Monday, January 01, 2007

Back to the USA

I'm back. Flew in today. My parents picked me up and we had a New Years/welcome back lunch with my sister. That was fun. Now I'm unpacking and trying to figure out where I put things before I left.

Now I have a fast internet connection (well, DSL which is fast compared to what was going on in Hong Kong) so I'm going to upload the other pictures from Chiang Mai, Thailand:

First, a food bazaar that has great food, available on street stands. Looks sketchy but perfectly fine. One odd thing I noticed, though, is that there were absolutely no insects. Then when I got back to my hotel I saw someone spraying something. A connection?

Dogs are everywhere. They are cared for in temples (a part of Buddhist compassion, perhaps) and come and go as they please.

Here's a dog that was waiting for someone in particular. Tuk-tuks drove by and he didn't chase them. When a woman and a child went past he bounded over to them, then realized he made a mistake and went back to his spot.

Travel agents everywhere selling tours to the outlying areas. Ride an elephant, see some villagers, that sort of thing. This tour agency was run out of a beauty salon near my hotel.

Another temple picture. I included it to point out the Thailand flags and the king's flags. This is actually common. There might be some association between Buddhism and the monarchy going on here.

On a street outside a temple, where lots of Western tourists walk, there are small little pillars that clearly go with the temple. But people have been using them as trash cans.

Here is a typical spirit house, traditionally placed outside every home, and the residents set out flowers and food for the spirits. Often arranged with miniatures like a doll house. What makes this interesting is that this is outside a small police box. Police boxes get them too, I guess.

There's a building dedicated to promoting Chiang Mai exports. They have a store where you can wander through and see the goods.

Starbucks is three stories high.

Riding elephants. I did this. It was okay, but you ride in a basket so you don't really interact with the animal.

You do get to hand the elephant food, though.

but you don't need to ride to do that.
They had an elephant show. Elephants playing soccer, lifting hats off trainers, etc.

The elephant show featured elephants painting.

After that you can buy the paintings. Don't know what the artist's cut is.


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