Thailand – Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai’s Quirky Street Art

Posted by on May 1, 2014 in Destinations, Thailand - Chiang Mai, Travel Photo Thursday | 31 comments

Chiang Mai’s Quirky Street Art…

Here we are for the 175th week of Travel Photo Thursday! I want to say thank you to everyone who has contributed to keeping this weekly virtual tour going. What I really love is the amount of visiting, commenting, and sharing that goes on. Very few contributors simply link and run. I know that we’ve all made some wonderful virtual friendships through this weekly meet-up, and for some, those friendships have extended into the world beyond the blogosphere. I’m looking forward to week 200, but in the interim, we all have some linking, commenting, and sharing to do!  This week I’m going to share with you some of  the quirky and fun street art I’ve encountered in my walks around Chiang Mai.  Most of it seems to be erected by various businesses.

To join in the Travel Photo Thursday fun simply post a photo on your blog.

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Not sure why Mr. Piggy is so happy. He’s advertising for a shop that sells his cousins in bulk!

 

Street Art, Chiang Mai, Thailand

 

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Travel Photo Thursday — Apr. 17/14 — Chiang Mai’s Buddhist Culture

Posted by on Apr 17, 2014 in Destinations, Thailand - Chiang Mai, Travel Photo Thursday | 49 comments

Welcome to the 173rd week of Travel Photo Thursday. The semester is half over, and this week I am preparing my 200+ students for their midterm exams next week. I have no idea where the weeks have gone, and I am sure that the rest of the semester will pass in the same whirlwind fashion. This week I’m bringing you back to Chiang Mai and a sampling of the many photos I have taken in and around the city’s numerous Buddhist temples. Did you know that Chiang Mai boasts more than 300 temples?

 

To join in the Travel Photo Thursday fun simply post a photo on your blog.

Return here and place your link in the Mr. Linky at the bottom of this post.

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A statue at the base of the stupa at Wat Lok Molee. The white strings you see are used in numerous ceremonies such as holiday prayers and house blessings. The belief is that the strings transfer the blessings to each of  the participants. After the ceremony they will be cut into small pieces, and attached to visitors wrists to bring good luck. 

 

Buddhist Statue at Wat Lok Molee

 

 

Buddhist blessing string waiting to be hung…

 

Buddhist Blessing String

 

 

Buddhist water libation vessels used in blessings…

 

Buddhist Water Libation Vessels

 

 

Monk bowls at Wat Phan Tao…

 

Monk Bowls at Wat Phan Tao

 

Monks praying at Wat Chedi Luang on ordination day…

 

Monks Praying at Wat Chedi Luang

 

 

Temple bell at Wat Phan Tao…

 

Temple Bell at Wat Phan Tao

 

 

Lighting the candles on Macha Bukha Day at Wat Phan Tao…

Macha Bukha Day celebrates the day when 1,250 monks spontaneously came together to pay homage to the historical Buddha. 

 

Lighting the Candles on Macha Bukha Day

 

Preparing to honor the Buddha on Macha Bukha Day at Wat Phan Tao…

 

Makha Bukha Day, Wat Phan Tao

 

 

Travelers Tip 

The monks are very welcoming, and entrance to all of Chiang Mai’s temples is free. However, you will  come across numerous donation boxes throughout the temple complexes. To give or not to give is your choice. Temples are usually open from sunrise. Many close at 6pm. However, some of the bigger temples, like Wat Chedi Luang, usually stay open into the evening. Do dress appropriately. Women should cover their shoulders and knees. Men must wear shirts. Shoes must be removed before entering. 

The date of Macha Bucha day is based on the lunar calendar, usually in January or February. If you want to experience this celebration, be sure to check the date well in advance. 

 

 

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This is the 173rd edition of Travel Photo Thursday. You can browse the archives here.
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Chiang Mai: Hinlay Curry House for Foodie Tuesday

Posted by on Mar 4, 2014 in Destinations, Featured, Food, Foodie Tuesday, Thailand, Thailand - Chiang Mai | 18 comments

This is my contribution to Foodie Tuesday, hosted by Inside Journeys. If you missed last week’s Foodie Tuesday, have a peek! 🙂

The Ping River divides Chiang Mai, and many visitors never make it over to the “other side”. However, it’s easy to get there, and well worth the trip. You have a choice of  one of several bridges, or you could probably even swim. Swimming would not be my first choice!  The Ping River does not look particularly appealing! I generally walk (a pleasant 30 minute stroll from the old city), and then I can justify eating more! However, I’m sure any tuk-tuk or songthaew would get you close.

