Thursday, August 28, 2014

FEBRUARY 3, 2014: DOI SUTHEP, OLD CHIANG MAI CULTURAL CENTER


February 3, 2014

     At breakfast we are given menus with several sets to choose.  I pick 2 fried eggs with wheat toast.  Juice, fruit and tea round off things.  Yummy!  The breakfast area is inside/outside as one wall is open to the pool with some seating out in that area.  Lots of others having breakfast at the same time.  I get Pepsi to arrange for a car to take us to Doi Suthep.

     WAT PHRATHAT DOI SUTHEP    Car arrives 10:15 am to drive us.  We arrive at 11:15 am so it takes an hr. to get there up some pretty twisty roads.  One of the most sacred sites in Thailand.
     The story/myth is that there was a relic that duplicated itself.  The first/original is enshrined at Wat Suan Dok.  The King placed the duplicated relic in a portal on the back of a white elephant and watched where the elephant would go.  The elephant walked up the mountain, trumpeted 3 times, turned around 3 times, knelt down and died.  That spot is where this temple was built in the 1380s.

     To reach the top you can walk up the naga serpent staircase around 300 steps or pay 30 baht for the funicular ride to the top.  This is a working monastery today and donations, fees support the monks and pay for maintenance.  There is a golden spire, a copy of the Bangkok emerald Buddha, a shrine to the white elephant, historical murals and shrines, and a large gong.  There are lots of people here.  There is also a viewing terrace with great views of Chiang Mai especially on a clear day.  We took the lift up and walked down.  We spend about 2 hrs. here.  There are lots of vendors selling all sorts of things.  I see something that I bought at the Sunday market last night and it's priced here at half what I paid!!  We arrive back to the hotel around 2:00 pm.  Cost for the car 800 baht.
Car park area

Cable car

Fee for the cable car
   
















Getting a blessing from a monk



















Shrine to the white elephant

















View to Chiang Mai from terrace


















Looking down the naga serpent staircase






Looking up the naga serpent staircase

Vendors


     On the way down the winding road I have the driver stop at a lookout area.  The view is so so due to it not being a very clear day.  I also buy some strawberries for 20 baht from a vendor here.  My husband and the driver are not interested in tasting them.  They're pretty good and I didn't get sick!







     Drop off laundry at the place a few minutes walk from the hotel.  It's weighed and price for 6.5 kilos is 390 baht-60 baht per kilo.  I make a reservation via my I PAD for a cooking class for Thursday evening.  I talk to Opas about going to Doi Inthanon with a group tour through Journey for Tuesday.  I make reservations for tonight for dinner.  Pool time for almost 2 hrs.


     OLD CHIANG MAI CULTURAL CENTER  Taxi at 6:30 pm to take us there 150 baht.  I'm looking forward to this khantoke dinner show.  Tickets for dinner/show for 2 are 1140 baht.  Drinks not included will be 230 baht.  We have our picture taken with some very pretty hilltribe girls and later buy the picture for 100 baht.  There are 2 options for seating-either at a table with regular chairs or on the floor with cushions.  My husband does not want to be low on the floor so we are seated at a table.  The best viewing of the show is from the floor seating.  We both receive pretty flower necklaces that drape around the neck and hang down on  either side.  The menu:  Burmese pork curry, pork tomato-crispy paste, fried chicken, fried pork skin, fried pumpkins, crispy noodle, stir fried vegetable, fresh and boiled vegetable, steamed rice, sticky rice, fresh fruit and fried rice crispies for dessert with tea or coffee.  Inside the dining room 7 Thai Lanna shows by random pick are performed.  After the dinner and this show there are hilltribe shows in the courtyard.  The shows we saw inside:  finger nail dance, silk reeling dance, magic fowls dance, sword dance, celebrating dance, rumwong.  The hilltribe shows:  mah jok kawk, victory drum dance, lahu dance, akha dance, hmong dance, lisu dance, fire-sword dance, mong gak, kinggala dance.  It was absolutely lovely and the food wasn't bad.  The lady who sold us our tickets directed us to a shared van to return us to our hotel at no cost.  This was a nice dinner and a fun show.  Glad we went!





Floor seating

Musicians
Burmese pork curry, fried pork skin, fresh & boiled vegetables

Pork tomato-crispy paste


Fried rice crispies

Fried chicken

Fresh & boiled vegetables





Fresh fruit

Finger nail dance




Silk reeling dance


Magic fowls dance

Sword dance

Wow!

Celebrating dance


King Kala dance



Rumwong dance/circle dance

Audience participation



Victory drum dance

I learned to do this dance between the moving bamboo poles when I was in the Peace Corps/Philippines


Lahu dance


Mien dance

Fire-sword dance



Rice winnowing dance


 


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