Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Been Blessed By A Buddist Monk.....And More....

Although the city of Chiang Mai, Thailand is packed with tourists and tour companies are everywhere the locals are not the pushy, sales type. But since we are tourists here and we do need to find ways to get around to see things, yesterday we hired a driver. While walking down the street yesterday we passed an older gentleman dressed like a cowboy. He wore a plaid shirt, western belt and was topped with a cowboy hat. Next to him was car draped with photos of tours offered to tourists. Clyde showed him in writing the name of the place we wanted to go, obviously because we don't speak Thai. He said he could take us there plus two other places for around $40.

Our Driver Uncle Chai....He is 74 Years Old

He's A Wannabee Cowboy

Uncle Chai, as we came to know him is 74 years old, looks amazing and enjoys showing off his country to visitors. Not only does he speak decent English but at his age he is still taking classes to improve. For the next five hours he showed us around. First stop was the most famous wat or Buddhist temple in Thailand, called Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. We
began our ascent up the stairs to the temple when Clyde said, "oh my gosh, look how far up we have to go." I would have rather not known that there were over 300 steep steps up to the temple. And since this is the most sacred of wats here, the dress code of long pants and covered shoulders is strictly enforced. So up we went to find a mountain top temple covered in gold where Buddhist monks in orange robes blessed the people. We watched as tourists knelt in front of the monks to receive a sprinkle of holy water along with a verbal blessing in Thai. Then the monk tied a knotted white string around our wrists which had been dipped in holy water also. Although we really do not understand the whole thing we thought it was a cool experience to have.

Temple Hopping

Up We Go

Some Indigenous Kids Posing With Clyde

A Crowded Buddist "Wat" Or Temple

Thais Don's Shake Hands They Give A Thai Wei (pronounced why)

We Noticed People Crawling In And Kneeling Before A Monk
So We Went Along And Were Given A Blessing And A String Bracelet

Our String Bracelets Blessed By A Monk

Our next stop was Bhubing Palace, the King's palace of Thailand. We were not allowed to enter the palace but toured the lovely gardens and grounds of the estate. The same dress code applied which came in handy later as the rain poured down upon us. But we were prepared with long sleeved shirts, rain coats and umbrellas too. It was time for lunch so we took cover and enjoyed some Pad Thai with shrimp at a small outdoor restaurant on the estate. By the time we were done with lunch the rain had subsided so off we went down the mountain to find our driver.

Our last stop was Doi Pui Hmong hilltop village and market. This is not a common tourist stop but instead a market where these hill top people shop, live and work. The market featured all sorts of lovely handicrafts and spiraled up like a staircase. Before heading out we needed to stop and use the restroom. I knew instantly that I was about to experience my very first authentic, squat toilet. Wow was I ever happy that I went looking for and bought a female urinary aid that makes it easy for me to stand and go.

We ended our day of exploration with a two hour slow-boat ride along the Mae Ping River. After an hour our small group stopped at an organic farm where we were treated to fresh fruit and lemon grass juice. On the trip back the boat motor got tangled in a rag which caused it to stop. Try as he may the driver could not untangle it. A passing man in a kayak stopped to help but the boat would not start. The driver called for help and after a while we were rescued.

With still some energy left we headed out last night to a few night markets. We ate some Thai food and tired ourselves out before crashing for the night.

Today for lunch we enjoyed some Thai street food for cheap. I had sukyaki with pork and Clyde had pork and vegetables. Each meal set us back a whopping 74 cents each. We added some Thai iced tea for me and lemon tea for Clyde at only 43 cents each. We sat on a curb and ate our cheap lunch with our noses running from the spiciness of the meal. It's nice to add some spice to our lives as we spice it up in Thailand.....along the gringo trail.

Terry and Clyde are able to "Travel The World House Sitting"  and so can you!  We have created a website to help people who want to learn about house sitting.    Information for both the prospective house sitter and for someone who needs a house sitter.

the New Website                          -->  CLICK HERE

How to Get Your First House Sit -->  CLICK HERE

How to find a house sitter          ---->  CLICK HERE

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