Quite a number of  lovely restaurants line the banks of the river, and there are also a number of local shops selling antiques, and traditional Thai products. Really though, I am digressing. I am not taking you shopping today, or to a restaurant along the river bank. We’re going to a charming restaurant just in behind the main (and very busy) street that serves up some of the best curry in Chiang MaiHinlay Curry. I have been eating here for years, and it’s always high on my “to visit” when I arrive in town.

You can choose sit in the open air restaurant or among the greenery in the garden. I love the garden area, but have just realized that I have never sat in the garden and eaten a meal. I have no idea why! This is a very good reason to go backEAT IN THE GARDEN!

As you can read, the prices are excellent!

Closed on Sunday
Closed on Sunday
Hinlay's relaxing garden setting.

Hinlay’s relaxing garden setting.

Dishes are cooked as ordered, so remember this is not MacDonald’s. You may have to wait a few minutes, and when your curry does arrivehmmm. You can read a book, or entertain yourself with your phone or tablet. Free WiFi is available. Of course, if you’re dining with someone this is the perfect opportunity for some scintillating  conversation!

Read a book while you're waiting.

Read a book while you’re waiting.

Like most restaurant menus in Thailand, there is a lot on offer. I tend to waffle over the main dish before making that all important decision. I often like to try something new, but then my favorites start whispering… I’m here, I’m here…

The Massaman curry is one that I have a difficult time resisting. Teeming with potatoes, cooked just right, and the sweetness of the curry is just so yummy. This is the perfect curry for anyone you can’t tolerate a lot of spice. I’m thinking of my friend Suzanne 🙂

Hinlay's awesome Massaman Curry.

Hinlay’s awesome Massaman Curry.

At the other end of the spicy spectrum is the vindaloo curry. I remember the first time I ever ordered it. The server looked at me in disbelief “You know that’s really really spicy?” “I sure do. Bring it on!” was my happy response. I could tell by the look on her face that she was doubtful I could pull it off.
I devoured the entire bowl, and lived to tell about it. The spice level was high, but not as hot as I thought it would be. The spice combined with a hint of sweet was a delicious assault to my taste buds, but definitely not a curry for those who flush at just the thought of spice!

Hinlay's spicy beef vindaloo curry.

Hinlay’s spicy beef vindaloo curry.

Did you notice that there is no rice on the table? Rice is good, but I find that I always end up in a carb coma afterwards. All I want to do is sleep. That’s the first reason that I opt out. The second reason is that Hinlay’s make the best garlic roti and naan. I switch it up. Sometimes naan, sometime roti; always garlic. Their out of this world yogurt and cucumber riata is the second reason. Combined with the garlic naan or roti, you have perfection. The riata is just a little tart, and that is a great complement to the garlic.

Location and Map

8/1 Nha Wat Kate Road, Soi 1, Chiang Mai/Phone 053-242621

"B" marks the location, right next to the luxurious 137 Pillars Hotel

“B” marks the location, right next to the luxurious 137 Pillars Hotel

 

Hinlay Curry House on Facebook

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Chiang Mai: Maya Mall’s Glitzy Food Court for Foodie Tuesday

Posted by on Feb 24, 2014 in Destinations, Food, Foodie Tuesday, Thailand, Thailand - Chiang Mai | 30 comments

Chiang Mai: Maya Mall’s Glitzy Food Court for Foodie Tuesday…

This is my contribution to Foodie Tuesday, hosted by Inside Journeys.

Things are changing fast in Chiang Mai. Since my last visit (December/January, 2013) three new mega malls have opened up. The latest was Maya Mall on January 24th. My travels don’t normally involve much, if any, mall crawling. However, Maya is located only ten minutes from where I was living, so I did end up in there a couple of times. Once was at lunchtime, so I decided to give the basement level food court a try.

The area sparkles with newness, and prices are in line with local non-mall food prices (30 – 50Baht) per dish. Lots of Thais were lunching here, so a good sign. After wandering down the line of vendors and peeking at what was on offer I chose one of my favorites, Khao Soi. I chose this dish for two reasons. First off, it’s one of my favorite Thai dishes, and secondly, I wanted to see how it compared to the Khao Soi on offer at the Airport Plaza Mall. I have rated that bowl of deliciousness as one of the best bowls of Khao Soi I have ever eaten. If you missed that post, you can click and have a peek 🙂

 

Waiting to become part of the Khao Soi

Waiting to become part of the Khao Soi

 

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Travel Photo Thursday — Feb. 20, 2014 — Hill Tribe Beauty in Chiang Mai

Posted by on Feb 20, 2014 in Destinations, Thailand - Chiang Mai, Travel Photo Thursday | 27 comments

Here we are for the 165th week of Travel Photo Thursday. I arrived back in Korea on Tuesday morning at 6:30am. A 3 hour bus trip got me into Daejeon around 10:30am. Getting used to 7 degree temps (that’s celsius) is a challenge! Thailand has a large population of indigenous people living in the mountainous north. Although there is more than one ethnic group, as a whole, they are referred to as the “hill tribes”. They are all well known for their beautiful textiles, and from these textiles the tribes produce beautiful traditional costumes. There is always a large contingent of hill tribe people involved in the Chiang Mai Flower Festival. Today I am sharing some of my favorite shots, showcasing their beautiful traditional costume

To join in the Travel Photo Thursday fun simply post a photo on your blog.

