Time to hit the road again and back in the heat again, 38°C. The trip to Chiang Rai took me about 3 hours and I have to go with 3 song-thaews before I finally arrived. I have been in Chiang Rai before, but it was 12 years ago. I must admit that Chiang Rai have changed very much. To begin with, I had some problem to get orientated. I only had one guesthouse on my list, the North Guesthouse, there I also checked-in. The North GH, I suppose are a rather new place. It is very small, but it gives a very fresh impression. In the evening I went to the Night bazaar, which has been very much improved, compare what’s the memory I have from it 12 years ago. The Night Bazaar reminds me of the Suan Lum in Bangkok, a large sitting area overlooking a stage with live entertainment and surrounded of many small food stalls, which serves good food.
During my second day in Chiang Rai, I made an extended city walking tour, by my own. It became a visit on some of the day markets and two or three temples. The most famous temple here in Chiang Rai, is the Wat Phra Kaew, there once after a lightning struck the chedi, the Emerald Buddha once was found. It was probably hidden there, because of enemy soldiers were coming. This is an old trick; small valuables were hidden and bigger Buddha images, sometimes made of gold were covered by plaster, just because to make the enemies to think, that all valuables already are removed and only lesser worth valuables are left. This Emerald Buddha is now in a temple in Bangkok and is considered to be the most holy and sacred relic in Thailand. Nowadays there is a replica that can be seen in Chiang Rai’s Wat Phra Kaew. The evening I spend in the Night bazaar, same as yesterday.