Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Day 91

Not a particularly good night's sleep, as I was on the top bunk and the curtain wasn't high enough to block out the lights, which were left on all night. I also managed to rip my shirt (on the first time I've worn in) climbing down from the bunk.

Anyway, today's itinerary started with the hill tribe museum, then up to Doi Suthep on the hills overlooking Chiang Mai
to visit Wat Phra That Doi Suthep.
While we were there, Tiger explained a bunch of stuff about how Buddhism and the monks work in Thailand. The part I particularly remembered is that Buddha images are not supposed to be looked down on (hence why you're supposed to sit down to take any photos of them), and that the Thai tourism authority apparently complains to the publishers of any book that has a picture of a Buddha at the bottom of the page rather than the top.

On the way back to the hotel in Chiang Mai, we also stopped off at Wat Chedi Luang
Wat_Chedi_Luang_2,_Chiang_Mai Wat_Chedi_Luang_near_sunset,_Chiang_Mai
then walked back to the hotel. Just before our hotel I noticed a couple of bars with suspiciously under-dressed young Thai women in them, so I asked Tiger if Chiang Mai had a red light district: yep, and once again it's just along from our hotel. Given that Thai women normally dress fairly conservatively, it seems that a tarty outfit is a surefire sign of a lady of negotiable affections.

The evening involved a trip to a show of (allegedly) traditional Thai dance,
then a quick exploration of the fringes of the night market. The stalls on the street are a bit repetitive; exactly the same goods (watches, bracelets, T shirts, wood carvings, bags, ...) recurs every five or six stalls, and it's the same stuff that was on the stalls in Bangkok, so I guess it's not made locally.

Traffic in Thailand seems remarkably laid back, certainly in comparison with London. There don't see to be any of the 19 year old boy racers causing havoc, and drivers seem happy to let out other vehicles and to let pedestrians cross. Also, I don't think I've heard a single siren since I got here, even in Bangkok.

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