika Chalerm Prakiat) is a work of art and tourist attraction in its own right.
Day 3 was a busy day, taking in the nearby attractions ( info in the next post)and a visit to Thailand’s history past. Around 40km from our hotel we took a trip to visit the Si Satchanalai Historical Park. and well worth the visit. The park is situated in the Sukhothai province. Not only the beauty of the ruins, but the overlook of the park.
Mainly of the place of worship structures in this Historical Park were raised for the period of the Kingdom of Sukhothai era (1235-1438). The prehistoric town, once called Muang Chaliang, was named Si Satchanalai during the reign of Phra Ruang when a new governmental core was established to reinstate Chaliang. When Pho Khun Ramkhamhaeng (The third king of Sukhothai era) has come to succeed to the throne as king of Sukhothai , he reconstruct and development in all aspects Satchanalai city. There are many kings in Sukhothai era. Even when Sukhothai fall under the authority of Ayutthaya during the early royalty of the Phra Ruang dynasty would be honored to governance in the old city Satchanalai. Si Satchanalai Historical Park has been honored as a World Heritage (World Heritage).
If in Sukhothai pay this park a visit.
Well made it to Sukhothai, after a long journey on the road. My mistake taking the long way round to Bangkok, then up to Sukhothai. Ok, never mind it is our holiday, so time really doesn’t matter.
Staying the Sukhothai Heritage Resort. What a place, like the title, you step back into old Thailand. Must be one of the best resorts are I have stayed in.
Stay tuned for the next leg.
Well, that’s it for 2 weeks. Songkarn holidays are here. Just finished for the term, so, on to the road trip. Where? Who knows. Looks like the northern route of Thailand. In the past we have taken to the road, packed the car and off we go. No booking hotels, just turn up and check in where we fancy.
For those who are not sure what Songkarn is about. Here is a little information for you:
The Songkran festival (Thai: สงกรานต์, pronounced [sǒŋ.krāːn], listen; from the Sanskrit word saṃkrānti, or literally “astrological passage”) is celebrated in Thailand as the traditional New Year’s Day from 13 to 15 April.
The traditional water pouring is meant as a symbol of washing away all of their sins and the bad and is sometimes filled with fragrant herbs when celebrated in the traditional manner. Although the main attraction for many is a free for all is to get completely soaked with water.
This last term has been very hard with sports tournament and students preparing for the final exam’s in May, June. So stay tuned for reports, pictures and facts of destinations of Thailand.
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