Hanging in Chang Mai

Trip Start Oct 22, 2005
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Trip End Ongoing


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Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Wandering around Chang Mai we saw the old city walls, gates and moat that was built back in the 12th century. Being a Sunday we heard there was a big weekly market in the centre of town that night. This was a huge event for the locals with every man and his dog doing some shopping. Megs spotted a quick buy; some pink fairy floss. Tiring from the crowds we decided to head back to the hostel for some sleep.

We got up early as we'd been told there was a ceremony where young apprentice monks graduate to 'full' monk status. There are around 300 Wats (Temples) in Chang Mai and we'd heard this was to happen at the main one, Wat Phra Singh. Out the front we met a History teacher from the local High School. We chatted about Chang Mai and he told us it had happened earlier in the week. Fortunately he gave us some other good ideas on what to see around the town. He also said we should check out the crafts "strip"outside of the old city, but get a tuk tuk from the High School. These tuk tuk's sit around during the day waiting for the end of class to take the students home. As they're not busy they can be hired for 50 Baht an hour. Before we headed off to see the crafts we went inside Wat Phra Singh to see the ornate gold Buddhas. In the entrance there were eight different Buddha statues in different poses. One for each day of the week, with two for Wednesday. To bring good luck we both donated a coin and prayed to the Buddha based on the day we were born.

Jumping in the hired tuk tuk we first went to the Silk Factory. Here they had silk worms munching away and cocoons being spun into silk thread. The way they made the silk sheets was all woven by hand. Even though he probably won't be wearing one for quite a while, Rick did buy a handmade silk tie for when he returns to the corporate world. On to the World's Biggest Jewelery Store so Megan could be hassled by heaps of sales people trying to get her to buy something. Here they showed how the jade statues were carved and how stones are set into exquisite jewelry pieces. Megs put up a good fight against the sales people, while Rick wandered off, and we managed to get out with all our cash in tact. Onwards to the Silver Factory to see how silver jewelry, cutlery sets etc were made. Another craft shop followed, with goods from the local tribes up for sale. At this stage we'd had enough shopping so decided to get dropped back in the "China Town"part of Chang Mai. Wandering around we went to the touristy Night Market, grabbed a quick bite at a local Thai restaurant and wandered back to our hostel.
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