Temple of the Emerald Buddha, Chiang Rai (Wat Phra Kaeo)

Temple of the Emerald Buddha, Chiang Rai (Wat Phra Kaeo)

Next stop on our tour of Chiang Rai was the original Temple of the Emerald Buddha. History of the Emerald Buddha The first references to the Emerald Buddha come from 1434. The story goes that when lightening struck a building in the Wat Pa Yia monastary in Chiang Rai, they found a Buddha covered in stucco. The abbot realised that the stucco was peeling off, revealing a green stone beneath. When the stucco was removed, they found a Buddha carved…

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The Black House (Baan Dam) Chiang Rai

The Black House (Baan Dam) Chiang Rai

The macabre Black House (Baan Dam) is generally seen as an essential part of any Chiang Rai trip. I have to say, I couldn’t get over the horror of it. Yes, it’s art. Yes, it’s very impressive. Yes, the architecture is fantastic. However, even now when I look back over photos of it, it makes me shiver. Thanwan Duchanee, the artist who built it, was a collector of animal parts. I could just about get over that for the sake…

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The White Temple in Chiang Rai (Wat Rong Khun)

The White Temple in Chiang Rai (Wat Rong Khun)

Wat Rong Khun, the White Temple, is probably the most famous temple in Chiang Rai. The complex where it’s located is also the largest of the 4 that we saw and contains many buildings to see. The White Temple is (as you’d expect from the name) painted entirely in white, to represent purity. It’s also covered with small mirrors, so glitters spectacularly in the sun. It’s really an amazing sight. There were times when I couldn’t even look at it…

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Khun Korn waterfall, Chiang Rai, with kids

Khun Korn waterfall, Chiang Rai, with kids

Khun Korn waterfall is known as one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Chiang Rai. It’s a 1.5km moderately challenging hike through the forest to get to it. We weren’t sure about whether to attempt the hike with our 2 small kids (11 months and 2 years 9 months). With very little information online about doing this walk with children, we decided just to go for it. The hike took around 40 minutes up to the waterfall and around 30…

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Doing a ‘visa run’ from Thailand to Myanmar (Burma) with kids

Doing a ‘visa run’ from Thailand to Myanmar (Burma) with kids

Last weekend we did our first ‘visa run’ to Myanmar. We’re on a 6 month, multi-entry visitor visa to Thailand. When entering Thailand on this visa you get a stamp with leave to remain in Thailand for 60 days. We had the option to pay 1900 baht (£44/$58USD) at immigration for a 30 day extension. However with 4 of us it would get pretty expensive. You have to pay every cost (visas, visa extensions etc) per passport, meaning that our 11…

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Variety is the spice of life (Learn Thai challenge day 5)

Variety is the spice of life (Learn Thai challenge day 5)

So, I’m around a week into my ‘Learn Thai in 2 weeks challenge’ now and I’m starting to get a better feel for the language. I’ve realised a couple of things about language learning: No single method of study is sufficient on it’s own Language learning goes much faster if you do multiple methods. I’ve been doing online courses, watching Thai videos, researching on the internet, doodling my own memes (see Learning foreign symbols with memes – The confused sheep fish),…

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Learning Thai Tones and the Thai Alphabet Song (Learn Thai challenge day 4)

Learning Thai Tones and the Thai Alphabet Song (Learn Thai challenge day 4)

Yesterday I set myself the challenge of asking for a price in Thai and listening to the answer. I didn’t succeed as the shop keeper was too quick for me. She told me the English cost before I could wrap my head around asking the cost in Thai. However, I did repeat back the cost in Thai and have her nod and smile. I’m happy with that. Everything I read on Thai keeps talking about the tones. I still hadn’t…

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Thai numbers (Learn Thai challenge Day 3)

Thai numbers (Learn Thai challenge Day 3)

Today I’ve been going over all the letters I learned yesterday and starting on the numbers. I was a bit annoyed with myself yesterday when I went to the market. The stall owners could understand my question of ‘how much is that’ but I hadn’t a clue what they were saying when they answered in Thai. Considering that most things there were either 10, 15 or 20 baht that’s a bit embarrassing! So I decided to skip ahead a bit…

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Learning foreign symbols with memes – The confused sheep fish (Thai challenge day 2)

Learning foreign symbols with memes – The confused sheep fish (Thai challenge day 2)

This is day 2 of my ‘Learn Thai in 2 weeks‘ challenge. Yesterday, I found some good resources to help me and started learning the most common letters in the Thai alphabet. Today I carried on with my course from LearnThaifromaWhiteGuy.com and memrise. Pronouncing letters Learn Thai from a White guy has been great for helping to pronounce the letters. He takes a long time to explain exactly where your tongue should be to get the right sound. I’m appreciative…

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The most common letters in the Thai alphabet (Learn Thai challenge day 1)

The most common letters in the Thai alphabet (Learn Thai challenge day 1)

Today I’ve tried to figure out the most common letters in Thai. This has been surprisingly difficult considering most sites I’ve been on will tell you that many letters are barely used. Here are the resources I’ve been using: Learn Thai from a White guy learnthaifromawhiteguy.com You gotta love the name of this one! And the course seems pretty good too. If you add your email he’ll send you the first 4 lessons free (after that it’s $150 for the 2…

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