As we left Ponganes Espresso in Chiang Mai on Thursday, the owners bade us farewell with a “See you tomorrow!”, to which I cheekily replied “Probably not!”. Not on account of the coffee being bad… It’s just we were planning to head back to our guesthouse, pack our bags and head tp the bus station, and then on to Chiang Rai.
As we turned the corner, I was the first to crack; “maybe we could stay another night (insert semiquestion here) we’ve got heaps of admin to do”. And with that, we spent the day doing things like writing blog posts, Kat booked accommodation for new years etc. etc.
So Friday morning we were back at Ponganes – if you happen to be in Chiang Mai and like a good coffee these guys know what they’re doing..They’ve just returned to Thailand from Sydney after 5 years and are super super nice. It was more definite when we left this time that we wouldn’t be seeing them so soon, and off to the bus station we went.
The following morning we rented a bike from a nice guy that operated a tattoo/custom leather shop in what could be described as a crack den, and headed off in search of The White Temple.
And after driving around for two or three hours and asking nearly every person we saw how to get to Wat Rong Khun we finally stumbled on the most unusual Wat/Buddhist temple you’ve ever seen.
Nothing so unusual about that… Apart from it looks a bit like it’s made of ice (but actually whitewash and mirror tiles), but more that there’s things like this around the grounds.
Painted on the internal walls (no photography allowed sorry) were a lot more contemporary images: Ben10, Keanu Reeves as Neo, battle and destroyer droids from StarWars, Ryu from DragonballZ in SuperSayen3 mode, Spiderman, Batman, Michael Jackson, George Bush and Osama Bin Laden together (we kind of remember them riding something together, like a missile? But we’re ot sure), the World Trade Centre, Freddy Kruger, Hellraiser, the puppet from Saw with the swirly cheeks and so on. The artwork was really well done and still in progress, apparently the Gaudi-esque completion date for complex is around 2027.
After a spot of lunch across the road from the temple we started making our way back to town via the backroads, stopping off on a quiet sidestreet to give Kat her first intro to piloting a motorbike.