A three hours bus ride brought us from Chang Mai to Chang Rai. Thanks to the low season we had the whole Airbnb apartment complex (with about 15 rooms) for ourselves.
After an extensive afternoon nap, we finished the first day with some yummy ribs and beers.
White Temple and Playful Cats
Chang Rai is known for its unusual and colourful temples and we started our tour with the White Temple. This young temple was only built in 1997 by a local artist who thinks that the temple will be only completed by 2070 (speaking of long term planning).
After returning to the city we visited a cat cafe for some drinks among our furry friends.
Dinner was at the night market and included a mini concert and local dancing groups. Unfortunately the experienced was cut short by a heavy downpour (the kind you only find in Asia).
More Temples in all Colours
The last day in Chang Mai was devoted to a visit of the blue temple which impressed us with its vivid colour and intricate details. It definitely had a certain glow to it.
Next stop was Wat Huay Plakang a bit outside of the city. Here a gigantic statue of the Goddess of Mercy is overseeing the nearby fields. We even took an elevator ride up to the head of the statue from where we enjoyed a great view.
Afterwards and without the help of an elevator, we climbed the adjacent 9 story pagoda.
The last attraction of the complex was another, more traditional white temple. Once again we were amazed by the level of detail and workmanship.
Back in town a visit to Wat Phra Sing and another stop at the cat cafe rounded off our afternoon.
A 109 THB (about 3 USD) Thai BBQ (Mookata) was our dinner of choice before packing our backs once more. Next stop Laos.
Although perhaps not having the same charm as Chang Rai its laid back atmosphere and colourful temples made our visit worthwhile to Chang Rai more than worthwhile.
Sleep, Eat, Drink, Repeat – Our Recommendations
Chang Rai is easy to reach by local bus out from Chang Mai. Just take a Grab to the local bus station in Chang Mai and buy the ticket.
We rented a room through Airbnb – nice location and the washing machines were a plus.
The White Temple can be easily visited by public bus (20 THB) departing from the downtown bus station (aka station 1). It leaves every 30 min or so. On the way back just wait on the main road and the same bus or a small shared pick up will pick you up for the same price. The other temples we visited by Grab which is super easy. There are also tuk-tuks at the bus station.
If you need a break from Thai Food try Ribs@Co. The night markets on Saturday and Sunday offer a lot of good local food. For some cat love we recommend Cat ‘n’ Cup next to the bus station.