A four hour boat ride on the Kok river and 20 km of cycling to Thaton.
This morning we went to see the White Temple of Chiang Rai. This temple was built about ten years ago by the wealthy Thai artist Chalermchai Kositpipat who designed it in an extravagant, modern and unusual way. Despite the modern outlook, this temple is populated by buddhist monks and is in regular use just like any other wat in the country. We were surprised by the apparent flexibility of the buddhist practitioners in this country – it is hard to imagine a church in Europe being built in such an extravagant and even slightly provocative way and still being operated like any other chruch.
After our visit to the white temple, we rode our bikes to the pier of the Kok river to start yet another boat ride. Even though this was the first boat ride on our journey, it didn’t feel like a repetition at all – this time the river was a narrow one with strong currents and the captain had to use all his skill to maneuver us through the tight and rocky spots. On mid-way, we stopped at a village of the Karen hill-tribe and each had a bowl of the delicious egg noodles with a peanut coconut sauce and chicken (Khao Soi), which is a specialty of Northern Thailand.
After another two hours of boat ride we were reunited with our bicycles and cycled the remaining 20 km to Thaton, always staying close to the Kok river. Our hotel lies beautifully directly at a bend of the Kok and we ended the day with a nice dinner on the terrace overlooking the river.