15 February 2018 – Chiang Mai – Day 4 – Watch Where You Are Walking!

After such a busy day yesterday we thought we would take it easy today. There was a Wat that I wanted to go to and it was on the other side of the moated city. Wat Phra Singh. I have to choose them carefully as Doug will only do so many Wats in each city. It was a few miles away, but we thought we would walk it as it wasn’t too hot and humid yet. We stopped off at our favourite restaurant and had a smoothie and our English breakfast for breakfast.

It was delicious as usual. At the restaurant, every morning the girl would put out the offerings around 10:00 am. 3 beverages of assorted colours and I think 3 or 4 small bowls of food. At the first one she would place 5 sticks of incense and the second one would only put 1 stick of incense. It was quite the ritual with her saying what we assumed was a prayer at each placing. She also would remove her shoes before kneeling down to place anything. You could find similar offerings at almost every business, many of them just on the street.

As we crossed the bridge to the moated area we came across the traffic police who had pulled aside a whole bunch of tourists on scooters.

The traffic police then escorted most of these tourists to the local police station. We know this because we passed them again on our way to the Wat. Later in the day we saw another group of tourists pulled over. Big business and money for them in this. Not sure what the fine is here in Chiang Mai, Thailand for not having an International Drivers License, but in Vietnam I think it was around $50 Cdn. We know as our group was pulled over last year. Some of our group had their International Drivers Licences with them so weren’t fined. Others in our group were.

As we walked down the street to our Wat of the day we came across another Wat. I think it might be Wat Sumpow but not sure. Inside was a group of school children listening to one of the Monks speak.

. This was the sign as you entered the grounds of the Wat.

As we continued down the street we came across more decorations in celebration of the Chinese New Year. There is a large Chinese population in Thailand and they seem to go all out in their celebration of the New Year.

We also saw a couple of guys making these rope animals. They are really nice and if we weren’t traveling only with backpacks, I probably would have bought one.

I decided to take pictures of the obstacles on the sidewalks today. Paden had been telling us frequently to watch where we are walking. I think I jinxed myself.

We finally got to the Wat of the day after a few side trips and getting Doug a new pair of flip flops. His old ones were melting onto his feet.

This Wat was free for Thai people, but not for us foreigners!

Inside there was a group of Monks eating their lunch. Every morning the Monks go out to solicit donations of food and money from the people and the stores.

Can’t remember if I’ve mentioned before as to how real these wax figures are, but they really look alive. Right down to the ear hair.

Many buildings and beautiful gardens on the grounds of this Wat. There was one garden that had sayings nailed to every tree. Really good sayings.

Some were very old buildings.

By now it was noon and HOT. Since we were in this part of town we thought we would walk to the shopping district where there was supposed to be a mall. Punched the name of the shopping street in the app maps.me. It was a little over 2 kms away but we would just take our time and try to stay in the shade. What shade? Not sure where maps.me was taking us but we did not end up in any shopping district that we could see. Did another search and found the mall and hit start for the route on the app. It took us down a dead end street and had us walking across a creek on rocks. Maps.me works great sometimes but not always the best route. Made it across the creek and up the other side.

Doug continued walking as did I, but I was trying to orient myself with maps.me and figure out where to go next as we seemed to be in another dead end area and an entrance into some random building, not a shopping mall. Next thing I knew I was stumbling everywhere and landed on the ground. Some poor man saw it happen and came right over to ask if I was okay. He was saying there was a clinic just down the street. Took me a couple of minutes to get myself together and get up. Injuries weren’t too bad. I was pretty dirty as I fell in dried up, dusty mud and gravel. Both hands had a few scraps and my left knee was pretty scraped up and very dirty. Many tiny slivers of rocks under the skin. We had lots of first aid supplies in our backpack so I cleaned it up a bit and figured we would get to the washroom in the mall and give it a good clean. Thank goodness my camera had been closed and my phone was in my hand. No damage to either item. All I could hear in my head was Paden saying “watch where you are walking!” We spied a Starbucks just outside the mall and thought I could go into the washroom, clean up and then enjoy a nice iced coffee. Wrong! Starbucks over here don’t seem to have washrooms. Over to the mall we headed and found the washroom. Well no paper towels or toilet paper in there to do any cleaning with. Back to our backpack for more cleaning supplies. We had sanitizing wipes, polysporin and bandages in it.

Cleaned it up as best we could with our supplies and headed back to Starbucks for iced coffee. While sitting there, there was a performance put on for the Chinese New Year.

We decided we would take a tuk-tuk back to our hotel as it was just too far to walk and the tuk-tuk was only going to be approx $5.00 Cdn. It was a great ride back in the hot sun. So much better than walking.

Later in the evening we headed out for dinner and decided to try a new place for us that was right on the corner of the street our hotel was on. Doug had a Margarita and I had a Blue Margarita. Both were pretty good as was the food.

After dinner we headed down to the night market for a quick look around. Didn’t stay out too long.

And we called it a night.

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