We decided that we wanted to see the white temple badly enough to make an entire day trip out to Chiang Rai and beyond. It took approximately 3 hours in a van from Chiang Mai, but we managed to find a tour that included the temple, lunch, the golden triangle, and Laos (because when you are that close why not?).
To start our journey we took a pit stop half way there to take a picture with a geyser. David is sporting his “Matt’s shirt” which was left in his possession by, you guessed it, Matt. Now it is his goal to make Matt’s shirt more well traveled than Matt.
This temple is privately owned by an artist who has the ability to change it at will. He has funded the whole project and continues to update and changes pieces of it as he sees fit. It is really quite an incredible structure, with one of the more interesting pieces being the inside (where no photos are allowed). Inside are paintings of Buddha and lots of little pop culture reference that you are not supposed to notice. To notice them means you are not paying attention to the right things. I still enjoyed the comic book and fast food references interspersed throughout the painting. There was also an art gallery we got to walk through, and to be honest, this man may have just become one of my favorite painters of all time. I enjoy the array of colors and different mediums used. The woodblock carvings and prints were incredible.
The amount of detail that has gone into this temple is one of the most astonishing parts. All those little sparkly pieces are square mirror sections carefully worked in around the outlines.
After our adventure at the white temple we got lunch at a local restaurant which was pretty good and then set off for the second half of our tour: the golden triangle. This is where you can see Thailand, Myanmar (or Burma as the Thai people still refer to it), and Laos.
The white temple visit was totally worth the drive, the rest of the tour was a good way to fill the day, but did not leave us wanting more. We needed to get back to our hotel and get to bed so we could get up early the next morning to go meet some elephants!