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    Tropical Storm Tour: Thailand Part 16

    Friday, June 19, 2015
    Chiang Mai, Thailand

    Some nice street art in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
    Some nice street art in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

    More nice street art in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
    More nice street art in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

    A dragon guards Wat Sumpow in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
    A dragon guards Wat Sumpow in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

    I woke up early enough this morning to go out and pound the pavement to look for another room. Situated at a really busy intersection, the Rose Guesthouse was way too loud for me. Plus, they blast really loud music down in the bar / restaurant area. I read about a place called Diva that got a really good review on Travelfish, and it was located just down the street! The only problem was I couldn’t find it. Big surprise! So, I continued to trample around in the back lanes, but at the places I checked, either no one was at the front desk, or the room was way too expensive.

    A gate at Wat Sumpow in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
    A gate at Wat Sumpow in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

    A Buddhist monk's robes at Wat Sumpow in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
    A Buddhist monk’s robes at Wat Sumpow in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

    The main Buddha image at Wat Phra Singh in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
    The main Buddha image at Wat Phra Singh in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

    Luckily I happened upon a place with the funny name of Be-Beez, a little hole-in-the-wall with a nice restaurant downstairs and a few rooms and a bunk bed dorm room on the two upper floors. Plus, on the second floor, they have a nice garden to relax in with lounging chairs filled with those pyramid-shaped Thai-style pillows. I rented a room about 30 feet back from the street, so it was considerably more quiet than the Rose Guesthouse–especially at night. But, it was a little hotbox–even with the fan on.

    Wat Phra Singh in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
    Wat Phra Singh in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

    Dragons guard Wat Phra Singh in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
    Dragons guard Wat Phra Singh in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

    Chedi renovation at Wat Phra Singh in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
    Chedi renovation at Wat Phra Singh in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

    After an afternoon nap, I headed out on the town for a photo mission, stopping first at a small neighborhood Buddhist temple called Wat Sumpow. As I stood on the front steps shooting a photo of the interior, I turned around and noticed a local on a bicycle who had stopped across the street and was staring at me, like he was just waiting for me to step inside the temple with my boots on so he could come yell at me. Well, I know better than that, Mr. Vigilante Local! I’m not some dumb, disrespectful farang. As I walked away from the temple, he took off.

    Dragons guard Wat Phra Singh in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
    Dragons guard Wat Phra Singh in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

    A couple of old, small dragons at Wat Phra Singh in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
    A couple of old, small dragons at Wat Phra Singh in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

    A blocked sidewalk in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
    A blocked sidewalk in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

    Next, I stopped by Wat Phra Singh, which is Chiang Mai’s most well-known Buddhist temple. It was really nice to relax in there for a while, as well as shoot photos inside, and outside around the other structures in the pleasant setting sunlight. Next, I schlepped around town looking for a water machine to fill up my water bottle for only one baht. Those machines are always really picky. I think they don’t accept the newer one baht coins. Sometimes, I can get them to work, sometimes not. The first machine would not accept my coins; a nice lady from a shop right there even tried to help–to no avail.

    Some buildings near the northeast corner of Thanon Moon Muang in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
    Some buildings near the northeast corner of Thanon Moon Muang in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

    A bicycle crowd takes over on buffet night at May Kaidee's in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
    A bicycle crowd takes over on buffet night at May Kaidee’s in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

    I finally found a water machine down the street that worked, but it took two one baht coins to fill it up. That’s still way less expensive than 20 baht, which is how much foreigners usually get charged for a large bottle of water. In a mishap, a few drops of water spayed onto the dials of my camera. I carefully wiped them off. Hopefully, no water seeped down inside! I finished off the night at May Kaidee’s, where there was a buffet going on for a group of mostly foreign road bicyclists / vegans who were returning from a long ride up in the mountains. It was fun hanging out and chatting with them about biking. After stopping by a color-splashed night market to gulp down a cold a fruit shake, in the center of Chiang Mai, I headed back to my room at Be-Beez for a much-needed rest.

    Words and photos ©2015 Arcane Candy.

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