Cruising the Mountains
Trip Start Nov 08, 2006
260Trip End Ongoing
The site is only 15 kilometers from the city center, but the road winds its way into the mountains, the air gets chill, and it seems much more remote as you make your way to the wat.
But then we turned a corner and were greeted by the crowds, the peddlers, the army of songthaews, and the general commerce and showiness that surrounds any gathering of hoards of people with money in their wallets. But that's part of the experience. The tent of a million Buddhas was a particularly interesting shop. The photo is included
The wat was impressive and the experience was interesting. Sticks of incense and lotus blossoms floated around in a sea of people, bells rang in every direction, reverberating off the facades and statues, and everyone was involved in some small step in a larger dance of worship and spiritual ceremony. People swirled around the central stupa, then floated into small corners to visit lesser shrines, all the while the smoke and scent of incense enveloped and joined the whirlpool of the crowd. It was quite a display in contrast to the austerity of many religious gatherings.
After leaving the wat, we continuted up the mountain, stopping to look at the valley spreading out in every direction. The layers of color, the many hues of green stretching to the horizon were beautiful and calming. At end of the road we found a small hut that marked the entrance to the Doi Suthep National Park. From there we hiked to the summit, trying to enjoy the scenery but mostly focusing on our next breath
The ride down the mountain was a little scary at times in the setting sun, and it was definitely the coldest I'd been since arriving in Thailand. Once back in town we cruised through the city with a hundred other motorbikes. I felt like I was part of a motorcycle gang - very Hell's Angels. I get my tattoo later this week.
Also, check out Lindsey's
handmade Thai jewelry. She uses Thai Buddha pendants and other Asian
items to make really cool stuff, which she can ship anywhere in the world. Buy a necklace from Thailand!www.loveliesbylindsey.etsy.com