Thursday, 3 January 2008

Chiang Mai city life

After few days in the countryside, we were back in the city for the weekend marathon. This time we stayed in the humble Raming Lodge right smack in the city. As usual, we went about on foot, peering into tiny streets crammed with massage salons, small eating establishments and colourful shops.

Within a short time, we had mastered the art of dodging tuks tuks that were weaving in and out of traffic. By then, we had also quickly learned how to turn down (politely) the enthusiastic tuk-tuk operators who were always touting their business along the streets.

The infamous Thai tuk-tuk. We only took this once, from the hotel to the airport. It was a really fun ride in the cold morning. Our tuk tuk zipped through the empty roads like the way Pierce Brosnan did in the Visa commercial. I felt like we were in a James Bond movie!

I was having my coffee fix while CH chatted away with the barista. Well, the young lady behind the counter is the lady boss of this coffee kiosk and a massage salon! The Thais are really enterprising people.

There were many makeshift stalls along the street selling hilltribe artifacts and knick-knacks.

An interesting restaurant window.

This temple is a stone's throw away from our hotel.

Same temple, different angle.

The beautiful details contrast against the clear blue sky.

Tropical plants surround the temple grounds.

Golden stupa in the background.

Smiling Buddhas sitting peacefully on a shop window.

Wooden feline figurines for sale.
The highlight of the city must be the night bazaar! During the weekend, tourists and locals congregate at the market for the best bargains.

A nicely decorated shop inside the bazaar.

Another temple in the city. In fact, you can find lots of beautiful temples in Chiangmai.

I love shopping at the Thapae weekend flea market.

There were lots of local handicrafts and artwork for sale at the sprawling open air market.

Of course, there were lots of food too. We bought some hotdogs from this stall and CH was trying to understand the Thai speaking hawker.

Can you believe these were carved from soap? Amazing isn't it?

Some of the art pieces were really nice. Unfortunately my luggage was already bursting at the seams, so I didn't buy anything bulky.

Aren't these t-shirts a hoot? To be honest, I was almost in a 'coma' after the marathon and walking about all day!


mooiness said...

I like the pictures of the soap and the Buddha slabs. Good stuff!

And I think because you guys went off the beaten path and didn't do the typical Thai tourist traps, it makes it all just a little bit more interesting. :)

The Real Mother Hen said...

Why is CH smiling at the coffee lady?
Be careful CH, your head may roll :)
I like the soap too. So pretty.

Blur Ting said...

Yah man, then I can plaster his head and sell as a work of art at the flea market. Might as well recoup my traveling expenses!

Anonymous said...

There's the tuk-tuk! Yeah and love those "nonsense" English t-shirts!

SOUL said...

you know i'm comin to live with you right?
happy friday. ?

Amel said...

WOW!!! Beautiful temples...LOVELY carved soap...interesting!!! ;-D

Blur Ting said...

Your room is ready Soul. I made a nice bed for you so your back won't hurt.

The World According To Me said...

Brilliant selection of photos!

日月神教-任我行 said...