chiang mai – day five

i did it!

ididit_opt.jpg

i squatty pottied!

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oh, yeah, baby, on one of these. go me, go me, go me. and don’t ask for details. just know, i didn’t fall in, get wet or make a mess. and i washed my footprints off the sides.

today is sight seeing day.

our first stop was doi suthep. a mountain that over looks chiang mai. the highest altitude of this mountain is 5498 ft. – not quite the altitude at which we currently live. on this mountain we stopped at wat prathat doi suthep, a holy buddhist temple. now, i don’t claim to be an expert or anything but i had done a little research about how to behave when visiting a wat – no shorts, no sleeveless shirts, no PDA – and they even have printed on the ticket they give you to get in – no shorts, no sleeveless shirts, no PDA. and probably 2/3 of the other tourists we saw were breaking 2 or more of these simple guidelines. i found that very annoying and i’m not buddhist and i am a tourist. how hard is it to comply with a few simple guidelines?

next up was bhubing palace – the palace the royal family stays at during seasonal visits to the northern part of thailand. the palace and the grounds are beautiful. it looks like the romanticized vision i have when i think of living in thailand.

lunch break – all three of us, bh, me and our driver ate for under $4 american.

then we were supposed to go to a silk factory and ended up at a silk shop. i think maybe it was a communication issue. our driver speaks no english and we speak no thai. and so between the two of us we licked the platter dry… sorry, got carried away.

we did find the bor sang umbrella factory – by far my favorite stop of the day – to see how they make these beautiful umbrellas – all by hand. they turn the handles and the spindles for the top and use a very sharp knife for all the detail work – no special tools, just one really, scary sharp knife. then they finish creating the skeleton of the umbrella, cutting and trimming, again using those sharp knives. the material goes on. they are trimmed and if they have tassels they’re added – than all the pieces are put together. next, is the painting. very quickly they paint all sorts of designs on the umbrellas. they are amazingly beautiful. as your walking by they will offer to paint your purse or your clothing. i had an elephant painted on the end of my pants and bh had one painted on his murse. it’s very neat.

now we’re taking a break at the hotel, waiting for dinner. we’re going to khum kantoke later on – the description we’ve been given is it’s cultural dinner and performances.

tomorrow we head to bangkok and again have one night in bangkok. then we head home. we leave bangkok at 8:45 am on friday and arrive home at 12:45 pm the same day. love the time change going that way.

and the most important thing to happen today? it’s a10now11’s birthday! happy birthday, a11! we miss you and will see you soon.

9 thoughts on “chiang mai – day five

  1. Happy Birthday a11.

    You are even more my hero now, doing that. My hubby had to use them in his travels and was telling the girls. They didn’t believe him until he showed them pictures. I’m guessing it’s not something to do drunk??

  2. that is frightening! i dont even want to know how it works. i am glad to hear you are havingt fun.

  3. Oh-come on girls you know we never sit on the potty in public anyway!!!!

    I am proud of you!

    Today can go down as the day of many new experiences!

  4. Monica,
    I was on the MTR (public transportation system) in Singapore. Really needed to use the bathroom and saw one of those things when I rounded the corner. Those things are scary. I decided just to “go” in my pants… probably would have been just as messy anyways.

    😛

  5. With the way things are going here, I am really debating on taking orders to Diego Garcia. It kind of depends on when the ship I want will get homeported there. If I do get there I would get a free flight to Singapore twice a year so maybe you will have some company.

    Although you will be far from “home”, you and your family are about to have a great adventure. I am jealous. See you at Christmas!!!!

  6. Monica, glad you are well and having a good time – have enjoyed reading how you have been getting on over there. I hope you get home safely and wish you and your family a very merry Christmas. xo

  7. My husband and I are in the “life-planning” stage of setting ourselves up for a life in Thailand. Your blog is so helpful! I’m devouring all of your posts from the beginning on.

    I just had to give you a high-five for your post about tourists wearing shorts, etc. in the temples. During my time in Thailand, I’ve been horrified by women in short shorts and tank tops, posing for photos in front of Buddha. Have people no respect for other cultures?

    If it makes you feel any better, Thailand in 2004 had way more squat toilets than the Thailand of 2008 did. I was quite impressed by their progress in just four years!

    hope your move goes well!! it really drives me crazy how many people don’t make the effort when it is so easy to find out what is culturally exceptable and actually do it.

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