Wat Rong Khun, or the White Temple in Chiang Rai, is a strange and striking sight to behold. It is definitely a tourist attraction with many details, and I wish I had known more of the symbolism of all the pieces when I visited. But here it is. The picture above shows the main temple, which you arrive at by crossing a bridge of the cycle of rebirth. Inside the main temple, different from traditional Buddhist temples, are murals, with modern representations of good and evil. I did not see any! But supposedly, Elvis and Spiderman were depicted.
The original intent was to go to Thailand so that I could take a day trip to Singapore to retrieve my ukulele that I had forgotten in my hotel room in Kuala Lumpur. Once we started to plan the Thailand trip, it was not going to be that easy to go back to Singapore, mostly because of time. It all worked out in the end, but that is a story for another blog. Glad we decided to go mainly to Chiang Mai. It is a great little city, more relaxed than Bangkok, and you didn't feel like everyone was trying to get money from you.
I guess you know I love butterflies. That's not so unusual. I think it's a thing that a lot of people can relate to, the beauty that comes from its unlikely beginning stages, the lowly "worm". But, for some reason, I get all giddy. So, this was definitely a highlight.
We thought we'd do one guided tour, and chose this one, the Batu Caves. A picture is worth a thousand words and yes, it really is that big. And yes, we really walked up those stairs. This is a Hindu shrine dedicated to Lord Murugan (the statue), a Hindu deity.
When we found out that we could easily put another country on our itinerary, we jumped at it. Although, I had barely entertained a thought of this place prior to this idea, I am so glad that we went. Kuala Lumpur is a city, so this is not some tropical get-away by any means. It was an urban adventure into a unique developing country
There's a video about the airport in Singapore that was circulating on Facebook. I even got it on my feed through my goddaughter in Guam! And I have to say, it's all true. There was more that we didn't experience, but two things stand out - kinetic sculpture and butterfly garden. Yay!
I kept seeing this menu item "laksa" in different places, and I figured it must be one of these national dishes that Singapore is known for. We had found this coffee chain Toast Box in Bugis and liked their food, especially the coffee, but we did not get too adventurous. When we came across the same restaurant in Esplanade Mall while we were exploring this area, we stopped in. I had this laksa, Sherry stuck with the toast, which was also good.
I highly recommend taking a river cruise in Singapore. Better if you do it on the first day. You get a nice overview of the city and just a kick-back time listening to the narration. It was $25 (US) and worth it. No need to book in advance, we had no trouble booking it right on the day that we wanted and no lines. (Maybe we were lucky.)
June and Ed were such wonderful hosts and wanted to make sure we got a good "taste" of Singapore. I don't even remember all the dishes. I should have taken notes. But there was so much deliciousness!
This was such a beautiful place to spend the day. It was very warm this day, but still enjoyable. It made for lots of beautiful photos. We spent over four hours here, but did not even cover all the gardens.
I have traveled quite a bit, and am using this page to record some memories. Travel is a wonderful education, it broadens your view of the world literally, but more important, figuratively. Travel is worthless if it does not make you more compassionate.