Thursday, April 25, 2013

Chiang Mai

We arrived in Chiang Mai around 10pm on April 19. We heard that the city was smoggy but wow, the moment we got outside, our eyes started to burn. We promptly got a taxi and headed to our accommodations for the next 3 nights - Baanlek Home Stay. Yup, another home stay. We figured after splurging in Ko Phi Phi, we needed to take it down a notch. At about 30USD/night, it was a nice place to stay.

The next morning on April 20, we explored the old town.

Wat Pan Whaen

Wat Pan Whaen

Perimeter of Old Town - Bamrung Buri Road

Wat Chang Taem

Saturday Night Market

Lots of useless things to buy

While walking around eating coconut and banana chocolate waffles

On April 21, we took the half day tour to the Mong village and visited the temple on a hill, Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep.

The Mong (aka Hmong) people are from China and live in Thailand, Vietnam, and Laos

Mong child contemplating life

Street in the Mong village

Paul walking along the Mong streets

Hats for sale...Paul wanted to get one

After the visit to the village, we headed to Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep, one of the most important temples in Thailand.

People were encouraged to ring the bell for good luck (but no pushing the bell)

Paul only wanted a little bit of luck so rang a small bell once

Elephants are sacred in Thailand

Novice monk enjoying the smoggy view of Chiang Mai

Novice monks gathering for lunch


Because of the new year, it's also good luck to pour water on Buddha


The 7 positions of Buddha representing the 7 days of the week

Chedi (stupa/buddhist shrine) at Doi Suthep

Posing in front of the chedi

A different perspective of the chedi

These kids were dressed up and performing

Throwing flower petals

Wheeeeee!

The dragon's spine was the railing


I'm glad we didn't have to walk up these stairs

Another little girl in traditional dress (of Northern Thailand)

Later we explored the night markets...

Yeah, I made some more negotiations - this was the Night Bazaar...

Which is not the Sunday night market & VERY different than the Saturday night market

The next day, we headed to Bangkok. But we couldn't leave without getting a picture with our host, Mr. Lek, the friendliest guy in Chiang Mai!

Mr. Lek reminded Paul of the bar owner in Good Morning Vietnam

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