• Home
  • Audio
  • Video
  • Print
  • Art
  • Photos
  • Live
  • Features
  • About
  • Sale
  • Instagram
  •  

    Tropical Storm Tour: Thailand Part 19

    Monday, June 22, 2015
    Chiang Mai, Thailand

    Open wide and say ah! Wat Sai Moon Mueng in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
    Open wide and say ah! Wat Sai Moon Mueng in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

    A tiger stripe-clad figure at Wat Sai Moon Mueng in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
    A tiger stripe-clad figure at Wat Sai Moon Mueng in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

    The Sewing Machine Lady in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
    The Sewing Machine Lady in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

    After a long day riding the bicycle around yesterday, I slept for a full 11 hours. Luckily, the folks who were raging in the rooms next to me the night before were a lot more quiet after I talked to the manager of Be-Beez Guesthouse. After taking off most of the afternoon to relax, I walked down to the neighborhood south of the moat again to check out a unique all-silver Buddhist temple that I had just discovered on the web purely by chance when I was looking for something else. On the way there, I encountered a couple of small neighborhood Buddhist temples. The first one was called Wat Sai Moon Mueng that featured a statue of a guy dressed up in an orange Fred Flintsone-esque tiger-striped outfit sitting in a small blue shrine. RIght outside, I got ready to shoot a photo of a picturesque tree shrine with a lady working on a sewing machine in front of it. When she saw me awkwardly glance over at her as I got ready to shoot, she laughed. I asked if I could and she said yes. Next, I spied a Burmese Buddhist temple called Wat Sai Moon Myanmar that boasted a couple of golden spires amid a few damaged rooftops.

    A golden spire and a dilapidated roof at Wat Sai Moon Myanmar in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
    A golden spire and a dilapidated roof at Wat Sai Moon Myanmar in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

    Flyer chaos in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
    Flyer chaos in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

    A chiseled silver panel and a gong at Wat Sri Suphan in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
    A chiseled silver panel and a gong at Wat Sri Suphan in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

    Third up was the Wat Sri Suphan, a Buddhist temple complex that is dominated by an all-silver ordination hall. I couldn’t believe I’d never heard of this place before. It never gets mentioned in lists of the top temples of Chiang Mai, which seems incredible to me, as I’ve never seen another one like it anywhere. Almost every surface was covered with panels of silver that were hand-chiseled to utter shining, intricate perfection. (The only exceptions were a few ceiling and overhanging panels that weren’t finished yet.) As I slowly sauntered around and through the glimmering silvery wonderland, I was truly awestruck. I hung around and shot photos and videos for around an hour, completely absorbed by the sheer beauty of it all. It’s scenes like this that make all of the drudgery of travel–enduring long bus rides and a lugging around a heavy backpack–worthwhile.

    The Buddha image at Wat Sri Suphan in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
    The Buddha image at Wat Sri Suphan in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

    A close-up of an intricate silver surface at Wat Sri Suphan in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
    A close-up of an intricate silver surface at Wat Sri Suphan in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

    Near and far at Wat Sri Suphan in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
    Near and far at Wat Sri Suphan in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

    After striking the huge gong a few times, I finally tore myself away from Wat Sri Suphan and headed back to May Kaidee’s for one last bowl of Panang Curry bliss before I left for Chiang Mai. Back at Be-Beez Guesthouse, I was hanging out in the lounge area, when the loud people–two British guys and a Thai girl–from two nights before showed up with a couple of other female guests–one from Holland, the other from China. One of the British guys, Ryan, told me he’s been working over the internet while living in Southeast Asia for five years in places like Bali, Java, Malaysia and now, Thailand, and that he has a wife and two kids back home.

    A close-up of two Thai spirit houses in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
    A close-up of two Thai spirit houses in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

    Say goodbye to the staff at May Kaidee's in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
    Say goodbye to the staff at May Kaidee’s in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

    A street musician's rig in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
    A street musician’s rig in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

    When the Dutch girl heard Ryan say that, she really tore into him, telling him he should move back to England to be a dad for his kids. Ryan ended up crying, because he knew deep down inside that it was true, which also made the Chinese girl cry. It got pretty intense for a few minutes there. Ryan explained that his ex-wife had re-married and so his kids had a new dad, but the Dutch girl was having none of it. Before that, she also saw my MacBook Air and immediately stated she does not like Apple products because of their closed ecosystem. She was really opinionated and not at all afraid to speak her mind. It was pretty funny. After chatting with the crew for a couple of hours, I finally headed off to bed around 1:30 am, which is much later than I’d been used to lately.

    Words and photos ©2015 Arcane Candy.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *