Micah: Unmitigated

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Posts Tagged ‘Wat Phra That’

500 Miles

Sunday, November 15th, 2009

(by IPod = photos added in post-production)
In Chiang Mai, i’m staying at a nice, cheap place called Thapae Gate Lodge. Walking distance to everything, and walk I did.

Saturday: decided to change my food up a little and ate at Mike’s Burgers. Classic diner style place, I had the bacon cheeseburger and some tasty fries. From there I began my Wat (temple) treck through the city. A lot of golden framed buildings with sizable Buddha statues, front and center.

I have always been a fan of cathedrals and temples, due to the quiet and beauty. Everbody respectfully admires the art and religion. I feel a little weird taking pictures while someone is on their knees praying, but try not to disturb them.

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Wat Phra Singh was my favorite, with multiple structures and gardens. While there, a female student from the university asked to have a 5min conversation with me, an English speaker. She had a helper with her and there was only one question I couldn’t understand. Glad to help, but I had to refrain from using my normal slang and curse words.

After all the Wats, I headed to the local mall. My camera has been wild’n out so I bought a Canon A100 IS. No bargain since I was in a mall, but I like it. I did a little post purchase celebrating by hiting the Saturday night street market. A series of food stalls provided supper while I walked and eyed the goods.

Sunday: Caught a bus up to Doi Suthep National Park, home of Wat Phra That. 306 decorated steps up to see good city views and many intricate statues. Children dancing for Baht in front of temple, kind of sour the scene.

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Bus dropped me at entrance to Nam Tok Monthathon (a waterfall) where a 3 km hike up the road was rewarded with a place to cool my feet.

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Hiking up even more, revealed a series of pools, rock slides, and frolicking locals. I did one unintentional slide which amused them. After an easier stroll back down to the main road, I waited for a bus to drive by.

More waiting and some drivebys, I decided to strut my stuff. One advantage, I got to visit a few more falls on the way. During all of this trekking, I had the Peter, Paul, and Mary song “500 Miles” in my head. Luckily, a local motorbiker gave me a free lift the last few km back into town.

I proceeded to cruise the Sunday night street market. Even bigger than Saturdays, this new area has more streets involved and some Wats. Another night with a random supper, local crafts, and street music.

Normally they play Thai songs, but while passing one musician on guitar, I swore I heard “500 Miles”. I figured my dehydrated mind was deceiving me, until the words came. Sure enough, my theme song for the day was being beautifully sung to me on the streets of Chiang Mai. I hadn’t heard any other recognizable songs the past 2 nights, my trip has now been blessed.

Tomorrow morning I hop a minivan to Pai and the mountains. I am ok with cities but look forward to the views. Also, I will attempt my first walk up hostel booking. It is fully on.