Funky Monks

Trip Start Jun 12, 2011
Trip End Oct 22, 2012

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Flag of Thailand  ,
Sunday, June 19, 2011

We arrived on the bus at 6.30am greeted with the usual shenanegans of being ferried into town on a 'free' taxi and dropped at a guest house thats given the bus driver a back hander, being offered 'free' tea while you decide where to stay so they can hard sell you their guest house, trips and treks.  Thankfully we had a reservation elsewhere so we made our Eagle House they had left out some towels and a key for us as the staff hadnt arrived yet.

We spent the rest of the day exploring the old city and the temples, both concluding that we are more drawn to the older temples, partly in ruins and the story behing them rather than the temples that are clad in gold leaf and shimmering in the sun.  At Wat Chedi Luang there was a partly restored chedi dating from 1441 apparently they havent restored the top of it cos no one knows what it used to look like. If you fancy having a chat with the monks at Chedi Luang you can do so at the 'monk chat club' so you can learn about buddhism and they can practice english.

We were lucky enough to be in Chiang Mai for the sunday night market.  'Sunday Walking Streets' consists of stalls selling multi coloured handmade hilltribe textiles and crafts, beautifully carved wooden panels, candles, incence and soaps and loads of colourful artwork as well as the usual clothing stalls selling fishermans trousers and other tourist tat, amidst food stalls selling everything from steamed dim sum to fried insects.  Busy crowds gather amid humid air, the smells of charcoal burners, diesel from the tuk tuks and the occasional whiff of drain.  One man karoke men wonder the streets and traditional instuments are being sold and played throughout the market.  And of course the random things like a child beauty padgent singer on a side stall, a man lying on the ground attempting to balance bottles on thie edges and a political rally going on right in the midst of it all.... only in Asia.  We sampled the street food.... banana spring rolls covered in chocolate sauce being the clear favourite although the pork buns and chicken on sticks  were also awesome.

Next day was Siam Rice cooking course with Nancy and Pot thanks a million to those who bought this for us as our leaving present it was the best day we had so far.  All the people on our course were cool.  They took us to the market first and explained to us what all the ingredients are.  We made the following:

Will made: spicy chicken and holy basil soup, chicken pad thai, masaman curry, red curry paste, glass noodle salad, coconut sticky rice, stir fried chicken with ginger.

I made: chicken tom yum soup, spring rolls, papaya salad, stir fried chicken with ginger, green curry paste, chicken green curry, sticky rice with mango.

We both attempted to carve a flower into a carrot too.

thanks for an awesome day!

Clare 22/06/11
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