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Around Town

The local Wats (temple sites) are quite photogenic and there is no shortage of opportunity – the Chiang Mai area alone has around 200 of them. I will post highlights from those soon. But here are some random shots from the past few days around town.

If you’re not in too much of a hurry, you might notice these guys hanging around
In case you were wondering where jackfruit came from (not to be confused with durian).
A kilo of Rambutan for just over a dollar. But they are kind of a pain to peel so if you find them like this:
…ready to eat rambutan- a bag for 10 baht (35 cents). Quite delicious, not too sweet and gelatin-like with a large pit inside. I need to go back for more today!
Kind of a rare sighting I have learned- a blue crested lizard! Got this one from the balcony of my hotel room.
A lotus bud…. Highly significant to Thai Buddhists. It is symbolized in lots of art and architecture. It’s also one of the things they bring with them to pray at a temple, along with three sticks of incense and a small piece of gold leaf to place on to a Buddha statue for good luck.
Couldn’t resist a picture of this little one. His t-shirt made me laugh.
You will see spirit houses in all sizes, colors and designs at each home or business. They are supposed to attract spirits to here rather than into your home or business. People often leave flowers, food or trinkets on a regular basis to help keep the spirits happy here. This is an article with more detail:
There is a strong Hindu influence in many temples and architecture in Thailand.
Another amazing, new flower!
Water is easily come by around town and even some coconut water. You can also refill your bottle at most wats. Just leave a small donation in the box next to the dispenser.

 

 

A silver Buddha- not that common. Chiang Mai is known for its silversmiths.

Another very common feature around town is the serpent on each side of the entrance to a temple or other building. From the Asiatours.net website: All temples are covered in small, highly reflective mosaics of colored glass. Their significance is to drive away evil spirits – if they approach too close they will see their reflection and be frightened away. There are other precautions to ward off bad spirits, including the monster figures often guarding doorways. Many temples are approached by long flights of steps, guarded at the base by pairs of fearsome serpent heads (nagas) whose long scaly backs form the walls on either side of the steps. The naga is a serpent which can change shape at will. One guarded Buddha in the wilderness by growing seven heads to form an umbrella over Buddha’s head, and promised to give his body for use by Buddha for all time. Candle holders near the altar within the wat are normally made in the form of a naga.

 

2 Comments

  1. It’s a Canon G12. I love it. It’s a lot of camera in a small size. Good alternative to an slr with changeable lenses, which I didn’t want to mess with on the fly. On the camelbak, when I’m just around town and don’t need the water bladder I take it out and leave it in the room.

  2. Brian Hannah

    What Camera are you using? I’m sure Rachel wants to know. We also like the camel back idea.