Monday, September 17, 2007

Third Day in Chiang Mai

Last day is always the shortest and most hesitate. We rent 3 tut-tuts (one for each couple) and went for city tour. We went to a couple of temples, with long names which I don't remember at all. Chiang Mai is a small town with so much to explore. Transportation is cheap too (with so many tuk-tuks around).

Tuk-tuk car.
Actually is modified from a motorcycle. Very comfortable and windy. I even felt asleep on the tuk-tuk. But definitely not comfortable when 6 people board one tuk-tuk, like the night we went to Sunday Night Market.

Sight seeing on the tut-tut.

Uncle tuk-tuk has a very good(consider very good among the Thais) command of English and very friendly. Uncle kept us entertain by telling us about his city and the history. Uncle tuk-tuk also said I don't look like Chinese, more like Thai girl. Sheeshh...-_-

Chiang Mai has more than 300 temples but we only manage to quickly see 3 of them. We couldn't make it to Doi Suthep which is on the hilltop but the temples we went to was not any less fascinating. Upon arrival of the first temple, we were already too awed and busy posing and clicking our cameras.

"Three tiered umbrellas adorning the tops of the temples, Singha lions guarding the entrances and high-base chedi are all Burmese influences imported into the city by wealthy teak merchants when they migrated to this important trade centre."

From Southeast Asia On A Shoestring

Wat Chiang Man was the first temple we set foot on. This wat claimed to be the oldest standing temple within the city, erected by King Mengrai in 1296. There were two famous Buddha statue kept in here, one is Buddha Sila and the Chrystal Buddha. I saw the Chrystal Buddha but couldn't find the other one. We had to move to another wat.

Wat Chiang Man

Colourful murals are hallmarks of the Lanna periods.

Then we moved forward to Wat Phra Singh, which is 700 years old constructed by King Phayoo of Mengrai Dynasty in 1345. Architecture of the wat were of Lanna's influence too. Inside the wat is a lot of pictures telling history about Buddha but we don't have much time to read all, just amusingly glance through.

Me and Nai.

Love this picture a lot!

Singha lion guarding the temples.

What the.....??

The couples.
Yeah, all couples, which was also one of the main excuse that Yokie used for not joining us.

Lastly, we went to Wat Chedi Luang which has ruins of a huge chedi that collapsed during an earthquake in 1545. Shouldn't call it ruins because it is still very much restore it's charms and beauty.

The ruins.

A partial restoration has preserved the chedi ruined look while ensuring it doesn't crumble further. From Southeast Asia On A Shoestring

Inside the these temple were a few wax figure of some respectful monks, which looks really real and really spooked me out.

Another funny incident was that one of the tuk-tuk we hired broken down, and we had to wait for another tuk-tuk to replace. We waited for like 30 minutes and was quite pissed off because we don't have much time and were so eager to see more.

And then brilliant Fai asked uncle tuk-tuk to look for durians along the streets. OMG....durians?? OMG......

Thai durians. I thought Malaysia's durians are better. Whatever...not my favourite fruit anyway.

Durian expert konon.

Everyone was enjoying. Can't they smell the smell??

You're wearing a sh*t while eating sh*t. eeewww......

After the brief durian feast, we head off to Bo Sang, the handicraft center of Chiang Mai. Bo Sang is also know as the 'umbrella village' is 9km east of Chiang Mai. There's many handicraft workshops open for public viewing.

Eggshells painting.

The artistically skillful worker were so concentrated with their work that make me felt almost invincible. We stared at them, took pictures of them but they won't even look at us or let alone smile. They just monotonously continue to do their masterpiece which will take days or perhaps months to finish. Perhaps some of them don't even like art so much but has to do so for earning a living. And yet we always complain about our job.

Souvenirs. Expensive like hell.

Best part was the umbrella painting workshop. Not only they paint the umbrella, they make the umbrella too. How fascinating.

Umbrella paper making process.

Being a very art person, I could spend hours looking at them doing their work. Somehow I feel that umbrella art is much much more interesting than the eggshell art.

Square umbrellas.

Not only umbrellas, they paint shirts too.

And hand-fans too.

Aiks...?? Such big umbrella...for pasar malam hawkers?

Really huge umbrellas.

Finished good. Sold at the souvenir store nearby.

Food in Chiang Mai. Yummy~~

And pork is everywhere. YUMMMMMMYYY!!!!!

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