Posted by: James Shannon | June 17, 2011

Beef Sausages and Buddhism: Explorations In Chiang Rai

Thanks for your patience if you are reading this post today, as the last week was insanely busy at work, plus Vancouver made a run all the way to Game 7 (and lost again, in more ways than one).  Now that the craziness of new staff training is behind me, I should resume my usual every other day posting schedule.

Now onward to my latest photo blog…

After spending a week and a half in Northern Thailand between Chiang Mai and Pai, it was time to get a move-on; after all, I had little more than one month left in my trip, but three more countries to visit! My road to Laos however, went through Chiang Rai, and it was here that I stopped for a night and a day for one last taste of The Land of Smiles…

Getting in on the bus after dark I lugged my gear past the Night Baazar, and down through the dark downtown area, towards my booked guesthouse (which, by the way, would be one of the last ones during my trip to SE Asia — more on this later), Chat Guesthouse.  On the way to the accommodation was one of Chiang Rai’s most famous landmarks, its gaudy looking brass/gold leaf (?) clock tower … ballin’!

I’ve started to scale back on posting pics from Buddhist temples, because they’ve been blending into each other (i.e. it was getting boring), but this picture came out looking pretty cool, so here it is … just steps away from my guesthouse.

Wandering through the town to check it out before departing the next day, I happened upon the Saturday Food Market.  Though food markets occur everyday in villages, towns and cities all over Thailand, this one was the most massive gathering of every sort of produce, meat, breads, sweets, meal carts, etc that I have ever seen!  Markets rule!

Tonnes of onions, shallots, garlic, and red chillies!

Not just normal cuts of meat, but also organs are sold for food … I think there’s intestine on the table … mmm mmm! 🙂

Berries and flavoured drinks in bags!

Thai sausage (animal origin unknown) … but it smelt unbelievably awesome! *drool*

In addition to Buddhism, Islam has a significant following in far Northern Thailand … here is Chiang Rai’s mosque … stunning!

Yes, I know, yet another Buddhist temple, but once inside the grounds…

… there were numerous signs with sayings from the Buddha, and those expressing specific Buddhist philosophies.

The past is done, and tomorrow never arrives.  All we have is the present moment.

There were a ton of these all around the complex … I’ll post more when I do a special sign blog post, sometime after I finish publishing all the main travel blogs from my SE Asia trip!

Next up: An “In Motion” video post on the serenity of the T.A.R. Islands, several kilometres off the coast of Kota Kinabalu. And then after that … Laos! Stick around folks, because the trip is about to get interesting and edgy once again!

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