We set ourselves up for a six hour journey to Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai - we couldn't understand how the journey was going to take so long as it looked so close on the map - so we got bus tickets for the Green bus which was a really lovely air con bus with a hostess that handed out food, water and wet wipes! We arrived in Chiang Rai after 3 hours - our stupid lonely planet again had the wrong info in it!!
Chiang Rai was a lot smaller than Mai - the bus station was in the town centre and we only had to walk around the corner to our guesthouse - Baan Bua which were nice little rooms around a garden. I don't think we felt that great when we arrived and had to have a little nap! In the evening we found a dim sum restaurant and were sucked in - it was gross and overpriced but we did get to watch Thailands version of the Voice with the staff! We decided to get some beer and sit out in the garden of our guesthouse and play some cards for the rest of the evening and we were having a pleasant time until a french guy staggered up to us and plonked himself down - he was completely off his face on something and started talking rubbish, he was also rambling on about how many prostitutes he had slept with from Thailand, Laos and Myanmar and boasted that some of them were only 15 - we were pretty shocked to find out he was an English teacher - he then started rolling a huge spliff - we made our excuses and went to bed with our beer!
The following day the weather was really grey and wet - it was such a relief though as it meant we weren't sweating! We caught the local bus up the road to Wat Rong Khun (the White temple) it was designed by a thai artist and symbolises buddhas purity and the journey to get to heaven, crossing the pit of hell. So the temple is decorated with lots of mirrors and is bright white, even the hell pit is all white - there were lots of hands reaching up and demonic looking faces, unfortunately we were not allowed in the main part of the temple as too many foreigners have mucked around inside so they have banned all foreigners from entering! There is also a black temple in Chiang Rai but we ran out of time to see it. We got soaked as we got a pick up back into town, Kam had to hang out the back of it as there was no room inside! In the evening we looked round the night market and had our cheapest meal yet - two noodle soups from a street vendor for a pound, we also had a yummy crepe sprinkled in sugar and condensed milk from another vendor for under a pound. In the middle of Chiang Rai there is a very garish golden clock and as we were standing there at 8pm it started playing a little tune and turning different colours - it was really cute!
We really enjoyed Chiang Rai, next stop LAOS!