|Sculptured hands symbolise desire|
Monday 28: I've looped back to Chiang Mai then northeast up to Chiang Rai and some fabulous temples. Wat Phra Kaew has an adjoining museum with a fantastic bronze drum known as a frog or rain drum that was once used in rituals. It's astonishing that you are allowed actually play the thing. It makes a wonderful noise for such an old instrument - it's from the 5th century BC.
Tuesday 29: An half hour or so south of Chiang Rai is the stunning White Temple, Wat Rong Khun. The approach bridge to the shimmering white temple spans a moat filled with hands reaching skyward but the real gems are the frescoes inside the temple (no photos). Painted by artist come architect Chalermchai Kositpipat who is also responsible for the frescos in the first Buddhist temple in Britain, Buddhapadipa Temple in Wimbledon. Fantastic stuff.
Slideshow of Mai Hong Son Loop & Chiang Rai.