Return here and place your link in the Mr. Linky at the bottom of this post.

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Beautiful Hill Tribe dancers and costumes….

Beautiful Hill Tribe Costumes

Beautiful Hill Tribe Costumes

 

Isn’t she stunning in her traditional costume?

 

Hill Tribe Portrait

 

Love the colors and the bead work…

 

Young Hill Tribe Dancers

 

The men look so handsome in their outfits! I can only imagine the work that went into attaching all those beads.

 

TraditionalCostumes

 

The traditional hats are beyond gorgeous!

 

 

Hill Tribe Head Gear

 

Non-stop energy as they dance the parade route!

 

Hill Tribe Dancers

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Traveler’s Tip

Chiang Mai’s Flower Festival is one of the best opportunities to see these beautiful Hill Tribe costumes. Remember, that parade is held in February, either the first or the second weekend.

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This is the 165th edition of Travel Photo Thursday. You can browse the archives here.

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Travel Photo Thursday – February 13, 2014 – Chiang Mai’s 38th Annual Flower Festival

Posted by on Feb 13, 2014 in Destinations, Featured, Thailand - Chiang Mai, Travel Photo Thursday | 43 comments

Welcome to another week of Travel Photo Thursday (0ur 164th!). This past weekend was Chiang Mai’s Annual Flower Festival; 38 years and still going strong. The gorgeous flowers, traditional dancing, marching bands, beautiful costumes. and a parade filled with spectacular floats made for an awesome weekend. Events this year were held between the Suan Buak Hat Park, in the old city, and Thapae Gate. The parade followed its usual route, winding through the city from Narrawot Bridge to Suan Buak Hat. The one big change this year was that the parade didn’t get underway until 4pm. In fact, it was closer to 5pm before things really started. Darkness had long fallen before we saw the final floats, and dancers!

To join in the Travel Photo Thursday fun simply post a photo on your blog.

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I visited Suan Buak Hat Park on Friday. Flower judging contests were happening. Food vendors were enticing attendees with loads of delicious food. There was a traditional market where you could buy everything from plants to puppies. The highlights for me were the orchids and  the  traditional dancing. Here are my favorite shots from the Friday.

 

The variety of orchids was amazing! I love these pink miniatures…

 

Pink Minature Thai Orchids

 

Flower judging is serious business…

 

Flower Judging, Chiang Mai Flower Festival 2014

 

More beautiful orchids…

 

Pink and Yellow Thai Orchids

 

Purple Thai Orchids

 

Suan Buak Hat Park…

 

Suan Buak Hat Park

 

Thai traditional dancers dressed to dance.

 

Thai Dancers

 

Aren’t they lovely?

 

Beautiful Hill Tribe Girls

 

This younger dancer knew exactly how to pose!

 

Young Thai Traditional Dancer

 

Concentrating on the performance…

 

Young Thai Traditional Dancers.jpg

 

Loved these masked dancers!

 

Masked Thai Dancers, Chiang Mai Flower Festival 2014

 

Saturday arrived, and the parade wound its way from Narrawot Bridge to Suan Buak Park. I have lost count as to the number of times I have seen this parade, and I never tire of it. Chiang Mai shines when it comes to putting on this annual spectacle. I wish I could show you all the great moments I managed to capture. but my blogging host would probably shut me down! I’ll try to post more in the weeks to come.

 

They love their marching bands. This all female group was amazing. They energized the crowd and never missed a beat.  Don’t you love the ears?!
Marching Band Chiang Mai Flower Festival

 

These Hill Tribe dancers boogied the entire length of Thapae Gate Road, and they were just getting started!

 

Hill Tribe Dancers

 

Loved these colorful tiger heads!

 

Tiger Float

 

There was no end to the beautiful floats! Well there was, but the parade went for at least three hours (probably close to four)

 

Floating By

 

The swan at Thapae Gate…

 

The Swan at Thapae Gate

 

And one last flower…

 

Delicate Thai Orchid

 

Travelers Tip 

The festival is a 3-day event, and is held either the first or the second weekend in February. If Chinese New Year falls on the same weekend (as it did this year), the festival is usually changed to the next weekend. The entire festival is free. Accomodation can be at a premium, so if you decide to attend, book early!

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This is the 164th edition of Travel Photo Thursday. You can browse the archives here.

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