Chiang Mai

Soiphet and driver (I wish I could remember his name) drop us off at our final hotel for our final 2 nights.  The Rachamankha is extraordinarily beautiful, and so peaceful.  Like a museum, actually.  That night we have dinner in an open, tree-filled courtyard, while a musician plays ancient instruments.  I feel existential for a split second, like, Wow, I’m really somewhere right now.

We spent the next day and a half walking around the inner walled city of Chiang Mai.  This is the oldest part of the city, surrounded by a moat and 4 gates.  We left this part only once, taking a taxi to go to a night market across town where we stocked up on souvenirs, including a bag to carry them all home.  Chiang Mai is chock-full of temples, everywhere you look.  Here’s a collection of those spirit houses, where people hope ghosts take up residence instead of inside their home or business or temple, enticing them with daily offerings of food and drink.

At one of the temples, we saw cages of birds for sale, saying releasing them was good luck.  We knew there was something dodgy about this, but decided it wouldn’t hurt to release a few birds.

Just around the corner we found this sign — oops.

Besides Seb getting a haircut that cost less than $2, there aren’t many stories to tell from Chiang Mai.  This was the end of our month abroad, and we were by now so saturated with sights and smells and stories to tell, that we both wandered around this city in kind of a half-daze.  “Which temple is this?”  “I have no idea.”  But the city is quite beautiful, so of course we snapped lots of photos.  It was a fitting end to a wonderful vacation… to just wander around a beautiful place, not worrying about a list of places we must go, or what’s next… to just be.  It must be the Buddhism rubbing off on us.

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