February 1, 2018
I need to back up to last night when we ventured into Chiang Rai in the far north of Thailand. We headed for the Night Market to eat and shop. Thousands of locals and others were there also. There were hill tribe vendors as well as native Thais. There was plenty of interesting food choices so we chose Swensen’s Ice Cream instead of the whole fish samplers. An interesting side light was the multi-colored, illuminated clock tower. I prefer Prague or Bern but it was entertaining standing in the traffic median.
In the morning we left for the “White Temple” that is the inspiration of a famous Thai painter. It was entertaining and creative with his attempt apply Buddha’s compassion to the horrors of the modern world. Featured demon’s included Osama bin Laden, George W. Bush and non-existent heroes like Batman. It was a bit bizarre but interesting nonetheless.
Our next weird stop was to use the rest rooms at “Cabbages and Condoms”. This is a factory that produces these latex products from the local rubber trees. The place was indicative of Thai openness and somewhat embarrassing for our bus load of senior citizens. Actually, everyone was amused.
After a lunch of noodles and other Thai basics, we reached our destination city of Chiang Mai. This is our last Thai stop. We visited in quick succession a paper u,Brel.a factory, a ceramic factory, a jewelry factory and a silk factory. We managed to find purchases at three. The Celadon pottery was irresistible as were the rubies.
We are checked in to our last Thai hotel. Very nice. Ready to head for the mountains in the morning.