Golden clock tower at night Chiang Rai Thailand

Thailand 2010: Heading to Chiang Rai by bus, Wat Jedyod and Golden Clock Tower

Date:  23rd November 2010

After 4 splendid days in Chiang Mai (amid some disappointments), today I left the city to go further up north. I went to the main bus station and only managed to get a ticket for 12 noon as all others were sold out. (Don’t remember exactly how much I paid for the ticket, but it was around ฿100)

Golden dragon bus Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai
After the instructional video on bus safety, they played ‘Predators’ (in Thai)

Leaving Chiang Mai for Chiang Rai highway

Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai road north Thailand
I got a seat right in front

Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai highway road sightsHighway to Chiang Rai from Chiang Mai

Bus ride from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai
Chiang Rai city is around 200kms from Chiang Mai
Highway to Chiang Rai north Thailand landscape
The journey is quite scenic

Highway to Chiang Rai ThailandEn route to Chiang Rai buddha statueHighway to Chiang Rai Thai templeThai temple wat Chiang Rai highwayEn route Chiang Rai highway north Thailand landscapeEn route to Chiang Rai passing townChiang Mai to Chiang Rai highway ThailandHighway leading to Chiang RaiFarm field outside Chiang Rai city

Welcome to Chiang Rai board highway sign
After nearly 2 1/2hours, I arrived in Chiang Rai

The bus first stopped at what looked like a new bus station. I didn’t get down here because a lot of the Thais stayed in their seats. So I assumed this was not the final stop. Unfortunately some western tourists did get down and started hailing for taxis towards their hotels.

For which there was no need for, because the very same bus started again and drove straight into the city in 5 minutes time. This bus station was according my prior research, very close to the night market.

I hired a tuk-tuk and checked into my hotel.

Hotel Raungnakorn road Chiang Rai
Raungnakorn Hotel is located on the road of the same name

The room cost ฿350 for the night and I was only going to be staying one night. My flight from Chiang Rai to Bangkok was the next day evening. I know one day isn’t much in Chiang Rai, but this was my first time here and as always with first visits, this would be more a surveillance visit than any other.

Wat Phra kaew temple Chiang Rai Thailand
It was near this temple
Evening market Chiang Rai clock tower
The hotel is close to the fresh market

Chiang Rai fresh market vendorsChiang Rai market Thailand

Road leading Chiang Rai Golden clock tower
Spotted it already haven’t you?
Golden clock tower junction Chiang Rai
Chiang Rai’s Golden Clock Tower
Golden clock tower roundabout Chiang Rai
Designed by a renowned Thai architect named Ajarn Chalermchai Khositphiphat
Chiang Rai golden clock tower
It was built in 2008 in honour of the King (as is usually the case in Thailand)

Chiang Rai Golden clock tower road golden divider

Chiang Rai bar restaurant Jedyod street
Jedyod road, you find a lot of restaurants here

Chiang Rai alley near wat jetyodChiang Rai house local Thai

Wat Jedyod temple Chiang Rai Thailand
I decided to check out this temple
Black cat in front of Buddha statue
Oh the irony of seeing a black cat at a place where people come to pray for good luck
Wat Jedyod golden buddha statue Chiang Rai Thailand
The temple is named Wat Jedyod
Gautum buddha staring eyes Wat Jedyod statue
The eyes…
Wat Jedyod Indian god paintings Chiang Rai
The hall had paintings depicting Hindu gods and some connection with India mythology
Indian gods Thai ancient wall paintings Wat Jedyod
I was very curious to know the connection, but unfortunately there weren’t any descriptions in English or a local guide in sight

Wat Jedyod Indian wall painting Wat Jedyod golden buddha statue man praying Chiang RaiWat Jedyod door painting Chiang Rai temple ThailandWat Jedyod inside black cat

Wat Jedyod temple hall Chiang Rai Thailand
I left the temple

I dropped by a few travel agents and tour operators along the way and asked them about day trips to the Golden Triangle. But because it was already late in the evening, nobody could assure me a spot as they needed few more tourists to fill up a group as tomorrow’s first group were already full.

A British guy who was behind, overheard me and told me he was in the same situation as I. So we chatted for a bit and exchanged numbers in case either of us managed to get into a group tour that was going tomorrow morning.

