WOW what a great day! I headed off to see Doi Sutrep a huge Buddhist Temple at the top of the mountain. I had to engage as always in my best bargaining skills to get there. One Sontang wanted to charge me 100 baht...An outrage fee even it is only 2 bucks. So I went to the queueing area near the zoo where they collect odds and ends of people and load us up in a truck and off we go. So I was in a truck with about 15 Thais who as usual keep smiling at me all the time as this is the land of smiles. The trip is a bit winding up the mountain and well I think some people were getting a little car sick...including me. But alas we get to the top of the mountain and get dumped off. Then it happens, as in all tourist destination around the world, VENDORS are onto you...they now how to say good deal and buy from me in about 22 different languages...If you ignore them they just keep changing languages until they hit one that gets a look from you and then you are had....
So yes the mask lady hit me early on, I think she had advanced information that I was coming because somehow she knew that I like face masks. So I conned her out of a sale by telling her that I had to walk up the 300 steps to the mountain and I did not want to carry any more weight. So off I head to the mountain, she was sad and well I was a little sad also as she had some great masks.
So the place is amazing, sitting right on top of the mountain and it is many different temples contained into one. It is a very important place to all Thais so as you can imagine it was jammed as it was a Sunday. So I was standing there admiring all the beautiful things when this lady comes over and ask me if she could take a picture of me with her family. So somewhere tonight in Chiang Mai I am now part of some one's day out at the mountain.
Then it was time to head down the mountain pass the gauntlet of vendors who were waiting for me when I headed down the steps. Well guess who was waiting for me at the bottom of the steps...you guessed it the mask lady...So I was had and now own a new 3 part mask...Lovely
So then I had to work out how the Sontags went down the mountain and that was a bit of a challenge...But my Thai is improving at least in names of places so when I said Tha Pae they knew what I want and got me on the right truck. This time they put me in the cab as I was a farang...you know a foreigner.
Then after a little discussion at the zoo my driver and another driver traded me. I am beginning to feel like a hot potato now. But alas the new driver spoke English and got me right to where I wanted to go...
So I then got to my traditional Sunday activity...The Sunday market. So today I bought a traditional Thai white shirt which are really comfortable and look great. Just hope that it is not like a Hawaiian shirt looks good here and then you get home and say "what was I thinking?"
Oh I also bought my train ticket down to Bangkok, which I am really looking forward to. I am told the train ride is great and a chance to be able to reflect on my experience here in Chiang Mai.
So as always some pictures of my day here...I have a lot more on my other camera but they wont come off ...hmm got to figure that one out.