The White Temple, Wat Rong Khun, was designed by famous Thai visual artist Chalermchai Kositpipat. The beautiful white temple and its many statues of figures are based on Thai Buddist beliefs. It was started in 1989 and took almost 10 years to complete although many new building and statues are constantly being added.
We then travel to Wat Huay Pla Kung a beautiful Chinese style Buddhist Temple. This temple is famous for it's 9 tiered Pagoda plus a Giant Statue of the Goddess of Mercy Kwan Yin. In the past ten years, the Kwan Yin cult has become more popular among Thai people. Most Thai people worship Kwan Yin because they expect good luck or fortune. Perhaps they believe that Kwan Yin can give them a lucky number for their next lottery.
The fascination with Kwan Yin also involves a strong belief in "karma." To attain one's wishes or expectations, people must practice "good karma." Believers pray (phawana) using Kwan Yin chants. Such practices constitute a form of meditation. This meditation involves cleansing the mind as well as the body. Kwan Yin believers abstain from beef and often work their way towards becoming vegetarians.
From here we travel to Chiang Rai city and vist Wat Phra Kaew one of the oldest and most revered Buddhist temples in Chiang Rai. The temple gains historical importance as the place where the Emerald Buddha was found. In 1434 the temple's octagonal Chedi (Pagoda) was struck by lightening and it fell apart to reveal Phra Kaew Morakot, the Emerald Buddha, which was hidden inside it. Believing it to be made of emerald, the local population dubbed it the emerald Buddha, though it is actually composed of green jade.
In 1436 the Emerald Buddha was moved to Lampang until 1468 then moved again to Chiang mai in 1468 to 1553 then to Luang Prabang and Viantiane of Lao for 225 years from 1553 to 1778. In 1778, during King Taksin of the Thonburi period, when King Rama I of Bangkok captured Vientiane and brought the Emerald Buddha back to Thailand with the establishment of Bangkok as the capital, The image was moved from Thonburi to the Temple of the Emerald Buddha in Bangkok on 22 March 1784. The image has been regarded as the most sacred object in Thailand.
We then have lunch at a beautiful teakwood restaurant along a country side stream. This restaurant is famous for its pies, cakes and pastry.
After lunch we visit the famous Wat Saengkaeo which is a combination of the old Thai style and the modern Thai style. The temple buildings are a combination of Thai, Shan Burmese and cambodian style architectures. Many of the statues are renderings of modern style teachings of Buddha.
Statue of Kwan Yin with reclining lady mountain in the background
Wat Saengkaeo also has various statues of deities of Hinduism and other religions. If you are a photographer touring the huge grounds is a must. This is a real mind blowing way to end the tour.Return to Chiang Mai and your hotel.
End tour, this is a private tour.
TOUR INCLUDES: Transportation by private air conditioned van, driver, gas, English speaking guide who knows the area well, all entrance fees, lunch, bottled water.
Because we do only private tours and soft adventures we need to ask a few questions. Price depends on how many persons in your party.
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TOURING WITH US HELPS SUPPORT THESE ORGINIZATIONS AND ORPHAN CHILDREN
We supportd Polly as she walked across Thailand for Breast Cancer.
We support Friends of the Asian Elephant Hospital in Lampang Thailand.