Our flight was short and sweet, arriving in Chiang Rai amid orchids.
Lunch in Chiang Rai: Popsicles just like the “old days.”
Thai vegetarian lunch dishes, including a mushroom soup that contained many things I was not supposed to eat. “Those are just for taste,” Sailai said, fishing out about 10 different ingredients, after I’d eaten (and cried because it was so spicy) some woody root.
Me with my Thai sister, Sailai.
This is me with a cardboard life-sized picture of the fellow who designed and built this temple. No shortage of ego, I found it strange to see so much “me-me-me” at a Buddhist temple.
A paorama shot of the “white temple.”
Sailai with her three sisters and one brother-in-law.
The builder of the monastery felt that bathrooms should be the best rooms in the house. We were all anxious to visit his world-renowned restrooms, “the happiest place on earth,” after Disneyland, of course.
We bought some “good wishes” metal cut-out plates. Add the names of those you want to have good luck.
Hanging from the trees are these ceramic masks of famous monsters and heros, including Arnold Schwartzenegger as The Terminator.
Taking a panorama shot overhead leaves the first half of this photo upside down. The ceiling is crowded with the hanging metal wishing plates of previous visitors. Mine will be added at some point.
Here’s a meme that has spread around the globe: Playboy bunnies. Here Hefner’s icon appears as the washers holding the license plate of the van we had rented.
We visited the monastery where the ceremony would be held tomorrow morning. This is the big meeting room for which they were raising funds.
We had dinner at a “Thai fusion” restaurant. We all agreed that it was more like “Thai con-fusion.” My Pad Thai had nothing that I recognized as something to do with the original dish. I did get to have a Beerlao beer, though, reminding me of my visit to Laos seven years ago.
After dinner, we needed to get some bottled water. We pulled in to a gas station with a convenience store. It took me several minutes to realize it was a 7-Eleven!
We were booked into a swanky hotel with four rooms sharing a vanishing edge swimming pool. But since we checked in, went out to dinner, got back around 9pm, and were leaving at 8am the next morning, I didn’t really enjoy the luxurious surroundings.