Wai-ing in Thailand
Trip Start Sep 06, 2011
23Trip End Aug 31, 2012
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I arrived in Chiang Mai (pronouned 'chang my') in the north of Thailand this morning, after a 14 hour train ride from Bangkok. It was one of the comfiest trains I've ever been on. I had a real bed with a curtain around it, so it felt like I had my own little bedroom. Lovely.
I already really like Chiang Mai! I spent this afternoon and evening wandering the old city, which is the part I'm staying in. The old city is a perfect square, and hundreds of years ago it was surrounded by very high walls for protection. It's still possible to see some parts of the walls, so I'm going to find them tomorrow
A very popular thing to do in Thailand, and indeed in a lot of Asia, is to go to a night market in the evening. People go there to eat, meet their friends, shop, and be entertained. Chiang Mai has a huge and very interesting night market. I walked around it for about two hours tonight, and there's still more to see! I ate some delicious pad thai for dinner (has anyone tried this before??) which cost about 30 cents! I also had a passion fruit smoothie - YUM! While I ate my dinner I sat and watched some people singing on a stage in the centre of the market. The best one was a little girl who was only about 8 years old! I thought she was very brave to sing in front of all those people - much braver than me!
The market sometimes spills off the roads into temples, so I also visited a couple temples on my walk tonight. The temples in Thailand are beautiful, and there are more than 300 of them in Chiang Mai, so I'll take some pictures for you tomorrow!
Since I've been in Thailand I've learned a new way of greeting someone - the 'wai' (pronounced 'why'). This is where you put your hands together in front of your chest, and bow a little, while you say 'sa wat dee ka' (boys, you say 'kap' instead of 'ka' at the end!). Try it! I think it's a really nice way to say hello. You can also use it to say thank you, or sorry. The lower you bow, the more respectful your greeting is. Thai people use the wai instead of a handshake.
I didn't take my camera with me today so I don't have any pictures to show you today, but I'll take lots for you tomorrow to make up for it!
Has anyone ever been to Thailand before? Do I remember that we have a Limehouse team mate from here?
I hope you're all very well and that it's not too cold yet!
Photos to follow soon!