Sunday, November 24th – Chiang Mai
I got a little behind again due to limited Internet service at our 5-star hotel. It was available for free in the lobby, but we had to pay $15/day to get it in the room. It always amazes me that we can get better/cheaper WiFi in less expensive hotels. Seems backwards.
This was our final day in Chiang Mai and only two temples to go. The first was Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, located 3500 feet up the mountain. It is Northern Thailand’s most sacred temple, housing a holy relic of Lord Buddha. We had our choice between hiking up the 300 steps or taking a cable car to the top. The group chose the easy way up, but we hiked down. With its golden parasol, incense burners, bells, numerous Buddha statues and monk blessings it is impressive.
WAT PHRA THAT DOI SUTHEP
Thailand has some of the most beautiful children
And our “yummy food” for the day??? Grasshoppers and silk worms. I tried one of each, but did not care for them.
PAGODA WAT SUAN DOK
As if we had not had enough shopping opportunities, we added to our choices by visiting a jade factory, silk factory and a silver factory.
Back to the hotel mid-afternoon just in time for my scheduled Thai massage. This is not a gentle relaxing hour, but more like getting a deep get-the-knots-out-while-trying-not-to-cause-bruising type.
I was surprised how invigorated I felt afterwards. So off to dinner then the walking Sunday Market followed by the Night Market.
Such contrast between the hectic, can’t get through the crowds, noisy street scene vs the monks chanting in the local temple which is being broadcast on the street over loud speakers. We looked in to observe for a few minutes.
But the highlight of the evening came at the end when we had a fish massage. After scrubbing our feet and lower legs, we sat on the edge of a fish tank with our feet dangling in the warm water as tiny fish nibbled away at the dead skin. It tickled like crazy and a short 15 minutes later our feet were soft, smooth and one shoe size smaller.