Chilling in Chiang Mai

We’ve been living in Chiang Mai for a week now. There are a bunch of entrepreneurial/web dudes/geeks here for Barry to connect/work with so we’ve decided to park ourselves for awhile. We have booked a room in a guesthouse for a month and I unpacked everything (even the stuff in the bottom of my pack which I haven’t used yet).

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We’ve settled into a bit of a routine. Every day we’re up early (to varying degrees), cycle to Chiang Mai University, go for a run, do some other exercises, yoga and cycle back home (which is good training for the marcothon we’re starting tomorrow). Then we hit the laptops for a few hours, head out for a bowl of rice for lunch and chill out in air conditioned cafes with better wifi than our guesthouse. Evenings have been spent drinking more beers than we have in the last five weeks. It’s a pretty good life.

So as not to miss out completely on the travel side of life, we cycled into the Old Town to check out the walls and the biggest/most popular temple in Chiang Mai, Wat Phra Singh. The Buddha image, Phra Singh, is the big attraction here, as is the temple architecture itself.

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Chiang Mai 021I was very impressed by the images of revered monks. I thought this one was an ageing monk, sitting in reverential silence as both visitors and believers passed by the Buddha. leaving offerings.

Chiang Mai 007When I got closer, timidly, so as not to disturb any meditation, I caught sight of a plaque explaining that this revered monk passed away in 2009 at the age of 96 and what I was looking at was a fibreglass replica. Amazing.

Chiang Mai 008The complex itself is large and very much a working temple. It was really interesting to watch all the activities going on, praying, meditating, offerings to the monks, what looked like arts & crafts for the children (I’m sure there were religious messages in there too) and various other things I didn’t really understand. Despite the number of people there were some peaceful areas, such as the garden where words of wisdom where hung on the trees.

If you couldn’t guess, the food one is my favourite.

 

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