Photo Gallery & Impressions 13a


This is the first of several photo albums of pictures taken on our 6-day holiday to the city of Chiang Mai in northern Thailand.  Many of our students were having end term exams and Tuesday was a national holiday, the Queen's Birthday & Mother's Day (combined).  We decided to take a very long weekend and fly north to Thailand's 2nd largest city.

The first leg of our journey meant getting from the college, 9 km into Ban Pong to catch the bus for Bangkok.  Trying to do it Thai style we used our borrowed bike.

The town square (clock tower) is decorated for the Queen's birthday.  This is where the bus stops.  Next stop, Bangkok bus station where we get a taxi to the Asia Airport hotel.

An early morning flight time found us leaving the city & recognizing the distinctive Pakkred area where the Chao Phraya River makes an ox bow formation. We visited here in 1998.

As we near Sukothai, the ancient capitol city, we see more of Thailand's rich farmlands.  This view is from our Bangkok Airline's smaller turbo prop plane.

Landing at Sukothai, we were required to leave the plane.  We found the most attractive airport terminal we have seen anywhere.  Rich teak & Thai architecture were plentiful.

Approaching the northern city of Chiang Mai, we see more rich green landscape.  Fields flooded for rice add visual variety to the composition.

Chiang Mai had an attractive baggage claim area so Keith insisted on a photo op.

Our hotel, the Royal Mae Ping was hosting the last day of APEC.    (Asia Pacific Economic Conference)

The reception line of ladies in traditional local costumes were the subject of amateur & professional photographers.

Our room.  We finally remembered to take a picture BEFORE we messed it up by living in it.  It was a lovely 10th floor VERY comfortable space.

Our tour package included a half day tour of city cites which began at the popular city wat, Wat Phra Singh  which dates back to 1345.

Keith and guide discuss the requisite Buddha traditions associated with wats (temples) in this country.

One could make a passion of studying the wall murals in wats.  This shows how they are part of the (dare I say it?) wall paper.

The central shrines (Wihan) are usually an ornate setting for the object of adoration, here the revered Pra Buddha Sing.

This restored mural appears to be representing life at court and or a festive time of some sort.  

The murals here are depicting everyday life of the Lana culture in the 19th century.

Now here's a cool gig.  Cage 2 little birds and sell them to tourists who will pay for any kind of good luck they can get. Object - turn them loose - vendor gets cage back.

There is an old brick wall that still stands in some places around the ancient city center.  This photo on the fly turned out nicely.

Touring a cotton factory, we are told cotton comes from a tree ??? We're from California where it grows on bushes.  Different stuff?  The hostess produces cotton balls from this tree for this skeptic.  

Tree cotton acted the same as bush cotton in every other way. Here a worker winds the spun threads into skeins for dyeing. 

This worker strings the heddle arrangement on a floor loom of which there were several dozen at this factory.

The sheer number of heddles here attest to the skill of the Thai cotton handcrafters.

At the next stop, a silk workshop, we are shown the silk being spun from the cocoons.  It produces a surprisingly coarse product of some 200 meters per cocoon. 

While the silk was not processed at this site, the hand looms were in action for visitors.

At the gallery of the lacquer workshop Keith chooses a few nice items.  Lacquer making takes some 17 steps each requiring several days to weeks to complete.  

Teak wood carving is alive and well as a handcraft throughout Thailand, and we are treated to some quality work at this shop.

Peg admires the classic elephants.  They literally emerge from the wood and give a decidedly majestic presence to a space.

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