Wednesday, August 27, 2014

FEBRUARY 4, 2014: WATS AND MORE, CRAFT STORES



February 4, 2014

     This morning for breakfast I have my eggs scrambled, bacon crispy just the way I like it, toast, fruit, juice, tea.  After breakfast we are expecting to go with Journey on a group tour to Doi Inthanon but no one comes to pick us up.  I search out Pepsi who finds Opas.  It seems like there was some miscommunication.  I thought the trip was on but Opas was waiting for me to give him the money for it when we talked yesterday.  No problem.  We will do this tomorrow.  I give Opas 2400 baht for the 2 of us for the trip.  I also make firm arrangements to spend the morning of February 6th with elephants at the Thai Elephant Home.  Cost for that is 3000 baht plus 1500 baht for the driver to take us, wait, and bring us back.  So what about today??  I think we will explore some Wats (I have a list) and go to some craft stores.  Opas calls for a driver to take us around for today.  We find out from the hotel that this is a driver that they recommend but I'm not sure about his name.  I have cards given to me from our drivers but I don't always remember to write on the card the date or what we did with the driver on the back of the card.   On the way we see see of what remains of the old city walls.




     WAT CHEDI MAN Located in Old City.  Oldest temple in Chiang Mai.  King Mangrai 1296.  Consists of 3 main buildings.  Chedi Chang Lom has stone carved elephants on its second level.  The golden upper has a bell shaped relic chamber.  Main meditation hall has a large mondop altar surrounded by Buddha statues.  There is a standing Buddha holding an alms bowl which dates back to 1465.  The smaller meditation hall is where you will find the crystal and marble Buddhas behind glass and bars.  The crystal/quartz Buddha sits on a gold base with a canopy and the marble of a bluish color is standing with an elephant nearby.  My pictures didn't turn out too good because the case holding them is not reachable for better shots.  An active monastery.




Main meditation hall





For those born on a Friday like my husband

For those born on a Saturday like myself











Here you see where the crystal and marble Buddhas are kept in a secure case with glass and bars





Marble Buddha

Crystal Buddha














     WAT CHEDI LUANG VAPAVIHARN  Construction started in the mid 15th century by King Saen Muang Ma to hold the ashes of his father and finished by King Tilokaraj.  Once housed the Emerald Buddha which is now in Bangkok.  There is a copy of the Emerald Buddha image made out of black jade in this temple.  The stairway is guarded by stone nagas and elephants.  There is the city pillar building Phra Yok shaped like a cross with 3 dipterocarp trees to help the pillar protect the city.  Another building Wat Phan Tao has a reclining Buddha.  It is an active place of worship.





















You can purchase these, write your name by the year sign of your birth and then hang it to be with the hundreds of others.  



Here I am writing our info
My husband hanging ours to be with all the others

Me-year of the rooster

My husband-year of the horse











This monk was feeding the birds

Stone nagas guarding the stairway with elephants above





City Pillar/Phra Yok building


Wax figure of Chan Kusalo







Reclining Buddha/Wat Phan Tao





Born in the year of the rooster

Born in the year of the horse






     WAT PAN TAO  Made of teak, next to Wat Chedi Luang.  Monastery of a 1000 kilns/stoves because it was believed to have been used to cast images for Wat Chedi Luang.  Intricate Lanna style carvings.  Main entrance door has a beautiful peacock.  Built late 14th century.




Peacock over a curled up dog




















     3 KINGS MONUMENT  Located almost in the center of the old city.  In front of the Chiang Mai City Art and Cultural Center.  In the middle is King Mengrai, founder of Chiang Mai; to his right is his friend King Ramkamhaeng of Sukothai; to his left is King Ngam Muang of Payo.





From left to right-Kikng Ramkamhaeng of Sukothai, King Mengrai of Chiang Mai, King Ngam Muang of Payo

     WAT PHRA SINGH  Admission fee 20 baht per person foreigner.  You are given an information pamphlet when you pay your admission.  Founded by King Phaya Payoo in 14th century.      Lots of interesting buildings.  Several of the buildings are houses for the Buddhist monks that reside here.








I think this is Viharn Luang or big temple



























Image carried through the streets during Songkran

Viharn lai kham

Reclining Buddha is in Viharn Buddha Sai-Yas




Reflections walk


Hoh Dhamma-houses Palm scriptures


Hoh Trai-library









     WAT SUAN DOK  Built as a place for monks to spend the rains retreat.  Area was once a Royal flower garden.  Relic housed here duplicated and that's how Doi Suthep originated.  Lots of white washed reliquaries which hold the cremated remains of the rulers of Chiang Mai.  On certain days and times there is a monk chat program where you can talk to monks who want to practice their English skills.






Can see Doi Suthep from here

The gold chedi holds the Buddha relic




























































     Now I'd like to visit some craft stores and I tell our driver the only one I must visit is BAAN CELADON.  I have already visited this store's website and know what I want to buy.  I buy a 7" hand painted elephant, the Three Wise Monkey set in the blue celadon, a vase, a set of 2 Japanese style tea cups with saucer plates, a hand painted round jewelry box and a plain one.  We are given cups of delicious tasting lemonade while I make arrangements for it all to be shipped back to my home address with the exception of the plain green celadon round jewelry box which I bought for my daughter.  I will see her in Phuket this March when we vacation together.  Total cost including shipping, insurance, etc. on my credit card for 8285 baht.  Celadon is a kind of high-fired stoneware glazed with wood ashes.  I absolutely love my choices with my only disappointment being that the dragon I wanted does not come in a small size.




     BOSANG/SA PAPER & UMBRELLA  You can learn how the paper is made as well as the umbrellas.  It's fascinating.  I love the umbrellas but when I mention how I'd like to buy one my husband gives me a look and says we have no room in our luggage so I settle for some paper products instead.


Me having some fun!














     SHINAWATRA/Silk Place  This place shows you how the silkworms are raised, how to separate the filaments from the cocoons, reeling, spinning, dyeing, weaving on hand operated looms.  There's also a very nice store that sells clothes, gift items, and lots more.  Unfortunately none of the blouses were my size so I had to settle for several silk scarves in some lovely colors and patterns.











     Returning to our hotel I have the driver stop at an ATM where I withdraw 12000 baht.  Cost for the driver for the day 1200 baht.  I enjoyed seeing the different wats in the old part of the city and beyond the original walls.  The craft places were fine as the paper/umbrella and silk places had a part where you could learn about the process.  All in all it was a well spent day but now we are ready to spend some relaxing time by the pool.   While at the pool we talk for a while to another couple.  She is a teacher working overseas-can't remember where-and she recommends a place for lunch and great baked goods.  Bake and Bite.  Have to try to get there.





   





     For dinner tonight we walk to RIVERSIDE.  It is very crowded and we're lucky to get a table.  It's not in the area with the view of the Ping River (if you want that you need to make a reservation) but in the dining area where the bar is.  As we're almost finished with our meal live music starts which is very nice.  We order garlic bread, coke, Singha beer, stir fry broccoli with chicken, and a vegetarian dish of fried noodles with cashew nuts and vegetables with egg.  For dessert I order tiramisu and my husband opts for ice cream-coffee and macadamia nut.  Bill for dinner which was great is 795 bahts.




Tables with view of Ping River


Chicken and broccoli

Fried noodles with cashew nuts and vegetables with egg

Ice cream and tiramisu

Music provided by 2 very talented guitar players.  We enjoyed listening to the music.

We pass this sign on our walk back but we are leaving for Chiang Rai and will miss the festival.

Ping River at night

Nawarat Bridge
   

 

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