went back to pai again with some friends, fun times!
the friends i came with are in a jazz band called “alukomarai“, which is kind of a play on words – in thai, “alaiomaruk” (i think) means “i don’t know”. here’s them playing at this really awesome place called edible jazz:
edible jazz is a really cool little bar/cafe/venue situated on temple grounds. they serve excellent vegetarian food, i highly recommend checking it out! plus, you can rent some really cute bungalows that surround it. the view from edible jazz looking out from the inside during the daytime (you can see one of the bungalows on the right and part of the temple in the background):
we also went to this really great hot spring that wasn’t really well known, probably on account of being at the end of this long rough and winding road. here’s my friend navigating down a particularly steep and dusty section (you can get an idea about how incredibly dry it is here right now from how brown the foreground is, verses the green of the background where there’s a mountain stream):
here’s (another really shaky) video of some of the road to the hot spring:
there’s a temple that’s really close to where we live, and i can’t for the life of me figure out what it’s called. it’s got a lot of elephant decorations, so i’ve just been calling it an elephant temple.
so this weekend is the thai lantern festival (it doesn’t really have a set date, it’s just held on/around the full moon of the 12th month in the traditional thai lunar calender). it’s really awesome! these past few days people have been setting off fireworks everywhere, and lighting the big lanterns and floating them into the sky all over the city. it’s really cool to look outside and see all these lanterns floating around in the sky above chiang mai! like hundreds of drifting stars. the city’s also been heavily decorated in colorful paper lanterns, and there’s tons of bands and traditional thai dance demonstrations everywhere. all the temples are decked out with lanterns, parasols, and banners, and have cool stuff like mazes you can walk through.
video snippet of the maze (unfortunately the memory card filled up before we could film more):
this temple has been under construction since we’ve been here, it’s been really cool walking by and seeing the progress they’re making on it. the buddhas haven’t been moved, and there’s usually people praying and making offerings even when the workers are building it. it’s all decked out for the lantern festival, here’s the outside:
some lantern clips thrown together:
i’ve got some more photos and videos, i’ll post ‘em later.
i would’ve had this stuff up sooner, but i had to find some sort of video editing software (preferably freeware) that enabled frame rate adjustment… surprisingly hard to find! my version of imovie didn’t have it, which was weird since an older version, imovie 6, did. pretty ridiculous. anyway, i got imovie 6 hd which you can download for free if you have imovie 8… so i did. you can get it via this link:
you’re supposed to buy it from apple if you don’t already have imovie 8 or something.
anyway, here’s a video of our scooter ride on huay kaew rd towards doi suthep (the mountain) to see wat doi suthep (the temple on the mountain):
our scooter kind of crapped out on us on that last big hill… right after we passed and ignored a sign that advised us to use the lower gear. it was ok though, we just pushed it up about 10 feet past the steepest part and started it right back up again! the scenery was amazing. we were also driving really slow. the traffic actually isn’t as terrifying as i thought it would be – people here seem to have a really good handle on their driving skills, and there’s doesn’t seem to be much in the way of road rage. nobody honked or yelled at us, even if they had to wait a little bit to get by us on the one lane road down the mountain.
(although i guess the matching shirts do make us look kind of dumb… you’re supposed to keep your arms/legs covered when you visit a temple, plus it gets kind of chilly on the mountain, and these were the only long sleeve shirts we had, damn it.)
yesterday we rode the scooter up the mountain doi suthep to wat phrathat doi suthep. the wat is just under 10 miles (15km) from chiang mai. it is said to have been built in 1383, and the first road to it was built in 1935.
a quick little video from one of the interior corners of the temple: