Flower festival and Mukha Bucha day

Trip Start Jan 22, 2009
Trip End Mar 19, 2009

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Flag of Thailand  ,
Saturday, February 14, 2009

The story goes that a thousand plus years ago on what is now called Sangha day, or known in Thailand as Makha Bucha day, or as I like to call it, Buddha Day, 1250 monks all from different places and on their initiative spontaneously came to pay homage to the historical Buddha. I believe this is where the phrase "Deja Vu all over again" originated.

This day to Thailand on Feb. 9th and Thai Buddhists gather at sunset in their local temples to participate in candlelight procession. In particular, Wat Chedi in Chiang Mai was quite the spiritual event.

The Flower Festival ended with a very lively Sunday night market, with hundreds of locals milling about Chiang Mai's old section on another beautiful balmy Thai evening. The scene was like a street fair with street musicians, great cheap food stalls grilling and frying tasty goodies, and lots of shopping opportunities.

Later that night, Texas Bob in astonishment nearly collapsed over his Go Go bar stool when he turned and saw a baby elephant across the street. Some locals were taking him for a stroll on a moonlit night. "No Texas Bob, you're not that drunk. The elephant is real. It's just Thailand".

Here are some interesting Thai factoids I've discovered:

The famous World War II Bridge over the River Kwai is based on a real life event and the actual Kwai river location is in western Thailand, near the Burma border. Curiously, all the native Thais in the area whistle one particular song....

Yul Brynner's role in the movie The King and I was based on a real life King, King Mongkut, or Rama IV. Thailand's current king is known as King Rama IX and has been king for over sixty years! Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera....

Thai loosely translated mean "free" and was adopted by the new independent Thai government nation to replace the old kingdom name of Siam to become the independent nation of Thailand.

Free land.

In Chiang Mai, near my hotel, there's a young Thai couple who run a restaurant which must have the greatest collection of chopper / Harley Davidson memorabilia I've ever seen. The husband has a bright red chopper parked outside.
I told them I was in the movie Wild Hogs to which he grinned, and promptly brought over a copy of the DVD and asked me to sign it. My stardom status has now expanded to Thailand. Ah...vanity.

My next stops will be the Sukhothai old Thai kingdom ruins and the frontier border town of Mae Sot.

To see more of my travel photography, please visit www.michaelmcguerty.com

To read more of my travel writings, and more, please visit www.pecoskid.com

To view my Oriental Odyssey - Asia Travels video, please visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S0DArr5uJUo
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