Korea house Chiang Rai restaurant

Sanpanard road Chiang Rai Thailand
I like their sign posts

Road to Wat Jedyod Chiang Rai Thailand

Chiang Rai night bazaar entrance
A few steps from there and I was at the entrance of Chiang Rai’s Night Bazaar
Chiang Rai night market shops
But since it wasn’t night time yet, nothing was open

Chiang Rai night market food court golden chairs

Chiang Rai night market food court evening
I would be coming back here for dinner
Phaholyotin road shops Chiang Rai Thailand
I decided to go the main bus station to find out when the first bus to Mae Sai would be
Chiang Rai bus stand Thailand
I was told that there are buses every 30 minutes starting 6am
Phaholyotin road Wangcome hotel Chiang Rai Thailand
I headed back as I still wasn’t feeling too well, and it gets pretty chilly in Chiang Rai at night

Sukgatis road golden lamp posts Chiang RaiI rested for some time after applying some Vicks. I just didn’t want to fall sick. It’s the worst thing that can happen on one’s vacation. Well, one of the worst things.

I got up at around 8pm and craved to have some hot Thai soup for dinner.

Chiang Rai evening market fresh vegetables
I walked to the night bazaar
Golden clock tower at night Chiang Rai Thailand
The Golden clock tower really shines at night
Sukgatis road night golden lamp posts clock tower Chiang Rai
It also changes colour
Chiang Rai night bazaar street vendors
You have the usual wares being sold at the Night bazaar, no different from any other night market in Thailand
Chiang Rai night bazaar street stalls musician
But you do see locals and a few students trying to make some dime with their talents
Chiang Rai night bazaar food court
Quite a change of scene from earlier
Chiang Rai fried insects Thailand
This place sells you french fries…and fried insects. How nice of them!
Chiang Rai night bazaar seafood bbq
Despite being very far the sea, you still get good enough seafood in Chiang Rai
Chiang Rai night bazaar stage music
Poor guitarist on stage was hardly getting any applause from the diners
Chiang Rai night bazaar dining crowd
I scanned the vendors for appetizing soup to warm my body up
Spicy Thai seafood soup Chiang Rai night bazaar
I ended up picking up this big bowl of tangy seafood soup loaded with veggies (cost ฿100)
Chiang Rai night market live stage entertainment
They had cultural dances later

Post dinner, I scanned the shops a bit. Unlike last year, when I bought 10 t-shirts from Thailand, I figured I wouldn’t need to buy much this time.

Alas, I ended buying two from a small vendor at the night bazaar after bargaining it down to ฿300 for both. Oh well, we’ll see how many t-shirts I end up buying this year.

Chiang Rai night restaurants tourists
This was right in front of the vendor I bought the t-shirts from

As I needed more rest for an early start tomorrow, I headed back. Plus, there was little else to do in Chiang Rai. There is barely any nightlife in Chiang Rai. It’s a lot quieter (and smaller) than Chiang Mai.

Chiang Rai golden clock tower at night
I took one last look at the Golden clock tower

As I was clicking this photo, I bumped into the same British guy I had met earlier at the travel office. He told me he met up with a group of people who were planning on going on a trek (Chiang Rai is famous for trekking and cycling) and asked me if I wanted to join them. I told him I was unfortunately not in the best of health and that I had to be back in  town early enough for my evening flight to Bangkok.

We wished each other well and parted ways.

I reached my room, freshened up, dabbed some more Vicks and snuggled up for a good night’s sleep.


Next posts in this series:

Thailand 2010: Golden Triangle in Mae Sai; Chiang Rai’s White Temple (Wat Rong Khun)

Thailand 2010: Pattaya — Beach road, Viewpoint, Jomtien Beach, Walking Street

Thailand 2010: Back to Bangkok — Chinatown, Patpong, Platinum Mall and Chatuchak Market

Thailand 2010: Gurdwara Siri Guru Singh Sabha, Sampeng Market, JJ market (again)

Thailand 2010: Damnoen Saduak Floating Market tour, Cobra show… and leaving Bangkok

Previous posts in this series:

Thailand 2010: Chiang Mai Zoo (Day 4, Part 1)

Thailand 2010: Chiang Mai Loi Krathong celebrations; first Grand Parade

Thailand 2010: Chiang Mai cooking class; Loi Krathong celebrations in Mae Jo, Sansai

Thailand 2010: First day in Chiang Mai for Loi Krathong; driving up Doi Suthep

Thailand 2010: Arriving in Bangkok and preparing for Loi Krathong in Chiang Mai

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