We have been in Luang Prabang, Laos for 4 days, so it is time to get something posted about my still disorganized impressions of Chiang Mai. We spent nine days there, and the photos are still quite disorganized. I will try to identify things better once I am home and have long winter evenings with time to kill to accomplish the task.
Chiang Mai is a bustling city with automotive traffic that is wild and frankly dangerous if you are a pedestrian. Pedestrian traffic crossing lights are routinely ignored by motor scooters, so be very careful crossing major streets. Even cars seem to understand the lights at the crossings as general suggestion rather than an inviolable command. The many "soi" (lanes or alleys between major thoroughfares), though they can be busy, are more charming and less risky to life and limb if you need to cross the few steps to the other side. Strolling them at night is lovely; they are active enough that one does not feel like he is in a lonely alley, but some of them become quite sleepy, and the buildings are interesting and sometimes beautiful. We became aware of simple seeing different things at night.
I enjoyed our stay in the this jumping metropolis, but by our departure on Nov 22, I wash ready to leave the noise, the heat, and the non-stop activity for the sleepier pleasures and cooler days of Luang Prabang. Luang Prabang is a jewel on a peninsula between the Mekong and Nam Kahn rivers that I immediately fell in love with. The Lao people appear quick to smile and seem to have a great sense of fun, a wide generalization, of course, but with evidence to support it. It is not intended to paint an entire people with one brush.
Here are some pictures of Chiang Mai
Our laundry lady on Soi 6
A street vendor on Moon Muang Rd.
Monks disembarking from a song-taew
Buddhas at Wat Prahsingh
Roof, Wat Prahsingh
A Burmese style bird on the ridge pole of a wat
Donald Duck with chopsticks on grounds of a Wat. We decided that the monks were having fun with the Burmese bird motif pictured above. It was amusing in any event.
Me with gong at Buddhist shrine
Charlie with pleased saleslady after a purchase at the night market.
"Don't show this to your wife" she said about the photo.
Miquel's Mexican Restaurant, where we ate twice. The chili sauce is a little Tex/Mex, but all and all rather satisfying.
And I live where the official state question is "red or green?"
On of the many Chiang Mai public telephones that caught my attention. And, no, I never did see anyone using one. Cell phones are as ubiquitous there as they are here.