Chiang Mai

We got into Chiang Mai yesterday afternoon and boy was it a welcomed change. Nestled into the foothills of northern Thailand, Chiang Mai is much more laid-back, cooler, less humid (words can not describe how happy I am about this) and quieter than its southern counterpart. There are (legit) massage parlors, clothing, restaurants and smoothies everywhere you turn, with a Wat in between (there are more Wats in this small town that anything else. It's crazy.) To gain our bearings, we walked around the city to see where it would take us. Surprise, surprise, we found lots of Wats. The following is only a very teeny tiny sample of what we saw... some sections I couldn't go in because I'm a a woman.... I bet you can imagine my thoughts about that.

One Wat had a beautiful walking garden filled with signs that had Buddhist sayings.

We then set out to the Tha Phae Gate that is the main entrance to the walls that surround the city and onto the night market streets. The night markets here are beyond anything I have ever seen. You assume it is a simple linear line that follows the street, then you some how make a turn and you are lost in a market within a market somewhere inside what seems to be secret corridors but then you walk out into an open court yard full of people. This happened not only once, but twice. We did end up getting massages at one, and found a great food market and random talent show in another (there was some super awesome (????) lip-syncing with backup boy dancers, traditional Thai dancing and street dancing.) It was definitely a complex maze to say the least.

dried fruit anyone?
one of the markets within the market


Things We Learned

  1. The ladyboys (male to female transgender) here have had fantastic transformations. You would never know if you didn't know what to look for (thank you San Francisco for my education in life).
  2. Tigers kept in cages that are constantly annoyed, pushed and poked to pose for pictures by its trainer is sad. Really sad. "Having morals sucks sometimes" - Duane


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