Wat Phra Singh, Chiang Mai

Wat Phra Singh

Wat Phra Singh is a large, wealthy temple complex in the center of Chiang Mai’s old city. I walked in when the apprentice monks were being led by elder monks in chants in the largest of the temples. I wanted a picture or two, but about the time I got ready to point and shoot, the chanting stopped and everybody got up and filed out of the temple. I did, however, get a number of images of the grounds, of which this is one.



Coconut Processors

Coconuts for Sale

The shop across the street buys coconuts in bulk and then prepares them to have the tops cut off and sold as beverages to tourists. Street vendors come along to buy the bags and take them to stalls that can be found all over Chiang Mai. Tasty and refreshing, especially if the vendor keeps the coconuts packed in ice so the juice is slightly chilled. It seems the street vendors pay around (US) 65 cents per coconut and then resell them to passersby for $1.30 to $1.50 each. Sit down restaurants and coffee shops are somewhat more expensive. Still, nobody is getting rich from this business.

I am rather fond of the tree which has grown through the corrugated roofing in the center of the photo.



Craft and Curio Market, Chiang Mai

Curios Market, Chiang Mai

I went on a walking tour this morning of several traditional markets in Chiang Mai. A local guy organizes the walks through Meetup. I have been on a couple of these now – fun and informative, and a great group of fellow walkers on both occasions.

Many of the shops in these markets are owned by Chinese families that came to Thailand in the past, often many years ago. Today, these Chinese-Thais are assimilated into Thai society and are largely indistinguishable from other Thais. Nonetheless, originally from southern China, Guangdong and Fujian for the most part, these families continue to be a part of the vast Chinese trading networks that have long played a major role in the business and commercial worlds of Southeast Asian countries.

This photo shows a Chinese tourist doing what Chinese do best: shopping and bargaining!



Thai School Girls, Chiang Mai

Thai School Girls

I went on a photo trip this morning to a place called Wat Ban Den, a huge, well-known temple complex a few kilometers north of Chiang Mai. These girls were on a school field trip to the wat. They said hello to me and introduced themselves in English that was not at all bad. And after our mini-lesson was over, they were delighted to pose for a picture.