Monday, February 13, 2012

Wat Rong Khun วัดร่องขุ่น, Khun Kon Waterfall

February 13th, 2008

The bus ride from Bangkok to Chiang Rai is about 16 hours, and I've learned from previous trips to pack warm clothes for the long drive. They blast the air conditioner nonstop the whole way and you spend the whole time freezing. The first trip, I plugged our vent with toilet paper but then everyone else on the bus copied me and soon the fans were blowing like crazy until the plug didn't make much of a difference.

Our plan was to go back to visit a Karen hill tribe where we'd met a little girl May had fallen in love with and see her again. It was too late to make the journey to the village when we arrived in Chiang Rai, so May surprised me with a visit to Wat Rong Khun, a brand new temple still under construction.

It is unique from any other temple in Thailand in that it is completely white, adorned with white glass and interesting sculpture. Entering the temple from the front bridge, you cross over a disconcerting sea of hands reaching up desperately from the lower realm. The temple is covered with so much dizzying imagery that it's difficult to really see what you're looking at, but your eyes eventually come to rest on a peaceful white Buddha, sitting in meditation over the door.

Soon, the hot, sunny sky turned to showers and we ran for cover until it passed then had a nice lunch in the market then headed out to a small hiking spot to see the Khun Kon Waterfall just north of the temple.It was beautiful as we walked through the jungle like forest, bamboo groves, banana trees and beautiful flowers I'd never seen before.

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