Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Chiang Mai!

so.. clearly I haven't been so good about posting. Took me awhile to get back into my patterns after vacation !!BUT!! I'm on the verge of being better about e-mailing and all of those good things!

On to more exciting things with pictures involved.

Went to Chiang Mai this weekend. The temperature was much cooler, and it's so mellow compared to Bangkok that being there for 2 days felt more like 4 or 5.

Here's Rachel and I on the way up in the train:

The train left on Friday night at 10pm and got in about 11am Saturday. We had second class sleeper bunks with no AC -- which actually ended up being ideal because then we could have the windows open and the car didn't get stuffy or smelly or anything. It was also great the next morning because we got to see the mountains and plenty of green jungle goodness. Loved it.

Here's a Chiang Mai street shot:

... not particularly interesting or a particularly good example of the streets... but... please notice that it is not packed with cars and there are no skyscrapers. That's probably why I felt the need to document it. Rachel and I rented bikes on Saturday and just pedaled along visiting temples, and being really excited that we weren't fearing for our lives during said activity.

Here's me enjoying pineapple at the bottom of the steps at Doi Suthep:

Doi Suthep is the name of a mountain, and at the top of the mountain there is a temple - Wat Phratat. The legend is that a white elephant was released into the jungle carrying part of Buddha's shoulder bone with him (there's more background to this story than I'm giving you) and he climbed up Doi Suthep and died there at the top.

The temple was hopping on Sunday with lots of visitors making offerings. The temple is also supposed to offer a good view of Chiang Mai, but it was pretty cloudy:

There was a long row of prayer bells which I thought were really neat:

And then one special bell:

And lots of general temples goings-ons -- including some maitenance work on the chedi:

So yeah. Really great weekend. Came back feeling very rested, and it was a good reminder that I should definitely leave the city once a month.

Love to you all, and I really will be better about posting!


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